Auxiliary Board Members
Eilene Ladson is the Auxiliary Board Chair and serves on the Board of Directors as a liaison. She is a trauma-focused marriage and family therapist who works with service members, veterans, and their families. She first became involved with Safe Humane through the Veterans Advancing the Lives of Rescues (VALOR) program and fell in love with the organization’s commitment to creating safe and humane communities. She dedicates her time to promoting social justice and advocating for those in need. In her spare time, she enjoys cheering for The Ohio State Buckeyes and practicing Krav Maga. Eilene currently serves as Chairperson of the Auxiliary Board.
Alex Conner is the Auxiliary Board Vice-Chair. He graduated from the Kelley School of Business of Indiana University in Bloomington. For the last 5 years he has been working with RedSky Technologies in Chicago in varying sales positions. Currently Alex leads RedSky's government contracting efforts as their Federal Sales Director. Alex's past times include volunteering for Safe Humane, loving pizza entirely too much, and being extremely disappointed that Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardy is not a real place.
Tracy Gyka serves as Auxiliary Board Secretary. She works as a Software Support Analyst for Midtown Athletic Clubs. She became involved with Safe Humane shortly after becoming a "Foster Failure" and adopting Safe Humane Court Case Dog Smitten. From Manners class to recently becoming an Ambassador Team, Tracy and Smitten spend their spare time taking Janice Triptow’s nosework class, training for races and assisting Chicago Pit Stop Rescue whenever needed.
Zachary Keller is the Auxiliary Board Treasurer. He is a technology consultant living in the Lakeview neighborhood. He grew up on a farm and has been around animals his entire life. Growing up his family rescued many dogs, which is where he developed his love for animals. He is excited for the opportunity to give back to the dogs and Chicagoland community.
Carlos Balandrin has been an animal lover since birth, but he credits his passion for saving animals to his wife, Natalie, a regular volunteer with Safe Humane. He graduated from the University of Illinois and later from the University of Illinois Chicago with an MBA. He currently works in the beer industry as a Sales Director and enjoys spending his free time with his two rescue pups (both Safe Humane Court Case Dogs) Hector and Nuno Bettencourt.
Alexandra Buol has been an animal lover and dog owner since the age of 5. She has a rescued Akita named Lucy, who was saved from a dog fighting ring in Kentucky. After seeing first hand how an abused dog is able to overcome and love others, she realized that she wanted to help other abused and neglected dogs received the happy ending that they deserve. Alexandra also has an American Pit bull Terrior named Texas Firecracker. This lovable pitty helped Lucy in her recovery and are essential parts of Alexandra’s family. Professionally, Alexandra is a clinical mental health counselor contracted by DCFS to help children and their families who are in foster care. Helping others is cornerstone of Alexandra’s life and the main motivator for her joining the Auxiliary Board.
Berkley credits her passion for saving animals to her dad. Growing up in Iowa she and her dad would save stray cats, turtles, birds, and just about anything that they came across on the farm. She got involved with fostering animals 10 years ago and eventually adopted her two dogs, Duddley and Lucky, and her cat, Winky.
Berkley has a passion for volunteering and is excited to work with Safe Humane because it combines two of her biggest passions: saving animals and bettering the community she lives in. She is an active volunteer with Alive Rescue and helps with the Alive and Running program and fundraising committee. Through Alive she was introduced to Chicago Animal Care and Control and Safe Humane and really loved the work being done and the mission. Berkley is also active in several programs for youth including Dreams For Kids and My Team Triumph. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Blessons Scholarships for Women. During the day Berkley sells 3D medical software for ultrasound and serves on several committees for charities in the Chicago area. In her spare time she enjoys traveling, working out, volunteering and is an avid sports fan.
Lizzie Fahling is a non-profit professional, with the last several years working in animal welfare. She first became aware of the great work Safe Humane does when her and her husband began fostering the silliest little court case dog names Sage. Lizzie’s passion for animals and humane communities is deeply ingrained. She completed her Masters in Human Rights at the University of Glasgow in 2011 and has spent the last seven years pursuing a career to better the world for humans and animals. When Lizzie isn’t working she can be found hiking and camping with her two rescue dogs, baking, or volunteering with local rescues.
Jenelle Gallagher .
Lindsey Holloway .
Grace V. Johnson is a communications professional and dog advocate/lover. She recently graduated from DePaul University with her master of nonprofit management, hoping to one day work for an animal welfare or animal conservation nonprofit. Grace discovered Safe Humane when conducting the capstone for her master’s degree, focusing specifically on the VALOR program. She fell in love with the mission of Safe Humane and is thrilled to be a part of the Auxiliary Board. She is the proud paw-rent of Hal Jordan, an adopted pinny-poo mix named after the Green Lantern.
Lynsey Sloan seres as the Membership Chair for the Auxiliary Board. She is a social worker who has worked in child foster care and adoption for 10 years. As the Director of Foster Care & Clinical Services at a local non-profit, she oversees a program of approximately 200 youth and 40 staff working with the courts and foster care program to ensure children are safe and in loving homes. Lynsey loves animals, and grew up with dogs, cats, and fish as family pets. Currently, Lynsey has a 10-year-old cat, who she rescued at 5 weeks old, and she adopted a dog from Chicago Animal Care & Control in 2018. Lynsey fully supports Safe Humane's mission of creating safe and humane communities for people and animals, and loves that it fits with the social work tenets of social justice and caring for the vulnerable and oppressed.