Skip to main content

Your Impact Will Go Twice as Far for a Pup

Do you notice all those folds of skin? They tell a heartbreaking story of a pup far too thin. 

Right now, there’s a $5,000 gift match waiting for the pups, and your support is needed to unlock it. 

Yes, your $5 = $10 today, meaning you can provide double the fish meals for a pup like Horseshoe. 

Get your gift matched
elephant seal pup Horseshoe
Monterey Bay rocky coastline with blue skies and clouds
Press Release

Three Key Members Added to Center's Leadership Team with Backgrounds Far Beyond the Ocean

April 2, 2024

The Marine Mammal Center Adds Three Key Members to Leadership Team with Backgrounds Far Beyond the Ocean in Leading the World’s Largest Marine Mammal Hospital

The Marine Mammal Center, the world’s largest marine mammal hospital, responsible for responding to distressed marine mammals along more than 70 percent of California’s coastline, has completed recruitment of its executive leadership team, with the three key additions of Dr. Dominic Travis as Chief Program Officer, Robyn Hettrich as Chief People and Culture Officer, and Stephanie Ladeira as Chief Advancement Officer. 

The now complete leadership team is the culmination of a two-year organizational development process to bring together experts in sophisticated and cutting-edge conservation programming, animal welfare, nonprofit workforce development, and revenue generation – thereby building a very broad foundation to grow the organization’s impact.

The new team offers a unique and impressive perspective, bringing together leaders with experience from Humane Society Silicon Valley and Point Blue Conservation Science, and with appointments in offices with national and international reach with entities such as the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

“We are entering 2024 in a unique position, having recruited incredibly talented leaders that bring experience beyond the ocean and marine life. Their qualifications provide diverse thinking and successful approaches from other animal-related nonprofits and conservation organizations that can translate to our work,” said Cecily Majerus, CEO of The Marine Mammal Center. 

I am thrilled by the collective strength and passion this team brings to our mission.

Entering her second year as CEO, Majerus will lead the Center into its 50th anniversary in 2025, as well as several immediate and bold initiatives that the Center will undertake in the coming months. This includes moving into new facilities at the field offices at both Moss Landing and San Luis Obispo. Both sites are important strategic hubs for The Marine Mammal Center as primary responders for 600 miles of California’s 840-mile coastline.

Majerus previously served on the Center’s board of directors for more than a decade and as chair for three years. Prior to that, she served on the board of the Ocean Conservancy, a global environmental nonprofit that is developing innovative solutions to save our oceans. 

Over her 14 years on the board, she helped lead the organization’s tremendous growth – both in size and impact. Majerus has an extensive background in environmental policy, helping with the development and implementation of the United Nations Law of the Sea Treaty; and serving in leadership roles for two governors of Maryland.

“Through our work together at Ocean Conservancy, I saw firsthand Cecily’s intellect when it comes to the complicated issues surrounding the health of our ocean and its inhabitants,” said Vikki Spruill, President & CEO of the New England Aquarium. 

Spruill served as President & CEO of the Ocean Conservancy for over six years and worked with Majerus to triple the size of the organization. “Her intellect is matched only by her passion and commitment to marine conservation. She possesses a rare combination of strategic thinking and a big heart, making her truly a one-of-a-kind leader.”

A key addition to The Marine Mammal Center’s executive leadership team is Dr. Dominic Travis, DVM, M.S., a well-respected leader on biological and environmental security issues. With over two decades of experience in research, as well developing and building educational programs, Travis joined the team in October 2021 and continues to increase the Center’s capacity in addressing the pressing issues facing the ocean and its inhabitants while also inspiring action and change through the Center’s educational outreach programs.

Travis is an active participant on several important U.S. government advisory committees – including those at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, U.S. Geological Survey, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy – with a focus on the area of human-animal disease and threats from wildlife to public health.

“Dr. Travis brings a wealth of knowledge and a broad skillset that is transforming the Center’s approach to addressing the critical challenges our ocean and marine life face,” said Majerus. “His extensive experience in both research and education, coupled with his active involvement in so many key government advisory committees, positions him as a driver in advancing our mission through increasing the quality and capacity of our outreach programs.”

In October 2022, the Center welcomed its new Chief People and Culture Officer, Robyn Hettrich, SPHR. Having spent over 25 years in People Management, Robyn brings her Human Resources expertise from other dedicated environmental nonprofits like Point Blue Conservation Science and Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. 

Hettrich’s focus is on organizational development, people strategy and fostering a positive and inclusive organizational culture at The Marine Mammal Center.

“With Robyn as a member of our leadership team, I have someone who not only has a passion for conservation and animals but has a proven track record in creating teams that are aligned in mission and culture,” said Majerus. 

Robyn has already become an important partner for me in deepening our 135+ staff members and 1,400+ volunteers in their commitment to marine mammal rescue, rehabilitation, and conservation.

Rounding out the new additions to the leadership team is Chief Advancement Officer, Stephanie Ladeira who joined the Center in October 2023. Stephanie brings over two decades of nonprofit fundraising experience to the organization, having joined the leadership team after 16 years as the Chief of Philanthropy at Humane Society Silicon Valley in California. 

With a successful track record, Ladeira is developing and executing comprehensive strategies to drive philanthropic support for the Center’s mission and expanding its financial resources, ensuring the Center’s sustainability and growth.

“I was extremely intrigued by Stephanie’s thoughtful and creative ideas around expanding the Center’s culture of philanthropy,” said Majerus. 

Stephanie's career as a successful fundraising leader will help us raise the incremental resources we require to expand our efforts to improve the welfare of marine mammals and the preservation of our oceans.

The Center is committed to being an advocate and champion for ocean health—a voice for the patients it cares for—and to inspiring a sea of change to protect the ocean’s future.

Animals rescued by the Center reveal threats facing our ocean, from toxins and pollution, depleted fish stocks and increasing prevalence of ocean trash to chemical changes associated with warming water temperatures.

Marine mammal health, ocean health and human health are linked. The work of the Center advances medical knowledge and understanding about these links to inform conservation policy, inspire consumer and corporate behavior change and protect our future.

Sign up for email from The Marine Mammal Center to stay updated on how you can be an advocate and champion for marine mammals and ocean health.

Yes! I want to be a champion for marine mammals!

Travis, Hettrich, and Ladeira complete a leadership team that also includes Jeff Boehm and Marvin Suchoff.

Boehm joined the Center as Executive Director in 2008, after working for two decades in veterinary medicine, notably in leadership at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium. 

During his tenure at the helm, the Center grew greatly in impact and revenue, opening a renovated $32M facility in Sausalito and a first-of-its-kind hospital for the endangered Hawaiian monk seal in Hawai’i. Boehm has made animal welfare a centerpiece in his profession and has been recognized nationally for that work. Entering his 16th year with The Marine Mammal Center, Boehm leads all external relations, focusing on policy and legislative work, as well as network-building with government agencies and partner organizations. Boehm has been instrumental in raising the Center’s profile in Sacramento, DC, and internationally.

As Chief Financial Officer, Suchoff spearheads The Marine Mammal Center’s financial strategy and management. In Suchoff’s distinguished career, he has helped guide nonprofit organizations through sound financial management. Previously, Suchoff has served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial & Administrative Officer at The National September 11 Memorial & Museum, where he oversaw an annual budget exceeding $100 million. Prior to that, he served as Chief Financial Officer at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Manhattanville College, the Metropolitan Opera and the Whitney Museum of American Art

“As we expand our programs and initiatives, the diverse skills and experiences of our leadership team will be instrumental in driving positive change for ocean conservation,” said Majerus. “This year holds significant milestones for us, from creating our research strategy to preparing for our 50th anniversary. With this dynamic team, we are well-positioned to make lasting impacts in marine mammal care, scientific research, and education."

Yes, I want to save a life!

Yes, I want to save a life!

You’ll be giving sick and injured animals the best possible care at the Center’s state-of-the-art hospital. With your gift today, you are giving a patient a second chance at life in the wild.

  • $35 You'll buy food for a hungry animal
  • $45 You'll provide life-saving medical care
  • $65 You'll make second chances possible

See Our Latest News

Jeff Boehm
Marvin Suchoff
Cecily Majerus
Dominic Travis
Robyn Hettrich
Stephanie Ladeira