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Meet the Team

Pritam Singh, Founder and President of Friends of Toki, is an American businessman, environmentalist, and philanthropist. Pritam is the Founder of the Singh Group of companies, having overseen the design, development, building, and management of properties, with a current value of over $5 billion. The Singh Group of companies, based in the Florida Keys, has gained a national reputation and won numerous awards for innovative design, the adaptive reuse of obsolete properties, historic renovation, and environmental remediation. He is a long-time student of and collaborator with the renowned Buddhist monk and teacher Thich Nhat Hanh. He has edited six books with Thich Nhat Hanh, notably No Death No Fear and Taming the Tiger Within. For 25 years, he has represented the Plum Village Practice Community worldwide. In February of 2004, at the Lin Chi Zen Great Ordination Ceremony organized in Deer Park Monastery, he was ordained as a Dharma teacher and minister in the 42nd generation of the Lâm Tê Dhyana School and the 8th generation of the Liêu Quán Dharma Line.

Charles Vinick, co-founder Friends of Toki, MA, Executive Director of the Whale Sanctuary Project, has been leading non-profit organizations for over 40 years, including serving as Vice President of the Cousteau Society and Ocean Futures Society for 25 years. He served as project manager for the Keiko Project, President and CEO of the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound as well as CEO of two environmental technology development companies, Ecosphere Technologies and Aquantis, Inc. He has received commendations from the White House for his work with youth education and from the Los Angeles City Council for community environmentalism.

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Board of Directors


Dr. James McBain, DVM, Retired VP of Corporate Veterinary Services for SeaWorld and Busch Garden Parks. Dr. McBain is considered a pioneering expert in marine mammal veterinary medicine. He has authored and coauthored more than 83 scientific papers, books and presentations on marine mammals and is recognized worldwide for his experience and expertise. Dr. McBain is seen by his peers as having fundamentally altered the way in which marine mammal medicine is practiced.


Dr. Stephanie is a veterinary epidemiologist and wildlife veterinarian with over 20 years of experience in the investigation of disease in marine mammals for NOAA and others. Her epidemiological work includes disease surveillance, risk factor studies, special epidemiology and GIS, epizootic and outbreak investigations, the impact of climate changes on marine life and their diseases, ecosystem health, and epidemiological modelling applies to species conservation and recovery. She is currently part of the independent veterinary team consulting on the medical care for Tokitae.

Stephanie Norman, DVM, MS, PhD


Tom Reidarson, Consulting Veterinarian

Dr. Tom Reidarson DVM, CEO, Reidarson Group: Marine Animal Specialists, Consulting Veterinarian for Miami Seaquarium, formerly senior staff veterinarian and director of veterinary services, SeaWorld of San Diego. As CEO of the Reidarson Group, he directs the development of cetacean health and fitness programs of preventive care. His work brings together marine- mammal specialists in the fields of internal medicine, ophthalmology, reproductive physiology, nutrition, infectious diseases, water quality and surgery.


Jeff Foster

Jeff Foster has spent his whole life around wild and exotic animals. He grew up as the son of a prominent zoo veterinarian, giving him experience caring for and managing animals from an early age. Jeff has worked in the marine mammal field for 45 years. He got his start working for SeaWorld and the Seattle Marine Aquarium at the age of 15. He has worked in all facets of the marine mammal field including capture, animal husbandry, training, rehabilitation, research and reintroduction. And he has traveled the world helping to conserve and protect wild dolphins and other marine mammals. Jeff has been credited for developing the first successful formula for a neonate cetacean as well as been instrumental in developing behavior enrichment devices for captive marine mammals. Jeff oversaw the humane captures of oiled sea otters during the Exxon Valdez oil spill. He was Director of Field Operations and Research for the Keiko Project and oversaw the day-to-day management of the project. He also oversaw the capture, rehab and successful reintroduction of Springer, the orphan killer whale. He was responsible for the Tom and Misha Project, the first successful reintroduction of bottlenose dolphins back into the wild. Jeff was instrumental in the developing the LIMPET tags in the study of marine mammals in the wild. Jeff has received numerous accolades and awards for his contributions to the marine mammal field, including NOAA’s Environmental Hero of the Year 2006, received for his dolphin rescue work during hurricane Katrina and the tsunami in Southeast Asia.


Katy Laveck Foster

Katy Laveck Foster is a marine mammal field researcher working with several organizations, but most extensively with Cascadia Research Collective in Washington State, and Kelp Marine Research in the Azores. She has specific interest in Risso’s dolphin behavior, but has worked with other species along the US west and east coasts and the Azores. She has worked in rescue and rehab projects with sea turtles and marine mammals, and with large whale disentanglements. She also has field experience with terrestrial animal research, and has worked as a wildlife photographer. Katy is an advocate for developing sustainable solutions for transitioning marine mammals out of traditional captive settings.


Michael Partica

Michael Partica, BS Marine Biology, has extensive experience working hands on with cetaceans in training, capture, transport, rescue, rehab, and research. He has experience working with orca, bottlenose dolphins, common dolphins, and humpback dolphins in various parts of the world, including Honduras, Turkey, Greece, Indonesia, New Zealand, Washington state, Florida, South Carolina, western Africa, and throughout the Caribbean. In addition to both wild and captive cetaceans, Mike has experience working with both pinnipeds and sirenians. His work at Coral World Ocean Park over 17 years has included developing and implementing protocols for training, husbandry, and enrichment as well as rescue, rehab and research with sea lions, dolphins, turtles, and sharks. Mike has worked with other organizations on training, enrichment, rescue, research and conservation projects, including projects involving the Southern Resident Orcas in the Pacific Northwest and other orca populations around the world, especially in New Zealand which included teaching rescue personnel training and care techniques commonly used in captive settings that have application in the care of rescued orca and other cetaceans. In addition to Mike’s extensive experience with marine mammals, he also has experience working with primates, large cats, and various other exotic species.

Diana Reiss, PhD

Dr. Diana Reiss, PhD is a marine mammal scientist, cognitive psychologist and Professor and Director of the Animal Behavior and Conservation graduate programs at Hunter College, CUNY. Her research focuses on cognition, communication, behavior of dolphins and other cetaceans & the evolution of intelligence: her research and other professional efforts include studies on the use of interactive systems to provide dolphins with degrees of choice and control to investigate their vocal learning abilities, demonstrating that dolphins and elephants share our ability for mirror self-recognition, and the rescue and rehabilitation of stranded marine mammals including the rescue of Humphrey, a Humpback whale who in 1985 and captured international attention. Reiss served as director of dolphin cognitive research programs at Marine World, Africa USA, the New York Aquarium of the Wildlife Conservation Society, the National Aquarium, Co-Chair of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Animal Enrichment Program, a member of the AZA’s Animal Welfare Committee.

Enrichment and Care Team 

Stephen McCullogh

Stephen McCullogh is an internationally recognized marine mammal health and welfare specialist with more than fifty years of experience including animal care, husbandry, behavior and conditioning of cetaceans. He is the recipient of numerous international awards for excellence in conservation and advancements in research and education, Steve has twice been nominated as a finalist to receive the world's most prestigious conservation award, the Indianapolis Prize. For his research, and dedication to rescue and rehabilitate dolphins, whales and sea turtles, Steve has also earned notable recognition from several State and Federal agencies and remains active in the legislative process, using science to influence environmental policy.

Brittany Nollens

Brittany Nollens obtained a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of Minnesota. She was a member of the animal training teams of Dolphin Quest Bermuda, the Minnesota Zoo, Dolphin Quest Hawaii, SeaWorld Orlando and SeaWorld San Diego. She gained first-hand knowledge and applied experience in shaping behaviors and implementing enrichment strategies for bottlenose dolphins, common dolphins, pilot whales and killer whales. Together with her family she is a frequent visitor to the Pacific Northwest where she participates in monitoring the impact of drone-based research of wild killer whales.

Peter Noah

Peter Noah, BA, has been professionally caring for and training marine animals for 44 years. Initially at Marineland of the Pacific including as one of the primary trainers of Orky and Corky, the first breeding pair of killer whales in captivity. He also as training experience doing behavioral work with walrus, dolphins and caiman. In 1990, Peter was named Curator of Fish, Invertebrates and Birds at the Oregon Coast Aquarium. In 1997 Peter Joined the Free Willy/Keiko project as supervisor in the Newport Oregon phase of the project, most notably proving Keiko the opportunity to eat live fish and was a member of the training staff. In 2003 Peter was named as the first Director of Husbandry for the Oregon State University Hatfield Marine Science Center. In 2005, Peter became the General Curator for Coral World in the US Virgin Islands with responsibilities including permits, housing, staffing, animals care and training. He managed the development and opening of a marine park in St. Kitts and developed their marine mammal training program. Peter has also developed and managed a traveling education exhibit business, hosting nearly 1 million guests.

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