Blue Ridge Wildlife Center
Meet the Dedicated Staff of the BRWC
The Blue Ridge Wildlife Center is a 501(c)3 charitable organization dedicated to wildlife rescue and wildlife conservation.

Our Staff
  David Bancroft  

David joined the Center as Executive Director in April 2015, bringing years of environmental and administrative experience.  He was president of the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay creating win-win partnerships among habitat, agriculture, forestry and development interests.  Recently, David led sustainable agriculture initiatives as the founding executive director of Organic Voices/Just Label It advocating for federal labeling of GMO (genetically modified) foods and was chief

 operating officer of the US Healthful Food Council promoting farm to table" REAL Certification  of restaurants.  Earlier in his career, David served as deputy executive director of the Council of the Great Lakes Governors, and executive vice president of the Solar Energy Industries Association.  He holds a B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, and an M.S. in Technology and Policy from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.
  Belinda Burwell    Dr. Belinda Burwell opened the BRWC in 2004 to fill the need for wildlife rescue and stewardship in northern Virginia, a need that has grown to include West Virginia, and Maryland.  She currently serves as the Center's veterinarian and Director of Wildlife Services.  Belinda practiced emergency medicine for 17 years and founded the Valley Emergency Veterinary Hospital before opening the BRWC.  
She's a graduate of Duke University with a B.S. in Zoology, and received her Veterinary Medical Degree from Tufts University where she studied Zoo and Wildlife medicine. She has been rescuing and rehabilitating wildlife since 1988 and is a Certified Wildlife Rehabilitator through the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council.  Dr. Burwell serves on the Certified Wildlife Rehabilitator Examination Board and the Advisory Board of the Animal Rescue Fund.  She is also a Virginia Master Naturalist and Instructor. 
  Heather Sparks and Seymore  

Heather Sparks grew up in Winchester, Va.,  and joined the Army after graduating from Handley High School. She spent 8 years in the military between active duty and the National Guard.  During that time she received her Associates of Science degree from Lord Fairfax Community College.

After a year in Iraq doing convey security she was able to finish college at Virginia Tech. She graduated with a BA in Wildlife Sciences and a minor in Biology. At Tech she was an active member of The Wildlife Society and was able to participate in a research project trying to determine how black bears are able to den over winter with no muscle or bone damage.  Heather started as a volunteer at the Blue Ridge Wildlife Center, became a summer intern, and then stayed on to become a full time Wildlife Rehabilitator.  She is a Certified Wildlife Rehabilitator through the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council and heads up our student intern program.  

Jennifer Burghoffer is a graduate of The Ohio State University, where she studied Zoology.  She became interested in wildlife rehabilitation while volunteering at the Columbus wildlife rescue center while she was in school. After graduation, she took an internship position with the Safe Haven Rescue Zoo, then moved on to an apprenticeship with the Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Sanctuary in central Texas.

During this year-long position, Jennifer helped  with the raising and rehabilitation of some of the 5000 animals admitted to the center, gaining hands-on experience with all kinds of wildlife, from squirrels to porcupines.  After that, she accepted a position with Blue Ridge Wildlife Center as a Wildlife Rehabilitator in 2012.  She is also a Certified Wildlife Rehabilitator through the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council.
  Jessica Andersen   Jessica Andersen joined the BRWC in January 2015, after completing a year long internship as a Senior Apprentice at the Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Sanctuary in Kendalia, Texas.  Prior to that, she completed an internship at the Marine Mammal Rescue Center in California.
Originally from Baltimore, Jessica is a 2013 graduate of Randolph College in Lynchburg, VA, with a B.A. in Biology.  She is currently a full-time Wildlife Rehabilitator at the BRWC.

Frances W. “Franny” Crawford joined the BRWC in July 2013 as our Director of Development. Franny comes to us after many years in the development field. First serving as founding director of development for Powhatan School in Boyce, VA, and then as founding director of development for the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester, VA, where she served for 14 years. In light of Franny’s significant experience and abilities, we are delighted that she will be assisting the BRWC during this critical period of growth and expansion.





"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated/em>."   Mahatma Gandhi

Our Volunteers
Ej and Crash
Erin and Crash  
Dara and Fiona 

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Email:             540-837-9000           Blue Ridge Wildlife Center © Copyright 2011               All Rights Reserved