Suzanne Setti

In addition to being a tour guide, Suzanne has served on the Board since 2017. They went vegetarian in 2007 and became vegan in 2015, the same week they moved to North Carolina. Suzanne volunteered at the Refuge for the first time in 2016 and quickly fell in love with the residents and the sense of peace they felt while at the Refuge. They have volunteered in many capacities over the years, including animal care, construction work days, special events, and animal house cleaning. Suzanne lives in Chapel Hill with their partner, Jo, and three cat companions, Butterball, Cashew, and Toulouse. In their free time, Suzanne enjoys playing board games and pursuing creative endeavors, especially fiber arts and painting.

Jo Baldoni Karlik

Jo volunteers with the Refuge as a tour guide as well as helping with the vegan cooking classes. Jo had been vegetarian, but went vegan in 2018 after visiting Piedmont Farm Animal Refuge and meeting all of the residents. They love introducing others to the residents, and they have a special connection with the turkey residents. Jo lives in Chapel Hill with their partner Suzanne (who introduced Jo to the Refuge) and three cat companions: Toulouse, Cashew, and Butterball. They are a physics grad student-worker at UNC where they do research in string cosmology and enjoy teaching. They are also involved in socialist and anti-racist organizing/activism locally. Jo enjoys physics, history, biology, cooking tasty vegan meals, and origami.

Lenore Braford

Lenore Braford is the Founder, interim Executive Director, and Animal Care Director at the Refuge. Her drive to advocate for populations in need began in middle school when she began worked with children with disabilities. That work continues today, but her circle of compassion was widened to include farm animals when she began to question how our society views and treats them during her studies at Oberlin College.

Since that time she has been steadily working to advocate for farm animals while educating the general public about the truths behind their treatment and their worth as individuals. Lenore has been vegan since 2007 and enjoys playing music, being outdoors and spending time with her cat Sipsie. 

Nathalie Martin

Nathalie began volunteering at the Refuge in early 2016. She has always been an animal-lover and immediately felt right at home at the Refuge. Initially, she was an animal care volunteer, but over time her role at the Refuge has diversified. She currently helps with guiding tours, landscaping, gardening and various Refuge projects. You may find her working on projects with her partner, Rich, who also volunteers.

As a tour guide, Nathalie enjoys meeting new people, discussing the mission of the Refuge, animal facts and the stories of individual residents. She is excited to help others learn about the residents, the impacts of factory farming, and veganism. Apart from volunteering at the Refuge, she enjoys spending time with her partner and dogs, photography, hiking and painting. One of her favorite sayings is “we must speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.

Josh Baldwin

Josh found the Refuge during the 2020 Durham Vegan Mac & Cheese cook off while meeting some Refuge volunteers tabling at the event. He quickly signed up for volunteer efforts and started with house cleaning shortly after. His first day at the Refuge turned out to be the last day for tours due to shutting down for COVID-19, so he never officially went on a tour. Now he gives tours! You will find Josh with his wife Taryn out at the Refuge nearly every Saturday and Sunday.  

Josh has taken a growing interest in animal liberation after becoming vegan in 2020. In addition to the Refuge he works with Counter Glow to help organize activists and shed light on the cruelties of our animal agricultural system.

 When not working to remedy the plight of the animals, Josh can be found reading or listening to heavy metal music. He lives in Cary with his wife and four cats.

Trish Soysal, our Check-In Table Hero

After being vegetarian for a few years, Trish decided to go all the way and become vegan. She joined a local meet-up group to meet like-minded people. This is when she learned about a fundraiser for “ Building the Hen House” at the Refuge. After meeting Lenore and hearing about her dream to build a refuge for abused/neglected farm animals, she was hooked. Since 2012, she has been supporting the Refuge and all of the incredible work. She especially likes brushing the goats and representing the Refuge at different events.

She lives in Raleigh with her husband, Oral, and their three “foster failures” Roxanne the Pitbull and Sweetpea & Wendy, their two little Beagles. In her free time, she enjoys reading, quilting and going for hikes on the Raleigh greenway. Most of all, she enjoys spending time with her new granddaughter, Daphne.