LEADERSHIP

LEADERSHIP

BOARD OF DIRECTORS
david yaskulka
david yaskulka
BOARD CHAIR
Meet David

David Yaskulka’s career is devoted to helping grow environmentally and socially responsible businesses. He joined Nature’s Logic as CEO in 2019, expanding the brand’s mission to become a voice for sustainability. Nature’s Logic™ is the pioneer creators of 100% all-natural pet food with no synthetic vitamins. Prior, at Halo, Purely for Pets, he was Vice President Marketing Communications and then Vice President Social Investment and Engagement, forging partnerships with GGO and Freekibble.com gaining multiple marketing award nods.

Yaskulka helped grow social mission companies such as eBay for Charity and Investors’ Circle. His strategies are featured in over a dozen books including Internet Riches and Secrets of the eBay Millionaires. He’s also held leadership roles in education, technology, and conservation nonprofits.

A graduate of Williams College, David and his wife Debbie, a special needs educator, share their Long Valley, NJ home with sons Noah and Ben, dogs Maya and Sampson, and cats Erebos and Zebulon.

david-samuelson
david samuelson
BOARD VICE CHAIR
Meet David

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.

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John Gehrt
BOARD Treasurer
Meet John

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 Christopherson
Julia Christopherson
BOARD Secretary
Meet Julia

Julia Christophersen is the Chief E-Commerce Officer for CharityUSA.com, LLC. Julia has spent more than twelve years developing a comprehensive knowledge of online e-commerce, business development, and Web-based marketing. Julia combines her background in marketing and finance to the benefit of GreaterGood.org.

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Jackson Galaxy
BOARD MEMBER
Meet Jackson

Jackson Galaxy is the host and executive producer of Animal Planet's long running hit show My Cat From Hell. Jackson, an animal advocate and cat behavior and wellness consultant, is also a two-time New York Times best-selling author with more than 25 years of experience working with cats and their guardians.

Popularly known as the "Cat Daddy," Jackson is on a mission to educate people about cats and deepen the human and cat bond, while reducing the number of animals that end up in shelters. True to this goal, Jackson started The Jackson Galaxy Project (www.thejacksongalaxyproject.org), which seeks to better the lives of at-risk animals by transforming the places they live and helping the people who care for them.

Through this work, he supports important causes for animals in need, and runs the Cat Pawsitive program - which uses positive reinforcement training to make adoptable cats feel comfortable and confident in the shelter environment, and help them find their forever homes.

In 2017, Jackson joined the GreaterGood.org family, adding The Jackson Galaxy Project to GreaterGood.org's array of signature programs.

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Greg Hesterberg
BOARD Member
Meet Greg

Greg Hesterberg was chairman of two statewide consumer and environmental organizations (MaryPIRG and PIRGIM) while in college. After twenty years running a successful publishing firm, Greg enjoys finding innovative ways to make the world a better place. Greg's two cats for many years, Tony and Junior, have passed on. In November of 2007 Greg adopted two sister kittens, Callie and Chloe. Their younger brother was the last one of the litter waiting to be adopted, and Greg couldn't leave him behind; so now Callie and Chloe spend their days playing with each other as well as their brother Casey.

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Eve Higgs
BOARD Member
Meet Eve

With more than 20 years’ branding and marketing experience, Eve Higgs has had the pleasure of leading corporate marketing teams in the software and services sectors. Her work includes brand, acquisition and retention strategies, and corporate and product launches. Eve is currently the Director of Corporate Marketing for Market Leader, providing innovative online technology and marketing solutions for more than 150,000 real estate professionals across the United States and Canada. Eve holds degrees in Speech Communications and Germanics from the University of Washington.

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Kimberly Klintworth
BOARD MEMBER
Meet Kimberly

Kimberly Klintworth enjoyed a 26-year career in television broadcasting, reporting and anchoring for ABC and CBS affiliates in Rochester, NY, Pittsburgh, PA and Salt Lake City, UT. But Kimberly’s favorite years were as host and co-producer of “Profiles in Caring”, a non-profit TV series highlighting humanitarian work worldwide. Kimberly and her team traveled to some of the most remote places in the world, bringing attention to the hard work and life-changing efforts of ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

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Julie Ryan
BOARD Member
Meet Julie

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.

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Jam Stewart
BOARD MEMBER
Meet Jam

No bio available

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Jeffery R. Zuba, D.V.M.
BOARD Member
Meet Jeffery

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.

Executive Leaders & Staff Management
Liz Baker
Liz Baker
Chief Executive Officer
Meet Liz

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 including $28 million in support during the coronavirus pandemic.

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 $400 million in impact, including cash grants, in-kind supplies, and programmatic support, to over 5,000 charitable partners 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 youngest daughter, an adopted pit bull and two adopted cats. Her oldest daughter goes to college in London.

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Noah Horton
Chief Operating Officer
Meet Noah

Noah Horton serves as the Chief Marketing 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 Marketing Officer, Noah works with a team of marketing and fundraising professionals to create and execute meaningful campaigns throughout the year to support the mission of Greater Good Charities. 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 $400 million in real impact, including cash grants, in-kind supplies, and programmatic support, to over 5,000 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.  

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Jemimah Okantey
Chief Financial Officer
Meet Jemimah

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.

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Stephen Minter
General Counsel
Meet Stephen

No bio available.

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Melissa Rubin
Chief Advancement & Strategy Officer
Meet Melissa

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.

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Denise St. Jean
Vice President, Communications
Meet Denise

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.

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Jennifer Fermon
Vice President, Data and Impact
Meet Jennifer

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.

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Mike Aultman
Vice President, Logistics (GOODS Program)
Meet Mike

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.  

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Brooke Nowak
Vice President, People Programs
Meet Brooke

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.

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Bryna Donnelly
Founder, Vice President, Pet Programs (Rescue Rebuild)
Meet Bryna

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.

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Sára Varsa
Executive Vice President, Operations
Meet Sára

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.

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Tara Loller
Vice President, Pet Programs (GOODS Program)
Meet Tara

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.

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Denise Bash
Vice President, Pet Programs (Disaster)
Meet Denise

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.

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Lesley McCave
Director, Partnerships
Meet Lesley

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.

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Dafny Vogel
Vice President, Marketing
Meet Dafny

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.

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Melissa Vecera
Senior Director, Pet Programs (GOODS Program)
Meet Melissa

Prior to joining the GreaterGood.org team, she was on the Petfinder shelter outreach team for four years, where she managed the nationwide Adoption Options conference series. In her role as Shelter Outreach Specialist, she managed all aspects of the strategic direction and successful implementation of the program. She traveled to nearly 70 different cities across the country to bring the latest animal welfare knowledge to local communities, reaching thousands of animal welfare professionals in-person. In addition to managing Adoption Options, she traveled to regional and national animal welfare conferences, presenting to crowds ranging from 30-1,300 people.

She has 10 years of animal welfare volunteer experience, including writing press releases and attending meet-and-greet events on behalf of the Mid-Atlantic Great Dane Rescue League, Inc., and hands-on shelter experience at the MD SPCA. She calls Maryland home, and shares it with her dachshund named Lily, her forever foster cat, Betty, and her grumpy hedgehog named Olive.

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Susan Rosenberg
Senior Director, Pet Programs (Animal Medical, Wildlife)
Meet Susan

You may know Susan from Petco and Petco Foundation, where Susan spent almost 16 years. Her passion for animals was discovered at a very young age when their neighbor reported to her mother that little 8 year old Susan was creating her own zoo in the family’s backyard. When her mother went out to investigate, she found that Susan was carefully taking care of many unwanted and abandoned neighborhood animals with her weekly allowance. She even rescued a few that didn’t really need it, so her mother promptly returned their neighbor’s cat stating that ‘Susan really doesn’t like cats to be left outside by their family so she took yours.’ A life in animal welfare was her destiny.

Spending eight years working side by side with Paul Jolly, Petco Foundation Executive Director (retired), Susan learned an instrumental lesson for passion, hard work, dedication and a “get it done” work ethic. Working tirelessly to make a difference is what you will always hear about Susan, which is why we just had to get her on our team. Susan prides herself as being able to give funding away as fast as it can be raised. A popular public speaker, FEMA certified, Ready San Diego Sector Chair, marathon shoe shopper, CA Humane Academy graduate, fundraising award winner and an expert in handling disaster events that include animals, Susan manages several exciting and rewarding programs.

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Zach Baker
Vice President, Pet Programs (Rescue Rebuild)
Meet Zach

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.

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Dr. Tom Van Devender
Director, Planet Programs (Biodiversity)
Meet Tom

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.

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Sue Vilsack
Director, Pet Programs
Meet Sue

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.

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Erin Robbins
Vice President, Pet Programs (Good Flights)
Meet Erin

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.

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Christie Rogero
Director, Pet Programs (The Jackson Galaxy Project)
Meet Christie

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.

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Dr. Ruth Parkin
Director, Medical (Good Fix)
Meet Dr. Ruth Parkin

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

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Laura Littlebear
Vice President, Pet Programs (Good Fix)
Meet Laura

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. 

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John Peaveler
Vice President, Field Operations
Meet John

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.

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Sean Cherry
Vice President, Digital Media
Meet Sean

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.

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Deb Malcolm
Executive Administrator
Meet Deb
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Expert Staff
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Danielle Bennett
Finance & Administration Coordinator
Meet Daneille

No bio available.

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Carl LoPresti
Staff Accountant
Meet Carl

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.

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Ashlee Marinez
Director, Marketing (Email)
Meet Ashlee

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.

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Lauren Seals
Manager, Marketing (Brand & Design)
Meet Lauren

Hi! I'm Lauren. Some people will recognize me from my time at GreaterGood.com, from 2011-2019, where I filled almost every available graphic design role from ads to emails, and I even worked with Noah & co on a previous GGO logo design. I'm THRILLED to be working with GreaterGood Charities, and I can't wait to jump back in. A St. Louis native, I did my undergrad at Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD). When I'm not geeking out over design, I live in Seattle with the love of my life, a 4-year-old Icelandic Sheepdog named Saga, and enjoy Marvel movies and weekly D&D with friends. Don't hesitate to say hi, and I can't wait to 'meet' everyone!

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Lexi Browne
Manager, Marketing (Data & Reporting)
Meet Lexi

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.

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Sydney Collier
Manager, Marketing (Paid Digital Media)
Meet Sydney

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 Boston with her partner, Evan, and their rescue dog, Ricky.

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Katy Foley
Manager, Communications (Media)
Meet Katy

Katy joins the Greater Good Charities' family with 15 years of communications, marketing, and event management experience. She lives in Las Vegas with her husband, two darling daughters, two dogs named Finney and Fifi, and an African sulcata tortoise named Frankie.

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Lynn Peterson
Manager, Digital Media (Video Editing)
Meet Lynn

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.

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Kathy Poritzky
Manager, Grants Administrator
Meet Kathy

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!

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Melanie Meadows
Senior Manager, Pet Programs
Meet Melanie

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!

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Cheryl Jacobson
Manager, Pet Programs (GOODS Program)
Meet Cheryl

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.

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Jonathan Ford
Manager, Pet Programs (GOODS Program)
Meet Jonathan
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Kimberly Spina
Senior Manager, Pet Programs (Foster)
Meet Kimberly

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!

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Casey Paholski
Program Manager, Pet Programs (Rescue Rebuild)
Meet Casey

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.

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Rachel Hiebert
Manager, Pet Programs (Rescue Rebuild)
Meet Rachel

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.

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Nate Borger
Manager, Pet Programs (Rescue Rebuild)
Meet Nate

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. 

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Jeremy Colborn
Program Manager, Pet Programs (Transport)
Meet Jeremy

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.

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Patrick Hilaire
Manager, Pet Programs (rescue Rebuild)
Meet Patrick

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

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Ashleigh Rivera
Program Manager, Pet Programs (Rescue Rebuild)
Meet Ashleigh

Upon her graduation from the University of Arizona, Ashleigh had been on a lengthy quest to find a role that ultimately allowed her to push her creative boundaries. Only recently did she discover that this innovative outlet could be welding! She acquired the skill from her father, who has 30+ years of welding experience, and first utilized this talent on a project in Kauai, HI. It was in Hawaii when she realized her sense of eagerness to do more fieldwork for Greater Good Charities. In early 2022. Ashleigh transitioned from a role at the Tuscan office to her current Rescue Rebuild position.  She feels honored to be working alongside this invaluable team – whom all share a dedication to doing meaningful work for animals! 

When Ashleigh isn’t behind a welding helmet, you can generally find her reading at a brewery, listening to live country music, or you can’t find her at all because she’s venturing outdoors somewhere.

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Troy Penley
Manager, Pet Programs (Rescue Rebuild)
Meet Troy

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!

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Kalli Spackeen
Manager, People Programs (Good Packs)
Meet Kalli

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.

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Anton Hudd
Program Assistant (Pets, People, and Planet)
Meet Anton

Anton spent the last few years working within the art world, where he worked for Fresh Paint Art Advisors and United Talent Agency. At UTA, Anton helped the team build out the programming for the Artist Space, alongside assisting artists with building their careers. Anton soon after decided to switch to a fulfilling career with Greater Good Charities. He is passionate about all things planet focused. 

After spending 6 years in Los Angeles, he is enjoying spending time back in his hometown, Tucson. When Anton isn't working, he can be found doing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, visiting art galleries, or spending time with his friends.

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Hailey Van Vorce
Program Assistant (Pets, People, and Planet)
Meet Hailey

I am Hailey Van Vorce, one of the new Program Assistants here at Greater Good. A little about me, I recently graduated from the University of Arizona (UA) with a B.S. in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science. Before taking this position, I was a respite care provider for children with special needs whose families are in the Air Force. Also, I spent my undergraduate career dedicated to being a research assistant for the Memory Development and Disorders Lab at the UA through numerous research programs dedicated to underrepresented groups in research.

I have two cats and a puppy with my partner: Lola, Dahlia, and Lily. They are such a joy to be around and have their own personalities, so if you have pets (and/or kids) I would love to hear about them! In my free time I love to hike, road trip, paint, and spend time with my friends, family, and pets. 

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Morgan Littlebear
Coordinator, Pet Programs
Meet Morgan

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.  

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Adriana Salvador
Coordinator, Marketing (Graphic Design)
Meet Adriana

I’m Adriana Salvador and I live in (central) New Jersey! I am Portuguese and Serbian and have traveled to Florida, Portugal, Serbia and Switzerland, hoping to see more of the world soon. I love working for non-profits to make the world a better place and hope I can use my Graphic Design and Website skills towards Greater Good to create a better world for the pets, people and planet! I am an LGBTQIA+ ally, activist and member! I enjoy my time in the sun when I can either in the pool or at the beach! I am married and have two loving pups named Atlas and Athena as well as a cute cat named Malia! I also enjoy drawing, painting and doing artsy activities on my spare time while also being able to work outside in my yard because it helps me feel more relaxed. I love animals, enjoy socializing and having a good time!

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Ellie Snyder
Digital Media Strategist
Meet Ellie

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.

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Debra Parsons
Coordinator, Major Gifts
Meet Debra

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.

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Sharon Guthrie
Coordinator, Pet Programs (GOODS Program)
Meet Sharon

I got my 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 I resigned from the shelter when I accepted a position with Petfinder, where I remained for the next 10 years. Following my years at Petfinder, I owned and operated my own pet sitting and dog walking company. In 2019, my husband and I decided to move from Pennsylvania to Idaho with our two dogs in search of more accessible outdoor spaces. After a couple of years, I am thrilled to be back working for the animals on the Rescue Bank program at Greater Good Charities!

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Cas Jones
Administrative & Bookkeeping Assistant
Meet Cas

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.