Eric Hallman, PhD
has worn many hats over his career: senior executive, scientist, educator and civic leader, and current Executive Director of The Livestock Conservancy. Eric began his career as a neuroscience researcher and teacher. His curiosity led him to the field of biotechnology, entrepreneurship, and the creation of several biotechnology companies. He has served on a number of non-profit boards, and has been an elected official in the town of Hillsborough, North Carolina, for the past eight years. Eric is also a jazz musician, a local food enthusiast, a frequent organic gardener, and a rookie beekeeper.


Jeannette Beranger has over 25 years of experience working with animals in the non-profit sector. Beginning her career as a veterinary technician, Jeannette progressed to become a head zookeeper at the Roger Williams Park Zoo in Rhode Island. Currently, Jeannette serves as the Conservancy’s Research and Technical Programs Manager. Her experience facilitating research, organizing workshops and conferences, applying technology to improve animal husbandry, combined with her skills in outreach and networking make her a welcome fit to research, plan, develop and implement important breed conservation programs for the Conservancy.


Michele Brane serves as the Conservancy's Donor Information and Research Manager. She has a background in technical writing, editing, and documentation of medical and accounting software. She is responsible for managing the database and fine-tuning the capacity of this software. In addition, Michele works actively with the organization’s donors and works to research new funding and grant opportunities for the organization.


Anneke Jakes has worked for the Conservancy since July 1992, making her a long-time Livestock Conservancy staff member. Anneke has held many roles during her tenure at the Conservancy, but she is currently acting as the Breed Registry Manager. She serves as the Conservancy’s liaison to breed associations as well as the registrar for several rare breed registries maintained by the organization.


Alison Martin, PhD is the Conservancy’s Research and Technical Programs Director. As a teenager, Alison raised backyard poultry, waterfowl, rabbits and horses. This early experience led to a career of more than 20 years in poultry science, specializing in health and vaccine development. She was a key leader on the world’s first in ovo (in the egg) vaccine for coccidiosis. Alison has a PhD in Genetics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia, where she specialized in disease resistance in poultry. Alison’s skills in building collaborative partnerships have helped The Livestock Conservancy to expand its strategic scientific and technical capacity in conservation programs.


Phillip Sponenberg, DVM, PhD has served as the Technical Advisor for the Conservancy since 1978. He is employed as a veterinary pathologist and geneticist at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg. He has written several books on color genetics and rare breed conservation. He is sought after as a speaker on genetics as well as rare breed conservation. Phil has taken the lead on Spanish horse rescues and is a conservation breeder of Spanish horses, and Tennessee Fainting goats. He works closely with several breed organizations as well as individual breeders of several different breeds.


Angelique Thompson currently serves as the Conservancy’s Operations Director. Thompson oversees the financial operations of the organization, human resources, information technology and systems development, and meeting organization. Thompson also serves as a liaison to the Board in planning and organizing Board meetings. Thompson works directly with the Executive Director and Board to facilitate long-range planning geared towards operational effectiveness and organizational success.


Ryan Walker has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of North Texas in Denton, TX, and is currently finishing a Master of Science degree in Agriculture & Consumer Resources from Tarleton State University. Ryan serves as the Conservancy’s Marketing & Communications Manager, handles advertising, is the press contact, and is the editor for The Livestock Conservancy News, E-News, Rare Breeds, Breeders and Products Directory, and much more! Ryan has past agricultural experience, including raising goats, sheep, cattle, rabbits, ducks, geese, and horses.