Meet Our Co-FoundersKent Weber, Co-Founder and Executive Director
Kent has spent the past three decades as an experiential educator working to provide a home for rescued animals. His patience and skill as a teacher have benefited thousands of volunteers and visitors over the years. He is the main spokesperson for the traveling Ambassador Wolf Program and has inspired countless people to care. Kent has profound architectural knowledge from his background in construction management and applies this knowledge to making the sanctuary sustainable through solar power and passive solar design. Kent wears many different hats at the sanctuary. You might find him in the Mission: Wolf tool shop teaching new volunteers how to build something for the first time, talking about group psychology to a bunch of high school students, or explaining wolf-dog regulations to someone on the phone. During the summer, the one hat you can count on him wearing almost every day is his cowboy hat.
Tracy Ane Brooks, Co-Founder and President
With over two decades experience working with wolves and horses, Tracy oversees animal care at the sanctuary. She understands animal behavior and has developed gentle handling techniques that are truly her own. Tracy teaches interested Mission: Wolf staff how to use body language to communicate with wolves and horses. As the primary Ambassador Wolf leader, she has developed successful handling techniques for the captive Ambassador Wolves to help them be calm and happy in public, unnatural and new environments. Tracy is currently developing a wolf/horse body language teaching program at the sanctuary, using positive interactions between people and animals as an educational and therapeutic tool. She published a book about her work, entitled A Walk in Connection. An accomplished artist, Tracy has raised money for the sanctuary from sales of her artwork.
Meet Our StaffMike Gaarde
Mike is a self-proclaimed happy hippie who just loves wolves. He came to Mission: Wolf in September 2013 and is our Animal Caretaker. Mike's bonus charisma points and excitement for our mission makes him a driving force on our staff. When he's not working with the wolves, Mike can be found helping out with construction, being artsy fartsy, or eating his strict diet of ketchup, cheese, and tortillas. In his free time, Mike likes to ride his dirt bike, be silly, and go snowboarding. Much like the wolf, Mike is always striving to be mindful, aware, and knowledgeable of the world around him.
Austin arrived at Mission: Wolf in the summer of 2016, and as our current Education Caretaker, he has made serious headway in our attempts to revamp our education programs at the sanctuary. Spreading knowledge about the wolf and its vital role in our ecosystem brings him great joy, along with creating a cohesive environment among the staff. Austin's passions include advocating for worker's rights, being a lover of basketball, an enthusiast of odd reptiles, and a man of books. He has degrees in sociology and philosophy, and he plans to attend graduate school to study the relationship between modern society and wildness.
Megan came to Mission: Wolf for the first time as part of a service group from Rice University. She fell in love with our wolves, our mountains, and our sustainability efforts, and returned as long-term staff in the spring of 2017. Megan is our current Operations Caretaker, and her strong organizational skills and attention to detail help keep everything running smoothly at the sanctuary. You can usually find her in the office tending to the finances and handling correspondence, or outside working with groups and educating visitors.
Tyler has been with us since the summer of 2016, along with his great energy and passion for wolves. He is our current Refuge Caretaker, and he has done a wonderful job bringing his wildly contagious spirit into focus for the benefit of the entire community. When he isn't helping process wolf food or giving love to resident wolf-dog Minigan, you can find Tyler juggling, contemplating all of life's big questions, or watching Scooby Doo. Tyler wants to work with canines for the rest of his life, and all of the wolves have benefitted from his enthusiastic care and attention.
Laura discovered Mission: Wolf as part of a service group from Northwestern University, and she returned as a short-term volunteer for a few weeks during a summer to devote her time and energy to helping the sanctuary. After graduating from school and successfully hiking the Appalachian Trail, Laura finally joined us as full-time staff in the fall of 2017. She currently assists with all things outreach, and spends her days making amazing videos about the sanctuary and the wolves. With her big heart and wicked sense of humor, Laura is a valued part of our community, and the passion she brings to her everyday tasks benefit our wolves and visitors alike.
Board of Directors
Mission: Wolf operates with a board of five directors that oversee the work Mission: Wolf does, ensuring that our mission is being executed and that we adhere to our values. The board of directors set priorities and expectations for on site animal care needs, and works to assure all licenses, permits, insurance and other legal requirements are in order. Most directors own adjacent land to buffer the refuge from encroaching development. For more information about our Board, please contact us directly.