Kirsten Anderson | Founder/Director
Like you, I have been enamored of wildlife since I was a kid. Parked in front of the TV watching animal documentaries, fascinated by their incredible lives and trying to understand their emotional and intellectual processes, their amazing adaptations to the world around them, and struggles to survive both the natural and the man-made world. To this day, it has remained my keenest interest. As I got older and got the means to travel, I did, always with the goal to “see animals”- trekking through misty Borneo jungles to see orangutans and hornbills, watching dusty herds of elephants stately stroll through the savannah in east Africa, tracking lions in Botswana, visiting the eagle hunters in the Altai mountains of Mongolia, and gliding through waterlogged jungles looking at pink river dolphins in the Amazon. As dreamy as they were, these experiences spotlighted the plight of wildlife firsthand for me. Diapers and water bottles clogging up once pristine rivers, plastic bags and metal snares littering grasslands, the gruesome and brutal legacy of poaching, and the intense conflicts between wild lands and encroaching human habitation and the struggle to survive and provide for families on both sides - it's impossible to ignore.
My professional background has been as an art dealer, and developing a landmark gallery for the Contemporary/Pop Surrealism movement. I opened Roq La Rue in 1998, and from a tiny punk rock gallery with no money showing underground art I evolved it into a much larger gallery, known worldwide for showing exceptional quality and launching careers of dozens of artists all working in the “Pop Surrealism” art movement. Additionally I wrote for and was the “editor at large” at Hi-Fructose art magazine from 2007-2014 and published a successful art book surveying of the then burgeoning art movement, which took it's title from the book itself, "Pop Surrealism".
The proliferation of wildlife troubles started to weigh heavily on me though. Feeling sick and heartbroken with all the news I was seeing about the rampant destruction of the world around us, the disregard and even utter distain for non-human lives and their rights to live on this earth too caused me to rethink what I wanted to continue doing with my life. I decided to take my experience creating something incredibly successful through hard work, determination, and passion with limited resources and pour that energy into trying to save wildlife. In late 2016 I started Creatura Wildlife Projects.
Conservation requires great understanding and research, and I’m an eager student. There are amazing people doing incredible work in the field to save wildlife and Creatura’s role is to identify, carefully vet, and support small existing non-profits who have the experience and project specific knowledge to protect our environment. Fantastic people working hard, giving their lives in the field with the education and knowledge to help on the ground already exist - our goal is to act as a conduit to make sure they get the support they need.
So Creatura is me, but it is also everyone who supports us, who offers time, money, or resources to make a difference and stop the juggernaut of wildlife destruction. I hope you’ll be part of our Creatura and join us on this great and beautiful journey.
Creatura Team Members
Chris Mahoney | Travel Leader and Trip Development | "Human Swiss Army Knife"
Raised in Ohio, with a background in Fine Arts, Travel, Nature, and Wildlife, Chris traveled extensively working primarily in hotels and hospitality to fund his passion for adventure travel. He settled in Creede, Colorado for 5 years - the perfect place for nature lovers, artists, and adventurous folks. Colorado has a sense of community like nowhere else, and as a small business operator and co-owner of a restaurant, it was a pleasure for Chris to be part of it; while there he completed training for Wildfire Protection and Firefighting. After selling the restaurant Chris traveled again to Australia and eventually to Africa to follow his passions and ambitions in both tourism and conservation for over 12 years. He recently completed the construction and development of a new Lodge and Conservation Trust adjacent to the spectacular Nairobi National Park in Kenya as well as developing projects in the Olderkesi Conservancy with African Wildlife Foundation. Chris continues to guide private safaris in Africa to the top camps, lodges, and locales, and is working with Creatura to provide entertaining and informative travel opportunities for donors wishing to support Creatura while traveling to see conservation efforts that work. Chris Mahoney's Instagram
Gillian Hanington | Secretary
Gillian Hanington has always been an artist, but also had a 20 year career in electronics. She helped install remote telemetry water management systems in Egypt, Pakistan, and the US and Canada, and tracking systems in Europe and Puerto Rico, teaching local engineers operations, testing, and maintenance.
Currently living in Tacoma’s she paints and makes glass art and is a virtual reality developer with Vive Corp. She is particularly interested in the capacity of Art to heal and express the human spirit, and to influence the way humans see our planet. She also serves on the Board of The Healing Field, an non profit (501©3) concerned with Mental Health.
Creatura Advisory Board
Stephanie Keeton Honan
Stephanie Keeton Honan, CFP, has been a financial advisor since 1996. She has extensive background in wealth management services that includes corporate asset management, high net-worth planning, business retirement programs, chartable giving, and employee stock options. Stephanie earned a B.A. in political science from Washington State University and has completed postgraduate work in finance at the University of Washington. She is a Certified Financial Planner, CFP®, and holds a Wealth Management Certification. Stephanie currently resides in Magnolia with her husband and her pets.
Fiona Hanington is a technical writer and editor from Vancouver BC with extensive experience as a volunteer board member in the non-profit industry. She was president of the Kidd Pivot Performing Arts Society for 12 years, where she was involved in strategic planning, outreach, fundraising, and fiduciary oversight. Fiona has a BA from Simon Fraser University and an MLIS from the University of British Columbia.