Our team

Our international team consists of passionate professionals who go through fire for animals in need.

Esther Kef
Operations (Board member)
cross the Italian Alps from west to east on cross country ski (1000 km) to raise awareness about the suffering of farm animals in intensive farming and to raise fonds to produce a documentary about pigs. In addition to being an animal lover, Esther is a marketing professional and entrepreneur. In 2019, she decided to put her own business aside to dedicate herself fully to animals. Before founding Animal Heroes, Esther worked on setting up emergency relief projects for animals in Ukraine, Curaçao and Bonaire for a Dutch animal welfare organisation. During the war in Ukraine Esther met people who risked their lives to care for animals. They are true animal heroes and need food and medicines but are invisible to the world. Animal Heroes exists to make animal heroes visible and to support them with concrete emergency aid. Esther lives with her wife and deranged dachshund in the Italian dolomites and in Amsterdam.
Marijs Kolenberg
Safety & Security (Board member)
Aviation became her career and Marijs moved to live and work in Portugal. But the passion for animals remained. Marijs volunteered to help neglected dogs and cats in Portugal, supported several animal shelters and regularly walked shelter dogs. Even during holidays, she makes detours to contribute to animal welfare. Marijs departed to Lisbon alone, and 15 years later she moved back to the Netherlands with her partner, her son and her dog Josh. Besides being a Board member, Marijs is also responsible for safety and security during missions and has been with Animal Heroes since its conception.
Mony de Roos
General Management (Board member)
She now works at a marketing agency where she works for clients in various industries. Mony lives in a hobby farm that is run by her chickens, who manage the sheep, dogs and her family.
Fabio Frison
Medical Emergency Response
He also studied veterinary medicine in Milan. In 1988, Fabio opened his own animal boarding house in his hometown of Cortina d’Ampezzo, in the Dolomites. In 1995, in addition to his animal boarding facility, he started a veterinary clinic, which he has run with another veterinarian since 2006. He is medical director of veterinary clinic Cortina. In his spare time, Fabio dedicates himself to helping people and animals in need and traveled to Hatay and Ukraine to do so.
Eleonora Orlandi
Her enormous passion for travel took her all over the world for her work as a pilot, but also for fun. In 2020, she organized all the logistical and technical aspects of the “skiing for pigs challenge,” a 1,000-km ski trip across the Alps from west to east, in which she herself participated. Eleonora puts her travel knowledge and logistical experience to work for Animals Heroes so that even the most difficult areas can be reached in the most challenging conditions. In her own words, “if you want to get there, I’ll get you there.”
Yasmin Groot
Creative design
they are committed to making Animal Heroes a real brand. Yasmin recently moved with her boyfriend from Amsterdam’s Leidse square to a small village where they enjoy their freedom, the animals around them and stray dog Loes.
Carina Lintula
General Management Nordic countries
She studied biology at the University of Helsinki and is currently attending the Animal Law program at Åbo Akademi University. These academic studies have given her a deep understanding of the importance of animal welfare and the various challenges facing animals around the world. For more than 10 years, Carina has also been a voice for wolves in Finland. Her work on wolves has given her a unique perspective into the complex relationships between humans and animals, and the importance of finding sustainable solutions that benefit all parties involved. In addition to her academic achievements, Carina has also founded two animal welfare organizations in Finland. These experiences have taught her the importance of cooperation, empathy and perseverance in helping animals in need. During the war in Ukraine, Carina was the lead organizer of an organization that provided 200,000 kg of food and medical supplies to dogs and cats in Ukraine for a total value of more than €1 million. This experience gave her insight into the challenges of providing assistance to animals in crisis, and the importance of well-coordinated action to make a real impact. During this project, she got to know Esther, who was responsible for coordinating the Finnish shipments to Ukraine from the Netherlands. Personally, Carina is a proud dog owner and lives in eastern Finland, surrounded by the beauty of nature and a lake. This lifestyle has given her a tremendous appreciation for the value of animals in our lives and a strong desire to ensure that all animals are treated with the respect and care they deserve. Carina feels honored to be part of the Animal Heroes team to and engage as Manager Finland to work together to make a difference in the lives of animals in need anywhere in the world.
Shellene Swamy
General Management United States
fundraising, helps with awareness campaigns, and does volunteer work in the U.S. and UK for various disaster relief projects, shelters and sanctuaries, such as the Miami-Dade Humane Society (Florida), Friends of Burlington County Animal Shelter, (New Jersey), Wildlife SOS (India), and the Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home (Scotland). She loves all animals, big and small, but has a special place in her heart for elephants. Shellene has worked in education for more than 20 years. She started as a Spanish teacher and has worked as a sales consultant for educational programs for 20 years. She currently lives near Washington, D.C. with her husband, Nav, and her 2 dogs.
Yolanda Clant
Field operations
as a kite surfing instructor in Vlieland in The Netherlands. While working in Sicily, she found a stray dog that was badly injured. His paw had to be amputated and Yolanda decided to take “Lucky” home after the surgery. Lucky became her best friend and from that moment Yolanda decided to help animals in need. No mission is too tough and no land too far for Yolanda, a real level-headed power woman who gets things done and is someone who animals in need can always count on.
Monique Engelaar
Within Animal Heroes Monique plays the vital role to recruit corporate sponsors. Monique lives with her stubborn, smart and super sweet dachshund Takkie in Utrecht.
Roberta Guidi
In her youth she was part of the Italian national synchronized swimming team. After graduating in Economics, she dedicated herself to a career as a Manager in companies operating in various sectors. After years in stimulating and rewarding, but also very demanding, international contexts, she moved to the seaside in Southern Italy (Salento), dedicating herself to her family and starting a small hospitality and wellness business. The new context pushed her to spend a good part of her free time helping needy dogs and cats, also participating in the creation of a local association to protect and assist stray dogs. She is proud to be able to collaborate with Animal Heroes because she shares its objectives, appreciates the effectiveness of its interventions and admires the spirit and concreteness of the people who are part of it.
Marlies Engelaar
Legal and organisational advise
Marlies has been working in the financial sector for over 20 years in legal and leadership positions. She is currently Chair of the Supervisory Board of the Better Life Label Foundation (Stichting Beter Leven keurmerk). The Better Life Label focuses on creating a “Better Life” for farm animals by providing criteria related to animal welfare which must be complied with by the participating companies of the Label. She lives with her adopted cats Pepper and Norrit in Amsterdam.
Lucie Bradley
Social Media
Lucie recently embarked on a unique journey to create a better life for herself and her fluffy feline companion, Storm. Her love for animals and desire for adventure led her to build a mobile home where she and her cat could explore the world, relishing the outdoors together every day. With a heart dedicated to both creativity and compassion, Lucie embraces her newfound freedom to contribute to animal welfare. Combining her design expertise with a fervent dedication to our cause, Lucie uses her skills to share the stories of our incredible Animal Heroes. She aspires to make a lasting impact, inspiring others to follow their hearts and contribute to the well-being of animals in need.
Jennifer Kerkhof
Marketing Communication
When she reached high school, she faced a difficult choice: should she pursue her childhood passion or broaden her horizons with a more extensive and creative career path? Jennifer opted for the latter. After completing three creative courses in the graphic marketing industry, she gained valuable experience as an allround marketeer. Despite this deliberate choice, the passion of young Jennifer never completely faded away. So when, during a conversation at a birthday party, she came into contact with Animal Heroes and Mony, all the pieces of the puzzle suddenly fell into place. Marketing in combination with her old love, animals. Was it pure coincidence, or was it always meant to be? “Sometimes, when you truly love something, opportunities come your way on their own.”
Igor Kauric
Website & Digital Marketing
Deep-rooted passion for helping those who have no voice led him to join Animal Heroes, where he devotedly works to improve the lives of animals in need. As a volunteer SEO and website specialist, Igor leverages his expertise to strengthen the online visibility of Animal Heroes, empowering the foundation to connect with more supporters and advocates worldwide.
Amy Van Creveld
Social Media
Recently having finished her studies, she was looking for a way to contribute to animal welfare when she came across Animal Heroes. Now working as a social media specialist, she’s beyond excited to pursue her dream of helping animals through Animal Heroes and hopes to adopt many rescued animals in the future.
Marta Scandella
Social Media
Piano player since she was 7 years old, she loves all-things-audiovisual, and recently finished her Audiovisual Communication and Music Production studies in Madrid. Marta is eager to contribute with her skills to causes she believes in and use her creativity to make a meaningful impact
Lucas Kalfjäll
Field Operations
Coming from a family that has generations of history in aviation and that adopts and takes care of homeless animals, Lucas is following family tradition and is now working in aviation and has decided to help those who can’t help themselves by joining the Animal Heroes team.
Stefanie Venter
Social Media
Having worked in PR, marketing and social media back home, she is excited about putting her skills to good use and shining a spotlight on the everyday heroes who often risk their lives to help animals in need. Stef has a deep affection for all animals and believes they teach us invaluable lessons about empathy, compassion, and resilience. To quote Nelson Mandela, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” and it’s through education and awareness that the world will get to know our Animal Heroes.
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