Team Members

Suzanne Fehsenfeld

Founder - Board Member

Suzanne Fehsenfeld co-founded Mara Elephant Project when she saw a need for investing in talented young conservation driven people that were making a difference protecting elephants and their key habitats during her extensive travels throughout Kenya. Originally the founder of the Sidekick Foundation, Inc.® in 2011, Suzie channels her passion for wildlife conservation with both a global and local lens. Globally, Suzie’s commitment prevails through her past work with The Nature Conservancy, Stop Ivory, Tusk Trust and LEWA Conservancy. Locally, in Indiana, she serves as a founder member of the Indianapolis Zoo. Suzie first visited Kenya with her husband Fred Fehsenfeld on their honeymoon in 1989; the beginning of many trips to Kenya for Suzie, which inspired the idea for Mara Elephant Project. The Sidekick Foundation® not only funds Mara Elephant Project but has a vested interest in youth conservation education in Kenya as well as sustainable community development through The Maa Trust.

Phillip Bayt


Phillip Bayt, former chief managing partner for Ice Miller, practices in the Firm’s Real Estate Group. In addition to working with clients in virtually all aspects of commercial real estate, he assists clients in the areas of gaming, finance, development, joint ventures, real estate funds, real estate taxes, workouts and foreclosures, construction law, and leasing. Phil has represented both for-profit and not-for-profit clients in numerous significant commercial transactions over the years, including the development, sale or refinancing of major hotels, office buildings, gaming projects, sports facilities and retail centers.

He writes and speaks regularly at Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum seminars on a variety of topics, including development, finance and other sophisticated real estate issues. Phil is a member of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, as well as a member of the Indianapolis Bar Association and Indiana State Bar Association. Phil was born in Indianapolis and graduated summa cum laude from Macalester College at St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1974 where he received his Bachelor of Arts in psychology. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and was selected as a National Merit Scholar. He graduated from Indiana University at Bloomington, Ind., where he earned his Master of Business Administration in 1980 and was a member of Beta Gamma Sigma. He holds a juris doctor from Indiana University, Bloomington, Ind., where he graduated cum laude, Order of the Coif, in 1980. Phil joined Ice Miller in 1980. He is admitted to practice law in the state of Indiana.

Karen Kennelly

Board Member

Since 2009, as owner and president of k-squared, Karen has provided financial guidance and oversight as well as various consulting services to multiple not-for-profit organizations in need of her unique experience, which includes over 30 years consulting with, working for and volunteering with numerous not-for-profit organizations. Karen has served as Board Chair for Dress for Success Indianapolis and Impact 100; Board Treasurer for the Indianapolis Art Center and Herron High School; and in various other board roles for numerous other not-for-profit organizations. She is a CPA and earned her MBA from Anderson University.


Trey Fehsenfeld

Executive Director

Trey serves as the liaison between ground operations in the Mara and our U.S. backers as well as MEP’s outreach initiatives. Trey has overseen the development of MEP’s headquarters in the Mara and his experience includes the research and development of sustainable agriculture systems. In 2015, Trey co-founded ROOTS Coconut Oil, a social enterprise that uses commerce to improve the lives, land and coconut trees of Pate Island, Kenya.

Claire Bolles

Director of Operations

Claire studied journalism at Purdue University and pursues that passion through her work as Communications director for the Mara Elephant Project. She previously owned her own consulting company that provided marketing and social media management for small businesses in Indianapolis, IN. Email her,