Operations & Facilities Manager
Patrick comes to us with equal parts experience and enthusiasm. Having worked with animals since a teenager, Patrick has enjoyed a career as both a kennel attendant and a veterinary technician. His love for animals is also reflected in his personal life where he is the caretaker to Bear (a Black Lab), Catti B (a tuxedo cat), two horses (Neon & Harmony), many chickens and saltwater fish. A Jacksonville native, Patrick enjoys taking advantage of the great local fishing opportunities, both inshore and off. Football (in particular, The Green Bay Packers) is another passion as is spending time with friends & family. Since joining our team, Patrick has been instrumental in adding fun new features to the resort as well as maintaining a positive and cohesive work environment for our staff. His passion for animals and consideration of others makes Patrick a very special part of the Birch Island family.
Leila is originally from Wisconsin and moved to Jacksonville in 2014. Having developed her excellent customer service skills in the food & service industry, Leila now enjoys using them in an environment she truly loves. Growing up, she was always surrounded by animals. Dogs & cats were part of her family and she also got to help with pigs, horses, cows & chickens on various small farms. Leila now has a dog named Archer and considers the daycare & boarding guests at Birch Island her extended family. When time allows, Leila is busy renovating her house or enjoying creative crafts like painting, making jewelry, gardening and DIY projects. A fan of scientific oddities and interesting stories, she also likes true-crime podcasts. Leila is just as appreciative to be part of the Birch Island team as we are to have her!
Taylor is a fun, compassionate person who loves spending time with our campers! Originally from Nebraska, Taylor happily calls Jacksonville home now. She started working as an animal caretaker in 2019 and has definitely found her calling. Although she doesn’t have any pets of her own yet, she spends a lot of time with her boyfriend Dylan’s dogs. Taylor is responsible for many of our Facebook photos, as she has a knack for capturing our four-legged guests’ true personalities. She describes her hobbies as “anything to do with animals”. This dedication & enthusiasm can be seen in her interactions with the pets in our care. She also is always willing to lend a hand where and when it’s needed, making her an integral part of our team.
Kimberly is one of the friendly faces you may encounter when checking in your pet at the resort. A native Floridian from Ocala, Kimberly has two tabby cats and four dogs which include a Cane Corso, Bullmastiff mix, Shiba Inu and Shepherd mix. She came to us with previous veterinary reception & technician experience which provided her a smooth transition to being a wonderful addition to our team. Kimberly truly loves helping both our clients and their fur family and it shows. She is an avid reader, a mom, a fan of true crime and a twin out of two sets in her family. We appreciate her bright, positive attitude and willingness to go above and beyond whenever needed.
Hannah comes to us with much animal care experience both personally and professionally. A Jacksonville native, Hannah has had a love for animals since she was a child. That led her to pet-sitting and exploring opportunities at other pet care facilities before happily landing here at Birch Island, where she is passionate about helping both animals and their people. Her four-legged family includes a Shih Tzu mix (Stella), an ever-growing Sulcata Tortoise (Vader) and a guinea pig (Besty Boo). In her spare time, Hannah enjoys cooking and photography. She hopes to continue her pet care path as a veterinary technician. Hannah's outgoing, enthusiastic nature makes her a fun & valuable member of our team!
Coming to us from Montello, Wisconsin, Valaria is an avid animal lover, caring wife and dedicated mother. Trained to work on helicopters, she proudly served in the Marines for four years. Her adventurous spirit takes her all over the great outdoors to embark on camping, swimming, fishing & hiking outings. Valaria's large animal family includes a Pitbull, Maine Coon cat, bearded dragon, rabbit, chickens, quail, guineafowl, fish and a turtle. Add a passion for cars and racing to all this and you form a fun-loving, courageous, compassionate person who we are honored to have on our team.
A mother to a young daughter, Ivy's family also includes two dogs and a cat. A native of Jacksonville, Ivy's dream of working with animals came true a few years ago when she began professionally caring for dogs, cats, reptiles, rabbits, pocket pets and other exotic pets. Ivy is excited to teach her daughter about all the wonders life holds, whether they are at a park, pool or just hanging at home. Born on a Friday the 13th, Ivy is anything but unlucky finding her way to Birch Island where she loves looking after our resort guests. And we are lucky to have such an enthusiastic, devoted, caring person on our team.
Lauren was born & raised in Jacksonville, growing up with a strong connection to animals and nature. Currently enrolled at FSJC, she shares her home with four dogs (Kleo, Bodhi, Cheese & Chico) and three cats (Wednesday, Morticia & Lilith). As the mother of two boys, Lauren loves exploring the outdoors with her kids & dogs including walks on the beach & nature trails. In addition, she is involved with dog rescue and enjoys painting. Our dog resort guests always appreciate her attention, kindness & warmth as do we!