Board of Directors

Cynthia Bathurst 


Cynthia Bathurst serves as Board President and Executive Director for Safe Humane Chicago and is a Founding Director. She co-founded D.A.W.G. (Dog Advisory Work Group) in 2000 and Safe Humane Chicago in 2007. During a 25-year-long career in mathematics consulting, she was led to community policing and organizing, prompted by crime and violence in Chicago communities. She 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. Cynthia has joined with others to build an extensive alliance of partners, all working toward creating safe and humane communities for people and animals alike. 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. 

Kimberly Boggs


Kim Boggs serves as Board Vice-President. She became involved with Safe Humane Chicago 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 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 2008. In her day-job, Kim works as . She is a self-described wrangler of three disabled rescue cats, including two neurologically-challenged "wobblers" and a deaf but very vocal orange tabby named Doodlebug.

Mary Bruner Rutherford 

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Mary Rutherford was elected to the Board in 2017 and currently serves as Board Secretary. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who lives in Colorado. She has spent the past twenty years working in the health care field, with a focus on geriatrics. She also volunteers at Longmont Humane Society, which allows her to pursue her passion of working with shelter dogs.  She is an active supporter of Dalmatian Rescue of Colorado, and currently shares her home with three rescue Dalmatians. In addition to Dalmatians, Mary is also active in pit bull rescue, and has three pit bulls, one of whom is a certified therapy dog.  Mary became aware of Safe Humane Chicago through a friend, which led her to foster, and subsequently adopt, Court Case Dog Piglet. As Mary learned more about the mission of Safe Humane Chicago, she realized that their programming combined her passion of utilizing the human animal bond to make life better for people and animals. She has a special interest in at-risk youth and looks forward to continuing to support opportunities for them to experience the positive impact of the human-animal bond. Mary considers Chicago to be her second home  and looks forward to returning there often to work towards safe and humane communities for all.   


Daniel Donoghue 


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.


Kristin Avery

Kristin Avery Headshot

Kristin Avery was elected to the Board in 2018. 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 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. Most 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.

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. 

Keri Burchfield 


Keri Burchfield is a professor of sociology at Northern Illinois University.  She has served on the Board since May 2013 after having been an active volunteer since August 2010.  Safe Humane Chicago's objective of breaking the cycle of violence by educating young people about compassion toward animals complements her research on the causes and consequences of crime in Chicago neighborhoods.  Keri runs the Lifetime Bonds Kane County program at the Illinois Youth Center in St. Charles and assists Safe Humane with grant-writing.  She and her husband share their home with a rescue pittie named Sue.

Stephen W. Gazaway


Stephen Gazaway was born and raised in Chicago, 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, Stephen 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 where Stephen 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, Stephen 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 6th,7th and 8th grade, to Sophomore year in high school. Stephen Gazaway 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.  


Eilene Ladson


Eilene Ladson is the Auxiliary Board Chair and serves on the Board of Directors as its 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. 

Stacey Hawk 


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 Kira and Journey, two German Shepherds, and her cat Tiva.