ON GOING RESCUE: Our team is on the ground in Brazil helping with rescue efforts. There are thousands of animals impacted by severe flooding. Donate to help save them.

Who We Are

Anne Abbot, Director of Development

Anne thinks she has the best job. With over 25 years of non-profit fundraising experience, Anne joined the SPCAI team in 2014. She has the great opportunity to speak with SPCA International supporters on a daily basis; serving their needs, sharing SPCAI’s success stories and forming strong bonds with the individuals who make SPCAI’s work possible. As the Director of Development she oversees direct mail fundraising and works closely with her colleagues to support SPCAI’s work on behalf of animals worldwide. Anne lives in southern NH with her husband Jim and their cat, Charlie.

Lori Kalef, Director of Programs

Lori thinks she has the best job (ever). From the moment she made her way across the street to pet the neighbor’s dog at age 2, Lori’s life has been all about animals. As an avid advocate for the welfare of all creatures great and small, Lori started volunteering at local shelters in her teens. Her career experience includes being veterinary assistant, managing an animal hospital and saving countless unwanted furry lives in the process.

As the Director of Programs, Lori leads rescue efforts around the world and builds partnerships with innovative shelters and rescue groups. By holding hands with strangers across the world, Lori has witnessed thousands of animal lives saved. Lori lives in Victoria, BC, Canada with 3 rescue dogs, Duckie, Tavi and Bojangles.

Emma Kronish, Director of Marketing and Communications

Emma’s happy motor is always running because she has the best job. Serving as the Director of Marketing and Communications, Emma wholeheartedly commits herself to the cause of global animal welfare. In her role, she takes charge of SPCA International’s digital marketing and communication strategies, ensuring that the organization remains steadfast in its mission to enhance the safety and well-being of animals worldwide.

With a bachelor’s degree in Veterinary Technology and more than eight years of dedicated service in the non-profit sector, Emma made her transition to this field in 2015 after dedicating five years to working as a certified veterinary technician in both emergency and general practice settings. She calls Brooklyn, New York, home, sharing it with her husband, Sam, and their Shiba Inu, Kuma.

Carmen Caloian, Controller

Carmen’s dual passions for numbers and animals converge in her role as the Controller for SPCA International. Her journey with the organization began in 2016 when she worked part-time with the organization. Her dedication and passion for their mission led to her transition into a full-time role in July 2021, where she could dedicate even more of her time and energy to the cause she holds dear.

Carmen’s adoration for numbers is only eclipsed by her profound affection for animals. Her unwavering commitment is to safeguarding and enhancing the lives of animals in need, driving her to work tirelessly, employing her financial expertise to ensure that resources are used effectively and efficiently in the pursuit of SPCA International’s mission. Carmen lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and her dog, Bella.

 

Julia Masucci, Planned Giving Officer

Helping wonderful people plan their gifts to protect animals worldwide is the best job! Julia is thrilled to join this dedicated team in 2023. She shows people how to have their biggest impact on animals’ lives through future legacy gifts and tax-wise gifts to make today.

Julia has worked in the nonprofit sector for more than 25 years. She feels privileged to have guided donors in creating impactful legacy and lifetime gifts for organizations serving veterans, victims of mass violence and children with life-threatening medical conditions. Julia also held program management roles for two animal welfare organizations.

Julia has a BA in political science and urban affairs from Manhattan College, an MPA in nonprofit management from NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service, and became a Certified Nonprofit Professional through the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance.  She and her long-time partner Adam split time between the Upper West Side of Manhattan and Long Beach, Long Island with their rescue cat Laney, and are grateful to be auntie and uncle to four cool kids!

Abia Cartagena, Military Operations Manager

Abia thinks she has the best job. She has worked in animal welfare since 2010 when she started volunteering at local shelters in New York. Since then she has studied lemurs in Madagascar, pursued a bachelor’s in Animal Science with Canine Concentration at SUNY College at Cobleskill and she began her career working at an animal shelter with a focus on surrender prevention.

She enjoys working with Military families and assisting with the transport of soldier’s animals through SPCA International’s Patriot Pets program. She has a deep knowledge of many animal-related resources for families and individuals in need. She lives in Hudson County, NJ with her husband, Jose, their rescue dog Austin, and their bearded dragon Kuzco.

Jayme Busser, Corporate Partnerships & Donor Engagement Manager

Jayme thinks she has the best job. With over 10 years of marketing and nonprofit experience, Jayme joined SPCA International in 2019. As the Corporate Partnerships & Donor Engagement Manager, she enjoys getting the opportunity to meet new people every day from all parts of the world. A big fan of the win-win, Jayme loves creatively collaborating to grow mutually beneficial partnerships. The best part of her job is seeing the impact these incredible partners and amazing donors make each day; benefitting animals around the globe.

Jayme has always had a fondness for animals. Her earliest memories include rehabbing birds that flew into the window, playing with her rescue cocker spaniel Simon, and greeting every beetle she saw; John, George, Ringo and Paul. Jayme brings that same empathy and compassion to the team everyday. She currently lives in the beautiful PNW, with her guy, and her rescue dog Baloo.

Hannah Towers, Development Associate

Hannah has the best job because it is her dream job. She has been involved with nonprofits all over the world since 2010, aiding both animals and humans. At SPCA International, Hannah provides assistance to the Director of Development, and speaks directly to SPCAI’s donors, supporters and community. Validating SPCA International’s values and unfailing determination to persevere for the well-being of animals is what makes this girl’s job the dream. Hannah is up for any challenge and thrives on contributing to the SPCAI team, which saves lives each and every day.

Before joining SPCA International, Hannah lived on the island of Utila, Honduras for six years where she befriended many street dogs and cats, as well as aquatic creatures. These experiences proved to further spark her commitment to animal welfare. She rescued her two dogs from Honduras by boat, plane and automobile all the way up to Montreal. Upon returning to the US, Hannah worked at her city’s local animal shelter confirming what she already knew: helping animals would be her life-long career. Currently, Hannah resides in eastern Massachusetts with her “island specials” Buddy and Winston.

Samantha Salas, Content Marketing Manager

Samantha thinks she has the best job ever. She joined SPCA International in 2021 with marketing experience across a wide range of industries, including managing social media for local animal shelters. As the Content Marketing Manager, she is responsible for creating engaging digital content that connects with our supporters and further spreads our mission. She particularly enjoys building an online community of individuals passionate about animals.

Samantha has been advocating for the well-being of animals since she watched a documentary on factory farming when she was a kid. Her love grew as she began volunteering at local shelters and fundraising for animal sanctuaries. Soon, she knew she wanted to make helping animals her career. She currently lives in New York City with her husband and their rescue dog, Flex.

Serena Saunders, PAWsitive Recovery Manager

Serena Saunders graduated from Bel-Rea Institute of Animal Technology in 2008. After graduation, she worked in shelter medicine at Denver Dumb Friends league before moving to California to take over a family business as a marina manager. During this time, she completed a bachelor’s degree in business management. After 10 years working as a manager, marketing consultant, and software developer in the marina industry, she returned to her original passion for working with animals. Serena moved back to the Denver area in 2017, working as a veterinary technician and then clinic manager. Not feeling fulfilled in her role in private practice, she left to start work doing rescue as a transport driver and volunteer surgery technician.

Most recently, Serena returned to school and completed a graduate certificate in project management as well as a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership from CSU. She has 4 permanent dogs who are also all rescues. She also has a cat, a fish, and a lobster. Serena has extensive experience with animals both professionally and personally. In her spare time, Serena travels the world doing spay and neuter clinics in third world countries like Surinam and Ecuador. She enjoys spending time with her 15-year-old daughter Shaylene, her boyfriend Jared, and their dogs. They love to get up to the mountains to ski and snowboard in the winter. In the summer they love being on the lake or enjoying the outdoors! She is also in recovery.

Haley Hurst, Programs Associate

Haley thinks this is the best job ever! With her background in marine biology, she has done marine research and coral restoration work with a non-profit in the Florida Keys. Her passion in life has always derived from doing what’s best for the animals and ensuring the health of our planet. At SPCA International, she primarily works in the Shelter Support Fund program to assist our new and existing partners. Haley’s empathy and passion to help others make her the perfect match to build strong, lasting connections with our partners. Her creative and scientific mind also is amazing for coming up with new ways to help partners thrive.

Haley is originally from agricultural, northern California, but currently resides near Tuscaloosa, Alabama. She lives in the woods with her loving husband, Zach, two dogs (Missy and Maggie), and a rescue cat (Nala).

Kathleen Raab, Digital Content Coordinator

Katie has the best job! Her love for animals began when she was young. Her earliest memories are of visiting her neighbors cats and caring for the strays in her neighborhood. Later her family adopted three rescue dogs and her home has been with animals since! Katie is an advocate for all animal life and has been a vegan for over a decade. She volunteered with animal rescues and animal rights groups. She previously worked as a supervisor at an animal shelter in NYC.

As the Digital Content Coordinator, she works alongside the digital marketing team with projects and developments. She loves assisting donors and helping people with animals all over the world. She knows that people are vital when it comes to animal welfare and advocating on their behalf. She especially loves being part of a supportive team doing amazing work for animals all over the globe! Katie lives in Astoria, NY with her rescue beagle-mix son, Oliver Philip!

Howard Sholzberg, Board President

Howard is passionate about animals of every kind. He worked as the Executive Vice President of Finance for Riviera, a large clothing manufacturing company, for thirty-three years before retiring in 2008. He has been involved in animal welfare for over twenty years as a volunteer at his local SPCA and with SPCAI. He has served on numerous boards and holds the distinction of being a voting and founding member of the SPCAI board. Howard has three cats, is an active caretaker for a number of cat colonies and regularly saves, rehabilitates and homes injured and abandoned cats.

Robert Gulick, Board Treasurer

Bob comes to SPCA International with 50 years of experience with extensive global P&L experience (Start-ups to $100 million). He built, operated, and restructured B2B profit and non-profit customer-focused companies, creating integrated sales teams, strategic partners, and global marketing capabilities. Grown companies through innovative product development, leveraging content across multiple marketing channels, including e-learning, webinars, conferences, publishing, and consulting. Recruited strong, entrepreneurial management teams and partner alliances across North and South America, Europe and Asia. He also advised CEOs and Boards on domestic and global strategies for clients such as the AICPA, Bank of China, and Laureate Education. Bob and his family have, over the years, ministered to a collection of animals ranging from dogs, cats, flying squirrels, birds, snakes, fish, lizards, ferrets, hamsters, turtles, etc.

Elizabeth A. Schuette , Board Secretary

Elizabeth A. Schuette has over 40 years of experience in real estate, finance, banking, and operations, including managing the operations division of banks and equipment leasing companies and working as a financial/portfolio analyst with consulting firms such as Booz Allen and Hamilton and Kaplan Smith and Associates. She is currently the President and CEO of ARK Import Export Center, LLC, which provides safe and humane animal handling and transport services at JFK International Airport’s animal health, reception, and quarantine center. Elizabeth works closely with senior regulatory authorities, IATA representatives, and airline executives and is an active contributor to animal shipping trade organizations. These experiences have given her a broad and well-rounded background in various aspects of finance and operations, which she has leveraged in her current role as President and CEO of ARK Import Export Center, LLC, and her other business ventures, including George Washington Mortgage & Investment Corp. Elizabeth has always enjoyed the companionship of animals. Although her beloved dog, Tucker, recently passed away, she has two grand-dogs and two grand-cats as well as all the ARK animals to fill the void left by his passage to dog-heaven. She is pleased to contribute her knowledge to the SPCA International Board.

Michel Poulos, Board Member

Michel brings over 25 years of experience to SPCA International’s board. Before retiring, he enjoyed a rewarding career as Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Crown Life. He also served as the President of the Board at CSPCA for many years and has lent his expertise as a board member of SPCAI for over 10 years. Michel has tirelessly advocated for animals through his service at SPCAI. Since its inception, Michel helped build and strengthen the organization’s programs as an independent, voting and founding member of the board. A lifelong animal lover, Michel and his wife have three cats and one horse.

Dr. Ken Rotondo, Board Member

Dr. Ken Rotondo, an entrepreneur, President and Founder of Rehavior, Inc, has collaborated with a variety of organizations to optimize patient/client engagement. He specializes in effective client communication, customer experience engineering, and consumer insights. He has operated 5 veterinary hospitals, is a Past President of the NYS Veterinary Medical Society, Past Delegate to the AVMA House of Delegates, a member of AVMA Futures Commission, Board Mentor to the Canadian PEI BioAlliance, He currently collaborates with the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, National Cancer Institute (NCI), AMA and others to improve patient engagement and medical outcomes. Dr. Rotondo has presented at Thought Leadership Summits and conferences including: IBM THINK, IBM Watson, HIMSS, VMX, WVC, etc. Dr. Rotondo lectures annually at several universities including: The Wharton Business School (2012-2020), RPI, Cornell, and other universities on such diverse topics as behavioral economics, marketing analytics and applying machine learning principles to patient/client/consumer communication. Dr. Rotondo holds a DVM degree from Cornell University and MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). He resides in historic Saratoga Springs, NY with his wife Jill and their dog Lucy.