Board of Directors

Board of Directors: 

Kari Bagnall – President

Kari is Founder and Executive Director of Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary. Kari was volunteering as a court appointed special advocate (CASA) for abused and neglected children in Las Vegas when a baby monkey named Samantha changed the course of her life and inspired Jungle Friends.Kari was introduced to a vegetarian lifestyle over 40 years ago when she moved into a yoga ashram in Phoenix. Today, vegetarian communal living is a part of the Jungle Friends experience for staff, interns and volunteers. As part of the sanctuary culture, people are encouraged to adopt a vegan lifestyle, to have compassion for all of the Earth's remarkable inhabitants, and to join us in hope that these individual acts of kindness across species will one day reach the 'critical mass' needed to transform the world.

Susan Schneider – Vice President

Susan began her career after completing cosmetology school. She received her first job in a wig shop in Las Vegas, which started her path to owning and running her own wig business for the last 40 years. Her journey into “monkey business” began when her son was 10 years old and wanted a monkey as a pet. After he saved his money for many years, he purchased a white-faced capuchin. Soon after, Susan had four monkeys living at her house.  After an attack to her housecleaner, Susan realized that her monkeys were not meant to be pets. She contacted Kari at Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary. She had known Kari when Jungle Friends was based in Las Vegas, before it moved to Gainesville in 1999. That was in 2005, and Susan is still involved with Jungle Friends as the Vice President of the Board of Directors, and also as a monkey sponsor to her former “pets”.

Sara Smith – Secretary

Sara Smith is the assistant to the Executive Director.  She has been with Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary since 2001, first as a weekly volunteer and then hired as staff in 2005. During her tenure at the sanctuary, Sara has been a member of the carestaff and office. She is familiar with all aspects of caring for monkeys and running the sanctuary. Sara always has been an animal lover and volunteered at a seabird sanctuary previously.  Prior to being employed by Jungle Friends, Sara was self-employed doing clock and watch repair for 30 years. She is a Certified Master Watchmaker with an associates' degree in Watch Repair from Parkland College and has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan, where she studied computer programing. She and her husband Shannon enjoy fixing things and Shannon is a frequent volunteer at Jungle Friends.

Elizabeth Fried – Chair 

Bob Hoffman - Director

Bob Hoffman is President of America’s Financial Solutions, an investment company based in Las Vegas, Nevada. Bob’s professional career has centered around wealth management. He has worked in wealth management at several companies and firms, including: US Bank, Wells Fargo Wealth Management Group, Northern Financial Group, and Hoffman Enterprise. Bob was granted a Bachelors of Science in Business Management, Computer Information Systems, and Accounting from California State University.Bob is a licensed pilot and enjoys flying, sailing, tennis, golf, and skiing. Most importantly, he enjoys spending time with his two daughters

Evelyn Bruns-Witt - Director

Andrew Grant – Director

Andrew currently lives in Ottawa, Canada with his partner Lisa, who also serves on the Board of Directors, and their ShihTzu, Smegal. He has always loved animals - growing up there were always 35 or 40 dogs in and around his house, as his father raised and showed beagles. Andrew has worked in construction for over 50 years in commercial government and residential projects. As a construction superintendent, his experience and skills have allowed Andrew to help out at Jungle Friends with maintenance, design, and new construction. Andrew commented: “Lisa, and I have been stopping at Jungle Friends during the winter, and have been lending for the better part of 15 years. Lisa and I have met many characters at Jungle Friends over those years – there have been many ups, and downs, and growing pains, but through it all it’s been all about the monkeys. Animals are not here for our express use, they are here to share this world. If you care about animals, your health, and the state of the planet, you have to be plant based. They suffer with our selfish desires - novelties, or entertainment.”