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Warren van der Biezen – Director
Warren van der Biezen is a Co-Founder of the TKC and a director of the organization. A brain-child of Warren, the TKC was established to address Warren’s concern that tarantula hobbyists have a collective voice. Warren’s experiences with invertebrates extends into his childhood where he could be found fishing out Scolopendra gigantea out of burrows under rocks in his backyard. Today, Warren is a master tarantula keeper boasting over 1,000 specimens in his personal collection alone. He has kept and informally studied invertebrates for over a decade, in tandem with his full-time job supervising a workforce in the insurance industry. Warren has served on grassroots committees since 2012, and is excited to see the TKC grow.
Garred Martin – Director
Co-founder Garred Martin has organized and participated in several grassroots movements and has had a hand in passing legislation on both the local and state level. Garred and his wife have coordinated community outreach programs like Operation Safe Winter, which involves feeding the less fortunate and homeless, supplying them with clothing, hygiene items, winter gear, and shelter. Garred has been a long time human rights activist and has decided to redirect his focus to environmental conservation.
Garred’s interest in bugs and arachnids started at a very young age and he has been active in the tarantula hobby for several years. Garred and his wife own and operate one of the largest and most successful tarantula retail shops in the United States which continues to grow. The Martin’s personal collection consists of well over 1000 tarantulas ranging from New World arboreal species to Old World fossorial species and everything in between, encompassing hundreds of different species from all over the globe. Garred is an experienced breeder of many species including hard-to-product produce species as well as US firsts. The Martins also bring in imports that average around 3000 tarantulas every few months, focusing only on captive bred specimens. Garred is strongly against mass collection of wild-caught tarantulas and hopes that someday, through continued captive breeding and sensible conservation laws, this practice can eventually be eliminated completely.
Garred, along with co-founder Warren Van der Biezen, started the TKC in hopes of bringing the community together, to educate, and to help see to it that the continued breeding of captive bred, endangered and protected species remains unhindered in the United States. They also aim to raise money to support conservation efforts worldwide in preserving natural habitat so these same species can continue to live and, hopefully, expand populations in the wild.
Garred’s other hobbies include photography, graphic design, music production and art.
Amy Salinas – Director
A dedicated, experienced keeper, who specializes in arboreal tarantula species, founding director Amy has extensive knowledge pertaining to the Poecilotheria genus. She reproduces and maintains every Poecilotheria species legal to own in the U.S., in her personal collection. Amy is a U.S. army veteran, and a leader of people in her current supervisory position in the commercial industry. Amy is indisputably regarded in the tarantula keeping community for her ability to organize diverse populations of people together for common goals. One such example is her community group boasting a rapidly climbing 10,000+ active membership. Amy brings all of this as experience to the TKC, in addition to her direct connections to biologists working in the field.
Alexandra Martin – Director
Tom Patterson – Director
Quentin Salinas – Director
Quentin, a founding board member of the TKC, is an expert keeper who specializes in dwarf, small-bodied, and arboreal tarantula species. He is a brilliant invertebrate photographer focusing on the anatomical features of his specimens, in addition to their beauty. A recent entrant into the machine engineering industry, Quentin lends his diplomatic thinking to the policy and organizing aspects of managing the TKC. Additionally, Quentin lends his expertise to the tarantula community in co-management of Amy Salina’s community group. In his free time, Quentin advances his career as a rising chess strategist, player, and aspiring coach.
Glenn Lauer – Consultant
Frank Somma – Consultant
Austin Spears – Consultant