Staff and Board

Staff

Administrative Staff

Kathryn Ruggeri

Kathryn Ruggeri

Executive Director

kathryn@paws4ever.org
919.241.8438 ext. 101

Kathryn has more than 15 years of experience in nonprofit operations and management. She enjoys working with the entire Paws4ever team to build real relationships with our animals and community, and getting to see hard work pay off as Paws4ever’s impact grows. She also enjoys spreadsheets, numbers, and the details that make organizations run smoothly. Kathryn loves raising her two children, reading, and spending time near water. She has a 9-year-old Boxer named Gilford who loves coming to “work” at Paws4ever!

Kathy McVay

Kathy McVay

Business Manager

kathy@paws4ever.org
919.241.8438 ext. 110

Kathy enjoys using her bookkeeping skills to support the animals she loves! You’ll often find Paws4ever shelter dogs lounging next to Kathy’s desk in the Admin office. She spends her free time with her grandchildren and her two cattle dogs, Bandit and Lucy. Her dogs keep her entertained with their fun games – as soon as she throws a ball for Bandit, Lucy takes it and drops it further away for Bandit to retrieve! Kathy is famous for her beautiful flower garden and her holiday cookie baking tradition.

Sondra Jones

Sondra Jones

Development Manager

sondra@paws4ever.org
919.241.8438 ext. 104

Sondra has a background in Sociology and has chosen to focus her work in philanthropy because it combines her love of building connections with people and her desire to make a positive impact in the world. She finds her work at Paws4ever rewarding because she gets to be a part of a passionate, dedicated community of donors, volunteers, and staff who are all working together toward a common vision. She enjoys spending time with her family, being outside, trying new recipes, and attending community events in the Triangle. She adopted her sweet and energetic dog Abby from Paws4ever!

 Emily Albert

Emily Albert

Development and Communications Associate

emily@paws4ever.org

Emily loves receiving photos and stories of adopted animals in their new homes, and sharing those updates with the community of supporters who made their journeys possible! When she isn’t at work writing true stories about the animals at Paws4ever, she writes and reads a lot of fiction (mostly sci-fi, fantasy, and mysteries). She also enjoys cooking, playing board games, and spending time with her family. Emily’s home is run by her three affectionate and goofy cats – Samwise, Merlin, and Ollivander.

Adoption Center919.241.8438 ext. 103

Sara Shellman

Sara Shellman

Adoption Center Manager

sara@paws4ever.org
919.241.8438 ext. 115

Sara has more than 20 years of experience working with animals professionally. She enjoys getting to be a part of a unique rescue that is genuine and compassionate about animal welfare and supporting pet owners. She enjoys guiding animal care staff in general animal husbandry and talking with adopters about pet nutrition. When asked what she enjoys in her free time, Sara says “hiking, hiking, and more hiking!” Sara has a dog named Biggs and four cats – Gary Dartanian, Shower, Rosemary, and Linnaeus!

Ashley Harvell

Ashley Harvell

Intake Coordinator

ashley@paws4ever.org

Ashley finds her work at Paws4ever rewarding because the quality time spent getting to know an animal and providing training and enrichment all pays off when their big adoption day comes!  Ashley is interested in wildlife rehab and enjoys crafting, hiking, and watching educational videos about animals in her free time. Her dog Tucker was adopted from Paws4ever! She also has a corn snake, a leopard gecko, a crested gecko, two guinea pigs, and eight fish tanks!

April Ross

April Ross

Animal Care Tech

april.ross@paws4ever.org

April loves helping the animals at Paws4ever to feel safe, secure, and loved while they wait for their forever homes. In her free time, she enjoys hanging out with her family and her own kitties. She has two seven-year-old cats, Atticus and Amadeus, that she raised from 5 weeks old. 

Kaylee Judd

Kaylee Judd

Adoption Coordinator

kaylee@paws4ever.org

Kaylee loves working with pets and adopters to find just the right match! She is a life-long bully breed lover, and has a pit/lab mix named Coda. Coda struggles with anxiety, and Kaylee enjoys learning new training techniques to help him live his best life. At home and at work, she loves helping animals progress in their behavior and mental health. Outside of work, Kaylee enjoys baking, gardening, reading, and watching movies with her husband and Coda!

Dog Training Program 919.241.8438 ext. 102

Susan Spinks

Susan Spinks

Dog Training Program Manager

susan@paws4ever.org
919.241.8438 ext. 102

Susan is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer through the CCPDT and she strongly believes that all clients and dogs should leave each class feeling great about their performance, potential, and future. She started training after adopting Chloe, a very “vibrant” dog, and hasn’t stopped since! She enjoys reading and watching TV and movies in her free time. Fun fact for movie buffs: Susan was an extra in the 80’s movie The Big Brawl!

Read more about Susan’s Dog Training experience.

Melanie Berk

Melanie Berk

Home Care Coordinator, Senior Dog Training Instructor

melanie@paws4ever.org
919.241.8438 ext. 117

Melanie is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer through the CCPDT and has an extensive background in animal care, shelter pet behavior, adoption counseling, and coordinating foster programs. She has a Pitbull mix named Seamus, a Beagle named Shiloh, and a horse named Nick! Melanie enjoys hiking and spending time with her family.

Read more about Melanie’s Dog Training experience.

Cecelia Erwin

Cecelia Erwin

Dog Training Instructor

cecelia@paws4ever.org 

Cecelia is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer through the CCPDT. She loves helping dog owners build relationships with their pets and setting them up for success beyond the classroom. She especially enjoys working with exuberant adolescent dogs. Cecelia has two dogs, Pig and Beetle, a cat named Sookie, a rabbit named Eunice, two ponies, Brutus and Fiona, and a ex-racing horse named Barnaby! When she isn’t training animals, Cecelia loves to read science fiction.

Read more about Cecelia’s Dog Training experience

Anessa Custovic

Anessa Custovic

Dog Training Instructor

anessa@paws4ever.org 

Anessa loves to see people having fun with their dogs. When she teaches classes, she likes to keep the tone light and encouraging. If a dog handler seems frustrated at the beginning of the lesson, her goal is to see that human and dog team having fun together by the end of class. When she isn’t training dogs at Paws4ever, Anessa is a Quantitative Research Analyst. In her free time, she likes to train her own dogs and take them on hikes. She has a cat named Reggie, a black lab named Dash who is still a playful puppy at 4.5 years old, and a German Shepherd named Kara, whose affectionate nickname is “monster.” 

Read more about Anessa’s Dog Training experience

ReSale Store – 919.245.0445

Terri Shue

Terri Shue

ReSale Store Manager

terri@paws4ever.org
919.241.8438 ext. 107

Terri has a background in animal care, and she started out at Paws4ever as an Animal Care Tech. She loves knowing that she works for an organization that has such a deep passion for animals’ well-being. In her free time, she enjoys hanging out with her family and her dogs. She has two beagles, Jake and Piper. Jake loves coming with her to the ReSale Store, and he has his own set of fans. When customers come in, the first thing they say is “Hey Jake!”

Board of Directors

David Schmidt (President)

Owner, Green Beagle Lodge

Kendall H. Page (Vice President)

Attorney at Law

Leigh Matthews (Treasurer)

Local Business Owner
Senior Financial Services Officer, State Employees Credit Union

Jill Grant (Secretary)

Contracted Clinical/Forensic Psychologist
Retired, Federal Bureau of Prisons

Perry Dowd

Rob Johnson

Home Mortgage Consultant, Union Home Mortgage

Carla Julian

Compliance Manager/HIPAA Privacy Officer, Orange County Health Department

Lene Kiester

Corporate Manager of Revenue Strategy, Concord Hospitality

Jaye J. Kreller

Real Estate Broker, Tony Hall & Associates

Jeff Hockett

Real Estate Sales Assistant to Chris Culbreth, Tony Hall & Associates

Katie Stember

Associate Director, Life Science Economic Development, North Carolina Biotechnology Center
Katie Stember Photography

Sally Schatz

Director of Development, Duke Health

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