After more than seven years serving NA Pet Nutrition, we’re thrilled to announce Jam M. Stewart, vice president of Corporate Affairs, has been named vice president of Corporate Affairs for Banfield Pet Hospital. Jam will begin her role with Banfield on October 3 while continuing to transition her responsibilities until November.
Under Jam’s leadership our Pet Nutrition Purpose initiatives took off, specifically with our Better Cities for Pets (BCFP) program. Jam was the architect for BCFP, which makes life better for pets by creating more pet-friendly places and removing barriers to pet ownership. Since its launch, the program has gone global and is one of the most recognized purpose platforms across Mars. She was also instrumental in the evolution of Pet Nutrition’s Pet Parent Partners team (3P) and Design Lab, both of which harness the power of in-house talent to meet the needs of pet parents and omni channel customers.
Jam is a fierce advocate for talent, EI&D and development. She’s built a high performing team and collaborative culture within the function and is a champion for Associate resource groups, serving as Executive Sponsor for Women of Mars and The Village.
Prior to Mars, Jam was at SC Johnson where she led Global Communications and Public Affairs for the European and International Markets before moving into a global leadership role. There she developed and led their global reputation strategy while looking after complex public affairs issues and sustainability initiatives. Over her 20+ year career she’s held various marketing and communications roles, including Kohl’s and Edelman.
Jam serves on the board of directors for non-profit organizations including PEDIGREE Foundation and Civic Design Center and is the Board Chair for Greater Good Charities.
In her new role she will lead internal and external communications in line with business strategy to activate the practice’s more than 19,000 Associates and accelerate external employer, industry, and brand reputation. As a member of the Banfield senior leadership team, she will work to define the hospital experience of the future leveraging the Petcare ecosystem, digital technology, and sustainability initiatives. She will also join the Banfield Foundation Board.
Jam, along with her partner Stuart, two kiddos, James and Jasmine, and four-legged babies, Jackson Ryder and Baxter Henry are excited for this next journey. We hope to announce her successor shortly. Please join us in thanking Jam for her contributions to our business and Purpose and congratulating her on the role at Banfield!
Board Vice Chair
Dr. Julie Ryan-Johnson is passionate about Shelter Medicine and has been a shelter veterinarian for over 25 years and was the director of a large government shelter. She served as President of the Southern California Veterinary Medical Association and is the CE Co-Chair for the California VMA. Dr. Ryan-Johnson is a member of ASV (Association of Shelter Veterinarians) and SAWA (Society of Animal Welfare Administrators). Dr. Ryan-Johnson also serves as the CVMA disaster coordinator for Orange County, California and is one of the founding members of southern California’s Large Animal Response Team (LART). She enjoys riding Alainn, the horse she bred for dressage, hiking out on trails with friends and dogs and paddleboard surfing out in the ocean. She is married to small animal practitioner Dr Gary Johnson, and co-owner of Dana Niguel Veterinary Hospital and Laguna Niguel Veterinary Hospital.
John Gehrt has held senior executive management positions with retail, direct marketing, manufacturing, transportation, distribution Internet, and NFP organizations and is currently the managing director Quick Start Shared Services, LLC., John has over 40 years’ experience working at executive and board level with companies ranging in size from startup to the Fortune 500. John has taught Strategic Planning, Finance and Statistics in adult education advanced degree programs. John holds a BA in Economics from the University of Washington and an MBA from the University of Puget Sound.
Julia Christophersen is the Chief Merchandising Officer for GreaterGood.com, where she leads a very talented buying team who develop and bring to market custom products from around the world. Julia has been with GreaterGood.com for over 20+ years. Prior to joining GreaterGood.com, Julia spent 5 years at one of the leading computer reseller companies in the country doing print marketing for key graphic accounts.
David Samuelson is the CEO of ISACA. ISACA is a global professional association and learning organization that leverages the expertise of its more than 150,000 members who work in information security, governance, assurance, risk and privacy to drive innovation through technology. It has a presence in 188 countries, including more than 220 chapters worldwide. David is a seasoned executive with particular strength in strategic and technology leadership, communications and execution. He has a deep foundational expertise in operational execution, product management and leadership, and deep industry experience in global education technology, software development, consumer publishing, television, and theater. Samuelson has had proven success in both creative ideation and tactical execution of ideas, with an excellent track record of working effectively across global, complex and matrixed organizations. His 25 years in education began at the Minnesota Educational Computing Corporation as vice president and executive producer. He worked at Pearson, the leading global education company, for 15 years in a variety of executive roles, including president of global schools, chief marketing officer and product strategist for Pearson’s US School division, and VP of the Family Education Network. Samuelson’s earlier career in theatre and television included an Emmy award-winning children’s television producer.
In 2017, Jackson joined the Greater Good Charities' family, adding The Jackson Galaxy Project to the global nonprofit's array of programs.
Jeffery R. Zuba obtained his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Wisconsin’s School of Veterinary Medicine. Following graduate school in virology and immunology, he completed his residency in Zoo and Wildlife Medicine at San Diego Zoo Global. Dr. Zuba then received an appointment as Clinical Professor in Zoo Medicine at Colorado State University. For the past 27 years, Dr. Zuba has been a staff veterinarian at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Professional highlights include being a faculty member for the EnviroVet Institute (an ecosystem veterinary health program); an affiliate instructor at the Wildlife Health Center at the UC-Davis; the Director of Veterinary Programs for the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s California Condor Reintroduction Program; Veterinary Coordinator for the Condor Release Program in Baja, Mexico; and the Veterinary Advisor for both the AZA’s California Condor and White Rhinoceros Species Survival Plans. Dr. Zuba consults and lectures internationally on a wide range of subjects including mega-vertebrate anesthesia and conservation medicine and serves as a scientific advisor for several conservation and educational institutions. Dr. Zuba is an inventor and founder of a company which creates and manufactures specialized mega-vertebrate anesthetic equipment. He is also a principal investigator of a team of international veterinarians who developed anesthetic and laparoscopic protocols to perform the first ever surgical contraception procedures in free-ranging African elephants as an alternative to the controversial use of culling for population control.
Chief Executive Officer
Liz Baker serves as CEO of Greater Good Charities, a national non-profit that works to amplify the good in the world to improve the well-being of people, pets, and the planet. Since joining Greater Good Charities in 2012, Liz has set the strategy for the organization and overseen the implementation of more than a dozen innovative programs that impact the lives of countless people and pets while leading the way for powerful compassion filled change.
These programs have resulted in everything from leading dozens of global biodiversity expeditions, to providing hundreds of scholarships to girls across the globe, flying thousands of at-risk pets to safety to renovating pet and domestic violence shelters, and responding to catastrophic natural disasters.
Under Liz’s leadership, Greater Good Charities has received an overall 100/100 score from Charity Navigator in the areas of finance & accountability, leadership & adaptability, and culture & community, with a top four-star rating exemplifying success. Greater Good Charities also achieved a Platinum Rating for transparency through GuideStar. To date, Greater Good Charities has given more than $575 million in impact, including cash grants, in-kind supplies, and programmatic support in 121 countries since 2007.
In Liz’s previous role as Executive Director of the Petfinder Foundation, she worked to distribute grants to adoption partners across the U.S. Liz has also worked for Petfinder as Vice President of Partner Relations, at Family Education Network as Vice President of Digital Sales and Marketing, and at MeetingMakers.com as Vice President of Operations.
Liz lives in Tucson, Ariz. with her adopted pit bull and two adopted cats. Her oldest daughter goes to college in London and youngest daughter goes to college in San Diego.
Chief Operating Officer
Noah Horton serves as the Chief Operating Officer for Greater Good Charities, a national non-profit that works to help people, pets, and the planet by mobilizing in response to need and amplifying the good. Since joining Greater Good Charities in 2013, Noah has helped to launch and lead the expansion of over a dozen innovative programs that work to accomplish this mission.
In his role as Chief Operating Officer, Noah works with a talented team of program experts to support the mission of the organization, and drives collaboration with Greater Good Charities' marketing and fundraising professionals to create and execute meaningful campaigns throughout the year. Noah believes that there is nothing more rewarding than connecting people to projects they care about and telling the story of the good work done by Greater Good Charities’ programs.
Under Noah’s guidance the fundraising and marketing efforts have been instrumental in helping to create and support the growth of the existing program portfolio at Greater Good Charities. To date, Greater Good Charities has invested more than $575 million in real impact, including cash grants, in-kind supplies, and programmatic support, to charitable partners in 121 countries since 2007.
Prior to his work with Greater Good Charities, Noah served as Assistant Director for Petfinder Foundation, where he helped foster corporate and charitable relationships to help end the euthanasia of adoptable pets. He also worked in the music industry both as a musician and a promoter, where he first learned the importance of marketing and the power of a good story. Noah currently volunteers for nonprofits in the animal welfare, public radio, and choral arts spaces. Noah holds an MBA from the University of Arizona.
Noah currently lives in Tucson, AZ with his lovely wife, their cat Raja, and their dog Willow.
Chief Financial Officer
Prior to joining Greater Good Charities, Jemimah Okantey spent 12 years working for GreaterGood.com in accounting. Since she has been involved with Greater Good Charities (then GreaterGood.org) since its inception in 2007, her experience and familiarity with the organization is unique and valuable asset.
In her free time, Jemimah is involved in her local community working with a youth and teen development recreation program.
No bio available.
Executive Vice President, Fundraising
Melissa has worked in animal protection for over thirty years. She started out in law school with a group called “Students for Animal Welfare” and eventually began working at The Humane Society of the United States where she ran the direct care programs, which included the Animal Rescue, Care and Sanctuary department, including the Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch, Duchess Sanctuary, Rural Area Veterinary Services, Pets for Life, Second Chance Chimpanzee Refuge Liberia and the Global Animal Rescue and Response team. Melissa is very knowledgeable in setting program strategy and has developed strong relationships in the field, which she will be continuing at GGC.
Executive Vice President, Communications
Denise St. Jean has strategically and successfully executed PR campaigns over the years for nonprofit and corporate organizations.
Denise’s PR history in animal welfare and the pet space includes Petco Foundation, Guide Dogs for the Blind, Mini Therapy Horses, Grazin' Pig Acres, Halo, Purely for Pets, Cloud Star pet products, and the PBS TV series “Shelter Me.” In the human welfare vertical, Denise's experience includes the Avon Breast Cancer 3-Days and Tanqueray’s American AIDS Rides. Additional highlights of her career include everything from integrated marketing campaigns for big brands like General Motors and Diet Coke, to smaller brands like See's Candies and POPSUGAR.
On a personal note, Denise grew up in a house where they nurtured all creatures, great and small, her mom ran a dog rescue and her sister is a veterinarian. She currently lives in San Diego, Calif. with her dog Crumpet.
Executive Vice President, Operations
Sára joined the Greater Good family as theVice President of Pet Programs and is currently the Vice President of Pet Programs. She most recently served as the Vice President for the Humane Society of the United State’s Animal Rescue Team. She oversaw hundreds of responses to man-made and natural disasters that resulted in the rescue of thousands of creatures from cats and dogs to exotic and farm animals. She trained and consulted law enforcement agencies, animal shelters, and animal advocates on everything from how to identify animal cruelty all the way to ICS in disaster response. Her professional experience in animal welfare as the Director of Operations at a limited admission shelter, and for many years in the veterinary service field all began at a young age when she was encouraged to pursue her love of animals while working with horses.
Sára shares her home with her two young children, and a rescue dog and cat. She feels most connected hiking in the woods or seeing the world through the ears of a horse while riding on a trail.
Executive Vice President, Field Operations
I was born and raised in Maryland. I joined the Navy after high school in 1985, and while stationed in San Diego was accepted into Basic Underwater Demolition/SEALS (BUD/s) training in 1988. After graduating I was stationed in Virginia Beach. After multiple deployments, I was screened and accepted for NSWDG, where I spent the remainder of my career before retiring in 2005. I’ve extensively traveled and operated in some of the world’s most challenging environments.
After the military, I took a General Schedule job as the facility manager of United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) Parachute Training and Testing facility, and opened several sports bars in Tucson. I decided to give college a try and graduated from the University of Arizona at the young age of 52 in 2018. After 14 years with USSOCOM, I left to work for an aviation company, supplying airlift for DOD contracts, specifically Military Freefall.
In 2023 I left that job, thinking I was “retiring” again. Then, along came GGC, and I decided it wasn’t time. I’m excited to meet you all and for the future!
Vice President, Data and Impact
Jennifer Fermon is Director of Impact Planning for Greater Good Charities, formerly SVP of Strategic Development at Seattle-based CharityUSA.com, LLC. Jennifer is keenly interested in the creative intersection of on and offline technologies with big-picture problem solving and policy to get at the guts of our most pressing humanitarian and environmental concerns.
Vice President, Logistics (GOODS Program)
Mike Aultman has been a long-time friend and supporter of Greater Good Charities formerly VP of Fulfillment of an Ecommerce Fulfillment Center for 18 years. During that time, Mike oversaw the storing & shipping of in-kind donations between the two partners.
Mike lives in Allendale, Michigan where he is the proud husband and father of 4 kids, 1 grandkid, and 4 four-legged family members.
Vice President, People Programs
For the past six years, Brooke was part of the Executive leadership team of the Southern Arizona based nonprofit, TMM Family Services. Prior to joining the nonprofit world, Brooke was part of the corporate team of Fox Restaurant Concepts during the development of the company. In 2011, Brooke moved to Nairobi, Kenya to volunteer in the Kenyan government’s crisis center for kids removed from the homes due to abuse as well as for children considered “lost”. Her experiences in Africa are what helped Brooke recognize that her true calling is to serve.
Founder, Vice President, Pet Programs (Rescue Rebuild)
Dr. Bryna Donnelly is the cofounder of Greater Good Charities’ animal shelter renovation program, Rescue Rebuild. Before leaving her job as a college biology professor in 2012, she traveled during school breaks with college students rehabilitating animal shelters in need with Rescue Rebuild. Teaching volunteers how they can enrich the lives of animals and their caretakers with time and a little hard work is her passion. She now brings that love of animals and desire to help women and veterans to GreaterGood.org’s Safe Haven program. Bryna has renovated over 125 shelters and will now be expanding that to help provide shelters with lifesaving food and supplies. Bryna currently lives in East Greenville, Pennsylvania with her three dogs and very patient boyfriend.
Vice President, Partnerships (GOODS Program)
Tara began her career with The HSUS on the Animal Rescue Team as a Field Responder in 2010. She was in charge of running large scale shelters post-rescue, coordinating staff and volunteers, and managing teams in the field. Later, she joined the Stop Puppy Mills Campaign as policy implementation manager, working with law enforcement to enforce puppy mill laws and provide the training and tools required to successfully prosecute offenders. Tara created the Humane State Program which was one comprehensive, all-inclusive plan that provided law enforcement agencies and shelter leaders with the training, materials, resources, and equipment to combat animal crime and abuse. Tara also created and ran large-scale donor trips to further embed support and opportunities for engagement. She created Spayathon for Puerto Rico, a post-disaster recovery program, that provided free sterilization and vaccinations to over 56,00o animals. This effort is the largest of its kind in history for mass sterilization, and animal welfare coalition work across the globe. This effort also garnered recognition as a Clinton Global Initiative Program, and paved the way for the largest study done to date on the efficacy of high-quality, high-volume spay/neuter efforts, showing the impact and effectiveness of this work to decrease suffering and needless euthanasia. When Covid-19 hit, Tara ignited 30 national organizations to rally and raised millions to help shelters and rescues with funding, training, and supplies.
Tara served three years as a humane officer with the Pennsylvania SPCA, investigating and prosecuting cruelty cases. She has field experience both as a humane officer and an undercover agent. Loller successfully worked with the District Attorney’s office in Lancaster, PA to expose one of the largest puppy mill veterinarians in the tristate area, signing off on nearly 10,000 health certificates per year and committing animal abuse within his daily practice. Proudly, Tara had a 100% conviction rate.
Tara holds a master’s degree in elementary education from St. Joseph University and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Central Connecticut State.
Vice President, Pet Programs (Disaster)
Denise works closely with our partner organizations to develop and fund programs that support people, pets and the planet. After working for years in not for profit management, Denise has a passion for empowering grass roots organizations. She also has an extensive background in animal disaster response and leads Greater Good Charities efforts to assist our partners in natural and manmade calamity. She is the co-founder of our signature program Rescue Rebuild.
Denise spends a lot of her personal time active in her community. She volunteers for Animal Lifeline, an organization she founded in 2006 which focuses on animal rescue and spay and neuter. Denise lives with her family and pets in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.
Vice President, Marketing
Dafny Vogel joined Greater Good Charities (then GreaterGood.org) after over 7 years working in ad operations at GreaterGood.com. During Dafny’s tenure, first as a team member and then as manager, she helped grow the company’s publishing side of the business by turning the initial network advertising efforts into a multi-million dollar revenue line. Her knack for data analysis and marketing experience helps Greater Good Charities in its overall marketing strategy and donor relationships.
Born and raised in the island of Cebu in the Philippines, Dafny has first-hand experience living with limited resources. While Dafny is passionate about all the programs and global causes that Greater Good Charities supports, she will always have a soft spot for school programs for girls. She feels very fortunate to have been able to attain a good education, and she would love to see other girls all over the world have the same opportunities she was given.
Dafny calls the Seattle area home with her husband, Stuart. They enjoy hiking the great Pacific Northwest trails and riding around on their motorcycle. While you can find her in Seattle all summer long reading and dining with friends, she is also known to wander off to different parts of the globe. Dafny finds inspiration and lessons from all her travels, whether it’s haggling at the markets of Bangkok, getting lost in the back alleys of Prague, or partaking in Munich’s Oktoberfest celebrations. No matter if she’s at home or on the road, Dafny is looking forward to helping more people around the world.
Vice President, Digital Media
After working in Real Estate, Sean decided to switch his career path to a more fulfilling and rewarding endeavor. He has a deep passion for positively contributing to causes on a global level and GreaterGood.org was the perfect opportunity to fulfill this desire.
Previously, he conducted on-site low-income housing research in over 100 markets in 35 states across the country. Outside of work, you may find him daydreaming in a remote location.
Vice President, Operations (GOODS Program)
Steve serves on the Greater Good Charities team as Vice President, Operations for the GOODS Program. In this role he assists in developing and executing growth strategies that will allow the GOODS Program to expand in its ability to provide humanitarian aid to areas in need around the globe.
Steve began his career in animal welfare in 1990 at a small, rural shelter in mid-Missouri. From there, his passion for both pets and people lead him to a 30+ year career in the industry, providing leadership and mentorship for teams of dedicated animal advocates with wide-ranging philosophies.
Beyond direct animal care, his career includes strategic grant making and foundation work, spending nearly 7 years leading a team of professional grant makers at PetSmart Charities. In this role Steve oversaw the largest adoption program in the world, placing over 500,000 pets annually. During that tenure, his portfolio funded over $100MM in cash grants that assisted in bringing and keeping people and pets together.
Steve believes strongly that the pet is part of the family and applies this belief when creating new distribution systems at GGC. With this core value, that the pet is part of the family, he strives to create systemic change in the industry by developing the GOODS Program into the conduit for a new model of humanitarian aid. One that assures that the human/animal bond is not broken, and in times of crisis or disaster the pet’s needs are met as well as the humans’.
Vice President, Pet Programs (Rescue Rebuild)
Zach Baker began working with Rescue Rebuild in April 2016, after having volunteered with the program for 5 years. Zach graduated from Delaware Valley University in 2011 with a degree in Business Administration; and after working in various carpentry positions, opened his own home improvement business which he operated for 4 years.
Zach has had a love of animals since childhood having grown up with cats and dogs; he is very excited to be able to combine his passion for animals and his carpentry expertise.
Vice President, Pet Programs (Good Flights)
Erin Robbins joins the Greater Good Charities team following a 34-year career in the aviation industry to include the oversight of hundreds of life-saving flights for animals in crisis. In addition to co-founding a dog rescue in San Diego, Erin has spent the last five years leading and training shelters on large-scale pet transport from disaster zones and underserved communities. Prior to or following catastrophic events, Erin offers on the ground expertise and professional consultancy with hands on service to move animals out of crisis to safety. Her resume of successful air transports include pet flights out of areas impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Maria, Dorian, Laura, and Delta, as well as catastrophic flooding in Louisiana.
Erin and her husband Bill reside in San Diego with her pup Uncle Barry, who was the first dog off a life-saving flight from Louisiana to San Diego in 2016.
Vice President, Field Operations
John Peaveler is an animal welfare professional with over 17 years of global experience, in the field of stray animal management, animal population management, disaster response, and animal handling and capture. He began his career in 2004 rescuing dogs and building an animal shelter and wildlife sanctuary in Kuwait along with his wife, Ayeshah Al-Humaidhi, which they ran together for 11 years. He has extensive experience in international and US disaster and cruelty response as well as free-roaming popluation management programs. John has also taught animal handling and capture training around the world, with a goal of helping handlers stay humane in all environments. John serves as the Director, FIeld Operations, overseeing and supporting a range of Great Good Charities programs.
Vice President, Pet Programs (Good Fix)
Born and raised in Oklahoma, Laura has worked in the veterinary industry for over 20 years. She previously served as Director of Operations for The Humane Society of the United States and focused primarily on the Spayathon for Puerto Rico program. She has volunteered with ViDAS (Veterinarios Internacionales Dedicados a Animales Sanos) and served as the Vice President for the past 12 years. Laura’s work with ViDAS inspired her focus and expertise in establishing and providing high quality/high volume spay and neuter in underserved areas.
She has a passion for animal welfare and improving the lives of pets and the people that surround them. Her personal and professional goals center around spay and neuter advocacy, education and sustainment. Laura joined Greater Good Charities as the Director of the Good Fix program in May 2021.
Laura resides in Oklahoma with her husband Tommy, their two dogs, Luna and Izzy and three cats, Gus, Sammi and Swampy. She has two human children, Morgan and Justin. She enjoys time outdoors and travelling.
Born and raised in Essex, England, Lesley studied French and Spanish at the University of London and then spent nine years as a travel guide editor for Time Out, crisscrossing the globe along the way. After moving to the US in 2006 she became the executive editor of spa and wellness magazine DAYSPA, before transitioning to the nonprofit sector with Animal Defenders International. A lifelong animal lover, Lesley lives with her husband James in the San Fernando Valley, along with their trio of rescue dogs: East Valley shelter alum Quark (who runs the show), and Baldwin Park shelter breakouts Crosby and Oreo. In her free time Lesley loves to hike, binge watch The Golden Girls and true crime series, and explore local farmers markets.
Director, Planet Programs (Biodiversity)
Thomas R. Van Devender was the Senior Research Scientist at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum for 25 years, where he conducted research on a broad range of natural history topics. He has published well over a hundred publications on a range of topics, including natural history, paleoecology, desert grasslands, desert tortoise ecology, local floras, ethnobotany, herpetofaunas and the Madrean Archipelago. Tom is interested in the natural history of many areas in Sonora, especially the Madrean the Sky Island mountain ranges, the la Frontera zone within 100 km of the Arizona border, the Yécora area in the Sierra Madre Occidental, and tropical deciduous forest in the Álamos area.
In May 2015, Tom began as the Director of Biodiversity Programs at Greater Good Charities, where he organizes biodiversity inventories to Sonoran Sky Islands in the Madrean Discovery Expeditions (MDE) program and manages a Predator Conservation Program. From 2009 to 2014, Tom was the Manager of the Madrean Archipelago Biodiversity Assessment (MABA) project at Sky Island Alliance. MABA documented the diversity of animals and plants in the 35 isolated Sky Island ranges and complexes in Sonora, Mexico. These biological records and high-resolution images are available to support conservation activities in the region. Tom has organized ten binational expeditions with large volunteer groups of taxonomic specialists, land managers, college professors and students, local residents, photographers, and journalists to make new observations in high-diversity areas in Sky Island ranges in Sonora.
Director, Pet Programs (The Jackson Galaxy Project)
Christie has worked in the animal welfare field since 2004, in areas ranging from mobile spay/neuter clinics and trap-neuter-return (TNR) education to door-to-door community veterinary outreach and feline behavior programming. At Philadelphia-area organizations she managed a variety of spay/neuter programs and developed and implemented multi-year, targeted feline spay/neuter plans. Christie also worked extensively on model TNR legislation and advocacy in local municipalities and led initiatives to expand training opportunities and resources for community cat caregivers. In addition, she managed the Pets for Life Camden program, providing access to veterinary services in some of the most under-resourced neighborhoods in the country.
In 2015, Christie joined Greater Good Charities’ Jackson Galaxy Project. Here she co-developed Cat Pawsitive, the JGP’s flagship behavior training program for cats in shelters and rescues. She continues to develop and implement new initiatives at the JGP to improve the lives of cats and support the people who care for them in shelters and rescues and in their communities.
Christie serves on the advisory committee of CARE (Companions and Animals for Reform and Equity) and on the advisory board of the Harcum College Veterinary Nursing program. She also fosters cats for shelters and rescues in her area and has a soft spot for senior cats. Christie and her husband are the proud parents of several indoor cats and a small colony of community cats.
Director, Pet Programs
Sue Vilsack started with Rescue Bank in late 2011, soon becoming the National Programs and Logistics Director. She works with name brand manufacturers and manages the process for transporting the donations they offer to our regional distribution centers. She oversees our processes for registering recipient groups and assuring equitable distribution of donated product.
Sue has been rescuing mastiffs and other large breeds since the 90’s, focusing recently on raising funds for other mastiff rescues across the US. Her experience includes work as a corporate paralegal, volunteering as a Girl Scout leader, building a service business in Florida, helping run a motorcycle shop, and providing accounting and administration services for small business owners.
Sue enjoys reading, gardening (spending hours planting beautiful flowers and then forgetting to water them), sea shelling and garage sales. She currently resides in Kingwood, Texas with several mastiffs and continues her search for that elusive natural cleaner that removes drool from walls.
Director, Medical (Good Fix)
Dr. Ruth Parkin grew up on a small family farm in the US Pacific Northwest and attended University of Washington in Seattle for her undergraduate degree in economics. She attended veterinary school at Colorado State University, where, as a second-year veterinary student she co-founded ViDAS, an organization which travels internationally to hold free high-volume, high-quality spay/neuter services in underprivileged areas. ViDAS has performed over 40,000 sterilizations and is now a part of the Greater Good Charities programs.
Professionally, Dr. Parkin was in clinical practice for over 10 years and was medical director of a clinic in Denver for several years. She has also worked as a relief veterinarian and spay/neuter surgeon in Colorado and in the Portland, OR area and has traveled to Thailand and South Africa to teach veterinary science through a study abroad program. She is currently the Veterinary Medical Director at Greater Good Charities and of the Good Fix program currently kicking off in Kauai. Dr. Parkin's personal interests include playing volleyball, travel, outdoors, and relaxing anywhere there is some sunshine and a baseball game to watch
Director, Ambassador Program (GOODS)
Growing up on the Salish Sea in the Pacific Northwest, I began my philanthropic career at Alcoa where I managed the partnerships for environmental, humanitarian, community development and STEM programs. Also, within my career path, I oversaw the learning and development for both Alcoa and British Petroleum, focusing on environmental and safety sustainability.
After a move to Arizona in 2017, I chose to follow a combination of passions; people and pets, leading me to PetSmart Charities. Continuing with an impactful focus, I was part of a team of grant makers that oversaw an annual portfolio of $20MM dedicated to bringing pets and people together and funding disaster response efforts. Additionally, I liaised relationships between animal welfare organizations and corporate partners, aligning mission and brand.
My priority is to always build healthy, trusting relationships. I receive immense gratification when developing collaborative relationships, sharing experiences or ideas, and implementing actions that make positive impacts for pets and people.
Personally, I love to travel and spend time with my spouse Scott, son Drew and our dog Finley, a rescue terrier from Mexico. A bit of a street-scrapper, Finley keeps us entertained as the best lizard hunting, sprinkler eater in Phoenix.
Deb’s career has included designing product for companies, sourcing, and developing relationships with vendors and factories and companies to owning several businesses of her own. She spent the last ten years with GreaterGood.com as a buyer of off the shelf products as well as ground up product. Her favorite category of buying was pet and has established many long term and close relationships with those in the pet industry. She also sourced/bought many of the IKD/BB items that were asked for by the GGC team.
Debs first experience with GGC was helping out with a RescueRebuild in Michigan. Watching the transformation and the community outreach the program had her hooked as a lifelong supporter of GGC. She has also participated in some of the GoodFlights – her and Brian unloading crates and helping any way they could.
Maria Aranda comes to Greater Good Charities with over 15 years of experience in all areas of human resources and will be taking over all daily HR duties including full cycle recruiting, benefits administration and the application of our policies and procedures.
Maria grew up in Southern California and moved to Arizona in 1997. She currently resides in Sahuarita, AZ with her better half David , son and two German shepherds. Maria loves to travel and the outdoors.. Her daughter and son in law reside in San Diego (military and soon moving to Florida) which she visits all the time. Her three grandchildren keep her busy.
Finance & Administration Coordinator
Danielle serves as our Finance & Administration Coordinator out of Seattle, WA. Since joining Greater Good Charities (then GreaterGood.org) in 2018, she has grown her skills set in different roles and has even been able to get out from behind the computer to assist with our programs! Helping launch the Good Fix program in Hawaii and unloading planes full of cats & dogs with Good Flights have been bright spots throughout her work so far with GGC.
Before Greater Good Charities, Danielle studied Cultural Anthropology at Western Washington University and spent her working life in the worlds of local food & flowers around the Seattle area. After managing floral shops & teams of florists, she moved on to support flower farmers at a Cooperative dedicated to offering Pacific Northwest flowers grown only through organic & sustainable practices. She has always had a passion for the natural world and working to support farmers that are kind to our earth; was very close to her heart.
Outside of GGC; Danielle can be found riding her road bike, belting out some Lady Gaga at karaoke, and hanging with her cat Mimi.
Carl joined the GreaterGood.org team as a staff accountant in 2020. He is originally from Cleveland, Ohio and has called Tucson, Arizona home for the last 13 years. He and his wife Angela are the “hooman” caretakers of a cat named Lola and a dog named Bandit. In his free time, he enjoys watching sports and playing/listening to music.
Director, Marketing (Email)
Ashlee received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Arizona. After interning with the Native American Advancement Foundation for a year, wanting to work for a nonprofit was a clear choice! She has now worked her way up to Senior Email Marketing Manager.
Having lived in Tucson most of her life, when she’s not at the Greater Good offices she can be found enjoying local Tucson events, catching a concert with friends, or lounging by the pool.
Manager, Marketing (Donor Experience)
After graduating with a B.S. in Animal Biotechnology and Conservation from Delaware Valley University in 2008, Kim joined the team at St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center and has worked in all aspects of sheltering including animal care, medical, transport, disaster response and community programs. In 2014 she realized her passion for marketing and fundraising thanks to a special shelter dog named Zephyr. Since then she has managed all aspects of development from grant writing to fundraising events to leading a robust direct marketing program. Having been on the receiving end of several lifesaving grants from Greater Good, she is excited to join this amazing team to help create good in the world.
Kim lives in central New Jersey with her husband, son and two beloved rescue cats Emilio and Walker.
Manager, Marketing (Brand & Design)
Some people will recognize Lauren from her time at GreaterGood.com, from 2011-2019, where she filled almost every available graphic design role from ads to emails, and she even worked with Noah & co on a previous GGO logo design. She is THRILLED to be working with GreaterGood Charities, and she can't wait to jump back in. A St. Louis native, she did her undergrad at Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD). When she is not geeking out over design, she lives in Seattle with the love of her life, a 4-year-old Icelandic Sheepdog named Saga, and enjoys Marvel movies and weekly D&D with friends. Don't hesitate to say hi, and she can't wait to 'meet' everyone!
Manager, Marketing (Data & Reporting)
Lexi graduated with a Bachelor's in Sustainable Built Environmental Sciences from the University of Arizona, Spring 2018. She’s been fortunate enough to adopt two pups from her hometown shelter in Hailey, Idaho where she lived most of her life and learned to appreciate the environment. Although she now resides in Tucson she loves visiting her family and friends in both Idaho and California. Growing up she was a part of Girl Scouts, volunteered at the Hunger Coalition, played the violin and participated in track, tennis and horseback riding. With extra time on her hands she’s passionate about exercising, cooking, playing with her dogs and traveling to be submerged in different cultures. Something on her bucket list is to visit all of the continents at least once. A few of her favorite trips include visiting a panda reserve in China, seeing the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah and studying abroad in Scandinavia. She admires the vision and goals that Greater Good represents and is so excited to be a part of the team.
Manager, Marketing (Paid Digital Media)
Sydney is originally from Houston, TX and graduated from Boston University with degrees in Public Relations and Psychology. She has run campaigns for a variety of social services, health, and education nonprofits and previously worked at a digital marketing and public relations agency. She has always wanted to pursue a full-time career in the nonprofit industry, which brought her to Greater Good Charities.
Sydney spends her weekends volunteering at a community garden and cooking and baking for friends. She resides in Los Angeles with her partner, Evan, and their rescue dog, Ricky.
Manager, Digital Media (Video Editing)
Lynn Peterson has worked in Film, Television and Theatre for over 30 years. For decades he has dedicated his life to traveling the world, documenting the stories of the inspirational works of hundreds of humanitarian organizations worldwide. His television show “Profiles in Caring” was honored with 7 regional Emmy’s.
Manager, Grants Administrator
At Rescue Bank, Kathy’s role in Logistics is to arrange for trucks to pick up goods from our donor warehouses and deliver them to our Ambassadors. She is responsible for scheduling disaster response trucks and also manages the Pedigree Shelter program, providing pet food from our donors to area shelters. Prior to joining Greater Good Charities’ Rescue Bank, she worked in the Telephone Electronics and Oil and Gas industries in accounting and logistics. Kathy is a passionate animal lover. She has worked with local rescues to foster animals and transport them to rescues. She has never met an animal that she has not fallen in love with. Kathy is the proud owner of rescue dogs Springer, Reddick, Tucker, and Tebow!
Manager, Corporate Partnerships
Jenna is a highly motivated individual with a dedication to animal and human welfare. She is detailed oriented, a hard worker, and has excellent interpersonal skills dealing with both the public and corporate entities. She has experience coordinating large scale mass sterilization events, has extensively volunteered with multiple organizations in the continental US as well as in Puerto Rico. She has also been involved in disaster relief efforts and cares deeply about this work as well. Her work experience as a Registered Nurse has provided opportunities to travel across the country caring for people in a vulnerable state, their families, and the entire interdisciplinary team working to care for the patient. Currently, Jenna resides in Arkansas with her family including her one-year-old son, Walker and her dog, Cooper.
Senior Manager, Pet Programs
At Rescue Bank, Melanie’s role is to liaise with the warehouses that store and distribute donations of animal food to ensure that the food is getting to the shelters and rescues that need it. Prior to joining Rescue Bank, she worked in the oil and gas industry in the fields of health, safety, and environment and social responsibility. Melanie is passionate about animal welfare and has volunteered in shelters, fostered pets, and maintained shelter websites to promote the adoption of long-term cats and dogs. She is Mom to the two best dogs in the world-Toby and Tyler, and a gorgeous American Bobtail cat called Bobbie!
Manager, Pet Programs (GOODS Program)
Cheryl is joining Greater Good Charities as the Manager, Pet Programs (Rescue Bank). Cheryl recently served as the Deputy Director for HSUS’ Equine Protection Department over the last 8+ years. In addition to the day-to-day management of the department, she managed the equine emergency grant project, which provides small, emergency grants to equine rescues and law enforcement agencies. She also managed the Homes for Horses Coalition, which is comprised of over 500 equine rescues around the country who are dedicated to ending all forms of equine abuse. She volunteered for other HSUS programs that provided support to rescues, shelters and sanctuaries, such as Spayathon, SpayTogether, Plan 4 Progress and various disaster response efforts.
During her 25-year animal welfare career, Cheryl has worked for the International Fund for Animal Welfare, the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and HSUS. Her experience ranges from lobbying for policy reform on the state, federal and international level to responding to disasters and mass strandings.
While she is passionate about ending animal abuse and relieving suffering wherever it exists, the issue that she is the most passionate about is ending Canada’s commercial seal hunt. For over 8 years, she documented the hunt, analyzed the footage for violations of the Marine Mammal Regulations and provided the evidence to Canadian officials.
Cheryl currently lives in Virginia with her Australian Shepherd named Gizmo and a large, indoor Rex rabbit named Carrot Cake. She serves on the Wildlife Rescue League’s Marketing & Outreach Committee and volunteers to transport injured and orphaned wildlife.
Manager, Pet Programs (GOODS Program)
No bio available.
Senior Manager, Pet Programs (Foster)
An animal lover to the max. In fact, if you ever can’t find her during a Rescue Rebuild build, go check the cat room. Chances are, you will find her there. At every shelter that Rescue Rebuild renovates, she plays this fun game where she finds a dog that she wants to take home and vows that if it hasn’t found a furever family by the time the build is over, she will fill out the adoption papers herself. Luckily, for her own sake and the sanity of her roommate, this has worked out in her favor so far. Learning all the tools, toys, and construction projects as she goes, she has already become the expert at chain link and is the only one in the group who is allowed to teach the volunteers!
Program Manager, Pet Programs (Rescue Rebuild)
Casey started volunteering with Rescue Rebuild in 2103 when he was a freshman in college. Ever since he has been making it a point to go on a few builds every year. To date, he has been on 12 trips and has adopted 3 pups from shelters on the way: Lilly, Daisy, and Flint. Casey graduated from Delaware Valley University in 2017 with a B.S. in Conservation and Wildlife Management. Before coming on with Greater Good Charities, he worked as a Park Ranger after college and did wildlife mitigation in Atlanta, Georgia.
Manager, Pet Programs (Rescue Rebuild)
Rachel joined Rescue Rebuild after her move from Alberta, Canada where she owned a roofing company. She is very excited to do something meaningful with her construction experience! Rachel and her lovely partner have two dogs and a cat. When Rachel isn’t on or planning a build, she enjoys adventuring with her wife, music, reading, spending time with friends, and riding her motorcycle.
Manager, Pet Programs (Rescue Rebuild)
Nate is currently living outside of Los Angeles, CA but is from Bethlehem, PA. Nate first worked with the team in 2013 after transferring to Delaware Valley University. He went on almost every trip he could during his time in school and picked up his construction knowledge along the way. Nate graduated with a degree in Wildlife and Conservation Management and soon after began working with a bird removal company. After moving to California Nate was looking for a new job and he found Rescue Rebuild at the right time. Nate has 3 pets (1 dog and 2 cats) that keep him and his longtime girlfriend company.
Program Manager, Pet Programs (Transport)
Jeremy holds a Professional Science Masters in Zoo, Aquarium, and Animal Shelter management from Colorado State University in 2015. He has worked in animal welfare since 2012 and has experience with a range of species. Most recently, Jeremy was the Animal Transport Manager at Michigan Humane Society where he assisted in growing their shelter transport program.
Jeremy lives with his partner Erik in the Detroit Metro area and has two rescues, Sadie and Lily. Sadie is an 8 yr old cattle dog that loves to lay around the house but does like to wrestle with her sister Lily the 6yr old cat.
Manager, Pet Programs (rescue Rebuild)
Patrick joined the Rescue Rebuild team in early 2020 with a diverse work history but more importantly, a love for animals! He graduated in 2017 from East Stroudsburg University with a degree in Business Management and also has a background working with a general contractor, along with some logistics planning experience. He is excited to adapt and grow these skills into doing something meaningful for animals! Outside of work, Patrick loves to find solitude hiking and he hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2018. He is always looking for new backpacking opportunities!
Dog Person or Cat Person?: Dog
Animals at Home: None yet, but we’re working on it!
Favorite RR Memory: Searching for utilities
Manager, Pet Programs (Rescue Rebuild)
Troy became part of our team in 2021 and brings a ton of animal and construction experience with him. He worked in animal welfare in Tennessee for 8 years, is trained in animal search and rescue and has been swinging a hammer for 20 years! He is excited to put his unique background to work in a job that takes advantage of both. Troy lives in TN with his family and officially wins the award for most animals on our team!
Dog or Cat person: Both… and why isn’t cow an option?!
Animals at home: 5 dogs,4 cats,3 cows,2 horses,2 ponies, 2 goats, 2 guinea pigs, 20 chickens
Favorite RR Memory: When I realized that I was going to get to do two things that I love together: building things and helping animals!
Manager, People Programs (Good Packs)
Kalli has always had a passion for giving back and trying to make the world a little brighter of a place. Aside from working at Greater Good Charities, Kalli also volunteers at another local nonprofit, Tu Nidito, where she facilitates a support group for children that are experiencing grief. She has lived in Tucson her whole life and is happy that she found a place where her passion for giving back is universally shared. Kalli lives in Tucson with her longtime boyfriend and their newest addition, a little boy named Milo. On the weekends you can find her walking Sabino Canyon or at home relaxing with her little family.
Coordinator, Pet Programs
Morgan was born and raised in Oklahoma and has been involved in animal welfare for the past 5 years. She began volunteering for ViDAS in 2017, where she fell in love with high quality/high volume (HQHV) spay and neuter. This experience led her to a role as the Executive Director at a large shelter in her home state, where she developed and implemented a HQHV spay neuter program, managed animal transport flights, and assisted in multiple cruelty cases.
Morgan enjoys the outdoors and spending time with friends and family. She currently resides in Stillwater, Oklahoma with her dog Rosie, her cat, Oscar Martinez, and her boyfriend, Jared.
Coordinator, Marketing (Graphic Design)
Adriana resides in Jersey! She loves working for non-profits to make the world a better place and hope she can use her Graphic Design and Website skills towards Greater Good to create a better world for the pets, people and planet! She has two pitties named Atlas and Athena as well as a kittie named Malia!
Digital Media Strategist
Ellie left the endless icy winters of Montana to attend the University of Arizona, graduating with a degree in English and Creative Writing Spring 2019. During her time at the U of A she read for the university’s graduate literary magazine Sonora Review, tutored writing, and worked as Editorial Assistant for the University of Arizona Press. Upon graduating she began work with Lawyers & Judges Publishing in Tucson, doing all things from typesetting and editing new books to packing orders. She’s thrilled to become a part of the Greater Good team and to contribute her Englishy skills wherever possible. In her free time, Ellie can be found between the pages of a novel, vibing to newly discovered music, or dancing downtown.
Digital Media Copywriter
Unsurprisingly, Angelena loves words. She earned her BA in English from Hanover College and then went on to receive an MA in English Literature and Medieval Studies from the University of Arkansas. When she isn’t working on copywriting assignments, she still loves to sit around comparing translations of Beowulf. She has written for several nonprofits and is happy to combine her love of writing with her love of nature (and all who inhabit it) at Greater Good Charities.
Though originally from Indiana, Angelena now resides in Little Rock with her partner, Andrew, and their two cats, Hemingway and Edgar. New to the South, Angelena can frequently be found sunburnt. She loves reading, making puppets, and debating Top 10 music lists.
Digital Media Assistant
Alex is from and currently resides in Miami, Florida and is a graduate of Florida International University. He has always loved helping out his communities in Miami and the Dominican
Republic. He is (rightfully) obsessed with his dog Bubby, who he adopted from the Miami Dade Animal Shelter. In his free time he enjoys working out, surfing, and hiking.
Data & Reporting Assistant
Ashley graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in African American Diaspora Studies and a minor in Communications. She is in San Marcos, Texas where she lives with her husband and our four pets. Simba (6) who is a pit bull mix, two domestic short haired cats Mushu (4), Mowgli (3), and a Mississippi Map turtle named Squirt (15). In her spare time she enjoys writing, party planning, and traveling. She is super excited to get started and make a difference at Greater Good Charities.
Coordinator, Major Gifts
Debra Parsons was involved in financial analysis and statistics for more than 20 years in the corporate world. She frequently took leave from her position to assist with animal issues, before moving into animal welfare as a second career.
As the ED of a local animal shelter for several years, Deb and her team built it into a sustainable nationally recognized operation. All while being involved in disaster relief, particularly in 2004’s Hurricane Charley, Francis, Ivan and Jeanne.
In the aftermath of Katrina, Deb served as the Disaster Shelter Manager for HSUS in Hattiesburg, Mississippi and coordinated with the FL EOC for damage assessment after Hurricane Wilma. Her 15-year management career at HSUS spanned many areas. As VP of the Animal Care Centers, Deb worked with corporate and individual donors and in writing grants to help build sustainable revenue streams. She worked on database systems for animal census, asset management, data migration, budgets and accounting, as well as program development and funding. Many of you may remember Deb working for HSUS where she ran the South Florida Wildlife Center.
Coordinator, Field Operations (Contractor)
Driven by compassion, Martyna started her professional journey with an Internship for a Danish NGO committed to improving the educational opportunities for children and facilitating a sustainable impact in Nepal. Her vocation subsequently led her to an International NGO, where as a Program and Fundraising Manager she strove to provide Therapeutic Camps and Programs for seriously ill children. Since Russia launched a full-scale military invasion into Ukraine on February 24, 2022, Martyna has been actively supporting Ukrainian refugees and coordinating an Intervention Point at the border crossing in Dorohusk (Poland), successfully expanding activities to support internally displaced people in Ukraine as well. She also recently completed postgraduate studies in Humanitarian Assistance at the University of Warsaw.
From a young age, Martyna was passionate about animals and their welfare. Her family home was always open for stray animals who would get spayed/neutered and cared for until homes were found. Currently, she is the pet parent of 5 rescued cats and one rescued dog.
Coordinator, Pet Programs (GOODS Program)
Sharon got her start in animal welfare at the age of 18 working as an Animal Control Officer and Cruelty Investigator for an animal shelter in New Jersey. Five years later she resigned from the shelter when she accepted a position with Petfinder, where she remained for the next 10 years. Following her years at Petfinder, she owned and operated her own pet sitting and dog walking company. In 2019, her husband and her decided to move from Pennsylvania to Idaho with their two dogs in search of more accessible outdoor spaces. After a couple of years, she is thrilled to be back working for the animals on the Rescue Bank program at Greater Good Charities!
Administrative & Bookkeeping Assistant
Caspian joined the Greater Good Charities team as an Administrative & Bookkeeping Assistant in 2021. After graduating from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a degree in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, he has spent his time helping to improve the well-being of pets, people, and the planet through his previous positions in a pet store, an AmeriCorps environmental restoration crew, and as a seasonal technician for the U.S. Forest Service. He hopes to continue that great work here. In his free time, Caspian enjoys hiking, reading, and nature-watching.