Staff Bios

Staff Bios



Linda Elliott

President and Center Director 

Linda holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife Biology, with over fifteen years as a Wildlife Rehabilitator, Certified Oiled Wildlife Responder, and International Wildlife Responder. She has earned 40-hour Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) certification, and has accumulated over two decades of experience as an educator, supervisor and emergency response manager.  Linda has been and continues to be a leading member of an international wildlife emergency response team participating in eighteen international rescue operations to date and is also the only oiled-wildlife rehabilitation manager in the State of Hawai‘i.  Linda works on wildlife recovery and conservation projects in partnerships with Hawai‘i government agencies and nonprofits and has participated in a half-dozen Hawai‘i wildlife conservation projects in 2010 that included teaching wildlife response courses to the Wildlife Agencies throughout Hawai‘i, Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

Learn more about Linda

Rae Okawa

Development Coordinator

Rae holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences from Cornell University and a Masters of Environmental Studies degree from the University of Pennsylvania.  She is also a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Aloha Chapter. Rae was born and raised on Oahu where she developed a passion for native birds early on.  During her school years, she was especially inspired by her work with the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology and the Nature Conservancy of Hawai‘i.  She is a self-proclaimed “bird nerd” and is extremely happy to be back home in Hawai‘i.

Marie Tomas

Marie Tomas

Administrative Manager

Delivering outstanding customer service has been an essential part of a day’s work for Marie. As Administrative Manager, she handles all financial matters such as client billing, accounts payable, accounts receivable and payroll. Marie holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of San Carlos in the Philippines. As a long-time Kohala community member, she loves spending her free time connecting with family and friends and living here in Hawai‘i. 


Patrick Hogan

Wildlife Rehabilitation Manager

Patrick has always been passionate about caring for animals his whole life. He started his working career as a raw/vegan chef in the San Francisco Bay Area, and his most recent vegan chef position was at Google in Silicon Valley. In 2006 Patrick started volunteering at the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA in San Mateo, California, which shortly after became a Wildlife Technician position. Realizing his true calling helping to care for sick, injured and orphaned wildlife – he dove straight in to the field and attended any trainings he could to learn more skills as a rehabber. In 2010 when the Gulf Oil Spill happened, Patrick left his job to move to Louisiana and supervised the care of the oiled birds at the Fort Jackson facility, then helped move operations to Hammond Louisiana and supervised the care of the clean birds at the new facility until the spill response wrapped up seven months later. In 2011 Patrick returned to PHS/SPCA to oversee the move to a new facility and incorporated a comprehensive wildlife internship program with 69 graduates since the inception. Patrick became Wildlife Manager at the new facility and was instrumental in the early development of a new state-of-the-art wildlife hospital and endangered species breeding program, but after a horrible car accident in 2017 he started looking to move to Hawaii and found the Wildlife Manager position at the Hawaii Wildlife Center. He is currently in love with his new home and position here in Hawaii. During his free time he likes to work on art projects, listen to heavy metal and go on adventures with his Chihuahua best friend, Walden.

awbioAlexis Wessels

Wildlife Rehabilitation Technician

Alexis was born and raised in New Hampshire where she has fostered an admiration for wildlife from a young age. Her passion brought her to the University of Maine where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology. During the summer of her freshman year, Alexis volunteered in South Africa at a cheetah reserve, gaining hands on experience with an array of African wildlife.  After college, Alexis began her rehabilitation experience at the Center for Wildlife in Maine as an intern. Here, she acquired the fundamental skills of caring for 190 species of injured and orphaned New England birds, reptiles, and mammals. Alexis then moved to Sanibel, Florida to intern at the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife. During her time at C.R.O.W., she dove deeper into wildlife care learning invaluable skills of diagnostics, wound management, and treatment plans. Most recently, Alexis returned to Maine and the Center for Wildlife where she was hired as a medical clinic apprentice. During this time, she really learned all the ins and outs of the clinic from responding to the Wildlife Hotline to training incoming interns, all the while caring for the 1,700 patients admitted annually. Alexis is excited to begin her new adventure here in Hawaii and to be a part of HWC’s team.