Scott Lange
Executive Director

Scott served on AWARE's Board of Directors from 2014 until he stepped into the role of Executive Director at the start of 2017. Before joining AWARE, he worked as both a structural engineer for Southern Company and a construction litigation attorney for DLA Piper, LLP.  Scott is a lifelong Atlantan, and says he is delighted to get the chance to help AWARE protect Atlanta's wild animals. When not at the AWARE center in Lithonia, Scott enjoys listening to the music of They Might Be Giants, rooting for the 1907, 1908, and 2016 World Champion Chicago Cubs, and caring for his and his wife Nan's four cats, Gracie, Jorvik, Bean, and Foster.

Marjan Ghadrdan
Director of Animal Care

Marjan began volunteering at AWARE in 2005, before the center had even opened to the public. She was trained as a rehabber by AWARE’s founder, Michael Ellis, until she was hired as a Wildlife Care Supervisor in 2010. In 2017 she was promoted to Director of Animal Care, a position in which she manages all aspects of AWARE's animal care efforts, including rehabilitation, ambassador handling, volunteer management, non-releasable placement, and a variety of side projects.

Marjan received her B.S. in Biology from Kennesaw State University in 2009 and M.S. in Neuroscience at Georgia State University in 2015. She is also on track to become a licensed veterinary technician in 2018. Marjan has worked with native, domestic, exotic, and research animals in veterinary hospitals, zoos, and rehabilitation centers all over Georgia. She currently serves as the Certification Director for the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council.  Perhaps most importantly, Marjan will never forget her beloved pit bull, Little Mama.

Marielle Kromis
Wildlife Care Supervisor II

Marielle began volunteering at AWARE in 2014 and was hired as a Wildlife Care Supervisor in 2015.  That same year, she graduated from Kennesaw State University, with a bachelor's degree in Environmental Science. In 2008, Marielle was a member of the Ocean Blue Education Reef Check team. At home, Marielle spends time with her Border Collie mix, Shanti.

Sami Netherton
Wildlife Care Supervisor I

Sami has had a lifelong drive to better the lives of animals. This passion influenced her path through school where she received her B.S. in Biology from the University of Georgia in 2016. She began volunteering at AWARE, where she found herself moved by the connection between rehabilitating wild animals and limiting the effects of human impact on the earth. She joined the staff in 2017, and continues her work with AWARE's Creepy Crawlies that she began as a volunteer. In Sami's free time, she enjoys spending time outdoors and enjoying nature, while also making connections with other people.

Julia Sparks
Wildlife Care Supervisor I

Julia began volunteering with AWARE in 2016, completed an internship later that year, and joined the staff in 2017. Julia holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies and a B.A. in Economics from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida. In addition to caring for animals in the U.S., Julia has also spent time volunteering with wildlife sanctuaries in both Ecuador and Bolivia, working primarily with ocelots, Geoffrey's cats, and tapirs. Outside of AWARE, she volunteers as a Continuing Education Coordinator for the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council and spends all free time napping with her mutt, Lilah and her chubby bunny, Rupert.

Emily Ripple
Wildlife Care Supervisor Trainee

Emily attended Armstrong State University before beginning as an AWARE volunteer in early 2017. At AWARE, she realized helping wildlife was her calling. She completed one internship and started another before being hired in early 2018. She is currently training to become a Wildlife Care Supervisor and also coordinates AWARE's community service volunteers.

Board of Directors

Amanda Avery
Neel, Robinson, & Stafford, LLC

Scott Mario
King & Spalding
Vice Chair, Fundraising Chair

Katherine Houston
LPM Media Group
Treasurer, Finance Chair

Larisa Epshteyn
Altisource Portfolio Solutions
Secretary, Governance Chair

Dr. Maria Crane
Emory University
Programs Chair

Christopher Dunlap
Atlanta Rocks!

Jessica Dunne

Nathan Gaffney
Fried Rogers Goldberg LLC

Michelle Hamner
Atlanta Audubon Society

Dr. Endang Handzel
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Brent Howard
Bryan Cave

Brett Howell
Coca-Cola Bottlers’ Sales & Service Co.

Julie Knoll
The Home Depot

Rabon McKenzie
Royal Food Service

Katherine Smallwood
Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Chris Spicer
ACI Worldwide


Special Thanks to Our 2017 Major Contributors

$20,000 Level

Marianne Halle Animal Support Foundation

$10,000 Level
Michael McMenamin
B. Wardlaw Foundation

$5,000 Level
Bryans Foundation
Jane Jaskevich
Linda & Gordon Potter