Rob Hults – Executive Director
In 2006, Rob became a volunteer at the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center. At that time he began his training in animal husbandry and educational presentation of their collection of 14 native birds of prey.
Rapidly, his passion for these birds and their care and development grew. He attended both national and international workshops and conferences, all directly related to the care, training and presentation of birds.
After leaving his career in home remodeling he completed two internships, one in the U.S. and one in Europe. He was offered a full time staff position at the Irish Raptor Research Center in 2008. He returned to the center, in the northwest corner of Ireland, as a full time staff member for 2009. With responsibilities for the care of 70-90 raptors, training, public contact and educational flying shows he is well equipped to continue his passion here in the US.
In 2010, he was hired by the Ohio Bird Sanctuary for show development, training, rehabilitation work and property management. Here, he found his interest and abilities in rehabilitation really develop. Since November of 2010 he has been working on the development of Open Door Bird Sanctuary along with co-founder, Jillaine Burton. He is able to incorporate the best of the various raptor facilities he has worked at as well as over 25 years of small business ownership experience to create a well thought out and viable organization.
Jillaine Burton – General Manager
Jillaine began her adventure with raptors volunteering at Schlitz Audubon Nature Center in Milwaukee in 2006. With considerable involvement in the educational programming as well as familiarity with all of the birds, she was ready to try her hand at more advanced training when she joined Rob for several weeks in Ireland working at Eagles Flying. Working under Rob’s guidance she learned training and falconry techniques. In addition, she has developed other types of fundraising events for local non-profits and with a number of years in Sales and Marketing, she brings a well-rounded background to the foundation of ODBS.
Rick comes to ODBS with a great love of nature, having hiked in many of our national parks such as Grand Canyon and Glacier as well as in New Zealand and Costa Rica. He has been in various aspects of manufacturing for over 30 years, currently in sales, he brings valuable business experience to ODBS. In addition, he has also volunteered his time mentoring a young man through his teenage and early adult experiences for the last 12 years. He is also an avid ballroom dancer and sports nut as well as a longtime friend of Rob and Jillaine. Rick is a member of the ODBS Board of Directors.
Walt Fisher – Board Member
Walt is a Door County resident who, along with his wife Joan, has owned and operated The French Country Inn B+B in Ephraim for the last 25 years and finally closed it in 2015. In addition to his Door County expertise, he is an accomplished architect and presently sits on the Ephraim Planning Committee as well as the Ephraim Foundation. In the past he has been a member of the Ephraim Historic Preservation Committee and has taught classes at the Clearing. He is a longtime friend of Rob and Jillaine and brings invaluable insight into the inner workings of Door County to ODBS.
Paul Burton – Board Member
Paul Burton is Professor Emeritus (in Cell Biology) from the Univ. of Kansas and a Distinguished Alumnus from Western Carolina Univ. At Kansas for 28 years, he taught and carried out biomedical research sponsored by the U.S. Public Health Service. In his many years as a resident of Ephraim, he has become an avid photographer and spends time in the field photographing and studying dragonflies. He has authored numerous books about various topics relevant to Door Co including the Hine’s Emerald Dragonfly.
Ryanne Lee – Board Member
Ryanne comes to ODBS with over 11 years of teaching environmental education in the Midwest and southern US. She holds a BS with a Focus on Wildlife Management and Biology and has put that knowledge to work with a variety of animals and birds in zoos, nature centers and wildlife refuges. Currently she is a Zoo Educator with the Zoological Society as well as a veterinary assistant at the Best Friends Veterinary Center, however, she spent 6 years on staff at the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center as a Raptor Educator overseeing, training and caring for 15 raptors as well as a large group of volunteers. She is a member of IAATE, has trained in Ireland at the Irish Raptor Research Center with Rob, volunteers for local animal based organizations and is a member of the ODBS Board of Directors.
Lori Kemmler – Photographer and Archivist
The mother of two, Lori and her husband Mike moved to Baileys Harbor a couple years ago from Elgon, IL. With 18 years of teaching under her belt in Elgin, she has continued that tradition here in Door Co and adding to it her involvement in ODBS and fine tuning her photography skills. She is spearheading educational activities for kids and on site programs and works with the Education Team on a regular basis.
Amy Hults – Volunteer Coordinator
Amy Hults is a lifelong resident of Door County. Growing up as the third generation on Cherrydale Farm, her connection with animals began early in life. In her teens she was a staff member at “The Farm”, caring for their education animals, and working with the public at this Door County landmark attraction. While raising a family, she was one of the top organic produce and livestock growers in Door County. Amy has been working with birds of prey since 2014, and is currently a full time student seeking her degree as a veterinary technician.
Judy and Paul Schumacher – Program Coordinators
From childhood, Judy has had a love for the outdoors and nature. As a first calling, Judy became a science and math teacher. She taught everything from primary grades through high school. That desire to “never stop learning” has followed her all her life. Judy and her husband, Paul, relocated to Door County in 2005. Embarking on a new adventure, they brought with them their advertising business – Ad Quest Promotions. “Living the Dream” on the Quiet Side of Door County, they own five acres filled with Spring’s morel mushrooms, abundant wildflowers and numerous birds and other wildlife.
Volunteering at the ODBS fulfills yet another dream – the opportunity to work with birds of prey.
Josh Hults – IT Director
Josh is a Systems Administrator by day, at Serigraph, Inc. in West Bend. He was responsible for version 1.0 of the ODBS website, and helps the The Sanctuary with a variety of other IT related needs.
Josh has inherited a love of nature from his dad Rob; he likes hiking, mountain biking, and the beauty of the Wisconsin outdoors. He’s doing his best to pass on this love to his new son Drake, getting out to hike in the woods, splash in the rivers, and dig in the dirt with Drake whenever Wisconsin weather allows. When he’s not on the trails, he enjoys all things tech, video games, and has really taken to disc golf the last couple of years. If you’re ever in the West Bend area, look him up; he’d be happy to shoot a round or two with you.