Advisory Group

Robin B. Friday, Sr.

Robin Friday is the founder of Wildlife International Network and serves as the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Ocean Embassy, Inc. and Wildlife International Network, Inc.  Beginning his marine mammal experience at the SeaWorld parks, Robin Friday held positions as Curator and Director of the Animal Training, Aviculture, and Animal Care departments over a period of 18 years.  He also led the development of Discovery Cove, Orlando (a $121 US million dollar dolphin interaction facility built by Busch Entertainment Corp.). Following his SeaWorld tenure, Friday served as General Manager of Marineland Foundation, Inc., a 501©(3) corporation, where he designed and implemented a dolphin interaction program. As Project Manager for Ocean Futures Society (OFS – Jean-Michele Cousteau Institute) he led a special project team from 1998 to 2000 to rehabilitate Keiko the killer whale, of “Free Willy” fame. Milestones achieved while managing the Keiko project included: strategic reorganization of project objectives and organizational structure on site in Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland; construction of an 800 ft. barrier net across Klettsvik Bay, Iceland; development of regulatory and protocol guidelines which resulted in the Icelandic government awarding release permits to OFS; and completion of the world’s first successful open-ocean behavioral conditioning of a captive killer whale. Friday also managed the development of the world’s first marine mammal teaching hospital for the Marine Mammal Research and Conservation Department at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute in Ft. Pierce, Florida, a $26 million expansion. Responsibilities included: implementing government regulatory requirements, overseeing operational budgets, staff management and support of the Southeast Stranding Network.

Mark A. Simmons

Mark Simmons is one of the founders of the Company and currently the Secretary/Treasurer of the Board and Executive Vice President for Ocean Embassy, Inc. and Wildlife International Network, Inc. (parent company of Ocean Embassy). Mark has been working with founder, Robin Friday for 16 years and has worked in the marine mammal industry for more than 18 years. He specialized in marine mammal behavioral sciences throughout ten years of employment with SeaWorld of Florida. While there, he also was responsible for over $21 US million in animal assets, assisted in the development of approximately three multi-million dollar animal facilities and represented SeaWorld via speaking engagements both locally and abroad. Simmons and Friday also teamed up at Marineland, developing a dolphin interaction program, and in Iceland managing, the Keiko Reintroduction Project for Ocean Futures Society (“OFS”). Well experienced in the design, implementation and operation of all types of marine mammal public display programs, he participated in creating marine mammal shows, educational curriculum, research and interactive programs. Simmons also has extensive experience in regulatory compliance both with the United States and foreign governments.

Ted N. Turner

In his role as VP of International Operations, Ted Turner oversees and manages all aspects of government and international regulation, legislation and permitting. Ted also monitors all international treaties and agreements pertaining to marine mammal and marine species trade and regulatory guidelines. He is among the most knowledgeable professionals in the area of behavioral sciences, international marine mammal laws and treaties, regulatory development and zoological research, public display and education. In addition, Ted leads the Company in concept development and has innovated some of the most exciting new facility and program concepts proposed in the industry.

A senior zoological executive with over 20 years of marine life management experience, Turner held the position of Vice President/Curator of Animal Training for SeaWorld Ohio for over nine years. As a senior member of the executive team, He also served as a member of Busch Entertainment Corporation’s New Product Development Team and Corporate Behavior Review Committee and was named Corporate Coordinator for SeaWorld Animal Training Research. Between 1988 and 2000, he authored and implemented a comprehensive and intense staff training program designed for Discovery Cove, Orlando, which was instrumental in the successful opening of this new theme park in the summer of 2000. Turner also developed five animal interactive programs as well as the initial animal design concept for Discovery Cove, Atlantis in The Bahamas and the United Arab Emirates. He has authored over 40 articles on animal management including book chapters for Smithsonian and Academic Press on the subject of behavior modification and enrichment for marine mammals. In addition he has given numerous lectures as an invited guest speaker for groups such as the Ohio Veterinary Medical Association (Columbus, Ohio), the Great Plains Student Psychology Conference (Joplin, Missouri), the International Whale Symposium (San Diego, California), and State University of New York (Binghamton, New York) among others. Turner served as President of the International Marine Mammal Trainers Association (IMATA), an NGO representative for the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES – Kyoto Japan) and continues to help governments develop international legislation for the protection of marine mammals.

Todd R. Feucht

Todd Feucht is a zoological professional with over 17 years of specialized marine mammal management and business development experience. Todd currently holds the position of Vice President of Ocean Embassy and is a Professional member of the International Marine Animal Trainers Association (IMATA). In this integral leadership position, Todd is involved in all aspects of the Company’s objectives and provides business oversight and represents the Company in analyzing new growth opportunities.

Mr. Feucht began his career with Busch Entertainment Corporation (BEC) in 1990 at SeaWorld Ohio and developed a comprehensive knowledge of advanced behavior modification techniques, aggression management and behavioral medicine. He has held supervisory positions with both SeaWorld Ohio and SeaWorld Orlando where he was responsible for animal management, show production and quality, staff management, staff development, safety and guest interactive programs. During his tenure with SeaWorld, Feucht was involved with the training and management of killer whales (Orcinus orca), Pacific white-sided dolphins (Lagenorynchus obliquidens), Commerson’s dolphins (Cephalorhynchus commersonii), bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncates), false killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens), and California Sea Lions (Zalophus californianus). While with SeaWorld, he was also involved with numerous complex and high profile animal transports with a variety of animal species, including killer whales, Pacific white-sided dolphins, Commerson’s dolphins, and bottlenose dolphins.

In 1998, Mr. Feucht was recruited by Sea Life Park Hawaii to design and implement their first and only fully submersive dolphin swim experience (Dolphin Adventure), a highly successful interactive program. While in Hawaii, Feucht also led the development of program design, product improvement and behavioral protocols for the dolphin interaction program at the Kahala Manderin Oriental Hotel, located on Oahu.

Mr. Feucht has been involved with many other aspects of marine mammal animal management including field work, facility design, program feasibility and marine mammal research/data collection. He has been an invited speaker at animal behavior seminars throughout the United States and Europe and has helped develop marine mammal protection legislation for foreign governments including Panama, The Bahamas, United Arab Emirates and St. Lucia.

Mark Andrew Trimm

Mark Trimm has been with Ocean Embassy since late in 2004. Mark manages all aspects of facility development for the Company as well as zoological logistics and husbandry programs. His experience has made him one of the most knowledgeable professionals in marine zoological facility design, construction and operation. Mark is also one of few individuals in the industry with an extensive background in marine mammal rescue and rehabilitation. In this capacity, he has developed procedures and protocols for the Company’s rescue and rehabilitation programs including research and educational components.

Mark has worked in the Marine Mammal field for the last 22 years around the world and has managed both large and small collections of marine mammals. He has worked in varying capacities with no less than twenty-eight different species of marine mammals and dozens of Terrestrial species from all over the world. His expertise includes the following areas:

• Animal Care & Husbandry.
• Animal Management.
• Medical Supportive Care.
• Marine Mammal Rescue, Rehabilitation & Release.
• Manage Field Research / Animal Documentary Filming.
• Marine Mammal Collection
• Marine Mammal Transport & Complex Logistics Planning
• Operant Conditioning
• College Level Instructor, Credited Course Work On Marine Mammals
• Captive Propagation
• Specialized Marine Mammal Equipment Design
• Facility, Hospital, Exhibit Design & Operation
• Facility Start-Up

Mr. Trimm has contributed to numerous technical and medical publications on marine mammals relating to both wild animals and animals under the care of humans. He is sought for his expertise in multiple areas such as conducting talks about marine mammals to all age groups as well as assist the U. S. National Marine Fisheries Department put on Necropsy Workshops for members of the Southeast Stranding Network. He participates in annual Level “A” field research health assessments on free ranging pods of bottlenose dolphins in two different states in the United States and instructs in the proper handling of animals during and following the capture process. Mark has managed every aspect of Marine Mammal rescue of well over one hundred stranded marine mammals. He has supervised the treatment during the rehabilitation process and successfully released and tracked dozens of Whales Dolphins and Manatees back to the wild.

Dr. Stan Kuczaj

Dr. Stan Kuczaj is an expert in the field of comparative psychology, with an emphasis on marine mammal behavior, cognition, and communication. His current work focuses on the ontogeny and organization of social behavior (including communication) in cetaceans, the assessment of personality in nonhuman animals, the effects of anthropogenic noise on marine mammals, and problem solving in dolphins, sea lions and whales.  Dr. Kuczaj is a founding fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, a founding member of the Comparative Cognition Society, and a fellow of the American Psychological Association. He is also a member of numerous professional organizations, including the Acoustical Society of America, the Animal Behavior Society, the European Association for Aquatic Mammals, and the Society for Marine Mammalogy.

Dr. Kuczaj won a Young Scientist Award from the American Psychological Association for his work on child language development, and an Excellence in Basic Research Award from the University of Southern Mississippi for his research on dolphin cognition and behavior.  He is the faculty advisor for the Gulf Coast student chapter of the Society for Marine Mammalogy, and is Editor of the International Journal of Comparative Psychology and Associate Editor of First Language. In addition to his role at MMC, he serves on the Advisory Boards of the Dolphin Communication Project and the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies, the Scientific Advisory Board for the Wild Dolphin Project, and the Scientific Committees of Gulf World Oceanarium and the European Association for Aquatic Mammals.