SUZANNE COWHERD, Animal Programs Manager
Suzanne Cowherd is the CCHS Animal Programs Manager and is responsible for anything animal related from intake to adoption. Suzanne earned her Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communication Studies from California State University, Sacramento. She has worked in the nonprofit sector since 2008.
Suzanne is extremely passionate about animal rescue and spay neuter services to decrease the homeless animal population within our community. In addition to her role as Animal Programs Manager she is also a foster coach and volunteer and has fostered dozens of CCHS animals, three of which are now a permanent part of her family.
When she isn’t working with the animals at CCHS, Suzanne enjoys spending time with her pack at home which includes two dogs and three cats. Suzanne is very compassionate about the animals in our care ensuring that they all have the best possible outcomes. Her experience and leadership abilities play key roles in the organization. She is passionate about her work and embodies our mission.
KATRINA DAW, Office Manager
Katrina is a Concord native and has spent years serving as a PTA and swim team board member serving in various roles. She joins our team with a background in customer service and sales, and has many years of volunteer and board experience. She has 2 dogs, Koda and Penny (foster fail).
SUANNE PENNEY, Animal Programs Assistant
Suanne is our Animal Programs Assistant who cares for our animals on weekends. Suanne is a native Californian who lives in Walnut Creek.
She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. She had an extensive career in the financial services industry as an accounting and project manager. Since she retired, Suanne focused on opportunities to pursue her love of animals, and volunteered at Tony LaRussa’s Animal Rescue Foundation, Lindsay Wildlife Rehabilitation Hospital, and CCHS as one of our Kitty Corner volunteers, before she joined our team as our Animal Programs Assistant. Suanne currently has one rescued cat, a nine year old tortie with a lot of attitude, and plans to continue to expand her furry family.
HIROKO ANDERSON, Bookkeeper
Hiroko graduated from Cal State East Bay with an economics degree and worked in the accounting field in various industries. She grew up with dogs and puppies and is always holding dogs in her childhood pictures. Hiroko loves animals and nature. Now she has a very spoiled cat. Hiroko feels it is wonderful to be with cute furry animals at work and is delighted when they find a happy forever home.
CHRIS BONO, AniMeals Team Leader | Pantry Management
Chris is an enthusiastic all-purpose member of our CCHS team. As a volunteer, he manages our pantry, accepting all of our generous food and pet supply donations and working with our key suppliers to receive donations. As our AniMeals Team Leader, he organizes and supports teams to bag donated supplies as well as teams to distribute those supplies to pet families in need in our community through local food pantries.
Chris is a compassionate pet lover who has operated his own dog walking and pet sitting business since 2007. He has worked with dogs in our community to provide basic manners training and is a certified Canine Good Citizen evaluator. In retirement, Chris plans to continue his extensive support of CCHS programs and play more golf, including active support of the First Tee program.
Chris was recognized as a CCHS Hero of the Year in 2018 with his wife Jan. Chris and his wife Jan live in Martinez where they pay rent to a rescued bully breed dog named Scrimmage, and nine rescued cats. Chris has supported CCHS as an active volunteer since 2014.
Board of Directors
JAN BONO, President | Volunteer Coordinator
Jan is a passionate and enthusiastic member of our team. She wears many hats including volunteer coordinator, Cat Programs sponsor, and AniMeals Programs sponsor. She is a passionate volunteer at Kitty Corner where the memory of her favorite special needs friend, Divot, is kept alive through his 12 Days of Christmas sponsorship of Kitty Corner adoptions every December. As our Volunteer Coordinator, Jan supports our current team of nearly 100 active volunteers, and responds to every volunteer application we receive, onboarding and training new volunteers as they join our CCHS team.
Before retirement, Jan was a Global Coordinating Service Partner for Ernst & Young, LLP where she focused on risk management and consulting services and served clients across the world for over 20 years. Jan is also the Advisory Board Chair for the Pleasant Hill YMCA and also serves on the East Bay YMCA Board of Directors Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee.
Jan was recognized as a CCHS Hero of the Year in 2018 with her husband Chris. Jan earned a degree in BS Business Administration, Organizational Development Emphasis at California State University, Fresno; and holds professional certifications in both project management and information systems. Jan and her husband Chris live in Martinez and are owned by nine rescued kitties and one rescued dog named Scrimmage who has his own cat, Tackle. Jan became a member of the CCHS Board in 2014 and was the CCHS Board Secretary from 2014 to 2021. Jan is now our Board President.
CASEY BEARD, Secretary
Casey has been a Kitty Corner volunteer with CCHS since 2011, and joined the Board in 2021. She has held various leadership positions in Product and Digital management over the last 25 years in the financial services industry, most recently with Wells Fargo’s Strategy and Digital Innovation group. She earned her BS in Business Administration from Montreat-Anderson College. Casey is a passionate and long-time advocate for animal welfare, having volunteered in the past at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, New York City ASPCA, and Blind Cat Rescue in St. Paul’s, NC. She was the recipient of the CCHS Hero Award in 2019, and serves as the volunteer Medical Team lead. Casey and her husband Jamie live in Concord, CA, where they share their home with six very spoiled rescue cats – Buddy, Sassafras, sisters Cagney and Lacey, Bobo (who is FIV+) and Charlie (a foster fail from CCHS).
STEVE AMOS, Treasurer
Steve is in the financial sector and has extensive experience in companion animal welfare and professional leadership for nonprofits. He earned a BA in accounting from Portland State University. He has spent more than 10 years as a volunteer for Contra Costa Animal Services where he started and manages CCAS’s Running Dog program. The program involves a team of approximately 20 runners who schedule structured runs with the dogs on local trails providing them with much needed exercise and temporary freedom from confinement. Running Dog also now includes several overnight races at pet friendly locations throughout the year. Steve joined the CCHS Board of Directors in 2014.
NICOLE HANEY, Dog Foster Program Sponsor
Nicole joined the CCHS Board of Directors in 2015. Her main focus has been supporting our Dog Foster Program and Spay/Neuter Assistance Program. Nicole is passionate about Animal Welfare, she also lends her support to the Humane Society of the United States, working to pass animal welfare legislation and deploying with the Animal Rescue Team to provide care for animals during natural disasters, hoarding or cruelty cases. She and her family have fostered for CCHS and ultimately adopted two kittens and a dog, who joined a very patient cat she rescued 16 years ago.
Nicole is a CPDT-KA certified dog trainer. Born and raised in the Bay Area, she earned her Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Philosophy from SFSU and enjoys a successful career in the insurance industry.
MIKE REEKERS, Spay Neuter Assistance Program Sponsor
Mike joined the CCHS Board in 2015 and is the sponsor for the Spay Neuter Assistant Program (SNAP), along with serving on the Finance and Governance/Operations/Technology Committees. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Golden Gate University with a BS degree in Business Management. Mike additionally holds a linguist degree in Korean from the Monterey Defense Language Institute. He is a Vietnam Era Veteran and had a 42-year career with Chevron as a finance and project manager. Mike has been a longtime supporter of CCHS and the Lindsey Wildlife Museum, and currently resides in the East Bay with his wife Janet and six rescue animals.
Christine graduated from the University of San Diego with a Bachelor’s Degree in business administration and holds an MBA in finance from California State University East Bay. She has spent more than 20 years working in a variety of finance and accounting positions with Longs Drugstores, Central Garden and Pet and most recently with the CSAA Insurance Group. Christine joined the CCHS board in 2009 and served as its Treasurer from 2012 to 2022.
Karen Collins joined CCHS as an experienced kitten foster, skilled in supporting neonatal kittens and is an active member of the bottle baby brigade, as well as serving as a foster coach. Karen joined the board in April 2021 and is focused on fundraising, as well as increasing awareness of our organization with our local community. Karen’s career involves building partnerships across various avenues to move nonprofit missions and focus’ forward. Over the last 5 years, Karen has focused on food industry donor cultivation at the Food Bank of Contra Costa & Solano, a Feeding America food bank, soliciting over 15M pounds (over 11M meals!) annually for the two counties, as well as partner food banks across Northern California. Previously Karen worked at the UC Davis Cal Aggie Alumni Association, her alma mater, to solicit revenue generating partnerships. Go AGS! Karen and her husband, Matthew, are extremely passionate and committed to supporting animal welfare and increasing awareness and focus on the needs of animals in our community. They reside in Martinez with their furbabies – dogs Sadie and Kubota and cat foster fails, Pepper and Sazz; and any number of fosters that may be with them at any given time. Karen is also an active volunteer with Meals on Wheels Mt. Diablo and an 8 gallon blood donor with Vitalant (formerly Blood Source).
Katherine Gandy is a Northern California native and has lived in Contra Costa County for 20 years. She holds two bachelor’s degrees from UC Santa Barbara as well as an MBA from the University of Southern California and has extensive sales, marketing, event planning and customer service experience in both the corporate and non-profit worlds. She is currently a real estate agent at Keller Williams Realty. Katherine has always been passionate about animal welfare issues and joined the CCHS Board in 2023 to support its mission and make an impact on the lives of cats and dogs in our community. She lives with her husband and her teenaged son and daughter, along with their amazing rescue cat, Tootsie.
Shelley Cairns has been in the financial services industry for over twenty-five years and is a CFP® (CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™) professional. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Accounting. Shelley is passionate about volunteering and teaching her children the importance of giving back to the community. She discovered CCHS three years ago while searching for local volunteering opportunities for a corporate event and has been active at Kitty Corner ever since. Shelley and her family are also volunteers at Shelter, Inc. and Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano. Proud parents of twin teenagers, a rescue German Shepherd, and four rescue cats, Shelley and her husband fondly refer to their home life in Pleasant Hill as the Cairns Kennel.
Renée began volunteering at CCHS’s Kitty Corner in 2021. She joined the board in 2022, where she assists in securing grant funding for CCHS programs. She has served in the non-profit sector for nearly 20 years, directing programs for youth, their families, and the professionals who work with them. Currently, she manages the grants program for Planned Parenthood of Northern California, located in Concord. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado and a master’s in education from the University of Massachusetts. She is passionate about animal welfare issues and has volunteered with several shelters, including the Hermitage Cat Shelter and Sanctuary in Tucson, AZ, where she assisted in the medical suite and served on the development committee. She lives with her partner Mel and their two CCHS Kitty Corner alum, Jade and Yuki.
Kelli was born and raised outside of Philadelphia, PA, but has made Charlotte, NC her home since 2005. She graduated from Wake Forest Law in 2005 and has been working as in-house lawyer in the financial industry since 2014 after being in litigation for 8 years. Her love for animals started young and has exponentially increased since then. She currently has 260 pounds of adorable and loving dogs, Nuke, Mazzy, and Belle. Kelli joined the Board in 2022 and is looking forward to contributing to the success of CCHS going forward.
Myrna Schultz joined the CCHS Board in 2018 and serves on the CCHS Development & Marketing committee lending her extensive marketing and advertising experience to promote the CCHS mission. She is a passionate and life-long advocate for animals and is involved with many animal rescue organizations in various positions across the country. Myrna has had a varied and progressive 30-year career in marketing, advertising, real estate and construction management working most recently in the food service industry as a restaurant owner/operator and consultant. She earned her Masters of Arts degree from Michigan State University in Marketing and Advertising and is a member of the Women’s Foodservice Forum and the Investor Consultant Leadership team.