Board Of Directors

Hank Wietsma, DVM, ABVP

Board member since 2008

A member of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, the Association of Avian Veterinarians and the Rhode Island Veterinary Medical Association, Dr. Wietsma’s expertise in avian medicine has earned him national recognition as a leader in his field.  With extensive experience in large animal care and specialized interest in the health and welfare of captive parrots, Dr. Wietsma has joined Foster Parrots to oversee and ensure the health and well-being of the residents of the New England Exotic Wildlife Sanctuary.

Susan Sheridan, MSW.

Board member since 2007
A dedicated psychotherapist in practice with humans, Susan Sheridan’s spiritual journey on behalf of captive parrots began over 20 years ago with one very special cockatoo named Jules, who captured her heart and soul, and gradually brought her to understand how challenging it was for him, every day, to repress his wild nature and conform to life as “a pet” – even though he was treated like “a prince”.  Susan’s search for a better life for Jules led her to Foster Parrots many years ago and inspired her quest to ensure that other wild spirits like Jules would have a place to go.  Her dedication to the future for difficult  cases like Jules has resulted in the establishment of the New England Exotic Wildlife Sanctuary.

Susan has been an animal enthusiast and advocate “forever”, and for over ten years has been involved with the Wildlife Conservation Society as well as with Foster Parrots, supporting programs as close as the Bronx, New York and as far as Gabon, Africa.

Roy Dubs

Board member since 2007
Mr. Dubs has devoted himself to helping people and animals over the last decade.  Mr. Dubs has personally provided rescue services to a variety of animals over the years including horses, parrots, geese, peacocks and several varieties of exotic and endangered turtles. He became familiar with the work of Foster Parrots in 2005 during a collaboration to help Quaker parrots under siege in Connecticut. He subsequently extended the use of his land for the establishment of the New England Exotic Wildlife Sanctuary.


Vivian Wexler, Attorney at Law

Board member since 2008
Vivian Wexler has been the Assistant Director for J.D. Advising with Harvard Law School since 2006. Prior to joining Harvard, she worked as a corporate associate at the law firm of Testa, Hurwitz & Thibeault, LLP with a general corporate practice encompassing the areas of securities, mergers & acquisitions and private equity.  Later in her career, she retooled her practice to focus on the investment management and financial services spaces and worked in the Boston office of K&L Gates, one of the largest law firms in the world.  She is admitted to practice in Massachusetts and is a certified mediator in the province of Quebec. Vivian’s interest in the plight of captive parrots began as a child when her family befriended an unwanted, wild-caught Mexican Red Lored Amazon.  She and her husband now provides a home for an adopted “special needs” Congo African Gray parrot and small cockatiel.  Vivian provides legal services and counsel to The New England Exotic Wildlife Sanctuary and Foster Parrots, Ltd.

Michael Schindlinger, PhD. – Conservation Biologist, Asst. Professor at Leslie University, Cambridge, MA.

Board member since 2007

A biologist, film-maker and musician, Mike is Assistant Professor of Biology at Lesley University in Cambridge, Ma. His doctoral studies at Harvard, for which he received a Fulbright Scholarship, focused on the vocabularies of wild parrots, of insects, and evolution As an advocate for wild parrot populations, he has long challenged the pet bird community through talks, documentary film (Stalking the Wild Amazons), and publications to act for parrot conservation. He is a member of the Nuttall Ornithological Society, and served as President of the New England Chapter of the Society for Conservation Biology. He publishes, a news portal for conservation, travel, and welfare issues.

David Morimoto, PhD – Head of Biology Dept. , Lesley University, Cambridge, MA - Ornithology, Field Research

Board member since 2009

David Morimoto is Director of Lesley University’s Natural Science and Mathematics Division. An ecologist and conservation biologist, Dr. Morimoto has studied birds in Massachusetts and South America and is currently involved in urban ecology studies around Lesley. He has traveled extensively, exploring the natural history of the world and has given many research and science education presentations. At Lesley, he has overseen the development of new science laboratories and a new environment-based curriculum and is leading efforts to develop a Community-Based Environmental Research (CBER) program in which students learn science by doing it in the context of local communities. The goal of the program is to integrate community-based research experiences throughout the science and mathematics curriculum and to build research and education collaborations with local public schools, neighborhood organizations, and nonprofit groups, so that individuals learn science by doing it in the context of issues of civic interest and local to global importance. He is also involved in leading educational study trips to Guyana. His interests include natural history, complexity theory, writing, drawing, sculpting, and poetry.

Andrea Gruber – Board Advisor

Board member since 2010

 Joseph Correia

Board member since 2009



Executive Director

After graduating from Emerson College in Boston in 1986 with a degree in Writing and Publishing, Karen moved to San Diego where she worked, for several years, in medical office management. Her passion turned to parrots following the purchase of her first parrot in a yard sale.  Ricki, a Lilac Crowned Amazon who was wild caught, pinioned and re-homed at least 3 times in 10 years, represented all that was tragic about parrots in the pet trade.  It was Karen’s relationship with this Amazon that lead her to Foster Parrots shortly after her return to the east coast.  Her office management experience, writing skills and dedication to the welfare of parrots became a valuable asset to the organization as she took her place beside Marc Johnson, helping to build Foster Parrots, one of the country’s foremost advocates for parrot rescue and welfare.  She has written for The World Parrot Trust’s Psittascene Magazine and for Rain Forest Magazine, and continues to produce informational and educational literature for Foster Parrots, Ltd.


Founder / Chief Executive Officer

Raised as a teen in Belgium and educated at the University of London, Marc Johnson was a potter and an art teacher with a studio in Cambridge, Massachusetts when, in the early 1980’s, he answered an ad and bought his first parrot, a blue and gold macaw named Wally.  As fate would have it, on the very same day he bought Wally, he rescued his first parrot, “Bill”, an unwanted mitred conure. The relationship he formed with these birds in the early 1980’s lead him down the path he still walks today as the founder and CEO of Foster Parrots, Ltd.  Marc’s drive and dedication to parrot protection and avian welfare issues have brought him before audiences across the country to speak on topics including the captive parrot crisis,   wild parrot conservation efforts in South America, and controversy surrounding non-native parrot species in the U.S.