Who is SAFE Worldwide?

Learn about us and our amazing team

SAFE Worldwide is Saving Animals Facing Extinction (S.A.F.E.) and committed to protecting endangered species and the environment through education, community programs, and partnerships with wildlife conservation organizations across the planet. We partner with local communities around the world to help with the survival of endangered species and reduce ecological threats in those regions. Our activities include, but not limited to:

Collaboration

Collaborating with local NGOs to provide programs that offer conservationally-sound alternatives for people who otherwise depend upon poaching and the bushmeat trade for their livelihoods.

Partnerships

Partnering with wildlife rehabilitation facilities that share our unwavering commitment to the welfare of each animal, by either ensuring the animal’s full release back into the wild, or providing a safe, natural, species-appropriate environment for the animal to live out its life.

Education

Organizing and conducting educational programs and initiatives in schools, through our website and within communities surrounding endangered species’ habitats, to foster the awareness and understanding that human survival is inextricably linked to the survival of other species.

Conservation

Working with wildlife researchers, conservation biologists, social-scientists, governments and community leaders to develop, implement and assess solutions focusing on the reduction of human-wildlife conflicts.

S.A.F.E. is Saving Animals Facing Extinction

SAFE Worldwide is volunteer-based and we take NO salaries. 100% of your donations go to programs that help to save wildlife in danger of extinction.


This is our commitment to you. It is also our commitment to those other living beings that have the same right to live and walk freely amongst us.

SAFE Worldwide is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit in California, USA  

Board of Directors

Click on Each photo to read more about each person.

Linda Lanzl

FOUNDER & BOARD MEMBER

Ruth Michiko Kahl

BOARD MEMBER

Donna Anne Dale

BOARD MEMBER

Team of Volunteers

Click on Each photo to read more about each person.

Charis Nick-Torok

Director of Policy & Educational Programs

Jacob Hyler

Fundraising Coordinator

Gabrielle Smyly

Web Content Development Director

Stori Smith

Artistic Director, Sr. Staff Writer

Aubree Cosper

Sr Writer and Public Relations

Rachel Spaulding

Article Writer

Steve Fox

Sr Education Video Editor

Victor Lujan

Educational Video Content Developer

Samantha Hartery

Dir. of Digital Communication & Outreach

John Torok

Advisor,  Climate Action Initiative

Stephanie Haugaard

Educational Video Content Creator

Carol DeMoss

Sr Graphic and Fine Artist

Joshua Rice

Sr Article writer

Maxine Roeder

Graphic Artist

Danielle Blaha

Researcher and content writer

Elaine Sheng

Video Content Creator and Sr Staff Writer

Emma Flosi

Sr. Staff Writer

Juan Jose Garcia 

Creative Arts and Animation Lead

Victoria Mulcahey

Social Media Content Developer

Linda Lanzl

FOUNDER OF SAFE WORLDWIDE

My name is Linda Lanzl, founder of SAFE Worldwide, and I have been dedicated to the conservation of endangered species all my adult life. I decided that I could no longer just watch from the sidelines and do nothing.

My first trip to Africa in 1997 included an encounter with the Mountain Gorillas of the Virunga Mountains in Rwanda.  I felt an amazing connection with this incredible species and knew that we had to save the last remaining 550 that were left in the wild at the time. I have since traveled to many regions of the world, such as the Amazon, Borneo, the Arctic and China to understand for myself the plight of endangered species in those regions. I have made it a personal commitment to help save species that are close to extinction and need our protection to survive.

I believe that every species has a right to live on this planet without the fear of becoming a tourist attraction or ending up in a circus or the exotic pet trade industry.  We believe in the rescue of animals taken from the wild with the goal of reintroducing them back into their natural habitats and homelands, when possible.  We also partner with rescue and rehabilitation centers that are 100% committed to the welfare of each animal that is in their care, with the ultimate goal of either a full release back into the wild or providing them a safe and thriving environment when they can live out their lives without fear of their human guardians.

Ruth Michiko Kahl

BOARD MEMBER

My name is Ruth Kahl and my career has mostly been in sales and marketing in the semiconductor industry in Silicon Valley.
 
I have volunteered with various organizations including Catholic Charities, American Women’s Association in Hong Kong, Santa Clara Valley Medical Hospital, Habit for Humanity, Second Harvest Food Bank, Petco’s Town Cats Adoption Center and I’m currently volunteering for Pathways Home Health and Hospice.
 
I’m also volunteering my time and efforts to SAFE Worldwide as I believe in Linda’s passion to help educate people about endangered species, donate money to provide the tools and teach individuals to be self-sufficient to give back to their communities and raise money to provide the means to rehabilitate and return injured and/or orphaned endangered animals back to a healthy habitat.
 
I am excited with the progress SAFE Worldwide has made in the few years it has existed as it is focused on those people and animals with the most needs.

Donna Anne Dale

BOARD MEMBER

I am a woman with a passion for transformation. I am committed to human beings waking to the reality of the precarious position of the planet that we have been so blessed to inhabit, and the plight of the animals who share it. In short, I love animals, and I love people. I was drawn to contribute and participate with SAFE Worldwide precisely for this reason — for the inspirational and innovative way it goes about improving the living conditions and survival odds of endangered species in part by contributing to the sustainable well-being of the humans living in close proximity to these animals. This is achieved through a program which partners with local associations to manage and distribute micro-loans to individuals seeking to start a business. I am proud to both serve as a board member of SAFE Worldwide, and to help oversee the micro-loan  program.

Charis Nick-Torok

PR, Policy & Education Program Dev. Director

‘If a lion could speak, we could not understand him’. Ludwig Wittgenstein 

All my life I’ve been guided by my passion for animals and an ever-evolving sense that as part of the animal kingdom, we are not the most important part, but we are the most dangerous. Discovering SAFE Worldwide is like arriving home when we are the most weary. The shared compassion, drive, commitment and passion for our living planet—human and animal—of everyone at SAFE provides a beacon of hope at a time when our world faces its greatest challenges. My hope, working with SAFE, is to facilitate the understanding that we walk with animals on sacred ground, sharing a sacred space, and embodying a shared and sacred spirit, but we are not Nature’s master. Our greatest strength is our ability to learn, protect and thrive together as Her students, connected by each breath in the web of life. 

In my role as Director of Public Relations, Policy and Education Program Development, I hope to capitalize on my extensive background as an attorney, educator and bioethicist to promote the importance of protecting our most vulnerable species, through education and productive collaborations with all stakeholders. In addition to my role at SAFE, I serve as Vice Chair of the New York State Bar, Committee on Animals and Law, and as Adjunct faculty in the Animal Behavior Graduate Program at Unity College in Maine. I have devoted much of my legal career to assisting grass-root animal rescues, and other animal protection nonprofits, as well as serving as a long time educator in healthcare ethics, U.S. and International wildlife law and the Human-Animal Bond for various academic institutions.

Jacob Hyler

Fundraising Coordinator

Jacob Hyler is a recent graduate with an M.S. in Sport Administration and Bachelor’s in Exercise, Sport, and Health Education. Over the past year, his interests have shifted towards environmentalism, conservation, and sustainability, and he plans to pursue a degree in energy and environmental management. He wanted to volunteer for a nonprofit environmental organization and use his experience to support a good cause. 
 

Jacob was drawn to SAFE Worldwide because of their dedication and commitment to wildlife conservation and addressing environmental impacts through community engagement and education. 

As a fundraising Coordinator, he will help expand SAFE’s outreach and promote fundraising so we can reach our project goals.  

Gabrielle Smyly

WEBSITE CONTENT DEVELOPER

Gabrielle joined SAFE Worldwide in May 2021. She has worked in environmental compliance for the manufacturing and energy industries in Alabama. She graduated with degrees in environmental science and chemical engineering at the University of Alabama, and spends some of her free time camping, watching Netflix, and working as a volunteering with animal rehabilitation.

Her passions include environmental sustainability and trying to find ways to reduce her carbon footprint and environmental impact.

Stori Smith

Artistic Director, Senior Staff Writer

Stori Smith’s wildlife conservation journey began with an elementary school fascination with Animal Planet and Diane Fossey. Now, as a recent Montana State University graduate with a degree in Conservation Biology and Ecology, she hopes to pursue her passion for animal welfare and environmental justice. She currently works at a veterinary clinic in Washington State and is training to be a wildlife sanctuary guide. Eventually, she hopes to work at a nonprofit where she can use creative work and public education to increase conservation science’s appeal to those unfamiliar with its technicalities. Her ultimate goal is to bridge the perceived gap between the human and natural worlds to inspire environmental empathy and action.

Stori is excited to join SAFE Worldwide’s efforts to better serve the entire planet’s population–people and animals.  She has joined us as one of our key writers on wildlife and environmental topics supporting our efforts on social media platforms and in fundraising efforts.

Aubree Cosper

SENIOR WRITER AND PUBLIC RELATIONS

Aubree Cosper is a recent graduate of the University of Washington and is planning on getting her JD in Environmental Law. She hopes to one day be involved in the protection and conservation efforts of both nature and animal populations. She is also very passionate about sustainable food, farming, veganism, and living in harmony with the environment and the animals we share it with.
 
She has been accepted into Law school and will be fulfilling her dream of helping people, animals and the environment.  She believes the best way to conserve wildlife and protect the rights of animals on an international and local level is through community engagement and education.
 
Aubree joined SAFE worldwide to engage with her larger environmental community through writing and communication, both of which are powerful tools in creating a more equitable and sustainable world for people and animals!

Rachel Spaulding

ARTICLE WRITER

Rachel Spaulding is an environmental engineering major in the honors college at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She is currently assisting in research on how hurricanes affect marine environments including coral reefs. She has always had a passion for helping people, animals, and the environment.

In her own words: “I knew that I wanted to volunteer my time to an organization, but I was particularly drawn to Safe Worldwide. Their goals of protecting wildlife and educating people, all while donating 100% of profits, is uniquely humanitarian and selfless. Through the use of social media, I hope to spread the message and goals of SAFE Worldwide, so others can get involved too”.

Rachel joined SAFE as our Instagram and Twitter Guru and is helping us with our social media presence so we can reach more young people who want to be a part of a movement for creating a better and kinder planet, believing that all species matter.

Steve Fox

Senior Education Video Editor

As a retiree, Steve Fox enjoys giving back to my community. He was a volunteer member for over 15 years with the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. He currently does work with local senior citizens, helping them with tech products. He also assists in recording audio books for the blind.

During his professional career, he was a finance and accounting executive in the cable television industry.

Steve was interested in photography and videography, and has taught himself video editing. Looking for a way to apply his newly acquired skills, he came across an opportunity to assist SAFE Worldwide with its outreach through videos and social media. It has been a very rewarding and educational experience.

Steve has learned a lot about the plight of endangered animals through SAFE Worldwide, and now wholeheartedly support its unique approach to trying to save endangered species.

Victor Lujan

EDUCATIONAL VIDEO CONTENT DEVELOPER

Victor is a college graduate from Grand Canyon University with a degree in Biology. He became a Biology teacher for high school students in Arizona.  He has a passion for education, biomedical research, and animal welfare.    

All of these interests led him to join SAFE Worldwide. Being self taught in video editing,  he has been able to combine his love for education and editing skills to help people understand the amazing animals that inhabit our world.

Victor thrives to create diverse content for young students too learn from and inspire them to find ways to become active in conservation

Samantha Hartery

DIRECTOR OF DIGITAL COMMUNICATION & OUTREACH

Sammy has been involved in animal welfare and conservation work for nearly two decades.  

Before launching her career in nonprofit communications and outreach, she traveled all over the US and across the globe to study, rescue, and care for wildlife of all kinds.  She’s worked directly with whales, seals, sea turtles, and manatees, and still can’t stop talking about the rescued elephants she met in Thailand. 

Sammy is an animal person through and through, loves all things wild, and is passionate about getting nonprofits all over the world the attention and funding they need to do great things.  She joined SAFE Worldwide in 2022 to do just that.

John Torok

ADVISOR, CLIMATE ACTION INITIATIVE

John Torok is a Senior Technical Staff Member affiliated with a Fortune 50 company focused on developing and delivering products and solutions to the Information Technology industry. He holds a B.S. degree in Applied Physics from State University of New York, a M.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Southern Methodist University and is a member of both the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). In addition to his professional experience, life’s journey has also included of the enjoyment and protection of nature, wildlife, and the environment. More recently, 

John has focused his efforts on the enablement of sustainability by choice and design and its positive effects on impacting climate change. The world is but a continuous interdependent ecosystem where the benefits derived in one area affect those of others and, as we do so, we protect the wildlife we so cherish and hold so precious. John joins our volunteer team as the Director, Climate Action Initiative and resides in the state of New York.

Stephanie Haugaard

EDUCATIONAL VIDEO CONTENT CREATOR

Stephanie has been sharing her video editing skills to our organization since 2021 and has helped create awareness for endangered species and the environment and how their absence can affect the human race in the long run.  

Stephanie has a passion for film creation and has a dream to pursue a career in directing and creating film content. 

Even though she is going to school full time, she has been an integral part of our team and we are exciting to see more of Stephanie’s work with us as we develop a greater presence on YouTube and TikTok. 

Carol DeMoss

SENIOR GRAPHIC AND FINE ARTIST

Carol has worked as a graphic and fine arts artist for over 20 years with non-profit educational organizations around the US.  Among them is the Brownsville Museum of Fine Arts, Gorgas Science Foundation and the Wildlife Conservation and Education Society of South Texas.   has designed and produced murals, signage,  newspaper and magazine advertisements, storyboards, graphic novels and comic books.

Carol has also served as President of Brownsville Beautification Committee and is a founding board member of Sea, Turtle, Inc., South Padre Island, Texas.

Carol has been instrumental in driving the SAFE Worldwide kids educational , along with many other projects and is an integral member of the SAFE Worldwide team.

Joshua Rice

SENIOR ARTICLE WRITER

Joshua Rice is a recent graduate from UCLA with a B.A. in Philosophy. His main academic interests involve metaphysics and ethics, and he hopes one day to pursue graduate work in either Philosophy or Anthropology. Currently, his passions involve animal rights and environmentalism, and he believes the current number one environmental and moral issue facing the planet is factory farming. His hobbies include graphic design, cooking, and songwriting.

Josh joined SAFE Worldwide to help educate people on the damage that can be done to vulnerable ecosystems when humans are negligent in their protective measures. He believes that education and the dissemination of information through democratic channels is the most effective means of bring about a more just and equitable world.

Maxine Roeder

GRAPHIC ARTIST

Maxine Roeder, an environmental biology and design student at Washington University, has been fascinated with both the natural world and art and design for as long as she can remember. Her love for animals started when she began drawing animals, painting landscapes and reading countless books about nature. This passion for nature expanded into one for environmentalism, conservation and sustainability and throughout the years, she has been involved in environmental causes, whether it be raising awareness about climate change to those around her, designing sustainable textiles or raising money for wildlife charities. 

Maxine was drawn to SAFE Worldwide because of its unique mission of advocating for wildlife, uplifting people and working to create meaningful change via education. Maxine believes that all beings on this earth deserve to live on this planet and prosper and she is thrilled to use her artistic vision working with SAFE to create a better world for both wildlife and human beings.

Danielle Blaha

RESEARCHER & CONTENT WRITER

A lifelong animal lover, Danielle Blaha decided to join SAFE because she felt very strongly about the mission of saving wildlife and the interconnectedness of all life on this planet.

Danielle received her J.D. at the University of Cincinnati and her Masters in Environmental Studies at Cleveland State University. An avid traveler and volunteer, she used her time at university and beyond to explore the world in its natural element mainly in Central America. In Costa Rica, she really found that human rights and animal rights are inextricably linked. We must work on both.

Danielle has worked at many places using her skills to help both people and animals. Some of these places included Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, the Irish Centre For Human Rights, She studied at the UN mandated University Peace in Costa Rica on sustainable farming practices. She is also an educator having tutored in language instruction for both English as a Second Language and Spanish.

In her free time Danielle likes to garden, paint, and cook meals from around the world and spend time with her two rescue cats.

Elaine Sheng

VIDEO CONTENT CREATOR & SENIOR STAFF WRITER

Elaine Sheng is a writer with a passion for storytelling. She holds a bachelor’s degree with a major in creative writing, minor in journalism, and a certificate in women’s studies.  She enjoys works of prose and poetry.  Her love for animals and nature stems from childhood – she remembers watching Nova and Nature on T.V. and decorating her bedroom wall with pages from National Geographic magazines.  Being more knowledgeable and informed is necessary for progress. She hopes to raise awareness and enable others to be better equipped in dismantling current policies and practices that are destroying the planet.

She wants to amplify the voices of endangered animals, meanwhile highlighting the progress that continues to be made by activists, inventors, and organizations worldwide.

Emma Flosi

SENIOR STAFF WRITER

My name is Emma Flosi. I’m currently a third-year medical student, living in Chicago. Over the past few years, I’ve traveled to many places across the country and have spent most of my free time in nature..  The more time I spent there, the more I felt the need to protect it and all the living things that call it home.  I believe that it is of the utmost importance to address climate change and its effects on animals’ habitats.

I joined SAFE Worldwide because, as a lifetime animal lover, I wanted to be part of an organization that is truly fighting for endangered animals and addressing the environmental issues that are affecting these animal’s ways of life.  Social media is such a powerful tool. It gives us the ability to use our voices and our words to reach millions of people.  Education and awareness are critical steps to making a change, and I’m excited to play my part in it.

Juan Jose Garcia

CREATIVE ARTS & ANIMATION LEAD

Juan Jose was born and raised in Mexico. Since he could remember, he was always drawing and painting. One time at about six years old, his mom caught him drawing on walls and under tables, but instead of punishing him, she gave him painting lessons! This led Juan to his first art exhibition at the downtown museum in his hometown right after turning eight. Juan Jose loves creating and being inspired, exploring and borrowing from life through research to create art/illustrations. Right after graduating high school, he studied film abroad. He realized he was more drawn to the creative side of filmmaking than the technical side. 

Both as a student and TA at Art Center, he developed skills not only in drawing or painting, but also in critiquing his own creative process. Subtle details make a huge difference. He fell in love with animated films and storytelling. The emotional connection that animation brings to him no other medium can. Juan Jose will be the lead in our video animation series for our kids wildlife page and his art will inspire children to love wildlife and eat to learn more about them.

Victoria Mulcahey

SOCIAL MEDIA CONTENT DEVELOPER

Victoria, also going by Tori, received her undergraduate degree at California State University, Long Beach for Music History followed by a Master’s degree at University of North Texas for Library and Information Science.  She works as a librarian and enjoys connecting people to the right information for their wants and/or needs.  In her free time, Tori enjoys watching animal documentaries (especially ones with David Attenborough), reading, and traveling with her husband and dog, Sven.She joined SAFE Worldwide because she wanted to make a difference in the world for humans and animals.  With her skills of research and talking with people of all ages, she hopes to inform people of the importance of the planet and endangered animals. She would like to reach as many people as possible by creating information that can go on social media and newsletters.