Christopher D. Soucy, EdM

Executive Director
Chris Soucy grew up surrounded by raptors. His parents, Len and Diane Soucy, founded the Raptor Trust in the family backyard. He and has participated in wildlife conservation, raptor research, hawk banding and rehab since he was 4 years old. Chris holds a BA from Rutgers University and a Masters in Education from Smith College in Massachusetts. He enjoys bicycling, music, hiking and spending time with his wife, Allison, and daughter, Leah.

Cathy H. Malok

Director of Rehabilitation

Cathy has been a wildlife rehabilitator for over 35 years and has worked at The Raptor Trust since 1989. She began her career in wildlife working as an Animal Control Officer and Shelter Manager at the Somerset County Humane Society.

She has worked as a veterinary technician at both the Readington Animal Hospital and the Plainfield Animal Hospital. She is the former Vice President of the New Jersey Association of Wildlife Rehabilitators, holds a federal license for raptor banding and has worked in both mammal rehab and bat rehab in the past.


Dr. Jennifer Norton


Dr. Norton’s passion for veterinary medicine began after her first visit to The Raptor Trust with an injured bird in 1993. She has over 20 years of experience with birds, first as a volunteer, later as an independent licensed rehabilitator, and now as a veterinarian. Dr. Norton received her DVM from the University Of Minnesota, where she studied avian orthopedic surgery under the direct tutelage of renowned raptor surgeon Dr. Patrick Redig. She has lectured at numerous wildlife conferences, regionally and nationally, and won an award for her paper published on pharmacological treatments for avian aspergillosis.

In 2013, she was appointed by the NJDEP Division of Fish & Wildlife to serve as the veterinarian on the Wildlife Rehabilitators Advisory Committee. She previously served on the Board of Directors for the NJ Association of Wildlife Rehabilitators. When she is not at TRT, she practices emergency medicine and surgery at AERA in Fairfield, where she treats dogs, cats, and pet birds. 

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Heather Natola, PhD

Director of Education

Heather gained a passion for raptors while working on her Ph.D. in Neuroscience. She spent her days in the lab but her weekends at Wild Wings, Inc in Rochester, NY. After moving to New Jersey, she joined The Raptor Trust Education team in 2019, where she is excited to be able to combine her love of science, education, and birds on a daily basis.

Heather currently works as Director of Education and lead trainer of our education birds. As the previous Volunteer Coordinator, she loves getting the opportunity to engage with the many people who make The Raptor Trust work.

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Leslie Peterson

Director of Finance

Leslie joined the Trust in November 2016 as a bookkeeper. Her responsibilities include all aspects of financial reporting and occasional administrative duties.  Prior to staying home to raise her children, she worked at Ernst & Young, LLP as an audit senior manager working with healthcare and not-for-profit clients.

Leslie graduated from Montclair State University with a B.S. in accounting and then subsequently obtained her CPA in NJ. She lives in Bridgewater with her husband and two sons and enjoys spending her free time at her sons’ baseball games.

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Christina Conner

Director of Development

Christina graduated from Kean University in 2010 with degrees in Art History and Fine Art, and is currently an MBA candidate at Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School. She is mission-driven and has dedicated her career to advancing nonprofit organizations.

A New Jersey native, Christina first encountered The Raptor Trust when she was about ten years old: her family was referred to the organization after asking the vet what to do with a rescued baby flying squirrel. While TRT did not take the tiny mammal, they knew of another rehabber who could, and the animal was eventually released back into the wild. She visited several times since then, and is excited to be part of an organization she has admired for so long.

Kristi Ward

Senior Rehabilitation Technician

Kristi’s love of birds started when she began volunteering at The Raptor Trust in 1998 after finding an injured bird and being referred there by a local vet. In her words, “As soon as I found this hidden gem, I was hooked.” Her knowledge of birds and avian medicine has come from years of working with the staff and veterinarians at The Raptor Trust. As one of the senior rehabilitation technicians, she helps share our collective knowledge to with each new group of TRT employees and volunteers.

She holds an Associate’s Degree in Hotel Restaurant management and previously worked for a spa at a local Five Diamond hotel managing employees, memberships and spa guests. Kristi manages our medical database system, runs our gift shop and helped to develop our volunteer program.

Libby Haines

Senior Rehabilitation Technician

Libby graduated from the State University of New York at Cobleskill in 2003 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Wildlife Management. She began her career at the Raptor Trust as an intern in 2003-2004 and subsequently stayed on as a staff member starting in May 2004.

It was always a dream of hers to be able to work with animals, particularly wildlife, and at the Raptor Trust she has had the opportunity to do just that. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her dog hiking, swimming, and exploring new places.

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Nikki Nobles

Senior Rehabilitation Technician

Nikki graduated in 2003 from North Carolina State University with  a Bachelor’s in Animal Science.  After graduating, she worked professionally in the equine industry as a trainer, farm manager and instructor specializing in dressage. She began volunteering at The Raptor Trust in 2017 before joining the staff part-time, and now full-time.

On her days off she enjoys spending time with her family and doing some wildlife photography.

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Amanda Cannizzo

Rehabilitation Staff

Amanda graduated from Unity College in 2018 with a degree in Wildlife Biology. She joined the Raptor Trust team in May of 2018 as an intern before becoming part time, and eventually full time, staff in 2021.

In her free time, Amanda enjoys hiking, baking, and spending time with her four turtle doves.


Barbara Franko

Rehabilitation Staff

Barbara has “known” and loved The Raptor Trust for almost 30 years. When she got to know Len and Diane Soucy personally and saw what was done behind the scenes she knew that was what she wanted to do. After retiring in 2009 from a career in finance, Barbara started as a volunteer and was hooked. In 2011, she trained as a summer intern to become part of the Medical Staff. She feels honored to be able to assist the amazing Senior Rehabilitation Technicians and to help the birds that come in for care. Barbara has always had a passion for nature and especially birds, so her position is a dream come true. Currently she is a part-time volunteer Rehabilitation Staff member and has had the privilege to serve on the Board of Trustees since 2011. When not working at The Raptor Trust, she enjoys time with her family, cooking, gardening and travel.


Sam Russo

Rehabilitation Staff
Sam fell in love with birds after joining The Raptor Trust team as a volunteer in 2019 before becoming a seasonal staff member in 2020, and eventually joining the team year-round in 2022. Sam is currently finishing their B.S. in Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources at Rutgers University.
In their free time, Sam likes to spend their time drawing, hiking, cooking, and spending time with their pet doves and cats. On the side, Sam runs a small business selling their wildlife-themed art.

Karen Catalina

Rehabilitation Staff

After spending 4 years in the U.S. Army as a carpentry and masonry specialist, Karen earned a Master of Science degree in biology with a concentration in ecology and evolution. Her thesis work focused on avian zoonotic disease transmission via mosquitoes. She became acquainted with The Raptor Trust during an ecology class field trip which sparked her interest in wildlife rehabilitation. She began working as an intern in 2021 and now works as a staff member year round. She feels incredibly lucky to be continuously fascinated by the work she does.

Karen spends a lot of her free time outdoors looking for interesting plants and creatures, gardening, and golfing. She loves hanging out with her family and menagerie of pets, and she volunteers as a Morris County Master Gardener.

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Megan Burns

Volunteer Coordinator, Rehabilitation Staff

Megan discovered the Raptor Trust while visiting on a field trip for an ecology class.  Always having an interest in animals and nature, she began volunteering in 2021, later becoming part of the Summer Student program. She fell in love with the entire mission of The Raptor Trust and became part of the staff in 2022. In her free time Megan enjoys concerts, hiking, and roller skating!


Dylan Cobb

Facilities Manager

Dylan received his associate’s degree from RVCC and is certified in multiple fields of graphic design. For more than 12 years he has trained in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and it remains at the forefront of his life. Dylan gained over 5 years of carpentry and construction experience working for a general contractor.

Here at the Trust he is the head of Grounds and Maintenance. Currently he is working on many of our enclosure renovations and new building projects. He can also be found assisting with daily resident and rehab raptor feeding.

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Mitchell C.

Maintenance Staff

Mitchell C came to TRT as a volunteer in 2016 with his then recently retired father.
Eventually, he became a part-time maintenance staffer.  Mitch assists in keeping up the grounds and with repairs/ construction of the bird enclosures. He graduated from Collier School in Morganville, NJ, attended Union County Vocational Tech, and earned his Veterinary Assistant certification through Middlesex County College.
Away from TRT, Mitch enjoys exercising, gaming and the outdoors.

John Roepke

John Roepke

Inventory & Maintenance

John graduated from Lehigh University with a degree in finance. After several years of volunteering at TRT, he became a staff member in 2018. He currently manages the food inventory for all permanent and rehab raptors. He’s also responsible for feeding raptors as well as cleaning and maintaining their enclosures. John also assists with new cage construction. In his free time, he enjoys sports, music, and retro television.