Hilary Hager, President
Hilary is President of the board and Chair of the Professional Development Committee. She has served on the board since 2007. Hilary is the Senior Director of Volunteer 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 is a runner. She lives in Mukilteo with her husband, dog Barley, and cats Sunny and Missy.
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.
Sara Archer, CAWA, Treasurer
Sara has served on the board since June 2011 and is an active participant on the Membership and Marketing Committee. After 15 years as a healthcare fundraising executive, Sara chose to combine her abilities with her passion for animal welfare in January 2006, securing the position of Executive Director of Blue Mountain Humane Society in Walla Walla, WA. She joined the Federation as a member that year and has been an active participant since, relishing the friendships, connections, and comradery of like-minded colleagues. Sara genuinely enjoys fundraising and connecting people with others who are committed to improving the lives of animals in Washington, and recently earned her Certified Animal Welfare Administrator (CAWA) designation. She shares her home with her police officer husband Peter, dogs Jet Li and Nigel Tiberius, cats, Winchester and Little Legless Leaning Larry, and frequent visits from five beloved adult step-children. Sara maintains two comfortable guest rooms for anyone who wishes to visit Walla Walla!
Kathleen Olson, CAWA, Secretary
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 on the Federation Strategic Planning and Legislative Committees and is 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 and 2018. Pit bulls, Chihuahuas and senior cats are her favorite pets and she fosters hospice cats as well.
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 eight cats, some with special needs. She lives in Redmond with her long-suffering husband of 33 years. Bonne coined MEOW’s motto, “all nine lives are precious” and lives that motto each day.
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.
Ann Graves is currently Acting Director of the Seattle Animal Shelter. 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 she was hired in 2000 by Seattle Animal Shelter (aka animal control) as an ACOI working in the kennels. Over the next 17 years Ann has worked in various positions primarily in the field as an officer, supervisor and manager. 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 Fir Team, HSUS and HSI. While Ann didn’t see this career path coming 20 years ago when she decided to work with animals for a living, she can’t imagine doing anything else.
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.