Board Chair

Michelle Szydlowski is an Anthrozoology instructor at Beacon College. She has taught in the public school system as well as at the Denver Zoo, a Denver veterinary technology college, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and the Colorado History Museum.

Active as a volunteer with animal service organizations for years, Michelle changed careers and went into small animal and exotic practice. She spent several years with wild bird rescue, rehab, and release as well as volunteering at the Denver Zoo for over 25 years, where she worked with Black Rhinoceros and River Hippos.  She has traveled four times to Nepal to do conservation training and research on Greater One-horned Rhinos and Asian Elephants.

Michelle completed her MA in Anthrozoology (the study of human/non-human animal relationships) in 2017 after fieldwork in Chitwan National Park, Nepal. She returned to Nepal in 2019, and is currently writing her PhD thesis based on her most recent work.  Love of both animals and teaching took her to Florida to join the faculty at Beacon College.

Michelle brings a love of education, conservation and animals to the KACF Board of Directors. Her experience with wildlife and veterinary technology both in the US and abroad gives her a more balanced view of veterinary issues. Michelle’s experience working with elephant drivers, conservationists and communities in Nepal gives her a unique insight into the issues surrounding international conservation projects.


Board Member

Scott Hardister has been an educator and administrator in independent schools for twenty-three years.  He is currently the Assistant Head of School for Strategic Implementation at Marin Country Day School in California.  He has served on two different school boards, and was the Board President of BSC Portland Soccer Club in Portland, Oregon for three years.

Scott brings great experience in working with non-profit boards, and has an experienced understanding of governance and finance in regards to non-profit organizations.  He is passionate about our planet and the future and present impact of humans on the species that live with us.


Board Member

Jim Michael has a long history of successful management for multi-million dollar companies and is a retired Army Warrant Officer, where he taught and trained hundreds of soldiers over the years.  He is absolutely an entrepreneur who has changed the property inspection industry in the Denver metro area and has created a demand for his company’s services.

Steel Rhino Property Inspections is among the largest multi-inspector firms in Colorado with five franchise operations outside of Colorado.  Prior to operating Steel Rhino, Jim was an in-demand manager for companies that needed to grow or become more efficient within their industries in order to  grow their market share.

He has traveled to Nepal and Africa where he helps support and influence wildlife conservation efforts in order to protect animals within their habitat.  Jim believes in supporting ecotourism efforts to ensure protection of animal species, the places where they live and the cultures that live amongst them.


With his strong management background, leadership experience, and good-natured determination, he is motivated to bring his love of animals and dedication to exploration to help grow the conservation efforts of the Katie Adamson Conservation Fund.


Board Member

I am a Commercial Title Officer at Stewart Title by day, but at night I turn into Wonder Woman, keeper of the faith, champion of truth and all around good gal.

Reality is I’m a Mom of a very dedicated animal-loving daughter, Tara.  She has spent her life doing her very best for the animals she cares for.  Whether she was working at a South Carolina zoo or Evergreen veterinary practice.

She introduced me to Zookeeper, Dave Johnson, eons ago – when Tara and Katie Adamson were Scout Explorers together at the zoo in Denver.  Through Dave and the Katie Adamson Conservation Fund, I’ve discovered the unquestionable importance of conservation and more importantly how the average person can help and be involved.  I’ve experienced eco-tourism in Nepal, the thrill of riding elephants and the joy of seeing a baby rhino, all vicariously through my daughter, Tara.  One day I hope to experience all of this first-hand.

I plan to use the best qualities I’ve acquired as a professional in the business community and commercial real estate world, including every Mom skill, to contribute to the protection of Earth’s endangered species.

heather stanley

Board Member

Heather Stanley is the sister of Katie Adamson and currently a stay at home mother of three children.  She attended Northeastern Junior College in Sterling, CO studying early childhood education.  At young ages, both Heather and Katie began riding, training and caring for horses in the Westernaires mounted drill team organization where their passion for animals began.  

When Katie was diagnosed with cancer, Heather was by her side taking her to appointments and even frequent visits to the zoo.  Katie had an infectious personality and her passion for animals rubbed off greatly on Heather.  While in remission from cancer they both went on an eco-tourism trip to Alaska where Katie showed Heather the importance of animal conservation through the unforgettable experiences of seeing them in the wild.  

Heather brings her sister's passion and drive for animal preservation to the Katie Adamson Conservation Fund Board of Directors.  Her intent is to spread awareness and solicit the involvement and help from people everywhere.  In doing so she hopes to honor her sister's memory by positively impacting the world and the animals we share it with.




Executive Director


Assistant Director

The Katie Adamson Conservation Fund is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization EIN# 47-1193423

Established in 2014 to promote endangered animal conservation initiatives worldwide.

© 2020 Katie Adamson Conservation Fund.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.