Board of Directors
Kim Boggs was elected Board President in November 2019. She became committed to Safe Humane Chicago's mission after overhearing an elementary school student tell a Safe Humane Youth Leader that he had been to a dogfight. She realized that helping animals alone wasn’t going to create safe and humane communities. Kim has served on the Board since 2010, using her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Marquette University and law degree from the University of Loyola Chicago to assist with board governance and policy-making. She is very involved with every program and special events, even chaperoning a group of Safe Humane Youth Leaders to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah, in 2009. In her day-job, Kim works as a trusted advisor to businesses all over the Midwest advising them on compliant employee benefit program design and administration. She is a cat foster for a CACC-approved Homeward Bound rescue and currently lives with three of her foster failures - Henrietta, Rikki Barbie and Charley Bear.
Eilene Ladson serves as Board Vice President for Safe Humane Chicago. Eilene was first introduced to Safe Humane in 2016 when one of her military clients participated in the Veterans Advancing the Lives of Rescues (VALOR) program. Since that first training session, Eilene has been deeply dedicated to the mission and work of Safe Humane. In 2017 she organized, implemented and then led the Auxiliary Board which helped raise more than $16k in its first full year of operation. As Vice President of the Board, Eilene chairs the Development Committee which raises funds to support the organization’s mission to create safe and humane communities by inspiring positive relationships between people and animals.
In her daytime role, Eilene Ladson serves as the Trauma Program Manager at Illinois Collaboration on Youth (ICOY). There she leads the trauma department in collaborating with larger trauma movements throughout the city, state, and country to ensure the service providers are equipped to provide culturally competent, trauma-informed services to young people and their families. Eilene is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with experience working with youth and their biological families in the foster care system as well as individuals, couples, and families connected to the military. Eilene graduated from DePauw University with a B.A. in psychology and Purdue University with an M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy.
Kristin Avery was elected to the Board in 2018 and elected Board Secretary in November 2019. She is an award-winning writer, blogger, and social media influencer whose work has appeared in Best Friends Magazine, on a variety of websites, in animal related anthologies, and on her blog myrescuedlife.com. She received her MFA in Creative Writing and Visual Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Kristin worked in nonprofit fundraising for more than 15 years, before leaving in 2017 to concentrate on her writing. She now splits her time between her blog, freelance writing in the pet industry, and contract grant writing. Recently she was elected Secretary for the Dog Writers Association of America. She shares her home with her husband, daughter, senior Yorkie-poo (also a court case dog), three cats, and two mice.
Dan Donoghue was elected to the Board in 2019 and currently serves as Board Treasurer. Dan recently retired from a 35-year career in finance and is now engaged in personal research and writing projects. He founded Discovery Equity Partners in 2002, a hedge fund focused on small capitalization public companies, investing on behalf of large college endowments and charitable foundations until 2018. From 1997 to 2002, Dan was Co-Head of the Mergers & Acquisitions Group at Piper Jaffray. From 1985 to 1996, Dan was an executive vice president with Duff & Phelps, an investment management and research firm. He began his career in public accounting with Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co. Dan has provided expert testimony before the U.S. Congress and the Securities and Exchange Commission. He served as a member of the Financial Accounting Standards Advisory Council. He is a CPA (inactive) and a CFA. Dan graduated Summa Cum Laude from Boston College and received an MBA from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. Dan and Meg have three adult children. They hike daily with their two dogs Blitzen and Zuzu, constant reminders that dogs truly are the ambassadors sent to us from the animal kingdom.
Cynthia Bathurst co-founded Safe Humane Chicago and now serves as Chief Executive Officer; as CEO and Past President, she is a voting member of the Board. Cynthia co-founded D.A.W.G. (Dog Advisory Work Group) in 2000 and then reorganized it as Safe Humane Chicago in 2007; she worked with the Board of Directors and pro bono legal counsel to make "Safe Humane" the organization's legal name and registered trademark with vibrant successful programming in 2013.
Cynthia received a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics and computer science from the University of Alabama and a Ph.D. through the English Department at The University of Iowa. Following several years of teaching college-level rhetoric and during her 25-year-long career in mathematics consulting, she was led to community policing and organizing, prompted by crime and violence in Chicago communities, and to working with neighborhood groups on community issues, including sharing public spaces wisely with people and companion animals. She joined with others to build an extensive alliance of partners and collaborators, all working toward creating safe and humane communities for people and animals by engaging them in programs to help and heal each other. Cynthia also serves an advisor on the National Canine Research Council and is the appointed chair of Chicago’s Commission on Animal Care and Control.
Grace Johnson Adams
Grace Adams is a communications professional and dog advocate/lover. She 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 Board. She is the proud paw-rent of Hal Jordan, an adopted pinny-poo mix named after the Green Lantern.
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 infant daughter and two rescue pups (both Safe Humane Court Case Dogs) Hector and Nuno Bettencourt.
J.B. Bruederle, DVM
J.B. Bruederle is an active Chicago veterinarian and is passionate about the relationship between young people and animals. He graduated from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in 1991, and he has been co-owner of a small animal hospital since 1994. He has served as President of the Chicago Veterinary Medical Association and the Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association, as American Animal Hospital Association Liaison to the students at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine and as the President of the College of Veterinary Medicine Alumni Association. He was very involved in Alderman Schulter's animal task force that prevented the implementation of dangerous breed legislation to city council. Dr. Bruederle also served on the Animal Care and Control Task Force that dealt with the distemper outbreak of 2004.
Berkley Cameron is co-chair of our 20th anniversary Diamonds in the Ruff 2020, serving on the Development Committee. She 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 works for Philips Medical selling 3D software to cardiologists. In her spare time she enjoys traveling, working out, volunteering and is an avid sports fan.
Esam Farraj is an IT Specialist at a local hospital and avid animal lover and supporter. He joined the Safe Humane family in January 2019 as a member of the Auxiliary Board and has since joined the Board of Directors in late 2019, focusing on the organization's technology infrastructure. He was introduced to Safe Humane by a fellow Board member and was instantly interested and involved. Esam says it is the unique work that Safe Humane does to sponsor, advocate, and train the dogs AND people that engages him. Although he does not have any pets of his own, yet, he spends a lot of his time taking care of animals for his friends and family.
Stephen Gazaway was born and raised in Chicago, and he has been an advocate for peace and justice for most of his adult life. A veteran of the United States Air Force and a Desert Storm war veteran, Stephen has extensive knowledge in business management, communications, electronics and life skills. After serving in the military, he began the journey of different entrepreneurial ventures along with learning the industry on working in the non-profit arena. In 2010 Stephen joined the K.L.E.O. Community Family Life Center as Mentor, Instructor, Project Manager and Manager of External Affairs from 2010-2017. It is there he nurtured many collaborative efforts with outside organizations as well as working with politicians, community organizations, community leaders and activists to provide services for the empowerment and betterment of community. Currently, Stephen is owner of a property maintenance company (G7 Enterprises Inc.) and Founder of Youth for Peace Inc., a non-profit focused on housing for homeless/displaced youth currently enrolled in Chicago CPS schooling systems. Along with the business ventures, he is still an advocate of mentoring programs and a male mentor/counselor at Chicago Youth Program (CYP) and Youth Guidance B.A.M (Becoming A Man) for youth in 6th, 7th and 8th grades to Sophomore in high school. Stephen is rooted in his desire to see disadvantaged youth receive the support that allows them to break down the barriers of the stereotypes casting beheld to them and prove to be the dynamic individuals they are destined to be.
Tracy Gryka is co-chair of our 20th anniversary Diamonds in the Ruff 2020, serving on the Board's Development and Communications committees. 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 dog rescue Chicago Pit Stop Rescue whenever needed.
Angelina Keating is a real estate broker and consultant and J.D. candidate at DePaul University College of Law. Her mother, who serves as a Safe Humane court advocate, introduced her to Safe Humane and all the good that it does for both animals and the Chicagoland community. Angelina is a lifetime animal lover and is currently a happy dog mom of two, a brother and sister duo adopted from Wright Way Rescue earlier this year. She is a member of the DePaul chapter of the Animal Legal Defense Fund. Angelina hopes to use her knowledge at the intersection of law and the Chicago landscape, along with her passion for animals, to further the mission of Safe Humane and animal rights at large.
Zack Keller 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.
Lynsey Sloan is a social worker who has worked in foster care and adoption in Chicago for over 10 years. As the Senior Director of Foster Care & Clinical Services at a local non-profit, she oversees a program of approximately 250 youth and 40 staff working with the courts and foster care system 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 cat, who she rescued at 5 weeks old in 2008, and a dog she adopted 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 she loves that it fits with the social work tenets of social justice and caring for the vulnerable and oppressed.
Stacey Hawk is a Founding Director of D.A.W.G. (Dog Advisory Work Group) and Safe Humane Chicago. She is known in the Chicago area as owner of Hawk City K9 and agility dog training instructor. She has been involved with Safe Humane Chicago programming since its inception. Because of her specialized day job, Stacey is positioned to promote the Safe Humane mission to thousands of dog guardians in the Chicago area. She also co-leads Dog and Handler Team Assessments, which is responsible for selecting Safe Humane Ambassador Dogs, and led the community outreach Kids, Animals and Kindness efforts. Stacey received her Bachelor’s Degree in Administration of Justice, Child and Family from Southern Illinois University. She is the co-founder and chair of the Wiggly Field Advisory Committee and Director of the Wrightwood Neighborhood Association. She serves as a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, the National Association of Canine Scent Work and the National Dock Dogs Association. Stacey shares her home with Journey -- a German Shepherd -- and her cat Tiva.