Founder & Trustee Of Kwan Jai Elephant Foundation, Co-2IC & it director of Kwan jai elephant project
Those with the ability to run faster than a speeding bullet, jump tall buildings in a single bound, or possess superhuman strength – they are the heroes of most young boys’ childhoods. However for Jack growing up these fictional characters never even warranted the briefest of mentions. If you’d have asked him who his superheroes were, he’d have told you about a tiny woman in Thailand saving enormous elephants, or about a man sailing the Arctic Ocean playing chicken with the Japanese whaling fleet. Lek Chailert and Pete Bethune were and still are to this day, the heroes Jack dreams of emulating.
With half of his young life already spent saving the lives of elephants, educating the world about their plight and advocating for them, along with his rescue of more than 50 battery farm hens, one might already call Jack a hero. But he wouldn’t. Unassuming and modest with no ego to speak of, it is often difficult for those that meet Jack to remember he is only 17. Sensible, compassionate, down to earth, quiet, determined with an unfaltering passion, knowledgeable, a whiz-kid with technology and blessed with a wicked sense of humour, are all words you could use to describe him.
“If you can dream it, you can achieve it’.
Jack chooses to live his life by this quote and it is where his unwavering belief comes from - that he will achieve his dream, to create a project that will make the difference for the elephants he loves.
Vivienne Lanting (Viv)
secretary & Trustee of Kwan Jai elephant foundation & Chief Executive Officer of Kwan Jai Elephant Project
A keen conservationist, animal lover and tree hugger, Viv is the single mother of Jack. Over the past eight years she has worked tirelessly to support his efforts to save the elephants. Having recently finished her studies in animal homeopathy, Jack’s personal assistant – working for hugs and kisses alone – is also a freelance writer when she can find the time.
With a background in graphic design, promotions, teaching and small business management, Viv has built up a sound reputation within the elephant community. During her incredible journey alongside her son, she has conducted direct research and investigation into the living conditions of elephants working in the tourist industry, and garnered valuable hands-on experience working with them throughout Thailand.
Timothy Gorski (Tim)
Trustee Of kwan jai elephant foundation, Co-2IC, Film Program Manager, Educator & Permaculturist at kwan jai elephant project
An accomplished cinematographer, Tim feels equally at home in the jungle as he does in front of a class. An exceptional educator, he currently oversees the care of more than 400 animals as the Chief Executive Officer of The PACK Sanctuary in Taiwan.
Over the past 19 years Tim has written, directed and produced award-winning animal welfare and wildlife conservation pieces, giving the voiceless a voice in films such as “At the Edge of the World”, a documentary that followed the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in pursuit of the Japanese whaling fleet in Antarctica, and "How I Became An Elephant”, documenting the plight of Asian Elephants in Thailand featuring Lek Chailert.
A passionate animal advocate, adventurer, tsunami survivor and permaculture enthusiast, Tim has worked in and around the best elephant sanctuaries in the world. As an animal rescue specialist, he has also coordinated several large scale natural disaster animal rescue efforts, and conducted research and investigations of wildlife trafficking across SE Asia.
Chitnipha Thipayasem (Kat)
Trustee of Kwan jai elephant foundation, Accounts Manager at kwan jai elephant project
With Degrees in Business Management, Financial Economics and Political Science from Bangkok’s Ramkhamhaeng University, Kat spent several years as a manager at Elephant Nature Park. During her time at the sanctuary overseeing the daily care of more than 40 elephants, her love and respect for her country's national animal grew, as did her knowledge of their medical and health needs.
A talented artist, Kat, an astute independent business woman, currently owns and manages a thriving export business with outlets in both Chiang Mai and Bangkok.
Cristina Bergman (Crissy)
Chairwoman & Trustee of Kwan jai elephant foundation, Public Relations Manager & Film Production Assistant
Not afraid to stand up against the injustices she sees humans commit against the environment and animals, Cristina is a passionate and vocal Eco Warrior.
A published writer with a Degree in Communications and five years’ experience in public relations, Cristina recently completed her second Degree in Environmental Visual Communication in Toronto, Canada. Inspired by her time working alongside the elephants at Elephant Nature Park, Cristina plans to combine her passion for environmental issues and storytelling, with her experience in PR.
Volunteer & Education Program Manager kwan jai elephant foundation
With a special interest in music therapy for animals, a passion for elephants and a desire to help change behaviours towards them within tourism, Niamh didn't hesitate in her decision to relocate to Thailand in her enthusiasm to support KJEF.
With an abundance of energy and a crazy sense of adventure and fun, Niamh has an enormous affinity with people from all cultures, walks of life and age groups. Excelling in academia, leadership, creativity and performing arts, Niamh is a talented performer, mentor for voice students at Waikato University NZ, and teacher of piano. She has a Bachelor of Music, majoring in voice performance and won a prestigious membership to the Golden Key International Honour Society.
Treasurer & Trustee of kwan jai elephant foundation
In the remote jungles of Thailand where Amanda was volunteering on Elephant Nature Park’s Journey to Freedom program, her immense affection for elephants and desire to help them enjoy happier lives, was further enhanced on spending the week alongside Jack.
Inspired, she didn’t hesitate in offering her time and services as a qualified accountant to Jack's project. Amanda currently works as an external auditor for industries, services and third sector companies at PP&C accounting firm in Sao Paulo, Brazil.