Board of Directors and Science Advisory

Shane Wilson

Shane Wilson


Shane is a visionary and a selfless volunteer. He received a BS and an MA degree from Ball State University and a Principal Certificate from the University of Texas Brownsville. Shane’s has proven leadership skills which have been demonstrated throughout his life. He worked as the plant manager for the Foural Corporation, a 60 employee, 15 million dollar a year operation. He was employed as the Director of Industrial Education for a community college in Indiana overseeing all educational activities for 5 General Motors facilities. Shane has 20+ years in public education and is currently the Career Investigations teacher for the local school district. Shane has patented, marketed and sold products within the recreational fishing industry and is the founder and CEO of Fishing’s Future, a 501 c3 corporation, which has 25 chapters in 7 states(spanning 2 continents) and growing.

Peggy Fritchey Trahan


Vice President

  • Peggy is our first vice president and former mayor of South Padre Island.
  • Rio Grande Valley Walk of Fame
  • Commissioner, Texas Commission on Fire Protection
  • Chief, Individual Training in Forces, Academy of Health Sciences, US Army
  • Program Director, Satellite Television Network, US Army Health Services
  • Command
  • US Army Commander's Award
  • Marquis Who's Who in the World, in America, in Business, in the Southwest


John Butler, PhD


Academic Dean of Marine Military Academy

Business Director of Marine Military Academy

Mary Laddis

Mary Laddis


  • Docent, Gladys Porter Zoo
  • Legal Assistant
  • Mary has worked a a volunteer at Sea Turtle, Inc. since 1994
  • She has volunteered at other sea turtle conservation projects in the U.S., Mexico, Honduras, Venezuela, Costa Rica, and Africa

Patrick Burchfield, PhD

  • Dr. Burchfield is the chairman of the Science Advisory Board for Sea Turtle, Inc.
  • United States Kemp's ridley Sea Turtle Recovery Field Group Coordinator for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Gladys Porter Zoo Director, Zoologist
  • Dr. Burchfield is considered to be one of the world's leading authorities on the Kemp's ridley sea turtle.

Robin Farris

  • Director of College Guidance for the Marine Military Academy
  • Served on the Board of Advisors for the Texas International Fishing Tournament since 1989
  • Additionally she serves on the board of the Gladys Porter Zoo along with many other charitable foundations

Scott Boruff

Deputy Executive Director for Operations for Texas Parks and Wildlife

Robert Cackley

  • Merrill Lynch Financial Advisor
  • Worked as a sea turtle field biologist in Mexico
  • Lends expertise in non-profit financial planning

Carol deMoss

Co-owner of Camp Lula Sams Teaching Camp & Wildlife Refuge.
Former Director of Brownsville Art Musuem.
Expertise in grant writing.

Scientific Advisory Board

Patrick Burchfield, PhD-Chairman
Director of the Gladys Porter Zoo and Sea Turtle, Inc. board member

Kimberly Herrin, DVM
Veterinarian, many years of experience treating injured sea turtles

David Owens, PhD
Director, Grice Marine Laboratory, University of Charleston, SC

Joe Flanagan, DVM
Senior Veterinarian, Houston Zoo with many years of experience treating sea turtles

Rene Marquez Millan, PhD
Vice President, Scientific Committee of the Inter-American Convention for Sea Turtles

Wayne Witzell
Former Supervisor of Fishery Biologists, National Marine Fisheries Service, NOAA