MEET THE TEAM!
JOHN D. HALAMKA MD, MS
Co-Founder & Facilities Manager
John D. Halamka is the President of the Mayo Clinic Platform, leading a portfolio of new digital platform businesses focused on transforming health by leveraging artificial intelligence, the internet of things, and an ecosystem of partners for Mayo Clinic. He is a practicing emergency physician and has a certificate in Organic and Sustainable Agriculture from the University of Massachusetts. He is a Co-Founder of Unity Farm Sanctuary
KATHY HALAMKA BA, MFA
Co-Founder & Volunteer Coordinator
Kathy Halamka, BA, MFA, brings a visual arts and arts educator training to her many roles here at the sanctuary, including Volunteer Director, Events Manager, Social Media Coordinator, Fundraiser and Public Relations Coordinator. You will often find her spending time with Palmer the Turkey and her other poultry buddies, or checking on her beloved ponies. She is a Co-Founder of Unity Farm Sanctuary.
Tyla joined Unity in 2018, bringing a decade of experience with farm animals and an innate sensitivity to their needs. A 2017 graduate of Norfolk County Agricultural High School, she majored in Equine Science and Farm Management. At UFS, she oversees animal care and sanctuary staff, and is often assisted in her duties by her beloved German Shepherd/Husky mix, Mae. In her free time, she runs her own farm (Highland Gypsy Farm), is a licensed Massachusetts horseback riding instructor, and serves the town of Holliston as a firefighter and Nationally Certified EMT.
MARLA ANDREWS BS, MEd
Humane Education Director
Marla is a lifelong animal advocate who brings her enthusiasm for working with all ages to Unity's education programs. She holds a master's degree in Humane Education and Animal Welfare and comes to us after 15 years with the MSPCA. She is also passionate about the human-animal bond, writing her master’s thesis on compassion fatigue in animal caregivers, and is certified as a Pet Loss Grief Specialist. When she is not at Unity, Marla enjoys spending time with her beloved pit bull, Jupiter, and searching for seals along the New England coast.
KIERSTEN BAZDANES BS
Kiersten has been at UFS since 2019 and brings with her a deep love for farm animals. Holding a Bachelor of Science degree in Veterinary Technology from UMass Amherst at Mt. Ida Campus, Kiersten finds a sense of purpose and fulfillment in caring for animals. She takes care of her own beloved equine, Dexter, a 20 year old Morgan, when not at Unity. In her spare time, Kiersten likes spending time with her girlfriend, Ally, exploring long distance bike trails, and driving the backroads.
WELLINGTON DASILVA RIBEIRO
Currently a rising senior at Framingham High School, Wellington has been at UFS since 2019 and especially loves working with the cows and goats. He brings his might--a combination of brains, strength, and determination--to Unity. His years of experience working with animals in his native Brazil under the tutelage of his grandfather give him an innate edge when interacting with our beloved residents. When not working at UFS, Wellington likes to learn carpentry, and cheer on his favorite soccer team.
Seasonal Farm Hand
Josh has been with Unity since Summer 2019. He is currently a rising sophomore at UNH, where he studies mechanical engineering and is a bonafide member of the Lumberjack/Woodsmen team. He brings his great stamina and strength to his work at Unity, as well as a love for working with animals. Although he can't choose a favorite resident, his shortlist includes George, Winston, and Dudley. On his days off, Josh enjoys doing projects at home, mountain biking, spending time with his girlfriend, and being entertained by his cats, Tux and Peanut.
Paul lives just a few minutes away from the sanctuary and joined the UFS team in Fall 2018. He is responsible for managing the orchard, sanctuary trails, and landscape maintenance. He has always had a great love for the outdoors, wildlife, and nature and brings that passion to his work here. He has worked at Wellesley College as a turf specialist for the past three years. In his free time, he loves spending time with his yellow lab, Maisy, and going to the Cape. His not-so-secret favorite animal at the sanctuary is Star the Donkey.