Cathy Willis Spraetz
President and Chief Executive Officer
Prior to joining Chimp Haven in 2013, Cathy, an Atlanta native, served several nonprofit organizations in Georgia, focusing primarily in the area of disabilities and domestic violence. She has more than 30 years of experience as a chief executive and with that brings extensive expertise in administration, fiscal accountability, staff and program development, and fundraising.
Cathy serves on the NAPSA (North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance) Steering Committee and is an avid animal lover. She finds it a special privilege to be leading Chimp Haven and values the ongoing opportunity to learn more about our magnificent relative, the chimpanzee, while working to ensure they have a forever home in sanctuary. She has gained significant knowledge and insight into the overall management of chimpanzees and the history of these amazing animals in captivity and is often asked to speak on these topics.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies with a concentration in Nonprofit Administration from Georgia State University. She is a scholarship recipient of the 2005 Harvard Business School’s Strategic Initiatives in Nonprofit Management.
Chief Development Officer
Ruth began her fundraising and management career in the political arena. She worked for a U.S. Senator and Congressman and went on to join an internationally renowned political consulting firm that provided campaign guidance to candidates around the world. Her nonprofit development career began in 2003 while working for the Sarcoma Alliance and later Hospice by the Bay, both organizations located in the San Francisco area. In 2005 she moved to San Diego to become the Director of Development at the Elementary Institute of Science and in 2011 became the Director of Fund Development for The Elizabeth Hospice, currently the largest hospice in San Diego.
Ruth has a well-rounded knowledge of nonprofit fundraising and some of her expertise includes donor cultivation and stewardship, direct mail, and copywriting. She also oversees all communications at Chimp Haven, including print and web-based, along with public relations and marketing.
She received a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Central Arkansas. Ruth is a member of the AFP (Association of Fundraising Professionals) and has earned her CFRE (Certified Fund Raising Executive) designation.
Director of Behavior, Education & Research
Amy co-founded Chimp Haven in 1995 and has been working at the sanctuary since 2004, which was prior to the first chimpanzees arriving.
She is responsible for the socialization of the chimpanzees, as well as overseeing the enrichment, training and education programs at the sanctuary. Amy and her staff also conduct observational research on the chimpanzees as they adjust to their new lives at the sanctuary. She brings extensive professional experience to Chimp Haven after working in the behavioral field at zoos, sanctuaries, and research facilities.
Amy has worked with various primates since 1986 and with chimpanzees since 1992. Her area of expertise is introductions, having conducted hundreds of them at Chimp Haven. She has also spent time doing conservation related field work in various countries through Miami University’s Global Field Program and is passionate about chimpanzee conservation issues. Amy has published and presented a number of scientific papers based on her research and is currently an instructor for Project Dragonfly and Earth Expeditions through Miami University. Amy also takes many of the wonderful photographs of the chimpanzees you see on the Chimp Haven website.
Raven Jackson-Jewett, D.V.M.
Dr. Raven Jackson-Jewett currently serves as the Attending Veterinarian at Chimp Haven. She leads a staff of two veterinary technicians and one part-time veterinarian, along with a team of external consulting veterinarians and local medical specialists who regularly assist with the needs of the chimpanzees. She oversees the health needs of more than 200 chimps living at our sanctuary. This includes medical and therapeutic treatments, dispensing medications, ensuring individual diet and nutrition needs are met, positive reinforcement and weight loss trainings.
Raven earned a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2009. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Animal and Poultry Science from Tuskegee University.
After graduation, she completed a post-doctoral bio-behavioral research internship at the Mannheimer Foundation, Inc. where she conducted research on the mother-infant relationship and its correlation with chronic idiopathic colitis in captive rhesus macaques. Dr. Jackson-Jewett has several years of experience working with and studying nonhuman primates in various laboratory and zoological settings.
Sharon A. Roy
Chief Financial Officer
Sharon serves as the Chief Financial Officer as well as Contract Administrator and has been with Chimp Haven since 2003. Sharon has over 40 years of experience in financial and administrative operations, including human resources and office operations, as well as governmental contract administration.
Sharon served as a volunteer with Chimp Haven for almost 2 years prior to being hired as staff, initially as Program Administrator. She has a Master’s Certificate in Government Contracting which she has put to good use at Chimp Haven as she oversees financial and administrative duties.
She began her career in the nonprofit field by working at the Biomedical Research Foundation of Northwest Louisiana, where she served for 13 years. Sharon worked in Dallas and the Shreveport-Bossier City areas for companies in the land development and residential and commercial construction fields the first half of her career and excels in organization and helping start-up companies. Sharon has held memberships with such organizations as Executive Women’s International, National Contract Managers Association, the NW LA Society of Human Resource Managers and the National SHRM.
Director of Animal Care
Kathleen has been helping Chimp Haven fulfill its mission since 2005. She initially joined the organization as the Colony Manager and now serves as the Director of Animal Care. In this role, Kathleen ensures adherence to all associated standards, regulations and guidelines, while also providing the chimps with a species appropriate environment that encourages natural behaviors. Kathleen has over 20 years’ experience with primates, and 15 years with chimpanzees, in research and sanctuary settings.
Prior to joining Chimp Haven, Kathleen served Columbia University Medical Center as a Research Compliance Officer where she trained personnel in 207 laboratories on species appropriate needs, aseptic surgery, and pain management. From 1991 through 2004, Kathleen worked at New York University’s (LEMSIP), Montefiore Medical Center and Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
Kathleen holds a Master of Science in Psychology, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences. She is an active member of the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP).