About our team
Bonnie – Animal Curator
Originally from California, Bonnie grew up going to the Fresno Zoo for zoo camp as a child and then was a zoo camp volunteer as a teen. After interning as a zookeeper at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago and completing a degrees in physiology and philosophy at Northwestern University she moved to Naples, Florida to work at the Naples Zoo. Later, she took a position as the hospital zoo keeper at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo and was promoted to Animal Care Manager of the Livestock Department prior to her joining Ardastra team. Outside of the zoo, Bonnie loves staying active and being outdoors. On any given day you may find her exploring caves, jumping out of airplanes, hitting bike trails or doing AcroYoga; but most likely you will find her on or in the water.
Brendan – Junior Zookeeper
Brendan started working at Ardastra Gardens on March 19th, 2012. In addition to working as a zookeeper, caring for our diverse animal collection, he prepares dozens of diets, and keeps the animal kitchen in perfect order. Brendan is also enrolled in classes at the College of The Bahamas.
Christina – Animal Food Preparation
Christina joined the Animal Care Team in November 2013. Her experience in sales, restaurants and vet hospitals has helped her excel as the food prep staff in our animal kitchen. You will find her at the bird feeding three times a day, showing guests how to feed our lory parrots, always with a big, friendly smile on her face!
Jeffrey – Operations Manager
Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, Jeff has worked for the past 20 years in the hospitality industry before joining Ardastra in May of 2014. Previously, he owned and managed a coffeehouse in Beaufort, SC for 10 years. After moving here with his wife, their two young daughters, and their dog, Jeff decided to pursue a career in which he could interact with people while being immersed in the natural beauty of the Bahamas.
Leola – Administration
Leola joined the Ardastra Team in July 2013. She graduated with honours from high school in Nassau, and then began her undergraduate studies at Albion College, Michigan. Leola hopes to complete her Bachelor’s Degree in Economics in the near future. She enjoys reading, singing, listening to music and having a good time with others. Leola’s cheerful and adaptive personality as well as her fluency in Spanish makes her a key player in the Visitor Services Department.
Julian – Grounds Department
Julian was born in Nassau. A dedicated and loyal employee, he has worked at Ardastra for the past 27 years and is currently in the Grounds Department. He takes great pride in maintaining the paths and grounds so that our guests are safe and comfortable. Julian is a huge football fan and his favorite team is the Miami Dolphins.
Jude – Maintenance Manager
Jude was born in Nassau, Bahamas and has worked at Ardastra in the maintenance department since July 2012. He enjoys the job immensely and learned many of his skills from his father, contractor Milton Treco. What he taught Jude enables him to complete many of the daily maintenance tasks faced at Ardastra. When he is not at work, he enjoys reading, listening to music and especially spending the day out on his boat fishing.
Shane – Transportation and Security Officer
Shane joined the Ardastra team in 1993 as a customer service rep and messenger. His favorite thing about being employed at Ardastra is meeting new people and developing long term friendships.
Lionel – Animal Care
Joanel – Animal Care
Behind the Scenes – The Rest of the Team that Makes it all Happen:
Tishka – Executive Assistant
Carol – Accounting/Office Administration
Tonya – Accounting/Office Administration
Charlotte of Pure Salt Design – Graphic Designer-at-Large
Laura Millspaugh and Ruby Kepley – Ardastra Ambassadors