Copyright 2018 - ● Manatee Observation and Education Center ● 480 North Indian River Drive Fort Pierce, FL 34950-3024 ● 772.429.6266

Meet the ManaTeam Staff

RachelTennantRachel Tennant, Manager and Lead Curator. Rachel began as the Manatee Center's Development Officer in 2017 and now oversees all operations of the Manatee Center, working closely with staff to develop and maintain educational exhibits and programs, and provide quality experiences for our visitors. Rachel also works closely with the Board of Directors of the Treasure Coast Manatee Foundation in raising funds to secure the success of this unique environmental organization. She hopes to strengthen MOEC programs by emphasizing community engagement and MOEC recognition as a local tourist destination. Rachel holds two Master's Degrees (Conservation Biology and Public Policy) from the University of Maryland College Park and received the 2013 Distinguished Graduate Student Award for Community Development for her contribution to campus community development in College Park. Previously, she worked as a project coordinator with international nonprofits bringing sustainable development grants and projects to indigenous communities in Peru and Bolivia. She has also worked for the Federal Environmental Protection Agency on issues of lead in drinking water in schools and childcare facilities.



Meredith Bennett, Marketer & Retailer. Meredith is the buyer and merchandiser for the Vanishing Mermaid Gift Shop which acts as an ongoing fundraiser for the Manatee Observation and Education Center. Meredith’s 30+ years as a department store buyer and retail store manager, combined with her art background, helps her to spot trends and supply the gift shop with items that appeal to our visitors. She is a graduate of the American Business and Fashion Institute and has taught an assortment of art classes through the adult continuing education program in Vero Beach.


Erin LomaxErin Lomax, Education Coordinator. Erin Lomax leads the Manatee Center’s education programs and summer camp. Previously, Erin served as the Coordinator of Education Programs at the FAU Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, and Community Outreach Coordinator at the Loxahatchee River Center. Her passion is helping audiences develop a greater appreciation of the Indian River Lagoon and its inhabitants, and connecting children to the nature in their own backyard. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Communications from Goshen College and graduate-level study in non-profit management from Johns Hopkins University.


PatriciaParkerPatricia (Trish) Parker, Volunteer Program Coordinator. Trish oversees the volunteer program at the Manatee Center. She also owns a private secretarial business based out of Palm Beach and has an extensive background in the hospitality industry. Her focus at the Center is on volunteer recruitment and retention. Through community outreach at HOA meetings, local events, public and private schools, churches, and local civic organizations, Trish represents the Center and its strongest asset—the volunteer base.