Richard's top goal was to become part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). After hard work and determination, he reached that goal in 2001 when IEAS became the first and only Sanctuary to be certified by the AZA! After reaching that goal, Richard kept moving to try and achieve yet another goal, starting an Intern Program. The first group of interns arrived at IEAS in 2002. Since it's beginning, the Intern Program has become one of the leading programs in the animal world.
Richard continues to make IEAS the best haven for all exotic animals, and he doesn't stop there. Daily, Richard strives to teach staff, interns and volunteers what it takes to run a facility as great as IEAS. He has been an irreplaceable asset to the Sanctuary and the animal residents. He truly turned this Sanctuary around, making it an example for other sanctuaries to follow and we couldn't be more grateful to have his guidance!