Jared was born and raised in Mayfield, Kentucky where he now lives with his wife Christy and three daughters, Lily, Sarah & Leah. Jared holds a B.S in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology and a Masters in Environmental Education both from Murray State University. Jared also graduated from Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama with a Masters of Business Administration.
Jared began his “animal” career rehabilitating birds of prey at Murray State and taking these animals to area schools. He then worked for the Natural History Educational Company (NHEC) during the 2001-2002 school year conducting school assembly programs in six states. The skills developed while performing hundreds of school programs for NHEC prepared Jared for his next challenge at the Birmingham Zoo.
The education department of the Birmingham Zoo recruited and hired Jared in 2002 as an Education Naturalist. He was quickly promoted to Zoological Manager of Reptiles & Children’s Zoo later that year. As a Zoological Manager, Jared was responsible for all staff and animals in both of these departments. Among his many responsibilities were Wildlife Stage Shows, Sea Lion Shows, outreach programs, and a twice weekly live telecast on Birmingham’s Fox 6 News. In 2004, Jared was promoted to Curator of Children’s zoo and was assigned the monumental task of being the Project Manager for the new $5.5 million dollar addition to the Children’s Zoo called Alabama Wilds.
The decision to raise their children near grandparents lead Jared and his wife back to Western Kentucky in 2006. Just two weeks following his reluctant departure from the Birmingham Zoo, Jared was hired by a Federal Natural Resources Agency, where he presently holds the position of Natural Resources Specialist.
A family vacation to Sea World and the San Antonio Zoo in 2009 brought back the desire for the “old days” of animal husbandry and the love of educating people about these creatures. It was at that moment that Animal Tales was formed. A former employee and personal friend, John Ham, was quickly contacted and recruited as a presenter. This move has brought Jared back “full-circle” into school assembly programs.