Animal Awakenings
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Event Faculty

   Speakers & Organizations for Animal Power Virtual Series

The Animal Power Virtual Series (beginning May 20-21 and shown elsewhere on this site) includes an outstanding line-up of presenters and organizations. A preview of just some of them appears here, in alphabetical order by organization, followed by organizational summaries. Scroll further downdown for bios of individual speakers.

The faculty includes diverse animal support organizations, representing many different issues, perspectives and approaches, all under the conference theme of striving to help animals.

In alphabetical order by organization:

American Humane
Presenter: Dori Villalon
Vice President, Animal Protection


Update: American Humane has announced discontinuation of its Animal Protection Department.
An alternative speaker is being arranged for their session. 

"The nation's voice for the protection of children & animals."


American Humane has worked to protect animals since 1877, providing a voice for the nation's most vulnerable. All efforts of our Animal Protection Division are focused on preventing cruelty, neglect and exploitation of animals and assuring that their interests and well-being are fully, effectively and humanely guaranteed by an aware and caring society.

Mission: To create a more humane and compassionate world by ending abuse and neglect of children and animals.

American Society of Association Executives
Presenter: Susan Robertson, CAE
ASAE Vice President & ASAE Foundation President


ASAE is a membership organization of more than 22,000 association executives and industry partners representing more than 11,000 organizations. Our members manage leading trade associations, individual membership societies and voluntary organizations across the United States and in nearly 50 countries around the world.

With support of the ASAE Foundation, a separate nonprofit entity, ASAE is the premier source of learning, knowledge and future-oriented research for the association and nonprofit profession, and provides resources, education, ideas and advocacy to enhance the power and performance of the association and nonprofit community.

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Presenter: Julie Morris
Senior Vice President for Community Outreach


"Fighting animal cruelty, promoting pet adoption, and helping you take good care of your pets."


The ASPCA was the first humane organization in the Western Hemisphere. Our mission, as stated by our founder, Henry Bergh, in 1866, is “to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.”

Animal Legal Defense Fund
Presenter: Stephan Otto,
Legislative Director


Update: ALDF is arranging for a team of speakers for the May 20 advocacy panel.

"The Animal Legal Defense Fund fights to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system."

For more than three decades, the Animal Legal Defense Fund has been fighting to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system. Founded in 1979 by attorneys active in shaping the emerging field of animal law, ALDF has blazed the trail for stronger enforcement of anti-cruelty laws and more humane treatment of animals in every corner of American life. Today, ALDF’s groundbreaking efforts to push the U.S. legal system to end the suffering of abused animals are supported by hundreds of dedicated attorneys and more than 100,000 members.

Best Friends Animal Society       
Presenter: Gregory Castle,
Chief Executive Officer


Best Friends Animal Society is guided by a simple philosophy: kindness to animals builds a better world for all of us. Our Mission: No More Homeless Pets. Our Vision: a better world through kindness to animals.

In the mid 1980s, when Best Friends was in its early days, roughly 17 million dogs and cats were being killed in shelters every year. We undertook a
 grassroots effort to place dogs and cats who were considered "unadoptable" into good homes, and to reduce the number of unwanted pets through effective spay and neuter programs.  Since then,there has been much progress, but there is still much more to do. The next phase of this work – bringing the number down to essentially zero. 

At our Utah-based no-kill sanctuary we strive to achieve our mission of a world when there are No More Homeless Pets.

Born Free
Presenter: Adam Roberts,
Executive Vice President


Born Free USA is a nationally recognized leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic “pets”, trapping and fur, and destructive international wildlife trade.  Born Free USA’s mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally. 

Born Free Foundation, based in England, is a dynamic international wildlife charity, devoted to compassionate conservation and animal welfare.  Born Free takes action worldwide to protect threatened species and stop individual animal suffering. Born Free believes wildlife belongs in the wild and works to phase out zoos.  We rescue animals from lives of misery in tiny cages and give them lifetime care. Our high-profile campaigns change public attitudes, persuade decision-makers and get results.  Every year, Born Free helps hundreds of thousands of animals worldwide.

City of Calgary (Canada)

Presenter: Bill Bruce,
Director of Animal Services & Bylaws

Our mission is to "Encourage a safe, healthy, vibrant community for people and their pets, through the development, education and compliance of bylaws that reflect community values."

The City encourages responsible pet ownership through licensing, public education and enforcement. Licensing fees, not tax dollars, fund a range of programs and services to: reunite lost cats and dogs with their owners; educate cats and dogs owners about responsible pet ownership; shelter and feed lost cats and dogs in our vet-operated facility; manage our animal adoption program; offer school programs at no charge; deliver public education programs; help neighbours resolve their animal related conflicts; operate the no-cost spay and neuter program for the cats and dogs of eligible Calgarians; provide medical care to adoptable cats and dogs in our state of the art clinic and other animal-realted needs.

Defenders of Wildlife
Presenter: Laurie MacDonald,
Florida Director, Defenders of Wildlife


"Defenders of Wildlife leads the pack when it comes to protecting wild animals and plants in their natural communities."

Defenders of Wildlife is a national, nonprofit membership organization dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities.

We work to protect and restore America's native wildlife, safeguard habitat, resolve conflicts, work across international borders and educate and mobilize the public.

Dogs Deserve Better
Presenter: Tamira Ci Thayne
Founder & CEO


"For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others." Nelson Mandella 

Dogs Deserve Better, a national nonprofit organization and the 2003 First Place Winner of the ASPCA/Chase Pet Protector Award, is a voice for chained and penned dogs, whose sadness speaks only through the eyes. As the days become years, many of these dogs sit, lay, eat, and defecate within the same 10-foot radius. Chained by the neck, they exist without respect, love, exercise, social interaction, and sometimes even basic nourishment. They live as prisoners, yet long to be pets

Start changing the way people and communities think about the chaining and penning of dogs today. Join Dogs Deserve Better to take a stand and make life right for all dogs everywhere! NO CHAINS!

Endangered Species Coalition
Presenter: Laurie MacDonald,
Florida Director, Defenders of Wildlife

"Through education, outreach and citizen involvement, we work to protect endangered species and the special places where they live."

The Endangered Species Coalition is a national network of hundreds of conservation, scientific, education, religious, and other organizations working to protect our nation’s disappearing wildlife and last remaining wild places.

Farm Sanctuary   
Allan Kornberg, Executive Director


Farm Sanctuary works to protect farm animals from cruelty, inspire change in the way society views and treats farm animals, and promote compassionate vegan living.

Farm Sanctuary was founded in 1986 to combat the abuses of factory farming and to encourage a new awareness and understanding about farm animals. 
 Today, Farm Sanctuary has grown to become the nation's leading farm animal protection organization, with hundreds of thousands of supporters. We work in rescue, education, and advocacy, and operate two farm animal sanctuaries, one in California and one in upstate New York. In 2011 we are celebrating 25 years of service and commitment to this cause.

Helen Woodward Animal Center
Presenter: Mike Arms


Helen Woodward Animal Center is a place where animals help people and people help animals. We are an organization dedicated to enhancing animal welfare.

Helen Woodward Animal Center is a unique, private, non-profit organization dedicated to saving the lives of animals and enriching the lives of people. For more than 30 years, our no-kill Center has provided humane care and adoption for orphaned animals, as well as animal-centered educational and therapeutic programs for people. The Center is a dynamic, evolving institution that is an agent of change for the animal welfare world. Not only are we operating innovative and beneficial programs for animals and people, but we are
teaching others around the world how to successfully market and promote their programs and stop the senseless death of thousands of animals.

Our Mission: Helen Woodward Animal Center's passionate belief that animals help people and people help animals through trust, unconditional love, and respect, creates a legacy of caring. Sharing this philosophy with others, the Center inspires and teaches, locally and globally, the importance of the animal-human bond.

Humane Society of the United States
Presenter: Hilary Anne Hager, MNPL
Director, Humane Society National Volunteer Center


"We're celebrating animals and confronting cruelty... all day, every day!"

Founded in 1954, the HSUS is the nation's largest and most effective animal protection organization—backed by 11 million Americans, or one in every 28. Recently, we were chosen as one of Worth magazine’s top 10 Most Fiscally Responsible Charities.

The HSUS mission statement is "Celebrating Animals, Confronting Cruelty." We strive to create a humane and sustainable world for all animals – a world that will also benefit people. We seek to forge a lasting and comprehensive change in human consciousness of and behavior toward all animals in order to prevent animal cruelty, exploitation, and neglect and to protect wild habitats and the entire community of life.

International Fund for Animal Welfare
Presenter: Erica Martin
Vice President, Communications

"Saving Animals In Crisis ... Around the World"

IFAW engages communities, government leaders, and like-minded organizations around the world to achieve lasting solutions to pressing animal welfare and conservation challenges-solutions that benefit both animals and people. Over the years, our approach has been as varied as the species we protect, but our mission has remained constant and simple: to create a better world for animals.

National Institute for Animal Advocacy
Presenter: Julie Lewin

Often called NIFAA, we are the only charitable organization that provides political  training for animal rights and rescue advocates who want strong state and local laws to protect animals from abuse and neglect--and aggressive enforcement of those laws. NIFAA's four-part mission: Educate advocates why political organizations that endorse candidates must be a mandatory component of their advocacy, as it is for all other issue groups; create a political culture in our movement, as all other issue groups have; train advocates how to launch and run political organizations for animals; and to inspire existing state and local  animal rights and rescue charities to form affiliated political groups and show them how. NIFAA's training is offered through live, online webinars called NIFAA-Nars; comprehensive in-person workshops; and NIFAA's comprehensive how-to book, "Get Political for Animals and Win the Laws They Need: Why and How to Launch a Voting Bloc for Animals in Your Town, City, County or State--and the Simple Steps It Takes to Do It" (available at

Massachusetts SPCA
Presenter: Kara Holmquist
Director of Advocacy

Kara Holmquist is the director of advocacy for the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA). She is a graduate of Suffolk University Law School.  Much of Kara’s work at the MSPCA includes lobbying for stronger animal protection laws in the state legislature.  She has also worked on several successful ballot question initiatives.  

Kara  is on the steering committee of the Humane USA-Massachusetts political action committee, which seeks to elect humane-minded legislators to office, is on the board of the Massachusetts Animal Coalition, and on the board of the Link Up Education Network, an organization that works to educate and create programs relating to the link between domestic violence and animal abuse.  Kara is also a part of the newly formed Animal Law Practice Group in the Massachusetts Bar Association.

Nonprofit Federation
Direct Marketing Association
Presenter: Senny Boone, Esquire
Senior Vice President, Corporate & Social Responsibility

"The leading source for nonprofit marketing and fundraising professional education and industry advancement."

We are the leading global trade association of businesses and nonprofit organizations using and supporting multichannel direct marketing tools and techniques. We shape the way organizations apply direct marketing methods to all marketing, sales, and customer service.

Shared Soulutions
Presenter: Dr. Tom Taylor
Shared Solutions

                                             Shared Solutions: Facilitation for Results

Tom Taylor is a long-time expert in conflict resolution, concensus building and facilitation for solutions. He heads the Shared Solutions consulting firm. Further details on his background are coming shortly.

Susan Tenby, On-Line Communications Manager
Jessica Tally, On-Line Projects Manager


TechSoup is a widely known name on the Internet ... a business-like nonprofit with a clear focus: providing other nonprofits and libraries with technology that empowers them to fulfill their missions and serve their communities. As part of that goal, TechSoup provides technology products and information geared specifically to the unique challenges faced by nonprofits and libraries.

Learning resources, including articles, blogs, free webinars, and forums led by expert hosts are available to all users. Once qualified with TechSoup, nonprofits and libraries can access 400+ technology products from more than 40 donor partners — including Microsoft, Adobe, Cisco, Intuit, and Symantec. All donated and discounted products are available for a small admin fee that supports our work in the United States and around the world.

Wild Woman Fundraising!    
Presenter: Mazarene Treyz provides expert fundraising and other support services to the nonprofit community. Owner Mazarene Treyz is author of "The Wild Woman's Guide to Fundraising", chosen as one of the top 10 nonprofit books of 2010 by Beth Kanter, CEO, Zoetica.

World Society for Protection of Animals
Philip Wilson, US Programs/Member Society Manager


WSPA’s vision is of a world where animal welfare matters, and animal cruelty ends."

For 30 years, WSPA has worked to promote animal welfare – most often in regions of the world where few, if any, measures exist to protect animals.

WSPA is the world’s largest alliance of animal welfare organizations, representing more than 1,000 member societies in more than 150 countries. The organization brings about change to benefit animals at both the grassroots and government level, and has consultative status at the United Nations and Council of Europe.

Future Is Now Foundation
Moderator/Presenter: Marcia Elder

Marcia is the Founding Director of the Future Is Now Foundation and has served as its Executive Director since 2002. She also has been a professional consultant for over 27 years, providing communications, technology and other professional services. She is a former state government official and holds a graduate degree in Environmental Engineering. Marcia is writing an inspiring and informative book about the care of special needs dogs and what it means to be an animal lover. Animals are her greatest passion in life, and she operates a farm-based education center where all animals are loved and live quality lives.


In addition to these highlights, other presenters include:

The Media
: Officials from the print, broadcast and on-line media

Philanthropy: Charitable funders and organizations that track charitable non-profits

Capacity:Experts in skills, solutions and other support for nonprofits, plus animal support leaders who have led by example

Policy: Elected official concerned about animal support needs

: Providers of tools and services to help animal support organizations


                              Virtual Series Presenter Bios

This section is "growing" and reserved for biographical sketches of the conference Faculty members. Beginning entries appear now.

Gregory Castle
Chief Executive Officer
Best Friends Animal Society

  Gregory Castle, one of the founders of Best Friends Animal Society, was named chief executive officer Jan. 29, 2010. Throughout much of the last 25 years, Gregory has been one of the key leaders in animal welfare, as well as a voice of reason and reconciliation among the grassroots rescue groups, animal shelters and national animal organizations. His commitment to raising public awareness about spay/neuter programs, feral cat issues, developing coalitions and working with governments to help animals is at the forefront of Gregory’s commitment to “No More Homeless Pets.”

Susan Robertson, CAE  
Executive Vice President & Foundation President, ASAE 

Susan Robertson is the Executive Vice President of ASAE & President of the ASAE Foundation.  As part of the executive office of the organization, her responsibilities include strategic and operational planning, and the leadership of teams focused on finance, community, meetings, membership, marketing, advertising, sponsorship, fundraising, publishing, social media & website, communications and public relations, fund raising, research, and credentialing.  During the past ten years with ASAE, she has served in progressively responsible roles including overall leadership of industry and market research and of the award-winning magazine, Associations Now

Prior to joining ASAE, Ms. Robertson was the Vice President of Marketing and Communications for U.S. Office Products, a multibillion dollar business products company, owning brands such as Mail Boxes, Etc. and Blue Star Group.  During her earlier career as a marketing and program development professional, she held positions with Ethan Allen, Inc. in its Danbury, CT headquarters, Washington-based National Office Products Association, and the National Dealer Alliance, where she was Executive Director.

Allan E. Kornberg, M.D.

Executive Director, Farm Sanctuary

Allan E. Kornberg, M.D. is the Executive Director of Farm Sanctuary. A lifelong animal advocate and vegetarian of more than 20 years, Dr. Kornberg formerly served as the U.S. Executive Director of the World Society for the Protection of Animals, a major international organization based in the U.K., and has worked with numerous other advocacy groups, including the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, to end the abuses of animals in factory farms and laboratories. In addition to his commitment to animal protection, Dr. Kornberg has also had a long and distinguished career in medicine as a pediatrician with more than 25 years of clinical and executive leadership experience.

Dr. Kornberg has practiced both primary care pediatrics and pediatric emergency medicine, and recently served as Senior Vice President for the National Initiative for Children’s Health Quality (NICHQ). His prior professional background includes being CEO of Network Health (a Medicaid health plan serving the poor in Massachusetts), Medical Director of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care (also in Massachusetts), Executive Director and Medical Director for the physician-hospital organization at Scottish Rite Children's Medical Center in Atlanta, and Chief of Emergency Medicine at Buffalo Children's Hospital in New York. His educational credentials include an undergraduate degree from MIT, a medical degree from Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, and an M.B.A. from the University of Rochester.

Julie Lewin
National Institute for Animal Advocacy

Julie created the animal advocacy presence in Connecticut's statehouse after convincing animal rights legend Cleveland Amory of The Fund for Animals to create a job for her there. She has also lobbied for the Animal Welfare Trust, ASPCA, Connecticut Humane Society, and the Humane Society of the US. She saw that political organizations that endorsed candidates had far more power in the lawmaking arena than charities, and that all other issue groups lobbied through political organizations. She left to write NIFAA's how-to book (above). Julie also provides political consulting through Strategic Political Services.

Adam Roberts
Executive VP, Born Free USA

Adam Roberts is the Executive Vice President of Born Free USA, based in Washington, DC.  He was a Founding Director of the organization, which was started in 2002 to bring the UK-based Born Free Foundation’s message of compassionate conservation to the American public.  He began his animal protection and conservation career in Washington in 1991.  In addition to directing the Born Free USA office, he serves on the Board of Directors of the Species Survival Network (SSN), a global coalition working on wildlife trade issues under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.  He chairs the SSN Press Committee, Financial Committee, Bear Working Group, and Animals in Captivity Working Group. 

Adam is also a Founding Director and Member of the Board of
Humane USA, a political action committee that works to raise funds for candidates for public office who have strong positions in favor of animal protection; and the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, which accredits wildlife sanctuaries against a set of rigorous operational and welfare standards. In 2003, Adam founded The $10 Club, a charity to fund poverty alleviation projects in developing countries.  To date, the organization has supported work in nearly 70 countries. He lives in Washington with his wife, Stephanie, daughters Bella (16) and Mia (6), two dogs, four cats, and two very pampered guinea pigs.

Stephan K. Otto
Director of Legislative Affairs
Animal Legal Defense Fund

Stephan K. Otto is an attorney and director of legislative affairs for the Animal Legal Defense Fund. In this capacity he oversees the development of animal protection laws at the local, state and federal levels. He is also an adjunct professor of law at Lewis & Clark Law School where he teaches an animal law legislation clinic. Mr. Otto is the author of various animal protection bills, statutes and ordinances in jurisdictions throughout the country. He is the publisher and editor of the Animal Protection Laws of the United States of America & Canada compendium (now in its eleventh year), ALDF Model Animal Protection Laws collection, and annual comparative reports, State Animal Protection Laws Rankings and Canadian Animal Protection Laws Rankings. Mr. Otto speaks on an array of animal-related issues at hearings and presentations across the country. He is frequently interviewed and quoted in regional, national and foreign media on a variety of animal law issues, and has published several articles on animal protection laws and legislation. Mr. Otto lives in Portland, Oregon and is a member of the Oregon and Washington Bars.

Mazarine Treyz

Author: The Wild Woman's Guide to Fundraising, Published November, 2010. Chosen as one of the top 10 nonprofit books of 2010 by Beth Kanter, CEO, Zoetica.

Entrepreneur: Chief Blogger at, 7,500 monthly readers, 200,000 hits, E-Products, social media consulting, nonprofit job coaching.

Fundraiser: Raised over $1M in 3 years for various nonprofit organizations via grants, events, appeals, digital marketing, and more.

Digital Marketing Consultant: Helping businesses control how they are found on the internet via workshops, one-on-one training, telephone sessions, worksheets, and turnkey solutions. Forthcoming book on Digital Marketing in 2011.

Stephen Wells

Executive Director
Animal Legal Defense Fund

Stephen Wells is the executive director of the Animal Legal Defense Fund. Over the past six years, until January, 2006, Stephen founded and served as the director of ALDF’s successful
 Animal Law Program which provides support and resources to ALDF’s law professional and law student members and pro bono opportunities for attorneys and firms to assist ALDF with its mission. Prior to joining ALDF in 1999, Stephen served as the executive director of the Alaska Wildlife Alliance in Anchorage where he became known for his work to protect Alaska’s wildlife, particularly wolves and bears, and its unique wild places. He has committed himself to animal and environmental protection and over the years, in addition to his full-time work, he has continued to volunteer his time for local organizations and projects.

Philip Wilson
U.S. Programs/Member Society Manager
Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA)

Philip Wilson is the U.S. Programs/Member Society Manager for the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), an international animal welfare organization that works to promote animal welfare and end animal cruelty. Philip joined WSPA in 1998, initially working on the organization’s wildlife programs in Europe and Asia. Since 2004, he has been based in the U.S. office, working closely with WSPA’s U.S. member organizations. Philip is also on the Board of the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS), an organization established in 2007 to help strengthen and support the work of animal sanctuaries in the U.S. and abroad.

 Stay tuned for additional details soon. 

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