Executive Director

The Blue Ridge Wildlife Center is seeking a dynamic leader who will take this organization to the next level! If you are this person, or know someone who is, please review our Summary Job Description and contact us!

Jennifer Riley, DVM, joined the Center in February 2016 with a strong background in wildlife medicine and rehabilitation. Dr. Riley began working with wildlife while studying Animal Science at Cornell University in New York State and focused heavily on wildlife medicine while attending veterinary school at Tufts University in Massachusetts. After receiving her veterinary degree, she treated orphaned and injured wildlife full-time in positions at The Belize Wildlife and Referral Clinic in Belize and then the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife in Sanibel, Florida. Just prior to joining the team at BRWC, Dr. Riley worked as a veterinarian at Lion Country Safari, a semi-free ranging, AZA-accredited zoological park in West Palm Beach, Florida. Dr. Riley brings her years of unique surgical and medical experience with wildlife to Blue Ridge Wildlife Center, currently serving as our Director of Wildlife Services.

Heather Sparks, Manager of Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation, grew up in Winchester, Va., and joined the Army after graduating from Handley High School. She spent 8 years in the military between active duty and the National Guard.  During that time she received her Associates of Science degree from Lord Fairfax Community College. After a year in Iraq doing convoy security she was able to finish college at Virginia Tech. She graduated with a BA in Wildlife Sciences and a minor in Biology. At Tech she was an active member of The Wildlife Society and was able to participate in a research project trying to determine how black bears are able to den over winter with no muscle or bone damage.  Heather started as a volunteer at the Blue Ridge Wildlife Center, became a summer intern, and then stayed on to become a full time Wildlife Rehabilitator.  She is a Certified Wildlife Rehabilitator through the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council and heads up our student intern program. 

Jennifer Burghoffer, Manager of Education, is a graduate of The Ohio State University, where she studied Zoology.  She became interested in wildlife rehabilitation while volunteering at the Columbus wildlife rescue center while she was in school. After graduation, she took an internship position with the Safe Haven Rescue Zoo, then moved on to an apprenticeship with the Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Sanctuary in central Texas. During this year-long position, Jennifer helped  with the raising and rehabilitation of some of the 5000 animals admitted to the center, gaining hands-on experience with all kinds of wildlife, from squirrels to porcupines.  After that, she accepted a position with Blue Ridge Wildlife Center as a Wildlife Rehabilitator in 2012.  She is also a Certified Wildlife Rehabilitator through the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council.

Jessica Andersen joined the BRWC in January 2015, after completing a year-long internship as a Senior Apprentice at the Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Sanctuary in Kendalia, Texas.  Prior to that, she completed an internship at the Marine Mammal Rescue Center in California.  Originally from Baltimore, Jessica is a 2013 graduate of Randolph College in Lynchburg, VA, with a B.A. in Biology.  She is a Certified Wildlife Rehabilitator through the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council.

Frances W. “Franny” Crawford joined the BRWC in July 2013 as our Director of Development. Franny comes to us after many years in the development field. First serving as founding director of development for Powhatan School in Boyce, VA, and then as founding director of development for the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester, VA, where she served for 14 years. In light of Franny’s significant experience and abilities, we are delighted that she will be assisting the BRWC during this critical period of growth and expansion.

Blue Ridge Wildlife Center

106 Island Farm Lane
Boyce, VA 22620

Support the Wildlife Center

For wildlife concerns/emergencies,
dial our hotline: (540) 837-9000.