Our Team

Jim Laurita – Co-founder, Curator, and Elephant Manager


Jim earned his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University and has many years of experience working with elephants in the U.S. and conducting independent research with elephants in India. In 2011, Jim sold his thriving veterinary practice in Camden, Maine to focus his full attention on establishing Hope Elephants. He is overjoyed to have taken on a few mammoth roles: 24/7 elephant caregiver, enthusiastic educator of students and adults regarding the importance of wildlife conservation, and energetic collaborator with like-minded organizations worldwide. Dr. Jim and his family live just steps away from the elephant facility.

Tom Laurita – Co-Founder, Chairman of the Board

Tom holds an undergraduate degree from Brown University, a Masters in Public and Private Management from Yale, and a Doctorate in International Economics from the Russian People’s Friendship University in Moscow (where he lived for over 15 years). He has extensive international and domestic business experience and is currently CEO and Chairman of the Board of NewLeaf Symbiotics.  As Board Chair at Hope Elephants , Tom is focused on long range planning and sustainability, and on building and maintaining a vital relationship with the broader community.


Andrew Stewart - Director



Andrew has an honors degree in Animal Biology from the University of St Andrews in Scotland. He worked as a safari guide in Botswana and has traveled and worked throughout Africa. He worked in the travel industry for Abercrombie & Kent in London before moving to Maine, opening the Hope General Store and becoming active in the local community. Along the way he has worked and volunteered for numerous non-profits. Andrew has worked with Rosie and Opal as an Assistant Elephant handler since their arrival in Maine and is extremely happy to now be actively involved in the conservation outreach and education development of Hope Elephants.


Board of Directors

The Hope Elephants board consists of business and nonprofit leaders that directly support our mission and vision. These individuals provide invaluable guidance and support to the Director and staff of Hope Elephants.




Hope Elephants is blessed with a great group of passionate, dedicated individuals who volunteer their time to allow us to carry our mission forward. Without these talented and committed individuals, we would not exist. Their pictures and contributions are regularly highlighted on our Facebook page, newsletter, and frequent newspaper, TV and other communications. We are extremely grateful to each and every volunteer for all that they do.