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About Us

OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Pets Lifeline’s Board of Directors is a volunteer board comprised of local residents who help PLL set the organization’s roadmap for the future and works at fund and friend-raising throughout the year.

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Marchelle Carleton

President

Marchelle lives in Kenwood (since 1998) with her husband Curt, their Golden Retriever Crystal “the pistol”, and 2 rescued cats – Chipper and Harrison who was recently rescued from the Paradise fires. They have an adult son Greg, his wife Marianne, and 2 granddaughters - Katelyn (studying Biomedical Engineering at USC) and Sarah (a senior at Napa High School). Marchelle has always given back to her community having served on Boards and volunteered for many organizations.  She previously served on the Board of Boys & Girls Club for 12 years and is a Past President and Sweetheart. Marchelle is a founding member of the Cha Chas who for 14 years have volunteered their time for the youth at Valley of the Moon Children’s Center.

Marchelle’s professional experience includes starting Carleton Group Healthcare Interiors with her husband Curt. For over 30 years they’ve worked with large customers such as Kaiser, Sutter Health, Palo Alto Medical Foundation and the UC System medical facilities. She is fluent in all aspects of business from owning their company. Prior to that she was a partner in an event company producing large events, PR and marketing. 

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Rhonda Stallings

Vice President

Dr. Rhonda Stallings has lived in Sonoma since 1992. She purchased Arroyo Veterinary Hospital in 1997 and just recently sold the business to Dr. Melissa Hart. She is still a practicing veterinarian at the hospital. After graduating at the top of her class from the Ohio State University School of Veterinary medicine in 1981, she practiced emergency medicine in Akron for one year before moving to San Francisco. She practiced at Pets Unlimited for four years, becoming medical director and then at Avenues Pet Hospital for 11 years before opening her own practice in Sonoma. Rhonda lives in Sonoma with her husband Rich and has two adult children, Michael and Abbey, along with dogs Sandy, Scully and Paco, and Oranges the cat.

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Paul Arata

Treasurer

Paul is a 3rd generation Californian born and raised in San Jose. Prior to moving to Sonoma in 2017 he and his husband Scott lived in Danville, California. He has always loved Old English Sheepdogs and has had 5 so far, with mischievous Lulu the latest. Scott and Paul share their home with Lulu, Gracie and Lucy. They are thrilled to be part of the Sonoma community and support animals locally with Pets Lifeline.

Paul has been in Human Resources and Administration all of his professional career. He has worked in Retail, Technology, Financial and most recently Pharmaceutical both domestically and internationally. He currently works part-time for a Venture/Public investment firm focused on Health Care. Paul has previously served on the board of The Genard Aids Hospice Foundation.

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Elaine Smith

Secretary, Events Committee

Elaine Smith is a former Hillsborough resident who now calls Sonoma home with her husband Graham Smith. Elaine was on the board of the Peninsula Family Services and spent many years volunteering with various organizations focusing, on educational development.

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Kevin Schuh

Governance & Business Development Committee

Kevin Schuh moved to Glen Ellen with his husband David and their darling dog, Winnie, in 2012. He has an extensive Advertising and Marketing background having started with the Compaq Corporation in 1990 as a Production Marketing Engineer. He then moved to Nvidia Corporation when the company was a start up in 1997 and went on to become the Director of Advertising and Marketing when the company went global.

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Toni Casamento

Governance & Events Committee

Toni was born and raised in Boston Massachusetts, moving to Southern California is the mid 80’s and finally to Northern California in 2000.  She practiced law for over 20 years in both Massachusetts and California, concentrating on civil litigation and real estate.  She has been and continues to be involved in a number of non-profit, charitable organizations including the Anti-Vivisection Society, the Cha-Chas (providing support to The Valley of the Moon Children’s Home for abused, abandoned and neglected children), 4Paws where she and her pup Winston volunteer at the local Library for Read to the Dog Days, and finally to Pet’s Lifeline where she joined the Board of Directors in 2017. Toni lives in Kenwood with her beloved husband Chuck and her labradoodle Winston. She enjoys photography, travel and cooking.

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Sandy Drew

Governance Chair

Sandy is a long-time Sonoma resident with an impressive background in the non profit development world. From 1999 to 2015, she served as a consultant with Marts & Lundy and co-leader of the firm’s Schools Practice Group. Prior to her consulting work, Sandy served as director of development at Lick-Wilmerding High School in San Francisco, she co-founded the California Schools Development Conference (CAPS) specifically to address the need for professional development opportunities for the entire development office team. From 1989 to 1994, Sandy served as the director of development at KQED, San Francisco’s public broadcasting tv and radio station.

 

Before moving to the Bay Area, Sandy lived for twenty years in Denver, Colorado where she served as director of development for several educational and civic organizations. In addition to her professional activities, Sandy serves as class agent for Mt. Holyoke College, is a past board member of the Golden Gate Chapter of The Association of Fundraising Professionals, Live Oak School and St. Paul’s Episcopal School. Currently Sandy serves as a trustee of The Bay School of San Francisco and Ox Bow School and a founding board member of Leadership and Design, an advisor to The Boys and Girls Club of Sonoma Valley and tutors in the Sonoma County Adult Literacy Program.

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Deborah Emery

Governance & Events Committee

Deborah grew up in the East Bay and was an actress and model spanning 20 years. She was also an Oakland Raiderette. Deborah married John Emery in San Francisco and helped start his medical spa in the city. She was an active member of the Junior League and helped co found the Child Abuse Prevention Society in San Francisco.

 

Deborah and John started their move to Sonoma in 1985 and Deborah became involved in many community efforts including Salute to the Arts, Childrens Home Auxilliary, Sonoma Valley High School projects mentor and President of the board of Boys and Girls club of Sonoma Valley. There she spearheaded the much needed start of the new Teen Programing. After serving 10 years she was looking for a new place to serve. Having adopted several pets for her family she saw a need to serve the unheard. Deborah joined the Pets Lifeline board one year ago, and is looking forward to help drive the future of this worthy service to our community and the wonderful pets that are lovingly taken care of.

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Frank Espina

Finance Committee

Frank Espina’s professional experience spans over four decades as the founder of his own CPA firm as an audit and tax partner. He retired in 2018. His financial accounting and tax consulting experience lends well to the role of Board Member.

 

Over the years, Frank has served on several volunteer boards as President and Chairman of the Board of Family Service Agency, San Mateo Chamber of Commerce and Suicide Prevention and Crisis Center. Also, for 20 years he was on the Board and CFO of Pets in Need. Currently, he is on the Board and CFO of the Wine Country Marines. He has both a BA and MBA from San Francisco State University and spent time in the United States Marine Corp. He is married to his wife Andi for the last 18 years. He has two dogs, Hambone and Coco Chanel. He currently serves on the finance committee for Pets Lifeline.

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Cyndi Frank

Business Development Committee

Cyndi lives in Sonoma with her husband Lars and their beloved cat Mia, a.k.a. Creamy. She is a lifelong animal lover and is proud to serve on the Pets Lifeline Board of Directors so that she can express that love through helping to do good for our local cats and dogs. Cyndi’s other passion is travel and hopes to eventually visit every continent so that she can learn more about the languages and traditions of all cultures on our planet.

Cyndi has worked in the nonprofit sector for over 30 years for many different organizations: The Sierra Club Foundation, San Francisco Food Bank, Jewish Community Center, Sports4Kids, National Gaucher Foundation, Friends of San Francisco Animal Care & Control, and currently the Gaucher Community Alliance where she is the Co-Founder/Co-President and The Cultural Conservancy, where she serves as their Chief Development Officer. 

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Yvonne Hall

Chair, Audit Committee & Co-chair Strategic Planning Committee

Born in New York State, Yvonne has been a resident of California for more than 50 years, the last 15 in Sonoma County.  She graduated from Santa Clara University with a B.S. degree in psychology. Her 26-year professional career was spent with Levi Strauss & Co. After starting with the company as a secretary, she went on to hold positions in Merchandising, Production and Product Development. Subsequently she served as President of Levi Strauss de Mexico SA de CV in Mexico City. She was the first woman of any nationality to head a company in Mexico. Her last position with Levi’s was V.P. of Merchandising and Product Development for the 14 segments of the Levi’s brand in the U.S. Yvonne uses her skills and experience to support the non-profit community in Sonoma. This has included board positions with La Luz Center, the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art and Pets Lifeline. She rejoined the La Luz board in 2018 and currently serves on the Development and Strategic Planning committees. She currently resides in downtown Sonoma, reads voraciously, travels extensively and enjoys the great experience of living in the wine country.

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Jane Hutchinson

Program Development Committee

The summer of 2018 was a big one for Jane – she retired, moved to Sonoma and married her husband, Bill.  Prior to that, Jane’s career as an independent school business officer spanned over thirty years, working at Hanahau`oli School in Honolulu, HI, The Park School in Brookline, MA, and most recently as the CFO at The College Preparatory School in Oakland. During her professional career, Jane served as the president of Cal-ISBOA, a professional association with 250 California independent school business officers, was the founding president of HAISBO (Hawaii Association of Independent School Business Officers), and was a member of ABOIS (Association of Business Officers in Independent Schools). Jane has also served on the board of directors of NBOA (National Business Officers Association) and was the recipient of the Ken White Distinguished Business Officer Award in 2018. Since moving to Sonoma, she has chaired the Finance Committee of the First Congregational Church of Sonoma and volunteered with Impact 100 Sonoma. Jane and Bill share seven grandchildren between them (two set of twins!) and are looking forward to future travel to see family and friends, as well as exploring some new adventures together.

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Larry Krieger

Co-chair Strategic Planning Committee

Larry lives in Sonoma  (since 2000) with his wife Virginia and two Pets Lifeline superstars, Baxter (beagle mix), and Lulu (miniature Schnauzer).  Larry is currently serving on the Board of Directors of The Boys and Girls Club, is a past board President plus was honored as Sweetheart in 2017. Previously, he was Board President of the International Health and Racquet Sports Association and member of the Tennis Hall of Fame Advisory Board.

Larry’s career encompassed roles providing leadership to drive staff accountability, financial responsibility and ethical practices. Most recently Larry was with the San Francisco based, The Bay Club Company. Prior to relocating to the Bay Area, while based in Boston, he was President of The WellBridge Company, an upscale wellness and fitness organization. After WellBridge, he joined the then Boston-based Virgin Lifecare Company as VP.

 

Larry has been an avid tennis player and competitor from early childhood and now enjoys the challenges of golf.  He loves reading, a good bottle of wine and a good hamburger that he doesn’t get at home.

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Brad Meyer

Chair, Investment Committee, Co-Chair - Facilities Committee

Brad Meyer has an extensive background in growing businesses. Based in the Indianapolis area, Brad built several rental car franchises all over the country. Brad also served civically on a Redevelopment Commission and other local organizations. After retiring, Brad and his wife Dolores bought a home in Glen Ellen and have been Sonoma Valley residents for over 2 years with their three dogs. Brad is very passionate about animals and animal rescue. 

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Laura Zimmerman

Program Development Committee

For 20 years, graced television screens in northern and central California as an anchor and reporter.  Best known for nearly five years as a news anchor at KTVU in Oakland during the first several years of the station’s then-new Mornings On 2 newscast, she later joined KGO-TV in San Francisco to serve as co-anchor of the station’s Marketplace financial program with Rosie Allen.

After leaving television, Laura and her family relocated to Sonoma from the East Bay in 2000 and went into non-profit work. In 2007, Laura became the Executive Director of the Sonoma Valley Education Foundation.  Now, Laura is sharing her enormous talent with Pets Lifeline. 

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OUR STAFF
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Nancy King

CEO

Nancy has been with PLL since 2009 taking the helm as Executive Director in 2010. Nancy is an active member since 2011 in the Association of Animal Welfare Advancement.  Under her leadership the organization has solidified its presence as a respected animal welfare organization, created a robust humane education program and fundraised and completed a capital campaign to secure a future facility for the 37 year organization. She lives in Sonoma with her dog Doc and three cats, Cowboy, Michael and Spudnik.

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Shoshana Brown

Asst. Shelter Manager, Foster Coordinator

Shoshana is the Assistant Shelter Manager. She is a native of Sonoma Valley and began working at Pets Lifeline when she was a teenager. She has worked at PLL for over 25 years caring for the homeless cats and dogs. She is a mom of three and her family has adopted five (four cats and one dog) PLL pets, plus they have fostered hundreds of kittens, cats and dogs.

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Anthony Fanara

Animal Care Technician

Anthony is a part-time Kennel Assistant. Anthony is a Sonoma Valley native and began visiting the cats & dogs of Pets Lifeline before he could walk. When looking for his first job, he is pleased to be able to work at a place that is near and dear to his heart.

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Kevin Dill

Shelter Assistant

Kevin is a part-time Kennel Assistant. Kevin began as a dedicated volunteer at Pets Lifeline. When a part-time position opened up, he applied to work at Pets Lifeline. Kevin is an animal lover and after each shift, he will make a cup of coffee and visit with the cats and dogs before going home for the day. Kevin has two dogs at home.

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Amy Mertens 

Adoption Coordinator

Amy is a native of Sonoma Valley and has always wanted to be a veterinarian. She started volunteering at Pets Lifeline in 2011 and transitioned into working as a Kennel Assistant and Adoption Specialist. She studied veterinary science & became certified as a Veterinary Assistant. She worked at a local vet hospital for seven years and gained practical veterinary experience working as a Vet Tech Asst. Amy has two canine Pets Lifeline alumni at home along with three rescued cats. 

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Denise Asaro

Shelter Manager, RVT

Denise joined the staff of Pets Lifeline in October 2021 as the Shelter Manager. She has twenty-four years of experience as an RVT. She has practiced Emergency, Internal Medicine, Surgery, Neurology, Oncology and now shelter medicine. She has two daughters, 12 and 8 years old. They are very involved in Soccer and Swimming. They have five dogs at home ranging from a 7 pound to a 60 pound and 3 cats.

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Laurinda Chauvet

Canine Trainer/Behavior Consultant

Laurinda, the Onsite Dog Behaviorist, worked in animal medicine for 28 years. She is a certified dog trainer and has a certificate training shelter dogs through Animal Behavioral College. Laurinda has a certificate in Natural Animal Remedies through Penn Foster College. She is certified for the fear free program. For fifteen years Sonoma Valley residents have relied on her as a professional dog sitter. She currently has four rescue dogs, and a husband.

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Mary Green

Humane Education Coordinator

With years of teaching experience in local elementary schools and an immense love of cats, Mary Green founded the Humane Education Department at Pets Lifeline in 2002. For over 20 years she has been taking cats into classrooms, reading to the children through a program called Kids Speak for Pets, managing our Reading to the Animals Program and is a vital part of our Summer Camps.

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Sarah Main

Shelter Program Coordinator, Veterinary Assistant

Sometimes volunteers become dedicated staff members—as is the case for Sarah. She began volunteering when in high school and throughout college would visit Pets Lifeline. She joined the staff in 2017. Sarah adopted her dog Sadie, a german shepherd mix with a leg injury that became a foster fail. Sadie sometimes comes to work with Sarah and on their days off they can be found hiking around Sonoma County, playing at the beach or just relaxing at home.

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Roxanne Ridgeway

Volunteer Coordinator

Having been a volunteer at Pets Lifeline for 15 years, Roxanne brings practical experience to her position as Volunteer Coordinator. Roxanne joined the staff in October 2021. She has adopted three dogs from Pets Lifeline. One went over the Rainbow Bridge and two little dogs share her home along with occasional foster dogs who live with them for socialization.

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Jeanette Bair

Feline Care Coordinator

Jeanette is one of our Adoption Specialists. She joined the PLL staff in 2013 and has a dog and a PLL alumni at home. Bella (the dog) welcomed Jill (the cat) when construction began on the new Animal Resource Center. Jill was an outdoor resident at Pets Lifeline who needed to be rehomed when we moved to the temporary shelter on Broadway. Jeanette loves matching pets to people who provide forever homes to our cats and dogs.

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Mary Catherine Cutcliffe

Community Outreach & Comms

Mary Catherine, the Community Outreach and Communications Coordinator, has been producing events for Sonoma nonprofits for over 15 years. Hailing from Alabama, the film festival attracted her to Sonoma in 2005. Through the years she has worked for a variety of Sonoma Valley nonprofit organizations and joined the Pets Lifeline staff in 2018 although her first PLL event was in 2009.  Mary Catherine and her cat Cali Rose live in Sonoma.

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Misty Guy

Customer Service Representative

Misty stepped into a new position at Pets Lifeline as Customer & Client Services Representative in Oct 2021. An animal lover since before she can remember, she has been working in the animal industry for 20 years. Born and raised in Sonoma County, Misty has been living in Sonoma the last several years with her husband.  Her passion lies in lost pet recovery and customer relations. She has a senior fospice cat from Pets Lifeline and a son entering the twonager phase.

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Claire Meeks

Development Associate

Claire moved to Sonoma from Canberra, Australia in 2016 and started volunteering with Pets Lifeline soon after.  She has many years of experience in large event management, high level administration and operations management in Australia and the UK. Claire and her husband live nearby with two Pets Lifeline kitty alumni, Biscuit and Fanny, and a large flock of chickens and ducks.

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Sara Rusmisel

Administrative Coordinator

Sara, the Administrative Coordinator, also known as Admin Queen, was born and raised in the East Bay and moved to Sonoma in 2004. She began volunteering at Pets Lifeline upon her arrival in Sonoma and joined the staff a decade later in 2014. Sara shares her home with four PLL kitties and highly recommends having a catio for cats to safely enjoy fresh air and sunshine.

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