The ABMA has annual elections for various board positions.  Our nomination process starts in the fall and voting occurs in the spring.  If you have any questions about our election process, please contact the Nominations and Elections chair, Cathy Schlott, at Cathy.Schlott@aviary.org 

Please review our candidates that are up for election.  All voting members will receive an email around March with a link to vote.

Nicki Boyd

Nicki Boyd
Behavior Husbandry Manager, San Diego Zoo

Nicki Boyd is the Behavioral Husbandry Manager at the San Diego Zoo.  Her educational background includes graduating from Moorpark College’s Exotic Animal Training and Management Program, Mesa College’s Animal Health Technician Program, with an Associate in Science Degree, and a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix.     She has worked at the San Diego Zoo for 25 years is various departments such as zookeeper, team area lead, supervisor and is currently as the Behavior Husbandry Manager. Her role as Behavior Husbandry Manager is to set up training programs all over the San Diego Zoo.  Nicki is also the manager of Animal Connections at the zoo, which includes all four of the animal ambassador teams.  She has held board positions for ABMA such as CFO for 7 years and president and is currently on the site selection committee.  She is past president of the Red Panda Network and on the board of directors for the International Avian Certification Board and a certified bird trainer. Re-joining the ABMA board would give her a chance to help in continuing the growth of the organization, learn, and share knowledge with fellow animal trainers.

Kelly Elkins
Lead Animal Trainer, San Diego Zoo Global

Kelly graduated the Exotic Animal Training and Management Program in 2005 and began working at the San Diego Zoo.  She started as a trainer at the Hunte Amphitheater and is currently the Lead Animal Trainer at Animals in Action.  Kelly attended her first ABMA in Denver 2011.  She became the Site Selection Chair in 2012 at the San Francisco conference, and has been involved ever since.  She joined the Board of Directors in 2016 and served as Vice President for the 2017 Cincinnati Conference.  She is currently a Director at Large and the Site Selection Chair.

Ashley Friedman
Senior Animal Care Professional, Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo

After a childhood of SeaWorld camps and volunteering at the Cincinnati Zoo, Ashley graduated from Eckerd College with a BA in observational psychology. She then went on to get a AS from Santa Fe Teaching Zoo and from there an training internship with marine mammals from Theater of the Seas. After working with the parrots at Theater of the Seas, she moved back to Tampa Florida to start work with Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo in their Animal Ambassador department in 2011.  At the zoo, she has helped to train the macaw flyover which has won two awards, including one from ABMA in 2013, and has hand raised numerous animals, which lead to her current role as Animal Ambassador Cat Lead. Ashley has been a member of ABMA since 2013 where she joined the Honors and Awards committee and recently became the Honors and Awards committee co-chair in 2017.

Justin Garner
Senior 1 Animal Care Specialist, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Justin started his animal training career in 2002. Since then, he worked at several different zoos and aquariums and has had the opportunity to gain experience working with everything from cetaceans to birds to carnivores. For the past seven years Justin has served as a Senior 1 Animal Care Specialist at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and was on the inaugural team that developed the park's cheetah ambassador and behavior programs.  He holds a BS in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Wildlife Biology from California University of Pennsylvania. Justin has been active in ABMA as a Director at Large and as the Government Affairs Committee Chair for the past several years. In addition to his current activities with the organization, he comanages ABMA's social media presence and online communications. Justin looks forward to continuing to serve ABMA and its members by helping to grow the organization's presence and overall benefits to members, as well as guide ABMA's voice as a global leader in animal welfare.

Anaka Nazareth
Manager of Animal Training, Maymont

Anaka attended Moorpark College and graduated from the Exotic Animal Training and Management Program in 2006. Following graduation, she accepted a position working with marine mammals at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, CA. After several years, she travelled to Austria where she worked at the Animal Training Center with a variety of animals ranging from marmosets and wallabies to horses and dogs. In 2010, Anaka returned to New York City to obtain a Master’s degree in Animal Behavior and Conservation from Hunter College.

The sum of this education and experience led Anaka to her current position as the Manager of Animal Training at Maymont, a zoological facility in Richmond, VA. In this role, Anaka has the opportunity to facilitate the design and implementation of training programs for a wide range of animals, including black bears, bison, and barred owls, along with many others.

Anaka attended her first ABMA conference in 2006. She has been an active member of ABMA and has attended every conference since 2010. She has also been a member of the Conference Content Advisory committee since 2014 and she was awarded the BMF Travel Scholarship in 2015, which allowed her to share the work that she did for her Master’s thesis.