Executive Director – Jamie Pastika:
Contact Jamie at : email@example.com
Originally from Virginia, MN, Jamie has spent more than 15 years as a professional animal keeper. He has worked as a reptile and amphibian keeper in some of the premiere zoological institutions in the country including the Jacksonville Zoo, the Sedgwick County Zoo, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. He graduated with an AS degree in Zoo Animal Technology from Santa Fe Teaching Zoo, and a BS degree in Zoo Science from Friends University. Jamie has a great interest in photographing reptiles and amphibians in the wild, having observed more than 400 different species, and photographing the majority of those. Jamie was one of the authors of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA) manual on Crocodilian Biology and Captive Management. He has also served as a consultant to improve reptile husbandry techniques for other zoological institutions. Prior to becoming a zookeeper, Jamie served as a Section Sergeant, specializing in military intelligence, as a member of the 20TH Special Forces Group. He maintains a membership in the Minnesota Herpetological Society.
Director of Sales - Melissa Pastika:
Contact Melissa at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Originally from Yorktown, VA, Melissa has spent more than 10 years as a professional animal keeper. She has worked as an animal keeper in some of the premiere zoological institutions in the country including Busch Gardens, the Jacksonville Zoo, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. She graduated with a BS degree in Biology from Old Dominion University. Melissa has a strong background in animal training and has a great deal of experience in conducting animal presentations. Melissa and Jamie, along with their daughter, moved to Minnesota from Florida to open the Reptile & Amphibian Discovery Zoo.
Reptile Keeper/ Presenter - Barry Benjamin
Barry has always lived in Minnesota and has loved reptiles ever since he can remember. He has been working with reptiles at Pets & Fish in Owatonna for 8 years and has several reptiles of his own. His favorite reptile is the Philippine Sailfin Dragon.
Barry also runs his own business on the side called “Custom Aquatics” where he can
help you set up your own fresh or salt water fish tank.
Keepers In Training:
Brianna has spent all of her life around these animals and always wants to help when she can. She has even done a little field herping of her own (catching toads, anoles, snakes and salamanders). She loves to talk to people about the animals and will make a great animal presenter one day – look out Bindi Sue, here comes Brianna!!
Kayla is growing up to be just like her sister. She loves to help feed the animals at the zoo and likes to catch frogs and little snakes outside with her daddy.