Florida Parrot Rescue is an all volunteer run organization, and that includes not only our fosters, but our officers, managers, and coordinators. Most of our managing team hold full time jobs and have families to care for in addition to volunteering for the rescue anywhere from 20-40 hours a week, so this is one dedicated (and multi-tasking) group of people!
Nicole Bennett – President/Director (Registered Officer)
Nicole is the Director of Florida Parrot Rescue and currently also fills the role of Southwest Florida Foster Coordinator. Nicole has been with the rescue since early 2011. She and her husband Jake joined the rescue to foster birds and to volunteer. She fosters medium and large birds and is responsible for recruiting fosters, coordinating the intake of birds into rescue in her area, and communicating with her fosters. Nicole also plans and executes many community events in her area in order to spread the word about FPR. She has been happily married since 1995 and has one daughter and a house full of rescues including one Shar-Pei/Lab mix, a Burmese cat, a Patagonian conure, a Blue and Gold Macaw, a Congo African Grey, and a hermit crab. She has always had a soft spot in her heart for all animals and starting bringing home “lost animals” as a child. In addition to volunteering for the rescue, Nicole works full time as a Registered Nurse. Her responsibilities include fundraising, recruiting, communicating with potential adopters and fosters, helping at community events, speaking with the media, and managing the rest of the officers, managers, and coordinators. You can reach Nicole at email@example.com
Wendolyn Velez – South Florida Foster Coordinator
Wendolynn has been with the rescue for some time now. She has grown up with birds and dogs and as an adult has always implemented the cardinal rule in her house “a house is not a home without pets”. Wendolyn enjoys the welcoming committee when she walks in and the unconditional love from every member of her household. “Rescuing is my passion but the love of animals is my life.”
Nancy – Foster Coordinator
After donating needed items and funds to various parrot rescues over many years, Nancy joined Florida Parrot Rescue in 2012 wanting to do more for a rescue after losing her beloved African Grey, Bogey. She began fostering, doing transports and attending events for FPR, and a year later assumed her first Foster Coordinator position while still being an active foster. As a Foster Coordinator, she is responsible for recruiting new fosters, coordinating with current fosters in her area with rescue intakes and their needs, and attending community events in her area to spread the word about FPR. In addition to volunteering for the Rescue, Nancy works full time as an Air Traffic Controller, is a licensed pilot, and a life-long equestrian. She currently shares her home with her (very tolerant and patient) fiance, his daughter, 9 personally owned parrots (all rescues), and 4 foster parakeets.
Sharon O – Relinquishment Coordinator – Central Florida Foster Coordinator
Sharon works with the owners that apply to surrender their birds. There are many reasons people have to make the difficult choice to relinquish and she tries to be sensitive to that fact by finding a good foster family that will match that particular bird’s situation.
Sharon has been with the rescue since 2013 when she adopted her first pair of budgies from FPR and started fostering soon after. Sharon’s husband is also interested in learning about birds and has been very helpful when fosters come in and also with their own personal birds. Sharon and her husband also have their two furry pups, Frosty and Willie and Eddie the cat. Sharon has always had an interest in birds but after moving from New York to Florida has found her “home” with FPR. Her very first bird back in 2001 was a canary, “Tweety” who inspired her love of birds when she and her then 7-year-old son heard his first song come and after that as they was history.
Donna Lampkins – Fundraising Coordinator
Donna joined FPR as a foster volunteer in 2017. She currently live in Ocala Florida with her husband Thomas s retired railroad engineer. I am a retired Mental Health and Addictions counselor who currently works part time as a florist for Winn-Dixie. We are parents to three human children and two feathered kids – a Sulphur Crested Cockatoo named Frieda Marie and a Sunday Conure name Rafiki who was a member of our foster flock and ended up stealing our hearts so we decided to give him his forever home. We have a very active foster home with three fosters currently and have had as many as six fosters in the past. It is such an honor and a pleasure to be a part of these wonderful creatures’ lives and to help facilitate their happy endings when they finally find their forever homes. I also do home visits, volunteer at events when I can and I am now the fundraising coordinator and grant writer for FPR.
Aixa C. – Wishlist, PetFinder, and Social Media Manager
Aixa is our Amazon wish list coordinator and Social Media manager and her role with FPR is to keep our PetFinder and Facebook page updated with all of our birds that are available for adoption. She helps write bios of each bird and also makes sure to thank our Wishlist donors for their generous gifts! Aixa has been a foster/volunteer with FPR since February 2021. She currently lives in Kissimmee with her husband and 3 children and works full time as a School Social Worker. She is an animal lover and aside from fostering parrots through FPR, she also fosters rabbits with another FL rescue called ORCA, and has her own flock at home that consists of a rabbit, two dogs, and 3 chickens.
Jennifer S – Database Manager
Jennifer joined Florida Parrot Rescue in June 2009 with her husband Mike, to foster birds and volunteer for events. Jennifer’s role as FPR Database Manager was created as it became necessary with the growth in volunteers and the larger numbers of fosters coming into the rescue. Jennifer and Mike are owned by their feathered kids: Julie the Senegal, Lois the lovebird, Charlie the Quaker, TJ the cockatiel, Petey & Penny (cockatiels), and the fosters that have come and moved on to forever homes throughout the years. Jennifer grew up with birds and animals in the household. Her curiosity of birds started to develop when her mom brought home Snafu the Cockatiel when Jennifer was 10 years. Mike knew very little of parrots until he met Jennifer and now he can hold his own when asked questions. Jennifer and Mike have regular full time jobs outside, but like many FPR members, we wish our only jobs were to help the rescue full time!
Kathy Fiorentino – Adoptions Coordinator
Kathy started with Florida Parrot Rescue in 2013 after searching for bird rescues, as she had grown up around birds and was missing the joy of
a bird in the home. She found our FPR page and the rest is history. She started out as a foster – fostering a pair of bonded cockatiels. She has fostered cockatiels, quakers, love birds, and parrotlets. She states that she is not ready for the “Big Birds” LOl. She is now Florida Parrot Rescue’s adoption coordinator and completes adoptions all over the state of Florida. Kathy and her husband are both retired. Kathy and her husband have a Trike – (3 wheeled motorcycle) and love to ride!!! Kathy’s hobbies include gardening, reading and jewelry making, and keeping her husband busy with the “honey do” list. Plus birds. She loves helping our beautiful rescues find their forever homes, and knows that without the help of all of our fosters this would not be possible. It brings her much satisfaction when a meet and greet is a success and she knows that another of our birds is going to a loving home. Kathy firmly believes in rescuing birds or other animals – as there are so many that deserve loving homes.
Jennifer James – Secretary (Registered Officer)
Jennifer is one of the original founders of Florida Parrot Rescue and for 9 years held the role of President/Director. She now currently serves as Secretary for the rescue and helps advise the current President and Vice President. She not only holds a full time job managing a local veterinary practice, but she also is happily married with 3 children and a flock of her own (consisting of dogs, cats, and whatever foster passes through her home).
Laura Bebko – Treasurer (Registered Officer)
Currently the Treasurer of Florida Parrot Rescue, Laura has been volunteering since 2010 assisting with all financial aspects of the organisation. She graduated from Washington and Jefferson College with a degree in Accounting and has been working in the field for over 10 years.