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, both native to Texas and originating 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. He joins his construction experience with the habitat needs of the turtles and tortoises at the San Benito Wildlife and Nature Center, designing and constructing habitats that mirror their natural habitats within the wild.
Through his experience, Hull has mastered replicating the natural habitats of over 16 different species of Chelonians, securing the health and longevity of each species.
San Benito Wildlife and Nature Center is home to an amazing variety of endangered species all safely surviving at one location.
Hull’s research is ongoing, he continuously writes educational articles on his website http://www.tortoisesanctuary.org/, and he consults professionals as well as hobbyists worldwide on his research and 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.
Internet Marketing – Andy Smith
Andy Smith has been a web guru since he was 14 years old; back in the day when an I-MAC was the size of a baby Aldabra tortoise. He is a master at internet 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, and takes an active role with both his MAC and his shovel and pruners.