Steve Enders

Executive Director / President / Founder

Steve Enders, Executive Director / President / Founder - theTurtleRoom

Steve Enders is the President, Executive Director, and Founder of theTurtleRoom (tTR), a husband, teacher, athlete, and musician. He has over a decade and a half of experience with turtle husbandry and has worked with more than 50 different species. As President and Executive Director, Steve has overall strategic and operational responsibility for tTR’s staff, programs, finances, expansion, and execution/achievement of its mission and goals. He also takes on both leadership and assistant roles on individual projects within the four departments of tTR. Some of these include co-leading turtle surveys with Andy Weber in Pennsylvania, acting as Project Manager for assurance colony projects in the Graptemys (Map Turtles) and Sacalia (Four-Eyed Turtles) genera, and designing applications and educational resources. Additionally, Steve is in charge of anything technology-related at tTR and designed both tTR’s website and internal database application.

Steve first got into the turtle hobby in 2005 by chance, quickly falling in love with turtles, thanks to Digger the female Chrysemys picta picta (Eastern Painted Turtle) he rescued from a window well just weeks after graduating college. In 2009, Steve was completely hooked on the hobby after purchasing his first two hatchling turtles. Not long after this time, he and Anthony Pierlioni started developing a friendship through

A passion for education and conservation was now rooted and growing. In 2011, Steve launched theTurtleRoom as a place for private keepers to share their knowledge freely with other private keepers and begin to work collaboratively “above the fray” of many less-scrupulous breeders and dealers on the classifieds. In was in early 2012 when current staff Anthony and Ben Forrest first joined Steve and other individuals at tTR. These individuals continued to grow together, joining collaborative conservation efforts with other organizations in 2013-4. Momentum continued to gather as Chris Leone, Andrew Hermes, and others joined forces with the aforementioned team, ultimately resulting in the rapid growth of tTR and transition of theTurtleRoom to non-profit status in 2018.

As one would expect, Steve not only enjoys caring for chelonians, but regularly can be found studying and reading about them as well. As with our other staff, he works continuously as part of the global conservation effort to help these species continue to exist in our world and is constantly striving to give his and our captive animals naturalistic habitats where they can live as happy, healthy turtles. Steve and Anthony co-own a group of Geoemyda spengleri which are listed in the Association of Zoos and Aquarium’s (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP). Their Sacalia quadriocellata and Steve’s Sacalia bealei specimens are also tTR animals and listed in the respective AZA SSP for each species.

Steve also continues to write and edit various articles, books, and papers. He has partnered with Chris Leone to write the Western Hermann’s Tortoise North American Regional Studbook and was one of the editors for Anthony’s 2015 book on the Geoemyda genus. Steve has also used his mathematics and statistics background to get into the research field. You can view his work on ResearchGate.

Steve is a member of the IUCN-TFTSG (Tortoise & Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group), a group of 300+ turtle experts worldwide working together to impact chelonian conservation. He is also a member of the TSA and Turtle & Tortoise Preservation Group.

Steve lives in Lancaster County, PA with his wife Lisa, many turtles, and three cats. He teaches math at a local high school. Steve completed his Master of Education Degree in Mathematics in 2018 at Millersville University and holds two Bachelor of Art Degrees in Music (Jazz Studies and Saxophone) from Lebanon Valley College and a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate (the equivalent of a Bachelor’s degree) in Mathematics. When Steve is not working on projects for tTR, he can be found teaching, relaxing with Lisa, watching sports (especially St. Louis Cardinals baseball), playing music, or building LEGO Star Wars.

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