Kathleen Olson, CAWA, President
Kathleen is Executive Director at Purrfect Pals Cat Sanctuary & Adoption Centers. She rejoined the board for a second term in April 2018. She has served as Secretary and on the Federation Strategic Planning and Legislative Committees and as Chairperson of the Membership & Fundraising Committee. She was Executive Director for the Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County, March 2007 – March 2017 and previously was the Executive Director at Point Defiance Zoological Society for eight years. She earned her Certified Animal Welfare Administrator (CAWA) designation in 2012 and was re-certified in 2015, 2018 and 2021. Pit bulls, senior dogs and cats are her favorite pets and she fosters hospice and medical cats as well. She served as Annual Conference Chairperson 2020-2022 for the Association for Animal Welfare Advancement. She is an active member of the Pet Alliance of Washington and an Animal Rescue Volunteer with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).
Gene Mueller, DVM, Vice President
Gene Mueller, DVM, MPH, has been the Manager of Regional Animal Services of King County since 2012. Gene previously led the Chicago Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Center, Chicago’s largest critical-care veterinary hospital, and served as the President of the Anti-Cruelty Society, one of the nation’s oldest Humane Societies located in Chicago. He also has previous experience in the public sector, having led the Commission on Animal Care and Control for the City of Chicago, as well as serving as an epidemiologist and as Director of Environmental Health with the Chicago Department of Public Health. He holds a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Illinois. He began his career a long time ago as a veterinarian in the Chicago suburb of Wilmette.
Laura Clark, Secretary
Laura has worked at the Whatcom Humane Society for 15+ years and has been the executive director since 2009. She describes her job as the “best job in the world.” Laura has extensive experience in animal sheltering, animal control, fundraising, volunteer management, community outreach, capital campaigns and program/budget development. Laura is currently the co-chair of the Federation’s legislative committee and has a strong desire and commitment to work on improving legislation that protects domestic, wild and farm animals on a local, state and federal level. Laura lives in rural Whatcom County and shares her home with her husband, dogs, cats and chickens.
Amy Ferguson, Treasurer
Amy Ferguson is the executive Feral Cat Spay/Neuter Project, one of the first HQHVSN clinics in Washington. Amy was the executive director of ARF of Everett and Pawsitive Alliance before working at FCSNP . Prior to her career in the non-profit sector, Amy worked in health insurance. Amy sits on the board of an animal rescue nonprofit in addition to her board role at Washington Federation. Amy, her husband, Jonathan, three cats, and exuberant dog, Tally, live in downtown Everett and occasionally share their home with foster kittens.
Hilary Hager, Past President
Hilary has served on the board since 2007, and was board President from 2014 to 2021. Hilary is the Senior Director of Outreach & Engagement at The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), based from her home office here in Washington. Her role is to design and implement organizational structure for volunteer engagement at HSUS, to serve as internal consultant to the various programs to ensure they are in alignment with best practices in volunteer management, and to provide resources and training to managers of volunteers in the larger animal protection community. Prior to joining The HSUS in 2011, Hilary spent over ten years working in companion animal shelters, first at PAWS in Lynnwood, and then at Everett Animal Services, managing volunteer and other various programs and serving in leadership roles. Hilary holds a Master’s in Nonprofit Leadership from Seattle University and served in the Peace Corps in Mongolia. She lives in Mukilteo with her husband, dogs Barley and Henry, and cats Arlo and Bug.
Bonne founded MEOW Cat Rescue in 1997 and continues to serve as Executive Director. In 2011, she became a Co-Founding Board Member of Community Cat Coalition, an organization whose mission is to educate, mentor and support the public in improving the quality of life for free roaming cats. Bonne was awarded the 2013 Humane Animal Welfare Award by the Washington State Veterinary Medical Association (WSVMA) in recognition for her “strong compassion, dedication to and advocacy for felines and personal attention to their medical care.” Ever a champion of the UnderCat, her family includes six cats, some with special needs. Bonne coined MEOW’s motto, “all nine lives are precious” and lives that motto each day.
Ann Graves is the former Director of the Seattle Animal Shelter, retiring in 2021. She began her career as a volunteer with her local humane society around 1990. After making a career change and obtaining her BS in Zoology Ann was hired in 2000 by Seattle Animal Shelter (aka animal control) as an ACOI working in the kennels. Over the next 20 years Ann has worked in various positions in the shelter, the field as an officer, manager and director. Ann has had extensive training in animal cruelty investigation, is past president of WACA and currently on the board of directors of the Washington Federation of Animal Care & Control Agencies. Ann has been an instructor at the WACA Academy since 2003 and continues to volunteer when she is able with the ASPCA, HSUS, HSI and Purrfect Pals. While Ann didn’t see this career path coming 25 years ago when she decided to work with animals for a living, she can’t imagine any better path or journey.
Christina began volunteering with a local cat shelter shortly after retirement and served a term on their Board of Directors where she led a team to review and update their bylaws, developed job descriptions for board positions, chaired a committee that managed one of their two major annual fund raisers, and worked with a CPA firm specializing in non-profit accounting to begin preparation for a formal audit. Chris then became involved with a group of local rescuers who wanted to start an organization to focus on helping free roaming cats in the community and helped launch the Community Cat Coalition in 2012. She also volunteers for Homeward Pet Adoption Center.
After 20 years working in the for-profit world, Laura transferred her skills and experience to the cause of ending animal cruelty. She has been Executive Director of Pasado’s Safe Haven since 2013. In addition to her current non-profit position, Laura has worked for both Fortune 100 companies and small start-ups, but the common thread was that she always had roles driving new initiatives and programs with diverse teams. Laura has deep experience in marketing, branding, public affairs, strategic planning and communications. She also spent three years working as a legislative aide to a U.S. Senator in Washington D.C. Laura graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Washington’s Honors Program with a B.A. w/ Honors in Political Science. She also holds an M.B.A. from the University of Washington’s Foster School. A vegan for several years, Laura is mom to Zandia (an adaptation of Sandia, which means “watermelon” in Spanish), a street dog she rescued while living in El Salvador in 2010.
Sarah Hock has more than 16 years of experience in the animal welfare field, including executive leadership, program development, fundraising, capital campaigns, strategic planning and organizational development. Before accepting the executive director position with Joint Animal Services, she worked for the Arizona Humane Society as director of veterinary services, where she oversaw three facilities, including a mobile veterinary unit. Previously, Sarah worked as the regional adoption program manager for PetSmart Charities, the executive director of the Humane Society of Central Arizona, and the education programs manager for the Arizona Animal Welfare League and SPCA. Sarah earned her bachelor’s degree in fine arts and master’s degrees in nonprofit studies from Arizona State University. Sarah was one of the first animal welfare professionals in the country to participate and complete her Executive Leadership Certificate with Best Friends Animal Society and Southern Utah University.
Stuart Earley is CEO of the Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County and has worked with animals for over 25 years. He was previously CEO of the Scottish SPCA for 10 years running 10 shelters and animal control for the whole of Scotland. Stuart also chaired the Scottish Government Animal Welfare Group; has run a listed company; served as CEO of Whipsnade Wild Animal Park, the largest Zoo in the UK, and as Treasurer of the UK Zoo Federation. He has served on over a dozen boards chairing four and serving as an officer on four others. He has also worked for the State of Florida and was a successful political campaign manager. He is a Freeman of the City of London, a Liveryman of the Guild of Environmental Cleaners and a Fellow of the Institute of Directors. Stuart and Emma’s menagerie once consisted of five dogs, one cat, fourteen horses and two sheep but is now less and they are trying to keep it that way – despite being foster failures!
Nanette McCann joined Homeward Pet Adoption Center in Woodinville WA as the Executive Director in December of 2018. For Nanette, each day presents a new opportunity to positively impact the lives of dogs, cats and those who care for them through her personal passion and more than 30 years of professional non-profit experience. In her leisure time, Nanette travels Washington and Oregon photographing lighthouses, mountains and bees with her partner, Lori, five year old daughter, Bryndis, and two canine kids, Frankie and Ursula.
Christopher has over 25 years of leadership positions in service-based organizations, delivering strategic planning, relationship management, and always anchored in the art of change management. Christopher began his career with Starbucks in 1991 when they had only 87 stores, and left 16 years later when they topped more than 15,000 stores worldwide. Since then, he has served as CEO, COO, and VP for nonprofit and for-profit organizations with increasing complexity levels. In 2009, Christopher pivoted to nonprofits, choosing to focus on mission-based work. Most recently, Christopher was the COO for Compass Housing Alliance, a local nonprofit focused on providing housing and services for low-income individuals and shelters for homeless persons. Now at Seattle Humane, Christopher is shifting gears to help address another challenge dear to his heart, the care and sustainment of animals in our region and across the country. Christopher has always had two constant through-threads in his life: being a caregiver, and his love and devotion to animals. Those two elements have defined him over the decades. Joining Seattle Humane becomes his career capstone, allowing him to bring the two defining aspects together with a great organization. Christopher shares his life with his husband and two golden retrievers. When not working, you can usually find the four of them walking around Seward Park.