Our Team

Meet the team behind the Action

Board Members

Deborah Wilson, M.D.

Board member, Chair of the Board
Phoenix, Arizona

Deborah is a board-certified Gynecologist in Scottsdale, Ariz. with a specialty in advanced laparoscopic surgery. In practice for 32 years, she attended George Washington University Medical School and completed a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at St. Josephs Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona. She has been voted an Arizona Top Doc for the last 10 years and is nationally recognized as an authority on laparoscopic hysterectomy. She is an instructor for Olympus America, teaching surgeons laparoscopic surgical skills nationally.

Deborah owns a farm animal sanctuary in Prescott Valley Arizona, Circle L Ranch Rescue and Sanctuary, which is a permanent home for abused or abandoned horses, burros, pigs, goats, sheep, chickens, turkeys, rabbits, ducks, geese, and dogs.

Annie Harvilicz, D.V.M. CVA

President, Animal Wellness Foundation Board member, Animal Wellness Action

A veterinarian, Annie Harvilicz is the founder and chief medical officer of Animal Wellness Centers in Marina Del Rey, California. She has authored several studies on evolutionary genetics and biology including Species-specific impacts of grazing amphipods in an eelgrass-bed community, which contributed to understanding the root causes of deterioration of the Chesapeake Bay. In 2012, she conducted an unpublished study using an animal’s own blood to harvest iPSCs (induced pluripotent stem cells) to treat cancer.

She’s appeared on the Discovery Channel’s Animal Precinct television program during her tenure at the ASPCA’s Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital in New York City.

Dr. Annie graduated with High Honors in Research Biology from The College of William & Mary in Virginia and received her DVM degree from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine where she served as president of the school’s chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association, and her CVA from the Chi Institute of Chinese Medicine. Dr. Annie has been licensed to practice veterinary medicine in California, New York, Maryland and Pennsylvania.

Sherry Kellett

Board Member, Treasurer
Clyde, North Carolina

Sherry, a resident of western North Carolina, retired after a career in business where she served as a controller and executive focused on accounting and financial management responsibilities.

She’s also served on for-profit and not-for-profit boards where she’s led oversight on finance and governance issues.

She received her undergraduate degree from Duke University in chemistry and later took courses in accounting at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She spent 19 years at BB&T Corporation and retired as Senior Executive Vice President & Corporate Controller. She was an auditor at Arthur Andersen & Co. She’s served and led on board committees focused on Audit, Risk, Compensation, Compliance and Corporate Governance. Her primary hobby is caring for her dogs, and she’s devoted to protecting all animals.

Marion Look-Jameson

Board Member, Austin, Texas

Marion Look-Jameson, a native Texas, spent her childhood in Guam, and it was her firsthand experiences in seeing stray animals and non-existent animal-care programs that partly inspired her instinct to promote kindness to all animals. She returned to Texas and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in fashion design. But rather than work in fashion, she turned to real estate and property management and has been extremely successful in that work during recent decades.

Her greatest passion though is animal protection, and she's been working with Wayne Pacelle to halt animal fighting in the U.S. territories, including her beloved Guam, where she's been a primary supporter of Guam Animals in Need (GAIN). She's been deeply immersed in so many animal protection programs, including helping the animals of her community, Guam, Mexico, and elsewhere. 

Candis Stern

Board Member

Candis Stern grew up in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, and then moved to San Diego where she spent 15 years.  She spent a large share of her life subsequently (31 years) in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she was very active with ballot measures to ban the target shooting of mourning doves and to forbid trophy hunting and commercial trapping of wolves – both winning measures. She then moved to Las Cruces, N.M., and has been there for 12 years. She is there year-round now. 

She was born into an animal-loving family, with cats and dogs. She also had a horse and is today a guardian for three cats and a dog. She worked in development for Planned Parenthood and the University of Michigan Business School and as editor of the alumni publication at the U-M School of Public Health.

She served on the board of the Humane Society of Huron Valley for 6 years and helped raised the money for its new state-of-the-art shelter which opened in 2009.  She also served on the City of Ann Arbor’s Animal Ordinance Committee.  She was the Washtenaw County (where Ann Arbor is) representative for an animal protection political action committee in the 1990s.

She served on the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation Distribution Committee, the Washtenaw Community College Foundation board, and the Soundings board (a non-profit for displaced homemakers).

More recently, she served on the board of Safehaven, a no-kill shelter in Las Cruces.

She is deeply committed to the mission of Animal Wellness Action and has been a supporter of the 501(c)(4) and also AWA PAC.

Staff Members

Wayne Pacelle

Chevy Chase, Maryland

Before joining the Animal Wellness groups, Wayne Pacelle was the president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, tripling the budget and net assets of the organization. He founded the Humane Society Legislative Fund and prior to that, he was executive director of The Fund for Animals. The Non-Profit Times named him seven times as one of the nation’s top 50 non-profit executives, and in 2005, he was named executive of the year.

He wrote two New York Times bestselling books:   The Bond: Our Kinship with Animals and Our Call to Defend Them and The Humane Economy: How Innovators and Enlightened Consumers Are Transforming the Lives of Animals. Wayne has led efforts to pass 1,500 state laws for animals, more than 100 federal laws and amendments, 30 ballot initiatives, and 500 corporate agreements. He is a graduate of Yale University.

Scott Edwards

General Counsel

Scott has been deeply involved in educational, environmental and animal advocacy for over 30 years, leaving behind a career working with disadvantaged youth in alternate outreach programs in New York City, to pursue a law degree with a focus on environmental and community protection. For the past two decades, Scott has worked tirelessly to advance and enforce our system of laws that safeguard our airways and watersheds

Since 2000, he has also worked extensively to hold accountable our fundamentally inhumane and unsustainable factory farm method of meat production, where tens of thousands of animals are held in horrendous conditions, producing mountains of waste that are dumped indiscriminately on nearby fields, poisoning local rivers and streams.

In addition to a domestic body of work, Scott has also engaged on community protection internationally, working alongside activists in India, Bangladesh, China, Nepal, Mexico, Canada, Europe and elsewhere to further environmental protections. He has written numerous articles and blog entries and his worked has appeared in the New York Times, Huffington Post, and several other outlets, as well as making appearances on several news outlets, including Fox News.

Scott lives just north of New York City with his family and 3 dogs and, every summer, hundreds of endangered Monarch butterflies that hatch from the waystation he and his wife maintain in their backyard.

Kate Schultz

Senior Attorney

Since graduating NYU School of Law in 2015, Kate has aimed to build her career around using the law in aggressive and creative ways to give power and voices to those who have none.

Prior to joining AWA, Kate was the staff attorney of the Animal Law Litigation Clinic, part of the Center for Animal Law Studies of Lewis & Clark Law School and the first law school clinic in the country to solely focus on farmed animals.

Before that, Kate was an Assistant District Attorney for five years at the Queens County District Attorney’s Office in New York City, where she specialized in investigating and prosecuting crimes against animals as part of the office’s Animal Cruelty Prosecutions Unit.

She also has broader experience prosecuting domestic violence, trafficking, and pattern financial crimes. Finally, Kate has also spent time working in the civil law sphere on behalf of local government.

Kate is currently an L.L.M. candidate in Environmental Law at Vermont Law School, and was a 2011 magna cum laude graduate from Columbia University. Nowadays, after well over a decade in New York City, she has returned to her native West Coast. She currently lives in Washington State with her family, which includes an emergency medicine healthcare provider, two cats (one of whom is her greatest achievement: a former feral turned cuddlebug foster fail), and one dog.

Scott Beckstead

Director of Campaigns

After receiving his bachelor's degree from Utah State University and his JD from the University of Utah, Beckstead worked as an attorney in private practice on the central Oregon coast before going to work full-time in the animal protection sector. During that time he also served as the mayor of Waldport, Oregon from 2002 to 2007.  He became known for his special expertise in the field of animal law, and has taught that subject at the University of Oregon and Willamette University law schools.

In 2000, he co-authored Animal Law, the first casebook on the subject, and continues to teach animal law, wildlife law and policy, and Endangered Species Act as an adjunct professor of law at Willamette University.

Before coming to work for the Center for a Humane and AWA, Beckstead served in a multitude of roles for the Humane Society of the United States, including Oregon state director, equine protection specialist, and Rural Outreach director. He also helped lead a successful ballot measure campaign in 2016 to ban the trade in endangered wildlife in Oregon.

Because of his close familiarity with horses, livestock, and farm animals, Beckstead provides training to law enforcement agencies on how to handle and work with those animals, and how to investigate equine and livestock cruelty and neglect.

Joseph Grove

Director of Public Relations

Joseph Grove is a writer, journalist and editor whose involvement with the Center began in 2019, when he co-developed the Animal Wellness podcast for companion organization Animal Wellness Action. He continues to serve as host. Grove is the recipient of multiple awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and a former media and communications advisor for The Arrow Fund, a Louisville, Ky.-based organization focused on rescuing severely abused and neglected animals.

He shares his life with an infamously misanthropic Chihuahua named Apple.

Karen Duarte

Director of Philanthropy

Karen Duarte guides the organization’s philanthropic efforts and is responsible for the oversight, planning, and implementation of a comprehensive fundraising program.  She comes to the Center with more than 34 years of fundraising experience serving in leadership positions at various animal welfare and health and human service organizations.

She recently held the position of Vice President of Conferences and Special Events at the Humane Society of the United States where she led a team executing award-winning fundraising galas and educational conferences. In addition to events, she created the HSUS’ next generation philanthropy group (Humane Generation) and oversaw the donor travel program, Humane Journeys. Prior to her VP position, she served as the Regional Director of Major and Planned gifts and Senior Director of Philanthropy.

Karen served as the Executive Director at the American Heart Association where she oversaw all fundraising events and initiatives along with board development and recruitment. Karen also held leadership positions at United Cerebral Palsy in NYC and United Way of Tri-State.

Karen earned a B.A. in Political Science from Pace University in NYC.  She lives North of New York City with her family including two foster-fail cats, Justin and Jolene.

Natalie Ahwesh

Director of State Affairs

Natalie earned her Bachelor's Degree from the University of Pittsburgh in Legal Studies, Administration of Justice, French, and Mathematics. She received her Master's Degree from The George Washington University in Secondary Mathematics Education. After working as a collegiate mathematics instructor for over a decade, Natalie is proud to take her passion for animal welfare full-time with Animal Wellness Action.

Currently residing in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Natalie helped found Humane Action Pittsburgh, a grassroots organization advancing animal protection through education, policy, and community action. She has helped to pass dozens of local laws, including PA's first ban on circus animal performances. She is passionate about farm animal protection, reducing single-use plastic, and ensuring existing laws are properly enforced.

Tamara Drake

Director of Research and Regulatory Policy

Tamara’s 30-year career included founding and running a successful nonprofit and working in busy, high profile law firms. She was also a volunteer Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and EMT instructor.

Drake coordinates research regarding regulatory testing methods for new product development, monitors agency rule-making changes, and drafts guidance policies.

She has co-authored three Citizen’s Petitions to the US Food and Drug Administration on behalf of the Center for Responsible Science, requesting regulatory change to update decades-old preclinical testing requirements, to allow for and incentivize use of human-relevant test methods.

Drake also coordinated litigation in Center for Responsible Science v. Norman E. Sharpless, MD, in his official capacity as Acting Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration in DC District Court and the United States Court of Appeals, for the District of Columbia.

Jennifer Skiff

Director of International Programs
Perth, Australia and Mount Desert, Maine

Jennifer Skiff brings to Animal Wellness Action a lifelong focus on, and passion for, environmental issues. She crisscrossed the globe as an investigative correspondent for CNN for more than a decade, receiving several honors including the prized Environmental Media Award. Her independently produced programs about animals have aired on The Discovery Channel and other networks globally.

As a bestselling author, Jennifer’s inspirational books, The Divinity of Dogs and God Stories have been published in seven languages. Her latest book, Rescuing Ladybugs: Inspirational Encounters with Animals That Changed the World has received three 1st place literary prizes.

Jennifer has more than 25 years of experience leading animal welfare organizations and she leads by example. After witnessing the torture of Asiatic bears in 1998, she initiated and led the successful campaign to build the first bear sanctuary in the country of Laos. Today that sanctuary is home to 22 bears. While on vacation in Indonesia, she witnessed extreme neglect of animals at a hotel zoo. She negotiated with management, facilitating the release of twelve chained monkeys into their natural habitat. Her intervention was credited for shuttering the zoo six months later.

Jennifer is currently a trustee of the Dogs’ Refuge Home in Australia and an advisor to Animal Aid USA and the Institute for Humane Education.

In her aforementioned book, Rescuing Ladybugs, Jennifer coined the phrase “The Compassion Movement.” She defines it as “the collective quest to alleviate suffering for all forms of life.” Teachers around the world are using the book to inspire students to create lasting change.

Jim Keen

Director of Veterinary Sciences

Jim Keen, D.V.M., Ph.D., earned his veterinary medicine and epidemiology doctorate degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He was a senior veterinary researcher focused on livestock and zoonotic infections with the USDA Agricultural Research Service in Nebraska for 15 years and later faculty at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln School of Veterinary Medicine for 13 years. His specific expertise is emerging and zoonotic infectious diseases of farmed animals. 

He has broad field experience in outbreak investigation and animal disease control including enteric zoonotic bacteria from livestock in the U.S., Foot and Mouth Disease in the United Kingdom, and African Swine Fever in the Caucasus. Keen lives on his family’s 140-year old grain farm in South Dakota. He is Director of Veterinary Sciences at the Center for a Humane Economy.

Julie Marshall

National Communications Coordinator

Julie Marshall has more than 30 years of experience in print journalism and was the opinion editor for the Boulder Daily Camera newspaper before joining AWA and the Center for a Humane Economy in May 2022. She started her career as a city and police news reporter on staff for the Orange County Register in Southern California, and later worked as a features staff writer (and pet columnist) for the Camera.

Marshall also worked as a public information officer for Colorado’s Division of Wildlife. She is the author of “Making Burros Fly: Cleveland Amory, Animal Rescue Pioneer” (Big Earth, 2006), which could not have been written without help from the Center’s board member Marian Probst, with the foreward written beautifully by Wayne Pacelle.

She lives in Colorado, where she was born and raised, with her family that includes a husband and two teenagers, who are constantly recognized even wearing masks, for being featured in Netflix’s film “Unwell” about the lucrative wellness industry. The Marshalls have three cats (Minka, Tanjiro and Nezuko – from the anime “Demon Slayer”) and two dogs (Leo and Bella). Marshall rightly acknowledges that she has only named her pets.

Thomas Pool, D.V.M, MPH, Dipl. ACVPM

Senior Veterinarian

Thomas Pool, MPH, DVM, earned his Masters in Public Health (tropical medicine) degree from Harvard University, and doctor of veterinary medicine degree from Oklahoma State University. He is a 30-year diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine. He spent 26 years in the US Army, and served as commander of the US Army Veterinary Command, a worldwide, tri-service command. He also graduated from the US Army War College.

Earlier he worked in the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command writing peer-reviewed publications on leptospirosis and dengue hemorrhagic fever. Upon retirement as a full colonel from the Army, Dr. Pool served as the Territorial Veterinarian for Guam for 17 years. He continues to serve as adjunct professor for the University of Guam and the University of Wyoming School of Pharmacy. He joined Animal Wellness Action and the Center for a Humane Economy in July 2022.

Jana Germano

Web Specialist

After running a graphic design studio in D.C. for non-profit organizations for 12 years, Jana received her M.F.A. in Film and Media Arts with a focus on Digital Media from American University. She has worked in Los Angeles and Sydney, Australia in film post-production and advertising as a 3D and visual effects specialist. An expert in web development and design, Jana has supported organizations and content teams with her technical and creative skills.

As a life-long animal companion and animal-lover, she is proud to be part of Animal Wellness Action’s team and mission.

Tina Meredith

Investigation Specialist

Originally from Wisconsin, Tina moved to Phoenix in 2000 and very soon after found herself rescuing dogs, volunteering for rescues and for the last six years serving on the Board of a local all-breed dog rescue. 

Advocating for dogs and learning about their plight seemed to naturally lead to an awareness and examination of the unfortunate issues that other animals like farmed animals and wildlife also face.

A love for all animals and the desire to work on their behalf with other determined advocates is what draws her to an organization like the Center. Tina shares her life with her husband and four dogs, two chihuahuas a pit bull, and a boxer.

Zaher Nahle, PhD, MPA, MBA'27

Senior Scientific Advisor

Zaher Nahle is an interdisciplinary executive scientist. He served in senior positions at U.S. medical foundations, including as Chief Scientific officer, Vice President for Research, and Chief Executive Officer. Earlier in his career, he served on the faculty at major research universities where he led scientific teams and published groundbreaking work in top journals like Nature.

Dr. Nahle earned many recognitions, most recently as a Dean's Scholar at Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, a merit award “For outstanding academic achievement, demonstrated leadership abilities, and commitment to Carey’s values of relentless advancement, boundless curiosity, unwavering humanity, and collaborative leadership.”

He is an awardee of the American Heart Association (AHA), the Department of Defense (DoD - CDMRP), the American Cancer Society (ACS) Scholar program (Pay if), and the National Priorities Research Program (NPRPQF). He is also a founding investigator of an NIH-funded U24 Data Management and Coordinating Center (DMCC) and the recipient of the White label PEER award from Genetic Alliance/RWJF.

Dr. Nahle is a staunch exponent of credible modeling in science, including the New Approach Methodologies (NAMs). He is a frequent organizer and speaker at international conferences in the U.S. and Europe, and served on specialized workgroups at federal agencies like the NIH and the CDC. For years, he has been making the case for change through written professional publications, contributions to committees and panels, engagement with health officials, and impactful advocacy on Capitol Hill. He is the founder of IVYCTORY Group.

Dr. Nahle earned his Master's degree in Public Administration (MPA) alongside a certificate in Public Policy & Management from Harvard University, where he was a Mason fellow. He received his PhD in Physiology and Biophysics from the Stony Brook University/Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) joint programs. He was a pioneer in developing and manufacturing high-throughput technologies like microarrays. His doctoral work uncovered new mechanisms for viral oncoproteins in genomic instability, cellular toxicity, and cancer.

Brandon Burr​

Director of Food Policy

Dr. Brandon Burr is a practicing optometrist in Phoenix, Arizona. In addition to helping patients, Brandon serves as a consultant to Clear Conscience, a cruelty-free eye care brand. 

Growing up with his beloved Staffordshire Bull Terrier in the Chicago suburbs, Brandon developed an early understanding of the sentience and intelligence of all animals. It was only natural for him to make animal advocacy his Personal Legend, as inspired by The Alchemist.

Brandon previously served on the HSUS – Arizona State Council, and was chosen as the 2019 Volunteer of the Year in recognition of exceptional leadership to advance animal protection efforts in Arizona and nationally.

Brandon’s role as Director of Food Policy is to engage local and state governments and corporations about their food policies, and inspire change, to protect farm animals, wildlife and their habitats, and our planet’s fragile biodiversity. His dream is to create a humane economy with a shift towards a plant-based culture.

In his free time, Brandon enjoys practicing yoga, playing tennis, hiking, reading, traveling, and spending time with his companion animals.

State Directors

Zach Skow

Central Valley, California Director

Zach was born and raised in hermosa beach California. As a kid he aspired to become a fighter pilot but would later find his passion in providing second chances for pets and people.

Zach began working in local animal welfare in 2004, developing the first large-dog foster program, which he headed, as well as an education and therapy dog program called Miracle Mutts

In 2008, Zach was diagnosed with and stage 4, acute alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver and given less than 90 days to live. He was admitted to the Comprehensive transplant center at Cedars Sinai, where he is still a patient.

It is out of this desperate situation that Marley’s Mutts dog rescue was born. Zach found a way to save his own life, by saving the lives of others, a Philosophy of service which Marley’s Mutts has adhered to since its founding. Marley’s Mutts was honored in Sacramento as best non profit of the year for our district of California in 2019!

Marley’s Mutts has rescued over 6000 dogs, cats, horses and pigs in the last 11 years and has created numerous progressive programs including barks and books, miracle mutts and Pawsitive change — an inmate/canine rehabilitation program which is spreading throughout the California penal system and hopefully the world.

Zach married the woman of his dreams, Heather Skow, and they have a 19 month old daughter together, as well as 5 dogs, 1 cat, a pig and three horses.

Odessa Gunn

Northern California Director

Odessa is the Co-Founder and spokesperson for Odessa’s Essential Health for Pets, a pet supplement and wellness company. She was born and raised on Cape Breton Island in the province of Nova Scotia, Canada.

Odessa is a former Pro Cyclist and lifelong animal advocate. She discovered bike racing while living in Ottawa after graduating from St Francis Xavier University with a BA. She trained on the National Development Team in Calgary then moved to the US and raced on a World Cup Pro team (Timex Cannondale) in her second season.

After retiring prematurely because of a back injury from a crash, she moved to Spain to support her husband’s career which included 10 Tours De France.

The animal abuse, abandonment and neglect in Spain was immense. Odessa rescued countless animals off the streets; shipping them to shelters in Barcelona and Belgium while setting up a small trap-neuter-release program in the Medieval city of Girona.

After returning to the US, Odessa joined the board for the Forget Me Not Farm, a therapy farm for At-Risk-Youth and rescued farm animals. During her 11 years as the VP of the board, she started (along with former husband) a large cycling event which has raised over three million dollars for the kids and animals.

Odessa also helped write position statements for the Sonoma Humane Society Board of Directors. Despite instigating and winning a public battle with the local animal shelter because of unsafe and inhumane conditions for the animals, she still managed to win the spirit award of Sonoma County. She's a fervent believer in the power of community.

While working on a docu-series to showcase outstanding rescues around the World, her focus shifted to the dog and cat meat trade in Asia and other parts of the globe. Odessa has flown to retrieve dogs many times and has two Chinese meat trade rescues at home (along with other dogs from Mexico, Spain, and the US.) In addition to her own ten dogs, she has fostered hundreds of dogs, cats, farm animals and wildlife.

Odessa lives in Santa Rosa with ten dogs, two cats, four goats, four chickens and one pig.

Julie Marshall

Colorado State Director and
National Communications Coordinator

Julie Marshall has more than 30 years of experience in print journalism and was the opinion editor for the Boulder Daily Camera newspaper before joining AWA and the Center for a Humane Economy in May 2022. She started her career as a city and police news reporter on staff for the Orange County Register in Southern California, and later worked as a features staff writer (and pet columnist) for the Camera.

Marshall also worked as a public information officer for Colorado’s Division of Wildlife. She is the author of “Making Burros Fly: Cleveland Amory, Animal Rescue Pioneer” (Big Earth, 2006), which could not have been written without help from the Center’s board member Marian Probst, with the foreward written beautifully by Wayne Pacelle.

She lives in Colorado, where she was born and raised, with her family that includes a husband and two teenagers, who are constantly recognized even wearing masks, for being featured in Netflix’s film “Unwell” about the lucrative wellness industry. The Marshalls have three cats (Minka, Tanjiro and Nezuko – from the anime “Demon Slayer”) and two dogs (Leo and Bella). Marshall rightly acknowledges that she has only named her pets.

Taylor Nickerson

Delaware State Director

Taylor Nickerson was born and raised in Delaware and grew up assisting her mother with her nonprofit horse rescue.

She is a Clinical Care Technician at Penn Vet New Bolton Center — the large-animal hospital and campus of the Veterinary School of the University of Pennsylvania. She previously worked as Delaware’s Livestock Welfare Investigator for the state’s Department of Agriculture, and as an Animal Control Officer for Queen Anne County, Maryland.

Nickerson is a graduate of Wilmington University, possessing an associate degree in liberal studies and a bachelor’s degree in psychology. At Wilmington University, she was recognized for becoming a member of the university’s Eta Beta Chapter of the Alpha Phi Sigma National Criminal Justice Honor Society. The society recognizes academic excellence among students of criminal justice. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Administration of Justice.

Nickerson’s goal is to get Delaware’s Animal Cruelty Legislation up to par so cases are properly prosecuted at the judicial level.

Laurie Hood

Florida State Director, Freeport, Florida

Laurie is the founder of Alaqua Animal Refuge, the premier, no-kill animal refuge and sanctuary for both domestic and farm animals located in Northwest Florida. She has created multiple programs including Equine Interactions, an equine assisted therapy program, and the Unconditional Love program, which provides trained companion dogs free of charge to the elderly and special needs individuals, and offering inmates a contributing role in the process.

Laurie starred in Animal PD, a television series on Nat Geo WILD showcasing stories of Alaqua’s animal rescue efforts; authored a curriculum to assist law enforcement with animal abuse cases; served on the Committee to Protect Greyhounds in Florida; and is a founding board member of The E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center. She is currently undertaking a bold endeavor to create an educational and training center for animal welfare advocates on 100 acres of land.

She has received numerous awards, including “Daily Point of Light Award” from President George H. W. Bush; the Pinnacle Award in from 850 Magazine in Northwest Florida for her community service and leadership; Communicator of the Year for Non-Profit from the Florida Public Relations Association, Northwest Florida Coast Chapter; and is currently featuring in the Female Disrupters series in Authority Magazine and Thrive Global.

Pam Rogers

Kentucky State Director

Although Pam was born in Minneapolis and spent her early years in Southern California, she says she has been in Kentucky long enough to “ya’ll with the best of them!” She is a graduate of the University of Kentucky with a master's degree in economics and held a variety of positions in both the public and private sectors before starting her own consulting firm in the late 90’s.

Over the past 20 years, Pam has served as a representative and lobbyist for several state and national animal protection organizations. She is a long-time resident of Louisville where she currently resides with her husband, two rescued Jack Russell Terriers and a cat named Peaches, who is the self-proclaimed “boss of the house.”

"Animal advocacy is tough work but Animal Wellness Action has the right focus and built a strong team to make great strides for animals. I am thrilled to join them on this journey. "

Gina Garey, M.S.

Maine State Director, Portland, Maine

Gina is a former financial services professional who served as Vice President of Wealth Management for two New York-based firms, specializing in strategic wealth management, marketing, public speaking and presentation development, estate planning and planned giving for high net worth clients. She was recognized as a top producer with MetLife Securities in her home state, and served as Field Advisor to the Board of Directors, MetLife NY, N.Y.

Gina incorporated her life-long love for animals into a professional path in animal behavior, obtaining an MS in Applied Animal Behavior Analysis and Counseling. She is the founder and principle of Animal Behavior & Healing, and she collaborates with veterinary clinics, supporting animals and their owners in the successful navigation of behavior issues for animals often rescued from abandonment, abuse, or neglect. Gina served in a multitude of animal welfare causes, including on the board of directors at the Animal Refuge League in Portland.

She served as a state council member for the Humane Society of the United States for five years, successfully initiating two ordinances in the City of Portland, banning the retail sale of puppy mill dogs and cats in 2106 and in 2017, banning exotic performing animals in circuses and traveling or roadside shows.

Raised on the coast of Massachusetts, Gina's love for animals began early, as she spent her early years at the local horse farm caring daily for the animals, where she learned to ride. She went on to care for her own horses, competing locally. From early experience with her own animals, to a life-long passion for advocacy promoting animal welfare causes, she has a personal investment in the improvement of all animals’ lives. She has supported a vegetarian lifestyle since the age of 17.

Scott Schulman

Maryland State Director

Scott earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Vermont in Philosophy and Political Science. He received his law degree from George Mason University. He has experience in environmental and non-profit law and is currently doing appellate litigation in veterans' benefits cases

Scott became interested in animal advocacy in law school and is very excited to be working with AWA to bring positive change.

Carolyn Hall

Montana State Director

Carolyn Hall, an insurance professional, is a proud resident of Montana. She is an enthusiastic wildlife and landscape photographer and an animal advocate. She resides in northwest Montana near Glacier National Park, and spends most weekends photographing grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, lynx, mountain lions, and elk in one of the few ecosystems in America with a full complement of its native predators. 
She is an avid hiker, snow shoer, and skier, and adores the Big Sky Country and its public lands. Carolyn has been an active animal advocate for the last 20 years serving as a board member and vice president of NOAA. She volunteered for North Valley Search and Rescue Group, and volunteered for Humane Society for NW Montana, a shelter advocating for adoption of dogs and cats. Carolyn lives with a rescue dog named Jasper.

Susan Stork

New York state director

Susan Stork has an undergraduate degree in psychology with a minor in biology from Rutgers University in New Jersey. Her interest in animal advocacy arose during the pandemic, when more time at home with her companion dog, Jackson, caused her to evaluate the disparate treatment among animals of all kinds. She then committed to earning a master’s degree in animal studies, which she is pursuing at New York University in the Animal Studies program, one of the few programs in the United States that focuses on animal protection issues and the intersections of animal welfare, our food system, and the environment.

Stork is focusing her research on pressure campaigns in the animal protection movement to make grassroots campaigns as effective as possible. She also has a keen interest in advancing animal welfare issues in public policy.

Stork currently lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., with her partner and their companion animals (one dog and two cats). She is a proud vegan and active in the grassroots activism community in New York City, participating mainly in campaigns that advocate for fur-bearing animals and animals used for entertainment.

Robert Galvin

Vermont State Director

Robert “Bob” Galvin recently earned his M.S. degree in Biology at the College of William & Mary, a premier public research university widely recognized for its outstanding reputation situated in Virginia, where he worked with 26 different landowners around Virginia to conduct bird and turtle research on their properties

After graduating from William & Mary, he worked as an Assistant Action Team Coordinator at the nonprofit People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, and he found nonprofit work to be substantially fulfilling. He coordinated a huge volunteer database containing tens of thousands of activists that included the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, and provided support to local grassroots activists throughout that area. He also worked in PETA’s Laboratory Investigations Department as a Campaign Coordinator.

Galvin is adeptly skilled at organizing volunteer events with local activists in the community. Additionally, he is a proud vegan and is dedicated to making the world a better place for animals.

Suzanne Lieberman

Washington State Director

Suzanne was born and raised in Los Angeles but has called Washington state home for the past eight years. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Brown University in History. She received a Master of Environmental Science and Management degree from the Bren School at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a J.D. from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. Suzanne spent the first 10 years of her career in wildlife conservation and the last 10 in several areas of civil law.

She is now hoping to harness experience from both to mitigate animal suffering in a variety of contexts and settings. (continued)

Suzanne has worked for several domestic and international environmental NGOs, including WWF International’s Danube-Carpathian Programme as their Ecoregion Coordinator, and spent three years working for federal Indian tribes in the Pacific Northwest.

She loves speaking foreign languages and is an avid hiker, swimmer, and pianist. She spends most of her free time either sketching or oil painting classical figures and portraits (human and pet) and birding, volunteering for several bird monitoring projects in the greater Seattle area.

Suzanne lives on the ancestral lands of the Coast Salish peoples, specifically, those of the Snoqualmie Valley Indian Tribe in the Cascade foothills, with her two Norwegian forest mix rescue cats, Misha and Sasha.

Paul Collins

Wisconsin State Director

Paul is a lifelong animal advocate that was born and raised in Wisconsin. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Disaster and Emergency Management from Upper Iowa University and has worked as a public servant for law enforcement and higher education public safety agencies for over two decades.

Paul also served in the United States Army Reserve as a quartermaster. While that might be a different path to animal advocacy, Paul has had a lifelong passion for animals and has been actively advocating for them for over a decade in Wisconsin, especially for wildlife.

Outside of AWA, he is also a board member of Friends of the Wisconsin Wolf and Wildlife. He also worked with the Wisconsin based Alliance for Animals in 2019 to help design and erect numerous billboards about how Wisconsin pays reckless hound hunters when their dogs are killed by wolves.

Paul lives with four rescue dogs and two rescue cats. He has also worked with wildlife rehabilitators to transport injured and orphaned wildlife for many years. He is an avid hiker, wildlife watcher, aviation enthusiast, and has a fondness for rock music. Paul considers himself a 24/7/365 animal advocate and he shares the ethos and passion that the AWA team possesses.