Team

Kurt Nakearts

Kurt is a ‘Jack of all trades,” floating between all areas of our facility based on where he is needed at the time.  He is capable of working with kittening Queens, weaned kittens in the nursery or the adult breeding cats.

Sherri Brooks

About Sherri: Sherri’s long background of working with and breeding companion animals has made her an asset to our team.  She has successfully bred both dogs and cats.  However, she has focused her energy mostly towards dog training and handling.  She has taught dog training courses for years, as well as volunteered her skills to her local 4H youth program. Sherri’s primary responsibility at Select Exotics is to PLAY with KITTENS!  She holds the coveted “job.”  She starts handling the kittens shortly after birth – holding them and snuggling them each individually, every day.  Once kittens are weaned from their mothers she brings them into the studio apartment/office area each day for socializing.  She gets down on the floor to play with the kittens with toys, pets and touches them from head to paw and holds them for as long as they can handle being away from the toys.   If any kitten needs additional one on one time she makes sure that they get it.  Sherri gets lots of help from Kadie, the youngest Hummel.

Ashley Absher

Ashley is responsible for the daily care and management of our adult breeding cats.  She keeps the cats happy by maintaining a sanitary environment and providing varied mental stimulation.  Se also watches for heats and records breeding dates.   Based off of these observations she is then able to make educated recommendations as to when pregnant queens should be moved into their birthing suite.  When needed Ashley is able to care for any of our breeding cats that are feeling under the weather.

Crystal Hummel

Crystal’s main focus at Select Exotics is the care of the pregnant queens, neonatal kittens and working to make the weaning process as smooth as possible for litters.  She spends a lot of hands-on time with the kittens from birth through about six weeks of age.   As well, she takes part in birthing kittens, maintaining vaccination records and protocols and taking kittens to the vet for their check-up prior to being sent to their new home.  Crystal makes sure to set time aside each day to give attention to her Queens and their kittens.

Dale Hummel

Welcome to Select Exotics, our progressive, innovative, TICA registered cattery. Here, we continually strive to produce the highest quality domesticated companions. My family and I began Select Exotics in 1988 as pioneers in the Bengal breed. Today, along with my wife Holly, we are proud to say Select Exotics is the longest standing, one owner/breeder of the ever-popular Savannah cat. Having the opportunity to utilize my educational background and years of practical experience to create the most exotic feline hybrids has proven to be a deeply gratifying experience. I feel very fortunate to be able to share my passion for exotics. They bring exciting, new dimensions to living. Through hybrids, we can experience life closer to raw nature, and understand the meaning of “walking on the edge” of an indescribable freedom. About Dale: Dale received his Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Sciences from the University of Illinois and his graduate degree in Animal Nutrition. First teaching at the University level, then a position at Joliet Junior College where his curriculum included Animal Science, Genetics, Nutrition, Live Animal Evaluation, and a Companion/Exotic Animal class.  Dale retired from teaching in December of 2013 in order to focus more attention on Select Exotics. With Dale’s expertise in health and nutrition, he oversees the general health of Select Exotics cats and kittens, placing great effort into a balanced, raw diet for our lactating queens and newly weaned kittens. A forward thinker, Dale’s background in genetics has allowed him to make educated breeding decisions based on statistical outcomes. He continually seeks to produce unique hybrids and well-tempered cat companions.

Holly Hummel

My warmest welcome to Select Exotics.  So many facets of our “business” are personally rewarding.  The most wonderful is being able to work from home and commit 100% of my time to raising kittens and our children.  A dream come true, I love to watch the joy that playing with kittens brings to our children. And, I am so very thankful for the many rewarding relationships and friendships we have formed with our clients. About Holly: Holly received her Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations from Illinois State University where she minored in Agriculture. Her courses included Animal Science, Genetics, and Animal Behavior which heavily focused on Companion Animals. Here, she gained a wealth of knowledge in the development of kittens. Holly is responsible for making the breeding decisions. She is also responsible for all necessary paper-work, including record keeping and litter registrations. She undertakes all the details necessary to prepare kittens for, as well as send them to, their new homes. Most importantly, she tackles the lion’s share of correspondence with individuals who express an interest in Select Exotics’ kittens and follows-up with customers after kittens are in their new homes. Holly also keeps Select Exotics’ website current, adding new content and pictures to the site, as well as up keeping social media outlets and writing educational blogs about Savannahs and Savannah care. It is very important that our website is extremely user-friendly, easy to navigate, and up-to-date.