Tecolutla Turtle Preservation Project Board

The Tecolutla Turtle Preservation Project (TTPP) board is comprised of community members with a passionate interest in the efforts of Fernando Manzano (Papa Tortuga) to protect nesting of Kemp's ridley sea turtles along Gulf of Mexico, specifically the beaches of Tecolutla, Mexico.  Each of us is committed to the success of his efforts.
Chairperson - Cristo Leon


Cristo Leon

Cristo Leon was born and raised in Veracruz currently lives in New Jersey. He first meets the Manzano´s family in 2006 on a trip to clean the beach and preserve the mangroves in Tecolutla, touched by the vision of the Vida Milenaria project he became a business consultant and volunteer. He first meets Laura Kiehner in 2015, they work on a small project for TTPP, 5 years later when he was approached to become a chair he did not hesitate in joining our team.

Chairperson Emeritus - Laura Kiehner

Chairperson Emeritus

Laura Kiehner

A family trip to Mexico in 2002 was the beginning of an unexpected chapter in Laura's life. Founding and chairing a non-profit organization was never in this musician's plans, but she was inspired to do so by the passion and spirit of generosity she witnessed in Tecolutla. Laura feels deeply honored to help her heroes, who are working to save an endangered species!

Board Member Emeritus - A. Scott Kiehner

Board Member Emeritus

A. Scott Kiehner

Scott met Fernando on a family trip to Tecolutla along with Lazaro Herrera as our tour guide. Upon returning to the US his wife, Laura and others began the TTPP. It has been a great journey to help support our Natural Hero - Fernando Manzano.

Treasurer- Rick Wilson


Rick Wilson

Rick has been an avid boater since childhood, and with his love of animals, serving on the board of TTPP has seemed like a natural fit. He brings over 25 years of sales experience with national and international firms to TTPP. Rick will use his skills to advance TTPP's fund raising and grant writing efforts.

Board Member - Mark Roberts

Board Member

Mark Roberts

Dr. Mark Roberts is investigating the population dynamics of Kemp's ridley nesting beaches through genetic analyses of nesting females as well as the establishment of a long term, rigorously monitored "index nesting beach" project at Tecolutla, Mexico. These research and monitoring efforts will address high priority areas in sea turtle conservation and more specifically in the NMFS' Kemp's ridley recovery plan.

Board Member - Erin Seney

Board Member

Erin Seney

Dr. Erin Seney is faculty member with the Marine Turtle Research Group in the University of Central Florida’s Biology Department. She first worked with sea turtles as an aquarium volunteer in high school and later focused her graduate research on Kemp's ridley and loggerhead turtles in Virginia and Texas. At UCF, Dr. Seney oversees and participates in long-term monitoring and research at central Florida nesting beaches and in-water habitats, and she is currently studying the diets of stranded sea turtles. Dr. Seney lives in Melbourne, Florida and enjoys sharing her love of wildlife, music, sports, and rescue pets with her young son.

Board Member - Jason Wallace

Board Member

Jason Wallace

I was born and raised in Santa Cruz, CA til 1995, Boise, ID till 2000, and then the Seattle, WA area since. I've been a European motorcycle mechanic since '87 with stints on cars, hydrogen generators, baking and others. I have raced at the Bonneville salt flats. I love building motors and cooking :)

Board Member - Eric Rachut

Board Member

Eric Rachut

Retired pathologist, living on an acreage in central Texas, with two red-eared sliders (Sam and Ella) in a 55-gallon tank, coyotes, scorpions, occasional rattlesnakes and elderly Basset hound. I have long had a fondness for turtles - they have more awareness and personality than often imagined! Nighttime avocation is astronomy, which means walking slowly, with a flashlight, to the observatory, so the wildlife can vamoose.

Board Member - Lindsey Potter

Board Member

Lindsey Potter

A graduate from Florida Tech with a Bachelors Degree in Marine Biology. First worked with sea turtles at Marineland Dolphin Adventures where she got to learn about two very special sea turtles. Pokey, the Kemp's ridley, story inspired her to educate people about his story and to spread the conservation messages about protecting the sea turtle kind.

Board Member - Pete Bretz

Board Member

Pete Bretz

Serving as a board member has provided Pete with the opportunity to truly expand his awareness of the environment and his individual impact on it, both locally and globally.