Exotic Avian Sanctuary of Tennessee is registered as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. ©2024 All rights reserved.
Founder - Executive Director
I have had a great passion for rescued animals since I was about 4 years old and brought home my first stray kitten. It was only after adopting my fist Cockatoo, Lilly Bean, and started doing many hours, days, and months of research, that I became aware of the many needs of Parrots. That was in 2003, and I have worked tirelessly to gain as much knowledge as I possibly could, and also to protect parrots ever since.
I was in Corporate Aviation for 20 years, until the bottom fell out and I found myself unemployed. After about a year of sending out resumes, I decided to start my own Pet Sitting Business. This allows me to be around animals that I love, and also have a very flexible schedule. This also gives me ample time to provide for my parrots, and the parrots under my care.
By combining my passion for parrots in need, my philosophy of compassion and respect, and my customer service background and experience, I am working towards directing the best possible programs for parrots in need.
My ultimate goal in life is to be able to provide the exotic birds under my guardianship with a natural habitat, a good diet, and lots of enrichment.
I was raised with animals all my life and they were always a part of our family. In 2003 I purchased my first big parrot from a pet store. While researching on line for parrot toys and information, I became aware of the critical issues facing abused, neglected parrots, and the need and demand upon rescues.
I sought out a local rescue in Arizona, where I did volunteer work and learned so much more. I truly believe education is the key. Parrots are third in popularity and relinquishment behind dogs and cats, and the problem is they can live well over 60 years and many people are not prepared for the long term care of these birds.
I also have a career in air freight logistics. I work with customers and the public on a daily basis. I am finally in a position where I can openly and actively take advantage of my passion which is to help and take care of these wonderful creatures. This would also include progressive and continuous learning, sharing, teaching and growth.
Secretary - Treasurer
Although I have had birds as companions for most of my life, I am relatively new to parrot rescue. I was involved as a volunteer with the Los Angeles Parrot Society from 2000 through 2005. I supported the organization through donations, providing a “foster” home for birds, and helped to conduct home inspections to identify qualified prospective bird adopters.
Upon moving to Nashville in 2006, I connected with Kim Hannah and have worked with her over the past six years to support her efforts to provide this much needed service in the middle Tennessee area.
Kathleen studied design at the School of Visual Arts in New York, and has worked as a designer and art director in advertising agencies and design firms in cities across the U.S. She founded Crackerjack Design in 1997 in Nashville, Tennessee and specializes in visual communication.
Kathleen and her singer/songwriter husband are “parronts” to a delightful, almost 27-year old, blue and gold macaw, Crackers. They adopted Crackers when she was four years old, from a family who could no longer care for her. She had no prior experience with parrots, though her husband had. It was love at first sight—and smell.
Their involvement with parrot sanctuary work began several years ago when they began looking at sanctuaries for a future home for Crackers. Because she is so much younger, they knew they would need a plan for her life after they are gone. Once they saw the incredible and overwhelming need all over the country for parrot rescues and sanctuaries, Kathleen and John began volunteering. It became a passion for both of them and now they are completely committed to the mission of sanctuary, rescue, and education: education to adopt, not shop, and to make a plan for one’s parrot should it outlive it’s family.
Kathleen feels fortunate to be able to give back by providing print and digital design services to EAST, and with aviary design and building, which she has been researching and working on for several years. Additionally, she and her husband have an airbnb in their home in Nashville and donate 100% of the proceeds to EAST. They consider it an honor, and their lives’ priority to help improve the lives of as many of these beautiful, intelligent creatures as possible. Their sweet Crackers has led them on quite an unexpected, and wonderful journey.
Dr. Brandon Dixon
Honorary Director & Advisor
Dr. Dixon graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine in 1996 and has worked in private clinical practice since that time.
He joined the Volunteer Veterinary Clinic staff in Hendersonville, Tennessee in 2000 as an associate veterinarian. In 2005, he became owner of Volunteer Veterinary Clinic. In his practice, Dr. Dixon cares for birds and reptiles of all species, amphibians, ferrets, rabbits, rodents, hedgehogs, sugar gliders, miniature pigs, and, of course, dogs and cats.
He is a member of the Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians, the Association of Avian Veterinarians, the Association of Reptile and Amphibian Veterinarians, and the American Veterinary Medical Association. Dr. Dixon has also served as the back up vet for the Nashville Zoo since 2003.
He enjoys cooking, reading, and cycling in his free time. He lives with two ridiculously laid back Clumber spaniels, Thatcher and Fletcher, and Mary, the Moon of his life.
Liz is originally from Florida and was surrounded with many different animals growing up such as parrots, fish, dogs and reptiles. She attended the University of West Florida and earned degrees in Studio Art and Psychology. After college, she moved to the Nashville area and began her career in healthcare working for HCA.
Soon after moving, she found 4 small feathery companions who sparked a passion for avian advocacy in her and she quickly looked for a rescue she could give her time to. Liz started her involvement with EAST back in 2017 and has felt so honored to be more and more involved each year.
Liz’s ultimate life goal is to run a sanctuary of her own and continue to care for animals in need.