The Tsavo Keepers Society (TKS) is a special group of conservation ‘heroes’ who understand the importance of Amara’s work to preserve the natural wonder that is a thriving Tsavo and to ensure TSAVO remains a healthy ecosystem for future generations.
We ask members to make a 3-year commitment of at least $5,000 per year (tax deductible). This helps pay the overhead needed to run our many conservation efforts that government and foundation grants do not cover. As membership grows, it will give Amara a reliable financial base and the ability to expand activities to make a bigger impact on the difficult issues the wildlife, the communities and the environment Tsavo is facing.
TKS was started in late 2016, inspired by John Carver, one of Amara’s most dedicated supporters from Michigan. John came to Kenya, saw Amara’s work in action and took to heart both the urgent need and the efficacy of what we do. Education for the communities about their environment and wildlife is sadly lacking in Kenya. As you can see in detail on this site, Amara fills that gap and builds relationships providing forums for communities to work out what is best for their future. We don’t dictate, we educate and assist, providing the inspiration for positive change. John saw that Amara’s work is making a real difference on the ground where conflict with wildlife and degradation of the environment is happening every day! And thus, TKS was born.
In just over a year, TKS membership has grown to 18 members (11 paying and others that are given memberships for non-financial contribution to Amara). Members receive a quarterly newsletter that documents Amara activity and regularly receive information updates with inside information about our work. We also offer annual TKS safaris where members come to see Tsavo for themselves, as John did. The safaris are specially tailored for TKS members, staying in high-end lodges or camps. They are designed to give a unique first-hand experience of Amara’s team at work as well as seeing community life and viewing wildlife and the beauty of Kenya from mountains to coast.
Please consider joining our Tsavo Keepers Society. If you are interested in learning more about the TKS, we would love to hear from you.
Current TKS Members
Jonny Baxendale is a safari expert and conservationist. Born and educated in Kenya he was raised on a farm close to animals and wild nature. A self-taught artist and photographer with a love of planes and flying, in the early 1960s at age 17 he got the ‘travel bug’. Obtaining his pilot’s license he worked on various aerial mapping projects in South Africa and the UK. He returned to Kenya in 1965 at the request of his Godfather, George Adamson, to help rehabilitate a pride of lions to the wild in Meru National Park. These are the lions you see in the film “Born Free”. Jonny lived with the lions and George for three years giving him an intimate knowledge of animal behaviour from lions to birds and all wildlife. He began conducting wildlife safaris from 1971 to 1978, working with ‘Hunters Africa’. In 1979 Jonny got his commercial helicopter license in California. Upon returning to Kenya he joined the Kenya National Parks as Warden/Pilot in their anti-poaching Unit training and managing anti-poaching scouts and providing aerial support. In 1984 he returned to safari work and started his own company known internationally as Royal African Safaris. In 1985, he hosted the cast and crew of “Out of Africa” during filming. As well as hosting, he worked with the animals in the film and flew the old Gypsy Moth plane for the flight sequences. Jonny was the pioneer of high-end photographic safaris using private luxury mobile camps and was the first to use Samburu warriors as guides and spotters. He has a truly unique knowledge to share with visitors and he has been involved in a number of major feature film projects. From 2003 to 2006 Jonny helped establish the Mara Conservancy, probably the best known wildlife conservancy in Kenya. With over 30 years of experience of wildlife and the safari business, Jonny is today an honorary Warden of the Kenya Wildlife Service.
Heidi Bergemann was the Deputy Chairman of the Loot Group of Companies and Managing Director of Loot’s international operations in Ireland, New York, India and Pakistan, now retired after the sale of Loot which was awarded the UK’s Women in Business Award in 1993. American born, she lived in London from 1970 and currently lives in Newcastle upon Tyne. Heidi is widely travelled and founded the Amara Conservation (UK) Trust (Charity No. 1091126) supporting the work of Amara Conservation in Kenya. Amara Conservation in the USA was founded by Heidi’s sister, Lori Bergemann, with Heidi’s funding and support helping Lori establish Amara’s programs, strategies and relationships. During these years Heidi also funded and supported Julia Francombe in Northern Kenya to establish what is now The Samburu Trust.
Dr. Thomas Buhr is a Michigan native and conservation expert with a Ph.D in Communication Studies at The University of Michigan, an M.A. in Communication (University of Florida, 1988) and B.A. in History (Miami FL, 1981). A keen angler, Tom is a Director of The Anglers of the Au Sable and Editor of their quarterly Newsletter, The Riverwatch. He has a long career as a freelance writer and has received a number of conservation awards including The Reverend Bruce Hatch Resource Professional Award (2007, Mershon Chapter of TU), The Michigan Keeper of the Great Lakes Award (2008), AOTA’s Riverkeeper Award (2009), Sierra Club’s Environmental Journalism Award (2012), The O.B. Eustis Environmental Award (2012, Huron Pines), and the Sierra Club’s Great Lakes & Great Forests Award (2015).
John Carver attended the University of Miami and Eastern Michigan Universities obtaining a BBA Degree. He was a founder of the nationally known Second Chance Nightclub/Conservatory Restaurant, Good Time Charley’s (U. of Michigan’s No.1 college bar) and was on the Board of The Ark music club. John has a long history of conservation work active in marketing the National and the Michigan ‘Nature Conservancy’ organisations. He is co-founder of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters and the National Wildlife Federation’s President’s Council. He co-founded the Wolfpack, a pioneering action-oriented group of conservation-minded leaders operating under the auspices of the NWF. John was awarded the Ann Arbor, Michigan ‘Key to the City’ for community work and the Golden Paintbrush Award for commissioning public art projects. He received the National Wildlife Federation’s Virginia Ball Award, a national award presented at the Smithsonian Institution. He has supported Amara Conservation for a number of years and is a founding member of the Tsavo Keepers Society.
Pat Carver is a founder of Community Drive, Inc. with a deep commitment to social justice. Her dedication began with the birth of her brother and recognition that his being “special” meant his being set apart. She headed local advocacy agencies, statewide leadership development programs and coordinated the international Center for Self-Determination. Pat co-founded the Partners for Freedom in Michigan; MI SIBS (Michigan Supporting and Including Brothers and Sisters); the statewide Academy on Self-Determination and coordinated the nationwide competency-based leadership training program – Partners in Policymaking. In 2014, Pat chaired the National Sibling Leadership Network. She has co-edited a book on the promise of self-determination. Currently, she serves on the board of Disability Rights International. Pat earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education and Journalism from the University of Michigan in 1980.
Paul Dimond is Chairman of the Board of McKinley Properties and Of Counsel, with Miller, Canfield and Stone, a prestigious international law firm. A graduate of University of Michigan Law School and Amherst College, he was Professor of Law at American and Wayne State University Law Schools. A member of the American Bar Association, he was on the Board of Trustees for the State Bar of Michigan, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights under Law, 1977-93. He was Special Assistant to the President of the United States for Economic Policy and Appointee to the National Summit on Retirement Savings. Paul was on the Board of Trustees for The Henry Ford (Formerly Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village) and the Community Foundation for Southeastern Michigan; member of the Leadership Advisory Committee for Southeastern Michigan Green Ways Initiative; Ann Arbor SPARK, Executive Committee, 2007-present; and Economic Adviser and Founding Board Member of the New Economy Initiative for Southeast Michigan, 2006-2008. Paul was co-founder of the “Wolfpack” (see above under John Carver).
Kathy Graf is from Ann Arbor Michigan, is married with Stefan and has 2 adult children. She began her career with education in jewelry and fabric design and then earned a bachelor of fine arts degree in Interior Design. Kathy retired with 35 years of experience as an artist and interior designer and her work was featured in national and local magazines. She still enjoys creating art where she paints through the inspiration of seeing the magnificence of our natural world and boldly colored abstract creations. She shows her art in Michigan art galleries. Her experience in spirituality, multi-cultural studies and world travels is often reflected in her work. Her other interests include world travel, organic gardening, Native American ceremonies and mentoring others on healing and disease prevention.
Stefan Graf lives in Michigan with his wife Kathy and is semi-retired from his long career in lighting. He started his work as a lighting designer in the concert touring industry in 1970’s providing lighting for many acts worldwide. In 1976 Stefan founded Fantasee Lighting in Michigan providing services for a variety of international concert and theatrical productions and an architectural lighting design firm, SGLD Consulting. Stefan has received numerous international design awards for dozens of projects, is a Fellow of the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) and an instructor of lighting design at Universities and professional conferences.
Stefan and Kathy enjoy hobbies of art, music, organic gardening, hosting Native American Ceremonies at their property in the country South of Ann Arbor Michigan. They spend winters in Naples Florida and are making time to visit the peoples of the world through travel. Stefan provides lectures on the discoveries in Light and Health and Kathy is a life coach for people who want help with understanding how to improve their health or heal maladies through detoxing and nutrition.
Prof. Roger Graef OBE is an award-winning writer, filmmaker and criminologist. Born in New York he graduated from Harvard, moving to London in 1962. He founded the independent production company Films of Record, and has made more than 160 films for international television, many on police, urbanism and the environment, and youth justice and other social issues, as well as current affairs, arts and science. He was the first documentary filmmaker to be awarded a BAFTA Fellowship for lifetime achievement (in 2004) and has since been given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Sheffield and Aldeburgh Festivals. His environmental films include Malaria: Fever Road, and Malaria: The Search for the Vaccine (BBC/PBS), The Burning Season (BBC/SBS), Blood and Land (BBC), Save Britain’s Heritage (BBC), Requiem for Detroit? (BBC) Why Save Florence?, Planning Wars (ITV) and Is This The Way to Save A City? (BBC). He ran the ICA Architectural Forum, and helped save Covent Garden and Piccadilly Circus from redevelopment. He was on UK government review of planning law, served on the board of London Transport, and co-designed the London bus map. He was on the four person Future Homes Commission for the Royal Institute of British Architecture, and wrote the chapter on design in their report Building the Homes and Communities Britain Needs. In 2015, he was made an Honorary Fellow of the RIBA. He is a patron of various charities and has been a Trustee of the Amara Conservation (UK) Trust since inception.
Mike Griffin has been a creative professional working in the Detroit-area marketing and advertising scene for almost 40 years. After managing his own creative shop from the mid-seventies to the early eighties, Mike became co-founder and partner of Eidos Group—a full-service advertising agency—in 1984. For more than 20 years, Eidos Group successfully serviced an impressive mix of national CPG and retail banking accounts. Along the way, Eidos was recognized for its uniquely strategic creative vision by numerous industry groups, with work prominently featured in Creativity 18, Print Magazine’s Regional Design Annual, as well as other prestigious publications. Mike himself was honored by the New York Type Directors Club, which included his poster work in Typography 35. In 2005, Mike was named creative director for Garden Fresh Gourmet, a specialty food manufacturer headquartered near Detroit. He was promoted to partner and Chief Creative Officer in 2009. After a period of unprecedented growth that saw the company cross the $100 million mark in annual sales, Garden Fresh was sold to the Campbell Soup Company in 2015. Today, along with several other former owners of Garden Fresh, Mike is a partner in a new food manufacturing venture called Clean Planet, where he heads up the company’s marketing and branding efforts. Mike makes his home in Ann Arbor, Michigan, along with Anita, his wife of 31 years. He created the stunning logos for Amara and the TKS and is our designer for business cards, letterheads and promotional materials.
Howdy S. Holmes is a Michigan native and President of Chelsea Milling Company, the manufacturer of Jiffy Mixes, which was invented by his grandmother Mabel White Holmes. In his earlier years, he was a driver in the CART Championship Car series. He began racing in the early 1970s and raced in the CART series for 7 with 72 career starts, including the Indianapolis 500 each of those years except 1980. He finished in the top ten 26 times, with his best finish in 2nd position in 1984 at Phoenix. He was the Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the year in 1979. In 1978, he was the Formula Atlantic champion. When he retired from racing in 1988, he held the best average finishing record of anyone who started more than four events. As a businessman, Howdy operated a motorsports marketing company and an advertising company serving the motorsports community. He authored an award-winning book called, “Formula Car Technology” and wrote for magazines and newspapers about racing. Upon returning to “JIFFY” in 1987, Howdy led a transformation of the then 100-year-old family business. Today, known for their Quality and Value, “JIFFY” Mix is the USA market-share leader in retail prepared baking mixes.
Jerry Jung was General Manager of Michigan CAT’s Engine Division, founding Landfill Energy Systems in 1987. He was CEO of Michigan CAT from 1988 to 2011 and Chairman and founder of Oak Adaptive, Inc. providing software tailored to Caterpillar dealers. Jerry attended the University of Michigan and graduated from Tulane University in 1975, 1st in class, summa cum laude with honors in economics. He attended Harvard Graduate School of Business in 1976 and is currently semi-retired managing Rule of Ones, LLC, an investment vehicle. Jerry is affiliated with a number of organizations: Chair of Michigan Colleges Alliance; Board member of Detroit 90/90 Schools; Chair of the Michigan State Transportation Commission from 2010 until 2015; past Director of Warren Equipment Company, a Texas-based gas compression fabricator and Caterpillar dealer; Past Vice-Chair of St. Mary Hospital in Livonia; Past Trustee of the Michigan Nature Conservancy; Past President of the Michigan Construction Equipment Dealers Association. Jerry enjoys gardening, hiking, hunting, fishing, golfing, sailing and skiing. He practices “eco-restoration” on several properties in Michigan; and owns and manages for bio-diversity and carbon sequestration over 43,000 acres of forestland in central Tennessee.
Kathy Korth Mordy has more than 40 years of experience handling the creative strategy, development and execution of multi-media marketing solutions for public agencies, nonprofit organizations and companies. She heads her own agency, Korth & Company, working with clients that include Airborne Express, Bonanza Press, Colgate-Palmolive, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, Northwest Center, Premera Blue Cross, Providence Hospital Foundation, SAFECO, SpaceLabs and Western Computer. She has won multiple WebAwards for strategy and content and handles Event Management and Marketing for the annual Microsoft Dynamics NAV Directions Conference. In addition to her professional experience, Kathy served on the Board of the Starlight Foundation of Washington State, five as Board President; the International Starlight Foundation Board; the Seafair Festival Board; the Lake Washington Technical College Foundation Board; and the Rotary Wishing Well Board. She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Journalism from Northwestern University.
Kent Mordy was, formerly, a licensed CPA. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration and a Master of Business Administration degree in Finance and Accounting from Western Michigan University. Now retired, Kent has over thirty-five years of financial management, accounting and business consulting experience in both private industry and public accounting. Kent served as the Chief Financial Officer of a $60 million publicly held company before joining PricewaterhouseCoopers, consulting with numerous clients on restructuring businesses, bankruptcy plans of reorganization, preparation of liquidation and solvency analyses, financial forecasts, projections and business plans. He formed Mordy Consulting PC, working with clients involved in troubled company situations and in matters involving litigation. He has worked on behalf of debtors, secured creditors, trustees and receivers. He has served as trustee and examiner in federal bankruptcy cases and as receiver and a court appointed accounting expert in state court cases, often testifying as an expert witness in numerous cases.
Guy Powell is a lifelong resident of Staten Island. Powell planned for life as a rock and roll drummer while working at a beer distributor hauling cases of beer and soda from warehouses to bars and delis across the island. After graduating high school, he was forced to get a ‘real’ job by his father and Powell entered the Wall St workforce in 1980 as an entry level operations clerk (cutting his extremely long hair right before the interview) and rose through the ranks, moving from operations into computer programming – ultimately achieving the title of CIO. His involvement in many innovative and historical events, including his association with the real-life and ‘fictional’ characters made famous by the movie ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ and ‘Boiler Room,’ created an atmosphere and impetus to lead him towards partnering with other colleagues in the early 2000’s to form their own firm, InteliClear, which provides Wall St clearing systems to the Broker/Dealer community. Still drumming, Powell moonlights as a professional musician having performed with an impressive list of bluesmen, and writes for and edits a popular blues publication, Big City Blues Magazine. He and his wife, Diane, who he met while Wall St. colleagues early in his career, have raised two very cool children in their 31-year partnership.
Diane Sansone Powell was born in Brooklyn, raised in Long Island and relocated to Staten Island upon her marriage to her husband, Guy. An early job working at LaGuardia Airport allowed her to become friendly with many celebrities such as Dizzy Gillespie and KISS, who would pass her security checkpoint (this was well before TSA!) on their frequent flights from NYC. Eventually her flight plan changed and she landed on Wall St, where she became a trader, taking and executing client orders over the phone. With the advent of the internet and online trading, technology all but eliminated her position a decade ago. A talented, well-organized professional, she was asked by management to bring her expertise to the world of compliance where she remains to this day, helping ensure investment bankers, research analysts, brokers and their clients abide by the stringent SEC rules put in place to protect all concerned parties from the potential for wrongdoing that the lure of money is known to attract. A lover of animals, she has survived in the dog-eat-dog world of Wall St for close to 4 decades, working with and often forced to wrangle some of the wildest two legged creatures on the planet! Diane is happiest when cooking and baking (she started with her Easy-Bake Oven) especially when her labor of love is for her daughter, Kayci and son, Corey, both college grads out making their own way in the world.
Dr. Susan Richards is an award-winning writer, online publisher, broadcaster and film producer. After graduating with first class honours at the University of London School of Slavonic and East European Studies, she worked as a radio and print journalist. She became Head of Talks at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. Then she was engaged by the film producer David Puttnam to develop scripts, and then produce her own feature films for Channel Four and Warner Brothers.When the Iron Curtain came down, she turned to writing about Russia. Her doctorate was about Alexander Solzhenitsyn at Oxford University. In 1988. Her critically acclaimed books Epics of Everyday Life and Lost and Found in Russia explored the impact of political and economic collapse on the lives of ordinary people. With her husband, the documentary maker Roger Graef, she co-founded BOOK AID, a charity that sent one million English books to Russia. In 2001 she co-founded Open Democracy, the independent global media platform and became the first editor of the section devoted to Russia and its neighbours, odRussia. She is currently finishing her third book, The Palace of Terror, about the impact of the civil war on Crimea. She is a governor of her local school, sits on the board of Open Democracy, and has been a Trustee of the Amara Conservation (UK) Trust since inception.
Candis Stern is a much appreciated long time supporter of Amara.
Timothy Wadhams retired in early 2014 as President, CEO and a Director of Masco Corporation after a 37-year career. Masco is a building products company comprised of leading brands including Delta® and Hansgrohe® faucets, Behr® paint, Milgard® windows and KraftMaid® and Merillat® cabinets, with annual sales of approximately $8.5 billion. Tim joined Masco in 1976 and served in various roles. In 2007, Tim became only the third CEO in the Company’s 80-year history. His tenure included the most challenging period the Company had encountered navigating through the financial crisis and severe downturn. Tim served on the Board of the Business Leaders of Michigan and the Policy Advisory Board of the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. He is actively engaged in the community, supporting several organizations including the University of Michigan, Washtenaw Community College, The Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation and Arbor Hospice in various capacities. Tim began his career as a CPA with Coopers & Lybrand in 1972. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Michigan. Tim also played four years of football at Michigan and was on Bo Schembeckler’s legendary ’69 team. Tim and his wife donated a transformational gift to the LEAD Scholars program at the University of Michigan supporting many first-generation college students. In addition, the Wadhams family has established scholarship support through U-M’s Office of Student Life for local students. Tim is also on the Advisory Board of the Zell Lurie Institute at the Ross School of Business. Tim also supports a variety of environmental groups, including as co-chair of the Wolfpack.