Board of Directors
Director – Kelly H. Hull
Kelly Hull was born an animal lover and nature conservationist. He has been actively preserving endangered wildlife for over 20 years. In 2005, Hull incorporated his facility as a 501c3 tortoise and turtle sanctuary in North Texas that housed, at that time, over 100 endangered tortoises and turtles from around the world.
Born in Dallas, Texas in 1986, Hull selected the North Texas area for the location of the tortoise sanctuary and conservancy. After he visited the tropical rain forests of Costa Rica in 2009, he became increasingly aware of the importance of keeping the various Chelonian species within their pure bloodlines. This has further stimulated him to research the diversity of Chelonians, and to protect their unique lineages.
In 2015, Hull relocated the North Texas Tortoise Sanctuary to 16-acres in South Texas, where he formed the San Benito Wildlife and Nature Center. The property had been left untouched for over 10 years, and, hence, the immense wildlife and native plants and trees on the property remain amazingly unique, especially for modern times.
The new facility now houses over 200 species of endangered turtles and tortoises and 50 rare birds, all either native to Texas or originating from habitats worldwide.
Hull has over 10-years experience as a construction superintendent, overseeing the construction of multi-million dollar high-rise condominiums, and corporate rental and retail properties. Hull has mastered replicating the natural habitats by combining his construction experience with the habitat needs of the turtles, tortoises, and birds at the San Benito Wildlife and Nature Center. He designs and constructs their enclosures to mirror their natural habitats within the wild, securing the health and longevity of each species.
Hull’s research is ongoing, and he continuously writes educational articles for the website http://www.tortoisesanctuary.org/. Hull consults professionals, as well as hobbyists, worldwide concerning his research and habitat expertise.
It is Hull’s goal to enhance further global protection, awareness, and re-population programs for Chelonians across the globe.
Curator – Janet Starr Hull, PhD, CN
Dr. Hull is the on-site curator for the The San Benito Wildlife and Nature Center facility. Dr. Hull holds degrees in International Geography, Environmental Science, Toxicology, and Holistic Nutrition. She is a university environmental science professor and author, and contributes to The San Benito Wildlife and Nature Center programs through her education experience and her ongoing research on current environmental changes and cultural patterns that threaten the survival of endangered species, worldwide.
Trustee/Media – Chad Cook
A skilled conservationist, Chad discovered what would become a lifelong passion for nature and conservation as a student at Jesuit College Preparatory School in Dallas. As an advanced biology student and member of the Explorer’s Club, he spent several summers in South and Central America in remote areas observing many tropical species.
Chad went on to graduate from the Art Institute and became a founding member of Stephen Arnold Music in 1993, a world-renowned sonic branding company specializing in creating original music for broadcast clients around the world including CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, CBS, FOX, Discovery Channel, The Weather Channel, CCTV China, ESPN, HBO, and Associated Press.
Recent projects include original music for National Geographic Channel’s Expedition Great White and Shark Men series and original music for CNN’s coverage of the 9/11 Memorial dedication.
Secretary/Treasurer – Jenna Serrano
Jenna grew up on the Broken Cedar Ranch in the Piney Woods of East Texas, outside Nacogdoches, Texas. Jenna developed her passion for learning about plants and animals on this beautiful, 150-acres of green pastures with a variety of different species of trees, including native Texas Pines and Cedar.
Although she spent over 10 years raising cattle and riding horses, her true passion is studying reptiles and endangered species. After graduating with a degree in Spanish from Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, Jenna enjoys visiting Spanish-speaking countries all over the world and learning about Hispanic cultures and the indigenous wildlife in those areas.
Her favorite past time is zip-lining through the lush rainforests of Costa Rica and surfing the waves off Playa Grande Beach, where she continues to research the Leatherback turtles living along this Costa Rican beach.
Technical Director & Marketing – Andrew Smith
Andy has been a web guru since the mid ’90s back in the day when computers were the size of a baby Aldabra tortoise. He is a master at digital marketing, and is a critical piece to GREEN’S ability to reach Internationally via the worldwide web.
All of our videos, fundraisers, and educational programs are viewable because of Andy.
Andy has a passion for the preservation of the native plants and trees found at the San Benito Wildlife and Nature Center. He is our horticultural apprentice, and takes an active role with tech outreach opportunities.