Staff

Frank Sladek
Frank is a naturalist and environmental educator who has owned reptiles for over 20 years.  He has worked with over 50 species of herps, from large monitor lizards to endangered amphibians. Frank is also the current director of ReptileFest, the largest educational reptile show in America.  He has shared his passion with hundreds of thousands of people over the course of his career and has presented animals on PBS, NBC and WGN. Frank loves taking the junior herpers on field trips and helping ease peoples’ fear of reptiles.
Colleen McCarthy
Colleen formerly volunteered at Willowbrook wildlife center and enjoys spending time outdoors with her family and friends. She has loved animals since she was a young girl and keeps a variety of pets, including a pair of Quaker parrots. After getting her first bearded dragon, Toasty, she fell head over heels in love with reptiles. Regular visitors to our meetings will recognize Colleen when they see her big smile, colorful reptile clothes and friendly snakes ( like Bing Bong and Jelly Bean). When she is not leading meetings, assisting parents or helping out at shows, Colleen enjoys photographing animals in their natural habitats.
Lalainya Goldsberry
Lalainya works at the Peggy Notebart Nature Museum where she helps cares for the museum’s diverse animal collections.  Lalainya also participates in several citizen science programs including the Calling Frog Survey and is no stranger to studying animals in captivity and in the wild.  Lalainya is always eager to get our juniors out into the museum or community to do what they do best, talk to people about reptiles!
Jenny Hanson
Jenny teaches Special Education and has a passion for sharing her fascination and love of animals with children.  She has had a deep connection with animals since she was young that was noticeable even in ballet class…when she would play with the spiders in the corner instead of doing any actual ballet.  Starting in high school with her very first reptiles, Rafael and Javier the red-eared slider turtles, her love for reptiles has only grown along with her commitment to rescuing and rehabilitating.  In her “free time” Jenny enjoys taking care of her wide variety of pets, taking care of other people’s pets, spending time with friends/family, participating in personal/professional training and development, and trying new things!
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