Board of Directors
Our Board members are responsible for establishing policy and strategic direction, as well as creating opportunities and cultivating relationships that advance our mission and cause.
Angela Schaefer - President
Angie began volunteering in 2014 after adopting from our organization. Since then, she has been involved in fostering, volunteer training and assisting with events. Angie has a strong professional background in HR management and non-profit governance. During her career, Angie has served as Board President for multiple professional non-profits, and held membership for over 10 years with the Saint Louis Zoo Association Board of Directors and Young Zoo Friends Board of Directors. Angie and her husband, Collin, share their home with their cat, Remy, and their pups, Elwood, Milo, Daisy, and Truman (three of which are alumni!).
Laura Nelson - Vice President
Laura joined the Board of Directors in 2018 after she began her work with the ASPCA. Prior to the ASPCA, she was our first Program Director. Laura currently works on the transport team for the ASPCA and has done disaster relief after East Coast flooding. Laura has an incredible asset on the animal welfare industry on a national level and brings her expertise and professionalism to this board.
Kristen Burger - Vice President of Development
With a fifteen year career in non-profit development, Kristen brings fundraising acumen and insight to our board. Since 2017, Kristen and her family have been active in our foster program, but Kristen has been engaged in the local animal welfare community for many years. Along with their four children and two dogs, Kristen and her husband, Gary love fostering and educating their friends about the benefits of choosing pet adoption.
Jen Dolce - Treasurer
Since 2009, Jenny and her family’s business, Metro East Industries, Inc. have been one of our most supportive corporate partners and philanthropic families. Jenny’s background as the Controller of the company has been vitally important in our financial growth over the past nine years. For several years, she served as Board Treasurer during a previous board term.
MaryAnn Taylor Crate - Board Member
MaryAnn is the founder and principal of communications consulting firm Added Dimension, LLC in St. Charles, Missouri. Since 1992, she has worked in the St. Louis community, spearheading outreach and communication initiatives for a wide-range of public sector infrastructure projects and programs. Her experience includes designing engagement programs surrounding the development of feasibility studies, major investment studies, environmental assessments and remediation initiatives; trail, transit and rail-oriented project development and management; and growth management studies.
Laura Placio - Board Member
Laura is a retired Business Manager for John Burroughs School in St. Louis. For over three decades, she established and maintained firm financial practices at John Burroughs School while taking time to mentor other business officers in the region. She is the recent recipient of the Will J. Hancock Unsung Hero Award, which is given to business officers who have made extraordinary contributions to their schools and exemplify exceptional integrity, knowledge and motivation.
Sophya Qureshi Raza - Board Member
Sophya is an attorney at The Center for Family Law. She was named “Best Lawyer of the Year” for Family Law Mediation in St. Louis and Collaborative Law: Family Law in the 2022 Best Lawyers report, which uses a rigorous peer-selection process to recognize top legal practitioners in their field. This is her eighth consecutive year receiving high accolades from her peers in her practice area.
Ann Scharenberg - Board Member
Ann is a Senior Product Manager at Nestlé Purina North America (Purina) who has professional experience in the nonprofit sector. She is a St. Louis native with over 10 years of experience focused in product management, technology and user experience. In 2013, she began her career with Purina and for the past three years, she has been leading the technology transformation of Petfinder, an online, searchable database of animals who need homes.
Gateway Pet Guardians employs a powerful team of staff to execute day-to-day operations.
Katie Anderson - Community Support Manager, MSW
firstname.lastname@example.org | 618-687-8007 x 712
Katie joins us after serving children and families at an outpatient trauma clinic. She was previously involved with coordinating clinical services and providing supervision and consultation for a small team. Katie received her Masters degree in Social Work from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She has six years of experience working in a nonprofit setting and volunteer experience helping families who are grieving the death of a loved one. Throughout her practice as a social worker, she has emphasized the importance of increasing resilience, building on strengths and protective factors, and fostering community partnerships. Katie loves animals of all kinds and raised two ducklings as a kid. She is currently a proud mom to Buddy, her 10-year-old black lab mix, and Annie and Parsley, her guinea pigs.
Terradys Bonney - Animal Care Specialist
Terradys is originally from Maryland and moved to Baton Rouge while she attended Louisiana State University – she now calls East St. Louis home! She has an extensive background in customer service and is an active foster parent at our Pet Resource Center (pictured here with her former foster pup, Timbo).
Shaun Case - Clinic and Animal Care Specialist
Since 2008, Shaun and his wife, Jamie who is also our former executive director, have made our mission their life’s work. When moving into our St. Louis shelter location in 2012, Shaun was the first animal care specialist hired and has been with us ever since. His calm demeanor and passion for large dogs has been vital to socializing adoptable dogs while at the shelter, including his proposal to establish playgroups for long-term residents. Shaun is a father to two children, three dogs, three cats and one bunny.
Sara Cordevant - Intake, Diversion & Networking Manager
email@example.com | 618-687-8007 x 710
Starting as a volunteer in 2014, Sara became our first Intake, Networking and Diversion Manager in January 2019. She is a mother to a wonderful three-year-old son, Alec and a foster mom to many doggies & kitties.
Kristen Crady - Lead Animal Care Specialist
Kristen obtained her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and MBA from Missouri S&T. During her time in Rolla, she had the opportunity to volunteer at a local shelter and also rescued her first dog. She left the corporate world in 2019 to pursue a career in animal welfare. Kristen previously worked at another rescue where she cared for dogs, specializing in canine training and behavior. Animals are her passion with baking and volleyball following close behind. Kristen and her husband, Jim have a wonderful rescue pup named Chip who they love taking on adventures every chance they get.
Cara Dambach - Facilities Manager
firstname.lastname@example.org | 618-687-8007 x 708
Starting as a volunteer and foster in 2019, Cara quickly began managing the Cat Placement and Foster program, which allows her to oversee the journey of every feline who comes to our Pet Resource Center. In October 2020, Cara decided to get more involved by taking on bookkeeping and property management responsibilities as our first-ever Facilities Manager. Cara is a wife and mom to two teenagers, two cats and many foster kittens!
Brittany Fleming - Foster & Adoption Manager
email@example.com | 618-687-8007 x 706
Brittany has been with us since 2015. Animal rescue is her passion and behavior dogs are her specialty. Seeing an animal’s progression from shy, scared, or aggressive to confident, happy, and social dogs means everything to her and is why she loves to give every animal a chance no matter how they act on intake. She also oversees the placement of animals in foster homes.
Dr. Sarah Frei - Veterinarian
Sarah is very experienced in shelter medicine and has a passion for helping pets and the people who love them. She received her doctorate in veterinary medicine from The University of Missouri-Columbia in 2008 and has been a practicing veterinarian ever since. Her background is primarily in shelter medicine and animal welfare, and she also has experience treating owned pets. Sarah shares her home with one cat, a handful of snakes/lizards, and two wacky Australian Cattle Dogs (Karl is pictured).
Daphne Hicks - Customer Service Specialist
Daphne is our first-ever full-time Customer Service Specialist! She has many years of customer service experience and is a huge pet lover.
Jill Henke - Community Director
firstname.lastname@example.org | 618-687-8007 x 705
Jill Henke stepped into the Community Director role in October 2020 after serving as the Program Director for 2.5 years and most recently, the Development Director for 9 months. As Development Director, she oversaw all aspects of fundraising, development, marketing and PR. Her focus is on program and funding strategy, improving efficiency, improving communication and utilizing data to evaluate program effectiveness. Jill has been working and volunteering in animal welfare since 2006. She has two dogs of her own, Moose and Gus, and two cats, Jada and Carlton. In addition to her professional work at GPG, she also has a small dog sitting business called Aunt Jill’s Dog Sitting & Walking. Needless to say, dogs (and cats!) are her life! She has fostered over 300 dogs since 2006, mostly bully breeds. She’s been in love with GPG’s mission since she did a ride-along with PJ feeding strays in East St. Louis in 2012 and her love for GPG’s mission has only grown with an increased focus on community outreach efforts.
Anna Kerr - Animal Care Specialist
Anna Kerr is an O’Fallon, IL transplant from Quincy, IL and has six years’ experience in animal care and as a surgery tech at Quincy Humane Society
Rhianna Louis - Licensed Vet Technician
email@example.com | 618-687-8007 x 707
For nearly a decade, Rhianna has enjoyed being a vet technician. Outside of work, Rhianna enjoys being outside, gardening and of course animals. She also loves going on hikes with her son, exploring new parks/trails around the area. Rhianna has a deep passion for pitbulls and speaking against their breed bias. She has a senior pitbull, Jayda at home and this year, she adopted a four-month-old pitbull puppy named Sunny Tails. In addition to her dogs, she also has an eight-year-old cat named Darwyn and a bearded dragon from Petco named Kyle who couldn’t be adopted out due to a foot injury. Rhianna is really excited to start fostering for GPG as it will be a new learning experience. On the vet side, she is excited to assist with surgeries and get the clinic up and running too!
Amanda Loellke - Customer Service Manager
firstname.lastname@example.org | 618-687-8007 x 712
Before joining the team, Amanda worked with dogs at a boarding facility and also assisted with training hunting dogs. After working in criminal justice and psychology for a few years post college, Amanda realized she wanted to work with animals so she decided to pursue her passion full-time. Starting as a volunteer in 2019, Amanda joined the ranks as an animal care technician and seamlessly moved into a new role assisting clinic and various programming. With her background and natural flair in customer service, Amanda recently transitioned to the role of Customer Support Manager.
Matt Mason - Donor Relations Coordinator
email@example.com | 618-687-8007 x 716
Matt brings five years’ experience in data analysis to the Donor Services Coordinator position. Passionate about animal welfare, he has experience volunteering with animal rescue organizations, as well as training dogs in a volunteer and professional capacity. Matt and his wife, Annie, share their home with their two dogs, Harley and Quinn, and their cat, Banjo.
Katy Megahan - Marketing Manager
firstname.lastname@example.org | 618-687-8007 x 709
Katy brings eight years of experience managing and supporting various marketing and development efforts with a focus in database management, event coordination and content development. In her last position, she worked for an animal welfare organization where she supported various development projects, including corporate and individual sponsorships. In her personal life, Katy and her husband, Justin are foster parents and also have three cats of their own – Jeremiah, Albert and Bertie.
Dr. Ed Migneco - Veterinarian
From our inception in 2004, Dr. Ed Migneco has been a part of our mission providing veterinary care for all rescued pets and also owned pets through our public clinic. His shelter medicine expertise is vitally important to our daily medical decisions.
Diana Pupillo - Development Director
email@example.com | 618-687-8007 x 715
Diana brings more than 15 years of fundraising/development experience. Her last role focused on strengthening relationships with donors at University of Missouri-St. Louis and she has experience in both health care and education. Diana has served on the boards of two animal adoption agencies and has a passion for animal welfare. Diana shares her home with three cats and a retired greyhound.
Rin Robinson - Clinic Manager
Arlando Rogers - Facilities Specialist
Arlando worked in our building when it was a school years ago and we were so excited to welcome him back! He is the proud dad of two kids and one very spoiled Shih Tzu pup.
Emily Stuart - Executive Director, MSW
firstname.lastname@example.org | 618-687-8007 x 703 (Habla español)
Emily oversees a team of skilled staff and volunteers who coordinate veterinary, animal shelter and community programming. Emily has her Master in Social Work degree from Washington University in St. Louis and over 13 years of nonprofit experience specializing in program evaluation, program design, and fund development. Emily is the co-founder of the St. Louis Immigrant Family Emergency Response Fund and sits on the Executive Committee of the Immigrant Service Providers Network. She is an adjunct professor at both Washington University and Saint Louis University. Emily provided research support on economic mobility for the Ferguson Commission and is passionate about infusing racial equity in all facets of the animal welfare industry.
Alisha Vianello - Program Director
email@example.com | 618-687-8007 x 704
Alisha grew up on a farm and has always been passionate about animals. Since 2016, Alisha has been a volunteer and foster at our Pet Resource Center. In her professional career, she has experience working in both animal welfare and HR Management. In 2019, she made the leap from corporate America to her dream job working to help our pet welfare community thrive. As Program Director, she oversees all facets of animal care – shelter, veterinary and foster support, as well as intake/rescue, adoption and volunteer programming.
Stay in Touch!
Sign up to receive emails and updates from
Gateway Pet Guardians.