Board of Directors

Cynthia Bathurst
serves as Board President and Executive Director for Safe Humane Chicago. 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’s vision has led Safe Humane Chicago to where it is today, and she has joined with others to build an extensive alliance of partners, all working toward creating safe and humane communities. Cynthia also serves an advisor on the National Canine Research Council and is a member of Chicago’s Commission on Animal Care and Control. Cynthia considers herself the special guardian of every dog or cat who is a Safe Humane Ambassador and from the Court Case Animals Program.


Kimberly Boggs
serves as Board Secretary. 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 a Senior Benefits Advisor at a corporate law firm. 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.


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 2004.  He has served as President of the Chicago Veterinary Medical Association and the Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association, as American Animal Hospital Associate 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 is a professor of sociology at NIU.  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.  In addition to regular volunteering at IYC Chicago, Youth Leaders and the Court Case Dogs, Keri has assisted Safe Humane Chicago with grant-writing and is analyzing Chicago Police Department Data related to animal crimes.  She is also a member of the newly formed Safe Humane Chicago Running Team.  She shares her home with a retired racing greyhound and a Safe Humane Chicago Ambassador Dog, Claire.


Y'vonne Feeney
 has been a board member since April 2013. She has been an active volunteer with the Lifetime Bonds Program at IYC with her SHC Ambassador dog, Sasha, since 2010. She is involved in the Fundraising Events Working Group and created the inaugural Safe Humane Chicago Running Club in 2013 and is an active member of the team. She has also been an active volunteer with Chicago Canine Rescue for several years and previously tutored kids through Cabrini Green Youth Programs. SHC combines her passion for educating and empowering inner-city youth and instilling compassion for companion animals. Yvonne is married to pro bono SHC staff photographer, Josh Feeney, and they share their home with 2 cats and 2 dogs. Yvonne has been at Northwestern University since 2000 and is currently the lab manager of a breast cancer research lab at the Robert H. Lurie Cancer Research Center. 

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.

Susan Panzer was elected Board Treasurer in 2017.

Mary Bruner Rutherford was elected to the Board in 2017.






Jim Rodgers acts as the Finance Director and supports the Board Treasurer in her duties.  Jim served as Board Treasurer for Safe Humane Chicago from 2011 through 2016 and has acted as advisor for the organization since its inception. Jim has 25 years of experience as a nonprofit executive with training in economics, insurance and taxation and strategy, earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of Alabama and Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Iowa. He believes strongly in the impact of Safe Humane programs, from increased arrests and effective prosecutions of crimes against animals, to the transformation of incarcerated teens in their learning to bond with and care for animals.





Ananda Breslof
has served on the Board of Directors for D.A.W.G. and Safe Humane Chicago since their inception, co-chairing efforts to educate communities about sharing public spaces wisely. She currently helps organize events for Safe Humane Chicago to promote what she calls happy, healthy, thriving communities and a loving coexistence with animals and nature. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Art from New York University and currently owns Flowerlife, a full-service special event floral company, which lends expertise in event-planning and design to Safe Humane events. Ananda is the president of Walsh Park Advisory Council as well as chair of the Walsh Park Dog-Friendly Area (DFA). She shares her home with a “little golden nugget” Golden Retriever named Mathias.

Sherri Kiefner

Kathy Horky

Carrie Nutter serves as Safe Humane Chicago’s Board Secretary. She has been with the organization since its incorporation as D.A.W.G. (Dog Advisory Work Group) in 2000 and through its name change to Safe Humane Chicago seven years later. She spends her days as an Occupational Therapist for Chicago Public Schools as well as in a hippotherapy program at Freedom Woods Equestrian Center. Carrie received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from DePaul University and earned two Master’s Degrees, one in Management of Public Services from DePaul and one in Occupational Therapy from Rush University. Carrie supports numerous animal welfare and rights organizations in the Chicago area, working on the belief in, and importance of, the human-animal bond. She and her husband share their home with a senior greyhound Grayson and black cat Monet.

Christa Velbel