Advisory Council

Cam Awesome

Cam Awesome is a well known professional speaker and personality. He is an Emmy Nominated, 7 time USA National Champion, 4 time Golden Gloves National Champion, 3 Time Olympic Trails Champion Heavyweight boxer, and former Captain of the USA National boxing team. Cam Awesome is also a proud Member of the National Speakers Association. Cam is a Diversity & Inclusion consultant. Cam adopted a plant-based vegan lifestyle in 2012. Since then, Cam has emcee’d over a hundred vegan events around the country out of the van he lives in part-time.

Margaret Barham

Margaret Barham is a licensed clinical psychologist working in Raleigh, NC.  She has a more than 20-year career with the State of NC working in forensic settings, treatment settings, and currently as a Social Security Disability consultant.  She has always had an affinity for animals of all kinds and nurtured childhood dreams of being a veterinarian.  She took a different career path, but currently nurtures those childhood dreams, at least in part, by hosting a revolving door of foster puppies with her teenage son and managing a sizable family of full-time residents.  How people treat animals can be powerful diagnostic indicators for humans struggling with behavioral issues.  And at the same time, experiences with animals can provide healing and comfort to humans as well.  Margaret has a special interest in these human-animal relationships and is eager and excited to learn learn more about how education and experience can impact how our world, and the creatures with whom we share it, for good.

Olivia Bowser

Olivia Bowser is a Savannah, Georgia native who attends the Savannah College of Art and Design where she majors in Themed Entertainment and triple minoring in production design, costume design, and lighting design while also receiving certificates in business, conservation design, and structural engineering. Themed Entertainment is all about creating immersive environments for all age demographics; Olivia plans to use this outlet to educate the public on environmental issues. While most SCAD Themed Entertainment alumni plan to work for Disney, Olivia plans to work for animal advocacy and conservation groups helping to develop interactive museum exhibits for future generations. Growing up in a coastal environment, Olivia has become deeply passionate for a wide range of wildlife and hopes to continue her research to help bridge the art world and conservation together.

Leah Burns

Georgette Leah Burns holds a PhD in Tourism from Murdoch University and is a foundation member of the Environmental Futures Research Institute at Griffith University. Currently a Senior Lecturer in the School of Environment and Science at Griffith University, she previously held positions as Head of the Tourism Department at Hólar University College and Head of Tourism research at the Icelandic Seal Centre. As an environmental anthropologist, Leah’s research on wildlife tourism interactions spans topics such as ethics, coexistence, sustainability, resilience, interpretation and management. She grew up surrounded by horses, donkeys, goats, magpies, dogs, cats and chickens – who spent nearly as much time inside the house with her as she did outside with them, leading to a lifelong caring for the non-humans with whom we share this planet.

Christina T. Cavaliere, Ph.D.

Christina T. Cavaliere, Ph.D., is a conservation social scientist. Her research involves the human dimensions of socio-ecological systems including tourism impacts and biocultural conservation. Dr. Cavaliere serves as an Assistant Professor of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and is the Director of the Tourism and Conservation research lab at Colorado State University (USA). She has experience working with universities, communities, businesses, non-governmental organizations, and multilateral institutions on six continents.

Nick Coughlin

Nick Coughlin is the founder of The Good Kid Project, which is rooted in the belief that children taught to extend kindness and mercy toward animals are more likely to become good kids who are kind and considerate in their relations to one another. A lifelong animal advocate, Nick lives in Minnesota with his cattle dog, Pico. He has testified before the Minneapolis city council in support of a ban on wild animal circuses, worked for Farm Sanctuary as an education coordinator, and volunteers regularly for different animal advocacy organizations. Nick believes that teaching kids to treat all animals with kindness is one of the most important things we can do.

Courtney Cryan

Courtney Cryan is a junior at Eckerd College majoring in Animal Studies with minors in Biology and Leadership. She has always been passionate about animals and wanted to work with them in some capacity. She wants to combine this passion with her love of the ocean to help protect it better. Through participating in the Fanimal internship program during Summer 2020, Courtney found a love for conservation science and research from helping with various projects surrounding these topics. She plans on going to graduate school once she graduates. Courtney’s ultimate career goal is to work in the field as a conservation biologist for marine mammals. She is very excited to have the opportunity to continue to work with Fanimal!

John Delconte

John Delconte, PhD, is an instructor in creative placemaking in regional planning at the University of Massachusetts Arts Extension Service and New England College. His research is about how to define, measure, and test the vibrancy of places. He is also the founder of Smallwander, a consultancy and tour operation that helps small towns connect with cultural tourists through placemaking. Prior to that, he was a medical writer in the pharmaceutical industry and served as a board member of several arts- and culture-related nonprofits.

Kenny Flowers

Kenny Flowers is the Assistant Secretary for Rural Economic Development at the North Carolina Department of Commerce. In that role he provides guidance for the Department in its efforts to support rural communities and help foster rural prosperity. Kenny leads a team of community and economic development professionals that help communities make the preparations and infrastructure investments needed to attract business and industry, and spur economic growth. Prior to his employment with NC Commerce, Kenny was the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Community and Regional Development at East Carolina University’s Office of Innovation and Economic Development.

Adélaïde Fouache

Adélaïde Fouache is an Environmental Communication and Management Master graduate, now working as a restaurant manager in a student nation in Uppsala, Sweden, trying to fight for animal rights and sustainability while using her positions. She is engaging in discussions with students about their views on captivity, climate, animal conservation, and the consumption of meat in general. Adélaïde loves all animals but has a soft spot for marine mammals, especially killer whales. Not only did she write her master thesis about endangered killer whale pods in the Salish Sea, she also has a killer whale tattoo on her body, killer whale t-shirts, and also “adopted” one last year from Whale and Dolphin Conservation!
Adélaïde wishes to move to Norway or Canada to continue learning about killer whales and marine mammals and help engage people in discussions about endangered species and how we can act to protect our wildlife.

José-Carlos Garcia-Rosell

José-Carlos Garcia-Rosell is a Senior Lecturer in the Multidimensional Tourism Institute (MTI) at the University of Lapland, Finland and Adjunct Professor at the Faculty of Tourism, University of Maribor, Slovenia. He holds a Master in Agricultural Economics (University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna), Licenciate in Marketing (University of Oulu) and PhD in Management (University of Lapland). He works in the fields of responsible tourism business, corporate social responsibility (CSR), business ethics, and responsible management education. José-Carlos grew up with an affinity to animals. Dogs, cats, rabbits and other animals were an important part of his life as a child and teenager. During his studies at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, he followed with particular interest the discussions on animal welfare in relation to farm animals. In his current research work, he explores human-animal relations within a responsible tourism context.

Hin Hoarau-Heemstra

Hindertje (Hin) Hoarau-Heemstra is a Dutch animal lover and academic who lives in Northern Norway since 2009. She works as associate professor at the Nord University Business School in Bodø, Norway. Hin studied international development studies (MSc) and social and political studies of the environment (Bsc) and worked as a consultant on sustainability issues in the Netherlands. From 2010 until 2015 she did her PhD studies on innovation in Nordic whale-watching. Experiencing the majestic nature and the gentle giants of the North Atlantic, and writing about the relations between humans and marine mammals in these pristine environments, made her even more aware, concerned, amazed and interested in Homo sapiens amongst other animals. Hin´s interests in marine environments have also led to many diving holidays in tropical waters in order to experience and contribute to responsible and ecological tourism in developing countries. However, her personal and professional interests are not limited to marine species; Hin studied ethical issues of reindeer tourism and is interested in other forms of animal-human contact in tourism destinations like horse riding and dog-sledding. Hin makes sure she has a daily dose of animal cuddling with her dog Mika or the Icelandic horses she rides in her spare time. One of her ambitions is to share knowledge, amazement and respect for animals in her teaching at university and upbringing of her two daughters. Hin´s goal is to understand the relations between animals, tourists and businesses in tourism destinations and to use this knowledge for the improvement of the living conditions of animals in tourism contexts.  

Kirstin Lamoureux

Dr. Kirstin Lamoureux is an accomplished professional with 20 years of experience as an educator, researcher and practitioner in tourism and hospitality. Currently, she is serving as a Visiting Professor of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Virginia Tech University. She is also a passionate animal rights advocate. In addition to being professor, she has also been involved in projects focusing on sustainability around the world. She has served as a consultant for the US government, World Bank, the UNWTO, the Ecotourism Society, and Conservation International, among others. She holds a Ph.D. in Strategic Planning and Public Policy, a Master of Tourism and a Graduate Certificate in Animal Studies.

Naomi Lichtenstein

Naomi Lichtenstein is currently working on her Bachelor’s degree in environmental science and policy at the University of Maryland, College Park. Embodying the mantra of Tikkun Olam, Naomi aims to work with her colleagues to eradicate environmental injustices and address climate change through engaging all perspectives. She hopes to uplift those around her and underserved communities to implement impactful strategies in mitigating the consequences of climate changes. As an avid activist now, Naomi hopes to bring her experience from grassroot organization to a global level and ensure that those directly affected by climate change are at the center of the conversation.

Emily Maranga

Emily Maranga is a student at the University of Maryland. She is majoring in Environmental Science and Policy and minoring in GIS. She was part of the team of interns in the Summer of 2020 and helped with projects that promoted the importance of animal welfare to the Fanimal audience. Emily has a passion for conservation and hopes to work in a field that directly aids environmental issues. Outside of school, she is an active member of the University of Maryland chapter of Extinction Rebellion, where she participates in climate change protests in Washington D.C. Emily is also an artist, and many of her pieces are nature-related. Her love of animals and the environment can be seen in every aspect of her life, whether it is through art, activism, or school.

Jonas Kambale Nyumu

Jonas Kambale Nyumu is a national of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). He is an Assistant Lecturer at the Tayna Center for Conservation Biology – Université de Conservation de la Nature et de Développement de Kasugho (TCCB-UCNDK) which was created with particular emphasis on wildlife conservation in order to build capacities for wildlife conservation in the area and beyond.  He is a currently enrolled for a PhD in wildlife management at the University of Kisangani in DRC. His research focuses on local depletion in socio-ecological hunting systems: ethno-zoological approach and terrestrial mammals’ population monitoring using camera traps in Yangambi landscape (DRC). Jonas also has special interest in Pangolin Conservation after participating in an 18 month US Fish and Wildlife Service/Zoological Society of London Fellowship program known as the MENTOR-POP (Progress on Pangolins) Program which focused on building capacity for the conservation of pangolins in Central Africa. Today, Jonas is Coordinator of a capacity building program aimed at improving the Capacity of TCCB-UNCDK to train students capable of addressing emerging threats to wildlife in DRC with special interest on pangolins.

David Quinn

David Quinn is a native of Greensboro, NC, a born and bread UNC Tar Heel, and a resident of Asheville, NC for almost 50 years. He is a retired urban planner with the State and spent his career working in communities throughout WNC. After retirement he spent 10 plus years consulting, seven of those with HandMade in America. He is a widower with two sons, a grandson and a blind granddog living in Charlotte. His home is on the side of a wooded mountain where he loves admiring the wildlife that traverse my yard; bear, deer, fox, wild turkey, hawks, owls and an occasional snake. All are wonderful neighbors and welcomed!

Erich Schlenker

As Managing Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship, Erich helps students and community members develop, incubate and launch new ventures. Erich brings a range of experience to the position. Most recently, he assisted a start-up international mining company in addressing SEC and regulatory issues, implementing financial controls, securing operating capital, and building relationships with government officials in Guyana South America. Prior to moving to the High Country in 2008, Erich founded and operated Synaptis, a Raleigh-based software training company. He also brings 11 years experience at Intel Corporation, where he helped define, launch and implement the Intel Inside Program worldwide.

Emily Smith

Emily graduated from Appalachian State University with a degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management in May of 2020. During her time at Appalachian, she took several courses, such as Animals, Tourism, and Sustainability under Fanimal’s founder, Dr. Carol Kline, that nurtured her curiosity and passion for animals and environmentally sustainable practices. She also had the unique opportunity of studying abroad in Cuba, where she got a taste of the island’s rich culture and history. In the Spring of 2020, Emily was a participant in Fanimal’s Learn, Earn, and Return Program and now she looks forward to continuing her involvement with the organization on the Advisory Council.

Samantha Smyth

Samantha graduated from Appalachian State University with a Tourism Hospitality Management degree. During her time at App State she worked as a sustainability fellow for the Office of Sustainability educating students about the various green initiatives impacting the campus. She now lives back in her hometown of Baltimore where she works as a farm hand and baker at a family farm- to -market cider mill. There she takes care of a tribe of female goats and makes old fashioned apple cider donuts. Samantha has been a contributing editor for Fanimal.

Nora Tahbaz

Nora Tahbaz is currently working on getting her Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Policy at Scripps College in Claremont, CA and she hopes to continue onto law school after she graduates to pursue a career in Environmental Law. As a young African American woman, Nora hopes that she can call attention to environmental justice issues that disproportionately impact people of color in the United States and across the world. Nora is also minoring in economics and hopes to learn more about the connections between the economy and the environment and how we can improve them both without having to sacrifice one over the other. As the youngest member on the 2021 Advisory Council, Nora hopes to be able to reach out to and connect with more young conservationists/environmentalists and work with them to achieve Fanimal’s goals.

Julie Tanner

Julie Tanner is an experienced corporate responsibility and sustainability leader with expertise on a broad range of human rights, environment and corporate governance issues. As a Managing Director at Christian Brothers Investment Services, she enlists companies in the fight against human trafficking and forced labor and in the protection of nature and the transition to a low-carbon economy. Previously, she worked at The National Wildlife Federation, where she created a program to encourage financial institutions to incorporate environmental criteria into business decisions and report on policies and practices to protect people and wildlife. She has a strong track record of innovation, coalition-building, and successful negotiation with boards and management of major US and European corporations and an established record of publication, media, public speaking, and professional service. She serves on the boards of The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility and is a member of the Steering Committee of the Investor Alliance for Human Rights.

Francis Tarla

Francis Tarla is a human Capacity developer with a background studies in Animal science (MSc from University of Florida, Gainesville). He was the principal of the Regional Wildlife College in Garoua, Cameroon, for French-speaking Africa for 11 years; Coordinated the USFWS MENTOR-POP Fellowship Program. He is currently teaching at the University of Dschang and coordinating a two-year project that aims at combatting bushmeat trafficking in Central Africa at national policy level. His interest in working with animals began as a dream be a livestock breeder and got his first goat when he was 6 years old.

Teisha Wymore

Teisha Wymore brings a breadth of experience in food systems and sustainable agriculture to Faminal’s Advisory Council. Her research and program development around the role of animals in our food systems helped a statewide effort in educating and developing relationships between institutional, municipal and corporate consumers and local food markets. As a program leader for North Carolina State University, she engaged Universities to align academic research with local food systems, working on creating Local Food Councils networked throughout local communities, and through local governments. In addition, she has applied experience with working with livestock, and more importantly, she is a is a lifetime “Fanimal” and student of the natural world. Currently, Teisha happily enjoys life as a dogmom, and poultry parent in Durham North Carolina. She serves on the Durham Board of Adjustment, and is a residential real estate advisor

Aaron Yankholmes

Aaron Yankholmes holds a PhD in Tourism from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Currently a Senior Lecturer in the School of Business at the University of Huddersfield, he previously held academic positions at the University of South Wales, Breda University of Applied Sciences, Bournemouth University, Institute for Tourism Studies and Macau University of Science and Technology. His research interest spans a wide range of topics in tourism and events management. Currently he is pursuing two main lines of research that relates to sustainability and the interrelationships between people, places and spaces. Aaron is an active member of the numerous societies and associations concerned with animal rights and welfare.