Meet The Team
Paula & Josh Buck, Founders
Both born and raised in Utah, Josh and Paula met in 2004, and married two years later. They raised two amazing humans together- Courtland and Shailee- who are now adults living in Southern California. After several trips to different Hawaiian Islands, Josh and Paula dreamt about someday making Big Island their home. In 2018, that dream came true when they packed six suitcases and cashed in their one-way tickets to Hawaii. As advocates for the animals and the planet, they proudly live a minimalist, off-grid lifestyle. Josh and Paula love the rich cultural history of the islands and are proud to call Hawaii home.
Aloha friends, my name is Becca, and while I may live in Wisconsin, part of my heart has always belonged to Hawaii. In my spare time I love to read, play ukulele, spend time with my cat Loki, and advocate for animals! I was a vegetarian for most of my life but went vegan in 2017 and it was the best decision I ever made! Animals have always held a special place in my heart, and have been my passion in life. My dream is to help animals in any way that I can, and to one day have my own vegan farm sanctuary. When I heard Paula and Josh were asking for volunteers, I applied immediately and am thrilled to be chosen as part of this amazing team!
My name is Donna, and I come to you from chilly Alberta, Canada where I live on a small piece of land with my husband, children, ten dogs and three cats. As someone who has taught for 30+ years I strive to daily demonstrate my genuine desire to advocate for those who are given less of a voice in society. My journey over the past 3 years has meant making choices that benefit all animals. Becoming vegan and gently inspiring others to do the same, has led to a complete change in diet and lifestyle for myself and my family. Educating others about the benefits of wholeheartedly loving all animals by choosing plants as food, has opened up a world of wonderful friendships with like minded people. The Saint Bernards, Newfies, Labrador, Bernese, Shar Pei and Danes in my house teach me empathy and compassion every day, making my life brighter. I am a very fortunate person, having the opportunity to teach young people every day and return home to a busy, happy home each evening. Finally, I forever grateful for the opportunity to extend my role as an educator by joining a positive team and spreading knowledge about the value of all life.
Annie is a happy vegan who is passionate about life, animals, and serving others. In her spare time, she volunteers with various organizations around her community. She also actively advocates for social justice, animal rights, and the environment. She strives to continuously keep advocating for animals and be their voice, along with fighting for equity for all.
Katie is the ultimate team-player and a seasoned expert in the art of rolling up her sleeves and doing whatever it takes to get a company up and running. As an entrepreneur always at the ready to help founders and small businesses, when she saw BIFS needed a bit of help, it was a no-brainer to jump in and help the animals and their people friends! Katie loves writing fiction, learning about everything and anything and adores to travel. She shares her voracious curiosity with her three children, two cats, two birds and a rescue pup named Lizzy.
Originally from Illinois, I married my high school sweetheart in ‘97 and we had 5 children! I then returned to school full time and earned my nursing degree in 2011. In 2012 my family and I moved to Charleston, SC. While researching holistic, natural treatments for hormone regulation and anxiety for my daughter, I came upon evidence based studies regarding the vegan diet. At this time I adopted a vegetarian diet and when further research brought me to the animal agriculture industry and the truth behind it, I became vegan immediately! I began to follow the work of many farm animal sanctuaries and experimenting with new vegan recipes. With the hope of influencing others, I started to share my vegan food adventures, the work of farm animal sanctuaries, and vegan activism on social media. Both in my career and in my free time I am a constant advocate for those who are vulnerable, whether human or not.
My name is Hailey and I am an animal rescuer in Northern California. I have spent the last five years in animal rescue, specializing in sick or newborn kittens. To date I have rescued over 50 kittens and cats! I have been vegan for 6 years and I hope to someday start my own animal sanctuary on the Big Island!
Dana Bannister is a Portland native and has been an animal lover her whole life. She is on the Animal Care Crew at Odd Man Inn Animal Refuge since January 2020. She was in customer service for 25 years before she was laid off due to Covid, and is considering sanctuary life her early retirement and next chapter.