Jo Baldoni Karlik
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 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 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.