Meet the Most Vigilant Primates!

The first ever Most Vigilant Primate (MVP!) award was created by Paul McComas, author and a supporter of many important causes, including Primates Incorporated. He hosted a P.I. fundraiser and gave Amy Kerwin, President of Primates Incorporated, the first MVP award on July 10th, 2014:

1st award given in July 2014


Amy Kerwin and Paul McComas

Inspired by Paul’s creativity, and knowing it takes a tremendous team effort to construct a monkey sanctuary, Amy wanted to recognize more amazing humans as MVPs!

Meet the Rest of the Most Vigilant Primates (MVPs) of Primates Incorporated

The Buchholz Family: the family who helped us get the land we needed!

A message from Mari Buchholz:

My husband and I both grew up in Madison, Wisconsin. We met in high school and have been married for 30 years. We have three children between the ages of 17 and 23, one dog, and a house full of cats, five to be exact. Our family is one big group of softies when it comes to rescuing animals and taking in strays, hence the five cats. We are so pleased to have raised such compassionate children who care about the wellbeing of all animals just as we do.

In addition to taking care of our family pets, I have been a volunteer at the Four Lakes Wildlife Center at the Dane County Humane Society for the past 10 years. I foster and care for orphaned and injured newborn bunnies and squirrels in my home. Once they are healthy and old enough to survive on their own, they are released back into the wild.

As a young girl, I dreamed of providing a safe environment for all of the stray cats and dogs in the world. As I grew older, that dream grew to include not just cats and dogs, but all species of animals. I have spent years advocating animal rights in hopes of one day starting an animal sanctuary of my own, so I was really excited when I heard about Amy’s vision of building a primate sanctuary right here in Wisconsin. It is such a wonderful idea to be able to give these primates a safe and peaceful haven to live out the rest of their lives.  We hope to continue to be a part of this amazing venture for years to come and wish Amy and Primates, Inc, all the best!


The Primates Incorporated Board of Directors  see their descriptions here:


The Primates Incorporated Advisory Board  – see their descriptions here:


Fallon Mullen, Animal Care Manager  her great introduction can be read here:


Michael Kerwin, Creative Director and Volunteer for Primates Incorporated

Michael has created the Primates Incorporated website, logo, and promotional materials for Primates Incorporated since the group first became a nonprofit organization in 2004. More information on Michael’s visual design studio, Phonographik, can be found at


Donna Wallbaum, Volunteer for Primates Incorporated

I found Primates Inc while tabling for a human rights group at the Fighting Bob Fest.  I was drawn by the display and introduced to the idea of primate retirement.  It made sense -primates and all animals should have the right of being treated humanely. After meeting Amy Kerwin and learning about the plans of beginning a retirement sanctuary for monkeys here in Madison, I was hooked!  Amy is an advocate for these sweet guys not only in heart and compassion, but has the background, education and research to make this a successful sanctuary.  This will be an important, eye-opening foundation and a step to change the way researchers and society view animals used in research.  The joy of it will help heal the sadness.  I’m proud to be a member of Primates, Inc volunteer team. Onward 🙂


Breanne Cyr, Volunteer for Primates Incorporated

Breanne Cyr graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a bachelor’s degree in psychology focusing on primate behavior. She also studied nursing and French. During her undergraduate career, she became enthralled working with monkeys and studying their behavior, social bonding, and health. She has been grateful for the continued opportunity to work and spend time with primates following graduation. She is deeply passionate about primates and can often be found seeking them out in some fashion – either in books, on television, or in real life. She describes Primates Incorporated as a dream come true right in her backyard! Breanne loves to travel and immerse herself in other cultures and languages – especially French and German. Breanne also enjoys volunteering for the Dysautonomia Youth Network of America, an organization that supports young people affected by dysautonomia health conditions. In her spare time, Breanne likes to read, do arts and crafts, play games, spend time in nature, and watch documentaries.


Descriptions are still in the works for a few more MVPs and a permanent section of all MVPs will be added to the website.

Thanks to all the supporters over the years – we are making terrific progress because of you! If you would like to nominate a PI MVP, please let us know at

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