Before joining Aspen Valley, Linda retired in 2014 after 26 years working in the Corporate Financial Services industry where she held various leadership roles within Sales, Operations and Risk Management. She has a track record of identifying opportunities and delivering results through innovative thinking and collaboration. She is a Fellow of The Institute of Canadian Bankers, studied at Dalhousie University and attended York University Schulich Executive Education Centre. Upon retirement, she left the city and moved with her family to Parry Sound. Since moving Linda has enjoyed taking advantage of the year round outdoor activities that the Georgian Bay and Muskoka area has to offer.
Linda was looking for an opportunity to make a difference in the community when she came across Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. She started volunteering in November 2016 as the Volunteer Coordinator responsible for the recruitment of Wildlife Care and Maintenance volunteers and placed a focus on the volunteer experience. In July 2017, Linda was appointed to the Board as Vice-Chair while continuing in her volunteer role. In 2019 she stepped down from the Board to take on a staff position to focus on Fundraising and Volunteer Recruitment. Then in early 2020, her business acumen and skills were needed to co-manage the organization through the uncertainty of the pandemic ensuring sustainability while protecting the health and safety of staff of volunteers. In January 2021 she was the successful incumbent and was promoted to Executive Director.
Janalene Kingshott - Director of Animal Welfare
Janalene provides leadership and direction, responsible for animal care and is Aspen Valley’s Authorized Wildlife Custodian. She regularly attends conferences and networks to maintain her currency with wildlife rehabilitation practices. Her knowledge and innate ability to read the animals and respond to their needs plays a key role in her work with them. Janalene has spent hours of her own time researching the habits of the various species at the sanctuary with interests in nutrition housing and enrichment. Since arriving at Aspen Valley, Janalene has successfully completed the Rehabilitator’s Examination, the Rabies Vector Species examination and the Chemical Immobilization examination. She has been with Aspen Valley since 2010.
Howard Smith - Operations & Donor Liaison
Howard holds an MSc. degree with a specialization in Wildlife Behaviour and Management and a BSc. (Honours) with a specialization in Zoology. Previously he was with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources in several capacities over a distinctive career, notably as a Senior Biologist dealing with wildlife and involved with the management of species such as white-tailed deer, moose, caribou, elk and polar bear and black bear. Howard’s people skills along with project management, planning and public consultation experience are a tremendous advantage for Aspen Valley. He was the Chair of MNR’s Wildlife Animal Care Committee for 10 years which reviewed and approved research projects by MNR and universities that involved handling and holding wildlife.
Kevin DeCock - Assistant Director of Animal Care
As a veterinary technician Kevin gained a lot of experience at several wildlife rehabilitation centers in Belgium, the Netherlands and Canada. While managing a Belgian wildlife center he developed a lot of expertise on rehabilitation of wild animals and supervising staff and volunteers. In 2017 he volunteered at Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary and got to know more about Canadian wildlife and how to take care of them. He joined the team in January 2020.
Mike Cardy - Property Manager
Mike has been a valuable member of the Aspen Valley team since 2015, taking care of our many maintenance and operation needs. His maintenance experience comes from over twenty years of farming, as well as twenty five years of working in the manufacturing, and carpentry businesses. Mike is also an incredible professional wildlife photographer, which has allowed him to gain knowledge of many wild species through his thousands of hours in the field. He is well versed in animal behaviour, habitat, food sources, etc.
Elaine Kingshott - Office Manager
Elaine works in the office, ensuring that the financial details of the wildlife sanctuary are kept according to standards and regulations. She also acts as the administrator in the office, and responsible for procurement.
For our veterinary needs, we are so grateful to have Dr. Sherri Cox from National Wildlife Centre and her mobile clinic as part of our team. Dr. Cox is the founder of the National Wildlife Centre and is committed to helping educate students on wildlife conservation, medicine, and emergency preparedness and response. Dr. Cox is a graduate of the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) and is an accredited wildlife veterinarian. As a wildlife veterinarian she has a special interest in orthopedic surgery and has considerable experience working with many species of native wildlife – from birds to reptiles to large mammals.
Dr. Cox is currently the Executive Director, Global Development, Innovation and Research at the University of Guelph, Canada. Dr.Cox and her talented interns visit us at our sanctuary to preform procedures such as work under anesthesia, medical exams, etc.
Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary: 1116 Crawford Street Rosseau, ON P0C 1J0
What Our Visitors Are Saying:
"Our environment is a legacy to our children. This team works to support Canada's habitats and native animals in so many ways. Thanks for all you do!"
"Amazing people doing great work."
"Overall great experience."
"A really nice walk with mom and dad. I learned how beavers make up the environment."