Bushlife Conservancy (BC) is pleased to introduce you to our Board of Directors. All of our board members are passionate about supporting and furthering the BC conservation mission: to protect and save African wildlife for future generations in the Mana Pools and Zambezi Valley of Zimbabwe. BC accomplishes its mission primarily by funding the work of Bushlife Support Unit Trust (BSU). The board ensures fiscal responsibility and an ethical approach in planning, fundraising, and supporting mission-related goals and objectives. All board members and volunteers are valued donors to the organization.
President, Nick Murray
Nick Murray and his wife Desiree have been working together in the guiding and conservation world since 1997. Nick’s career started in 1988 and Desiree’s career began in 1992, so they come with a combined 60 years of wildlife experience. They are extremely passionate about conservation, particularly in the Zambezi Valley where the bulk of their careers have been spent. Their children, Jed and Tait, grew up in Mana Pools and developed a strong passion for the wilderness from a young age, and they love to get involved with projects when they can. There has been tremendous pressure put on Mana Pools and the surrounding Zambezi Valley wildlife in the last ten years. With the encouragement of Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority to involve stakeholders such as Bushlife Conservancy, the Murrays are doing whatever they can to help conserve Zimbabwe’s National Heritage.
Treasurer, Beth Brock
Beth Brock is a retired CPA with more than 30 years’ experience. She served as senior manager in the National tax-exempt practice of Ernst & Young for several years. As controller at a large research university for 20 years, her responsibilities included financial reporting and tax compliance for the university and its international affiliate. Beth and her husband Bob are passionate about wildlife conservation and protecting the wildlife and habitat of the Zambezi Valley.
Secretary, Ed Callen
Ed Callen and his wife Patsy, also a volunteer for BC, travelled to Africa on safari when they met Board President Nick Murray, Tusker, and a pack of wild dogs in Mana Pools. Nick’s passionate commitment, enthusiasm, leadership, and endless energy for conservation in the Zambezi Valley were all influential to Ed and Patsy committing to BC and its mission. Ed has a Ph.D. degree in Experimental Psychology and is the current Endowed Professor and Psychology Department Chair at the University of South Carolina Aiken.
Board Member, Alison Nolting
Alison Nolting’s career path has been closely intertwined with that of Zimbabwe and traveling to more than 14 countries in Africa, with some sprinklings of education in Cape Town and working in London. She has been on both sides of the safari industry, managing a camp before owning a tour operator business. Although finally settled in the US, Alison has strong personal ties to Zimbabwe’s local communities and conservation. Alison is a founding director at Africa Adventure Co, now in their 35th year; assistant editor of Africa’s Top Wildlife Countries; and host of the Safari Soiree each year, with keynote conservation speakers. Alison also engages with past and future clients interested in being part of the future of BC.
Board Member, Mara Perkins
Mara Perkins, along with her husband, Robert, is a founding member of Bushlife Conservancy. Over the past many years, she has been privileged to travel extensively in Africa and is an avid safari traveler. She strives to help global conservation and wildlife. Her favorite wildlife park is Mana Pools National Park in Zimbabwe where she supports the heroic anti-poaching work of Nick and Desiree Murray and Bushlife Support Unit.
Board Member, Charles Hanemann
Charles Hanemann and Nick Murray have been exploring remote corners of the Zambezi Valley by foot and canoe for over twenty years. On safari in 2009, Nick and Charles witnessed the beginning of the surge of elephant poaching in Zimbabwe. This experience inspired Charles’ dedication to Bushlife. Charles is a professional investor, specializing in the acquisition and recapitalization of small to mid-sized private companies. He is a Managing Partner of Ardent Investors, LLC, based in Miami, Florida.
Key Players at Bushlife Support Unit Trust
Bushlife Support Unit Administrator Zimbabwe, Lara England
Lara England was born and has lived in Zimbabwe all her life. Raised on a farm, all her holidays were spent camping with the family in the Zambezi Valley. Lara has known the Murray’s for approximately 20 years and offered to be the volunteer administrator for BSU when it was first formed by Nick. Lara is extremely passionate about conservation, particularly in the Zambezi Valley and the Mana Pools area, which hold so many precious memories for her. Lara feels very privileged to be able to work alongside the Murray family as well as all the people and rangers that make up BSU and BC.
Bushlife Support Unit Operations Manager Zimbabwe, Nkululeko “Freedom” Hlongwane
Nkululeko "Freedom" Hlongwane is the operations manager for BSU. He works with the BSU drivers, investigators, and coordinates with Zimpark rangers on field support and tactics. Freedom grew up in a rural area of Matabeleland North Province. Prior to joining Bushlife, he was a Zimparks Ranger for 12 years in Operations & Scientific Services. In 2011, he began work with Rifa Conservation Education Camp, providing conservation education courses for school children. Freedom’s motto is "Conservation Through Action". Freedom is a regular contributor to the BC newsletter, and he provides photos for our Facebook page and BC grant proposals.