Debbie Allison, Chair
Debbie Allison joined AAR in 2008; due to her fund-raising and leadership experience with non-profits including National Charity League, Wunderlich Farm Historic Museum, and Hassler Elementary PTO, the board appointed her as AAR’s Volunteer Coordinator. In 2012, Debbie became Executive Director in which capacity she manages the day-to-day operation of the shelter and the spay/neuter clinic. Debbie has a BS in Architectural/Interior Design and has worked as a Facility Planning Manager for Continental Airlines and Pennzoil among others; this experience has helped in the planning and coordination of AAR’s move to its new facility in 2017.
Jacqui Smith, Vice-Chair
Jacqui Smith joined Abandoned Animal Rescue in 2006. Along with her husband David, and sons Michael and Bradley, they have worked in almost all areas of the shelter operations. After many years of working in Finance and Accounting, Jacqui decided to follow her heart, as animals are her true passion.
Jacqui’s family also includes a yellow Lab, Weston, and a golden retriever, Cooper, who was an Adoptee from AAR. Originally from Australia, Jacqui was involved with the AKC and dog training in her spare time.
Barbara Schulz, Secretary
Barbara Schulz is an AAR original board member. She, James Gordon, Jr. and Angie Fenton (retired) founded AAR in 2002. Barbara worked in a veterinary clinic for many years, and it was a natural transition for her to work with Angie and James in creating AAR. Barbara uses her experience at the veterinary clinic front office to organize AAR’s Front Desk and help with administrative needs.
Wendy Airlie, Treasurer
Wendy Airlie has been with AAR since 2010 and thoroughly enjoys her Sunday afternoons dog running for AAR. Wendy is a CPA and CIA and has been in the auditing and accounting field for more than 25 years. She volunteers as AAR’s financial officer and is currently the CFO and CAO for Joiner Law Firm PLLC. She is a proud mom of 3 black labs, one of which was an AAR special guest that came to AAR with severe fear issues that turned around with both a time and monetary investment from AAR’s devoted volunteers and generous donors and a stable home environment.
James Gordon, Jr.
James Gordon is an AAR original board member. He, Barbara Schultz and Angie Fenton (retired) founded AAR in 2002. As a teen, James worked at a veterinary clinic close to his home. That experience gave him skills that have been invaluable to AAR. For many years he assisted AAR’s contract spay/neuter veterinarian, groomed AAR animals, and helped with AAR intake and adoptions. Currently, in addition to working at Wal-mart and running a mobile grooming business, he still supports and assists with many of AAR’s offsite events.
Pat MacKinnon started volunteering at AAR in 2003. She started by doing Sunday shifts because that was the hardest to get volunteers to do, and often brought her husband Doug to help her on the shifts. With Doug’s support and assistance, she quickly became involved with fostering, fundraising, helping the accountant, and eventually became the Volunteer Coordinator. In 2005, she was appointed Executive Director and served until Doug’s retirement and their move to their ski home in Utah. Pat has a Master’s Degree in English, so in addition to being on the Board, Pat writes grants, publishes the e-newsletter, The AAR Companion, and helps with online programs (e.g. VetBlue, Volgistics, and Quickbooks); she is assisted by Doug whose career was as a marketing director in the computer software industry.
Anastasia Thormahlen joined AAR in the spring of 2013. She was invited to join the Cattery leadership team and, not long after that, became the Cattery’s medical and clinic liaison. Anastasia designed the new AAR logo and has become AAR’s resident graphic designer and visual identity person. In addition to her work at AAR, she provides graphic design services to Stageworks Theatre for their shows. Anastasia has a BFA in Interior Design and is licensed in the State of Texas. She has over 20 years of interior architectural design, construction documentation, team and project management experience. Her employment included the architectural firm Gensler where she was promoted to Senior Associate. Currently, she loves space planning for the new AAR cattery space, creating new marketing pieces for AAR and fostering kittens.
Karen Pitcock became an animal lover 10 years ago when she finally gave in and let her hubby get a dog. “By day two, she was mine and changed my life regarding animals.” Biscuit joined the family when Karen rescued her on I-10 and took to her A&M to repair her badly broken leg. Karen worked in HR until she got tired of the corporate world. She decided to use her BS in Kinesiology; so she started a non-profit where she trained low-income teenagers to run 5K races to build their self-esteem. Her love of animals and her desire to volunteer came together at AAR. Karen is friendly and passionate about promoting AAR; she is the perfect person to handle all inquiries about AAR, represent AAR at many civic events, lead the adoption team, and chair the golf tournament.
Sandy Oliver joined AAR in 2010 after retiring from many years as an educator and elementary school principal. Her dream in retirement was to change from helping children to helping dogs. Prior to coming to AAR, her hobbies included obedience training and agility training with her family dogs. At AAR, she started as a Dog Runner (volunteers trained to exercise the dogs on and off leash) and has continued in that role. Sandy has been instrumental in researching programs to help dogs deal with the stimulation of shelter life. After seminars and training, the Dog Runner team has now incorporated dog training and “Dogs Playing for Life” into the dogs’ daily schedules. Sandy has been part of the adoption team and is the Dog Intake Coordinator for all dogs coming into the shelter.