Gary Weitzman, DVM, MPH, CAWA
President and CEO

Gary is top dog at this animal-loving organization. He is a seasoned animal welfare professional with more than 20 years of experience, and he is a licensed veterinarian, so he speaks dog and cat too!

ANIMALS: Betty is a lovable pit bull who lives for belly rubs, kisses and long naps filled with snoring. Jake is a three-legged German Shepherd who was once abused and now lives the high life by the beach.


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Katherine Shenar
Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff

Katherine is a master visionary who keeps the organization moving forward by working to increase the capacity of our President/CEO by handling complex, time-sensitive issues that intersect public, organizational and animal welfare industry dimensions. She works across the organization and helps our leadership team meet goals especially as they relate to our strategic plan. Affectionately called “the Fixer” by some, Katherine’s leadership in problem-solving, issue analysis and program development ensure that the CEO’s point of view is shared in the process while ensuring the strategic goals of the organization are met. Best of all, every dog in the office knows she keeps a comfy dog bed under her desk and plenty of treats on-hand!

ANIMALS: Katherine and her husband share their home with two dogs, two cats, and an endless stream of foster kittens.

WHO WOULD PLAY YOU IN A MOVIE? “Jennifer Coolidge (c’mon that’s funny!)”

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Jennifer Brehler
Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

As the master of orchestrating all moving parts within our organization, Jennifer Brehler is affectionately known as ‘the jack of all trades,’ juggler extraordinaire,’ and simply ‘unbelievable.’  She is highly skilled at thinking out of the box and making our guests, both two-legged and four-legged, feel like they are part of our family.

ANIMALS: Jennifer has four dogs, two cats and three parrots.

IF YOU WERE AN ANIMAL, WHAT WOULD YOU BE? “An owl because they have a quiet confidence about them and they always stop, listen and observe before taking action!”

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Brian Daugherty
Senior Vice President and Chief Philanthropy Officer

Meet our fearless leader for all things fundraising! Brian oversees a team of incredibly talented individuals who are tasked with raising the vital donations that enable San Diego Humane Society to fulfill its mission. With more than twenty years of experience in philanthropy and an unwavering passion for animal welfare, Brian’s guidance plays a critical role in our ability to “Inspire Compassion” in our community, every day.

ANIMALS: “Barney the Bagle” (Beagle and Basset Hound mix) and “Sherman the Dorgi” (Dachshund and Corgi mix).


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Diane Gilabert
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Counting cash, balancing books and making certain our finances are flawless is all in a day’s work for Diane – and she does it without breaking a sweat!  As a seasoned financial and accounting executive, she spends most days scratching through reports, crunching numbers (not kibble) and curiously exploring with her calculator in hand, of course.

ANIMALS: Diane has two cats, Puma and Nike – both alums of San Diego Humane Society’s Kitten Nursery!


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Stephen MacKinnon
Vice President for Community Response and Chief of Humane Law Enforcement

Cats, dogs, mice, hamsters, rabbits, goats, horses… Steve is a hero to all animals, big and small! He works tirelessly to ensure that all animals stay safe and are well cared for. If there was a “saint of animals” award, we’re sure Chief would win, paws down!

ANIMALS: Sam, a Chocolate Lab; Cricket, a Catahoula; Kiera, the friendliest pit bull ever; and Dawson and Goose two lovable but unidentifiable mutts – all from shelters.

IF HE COULD HAVE ONE SUPERPOWER IT WOULD BE: “Since I can already fly, I’d like the ability to make loose dog hair disappear.”

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Trish Wagner, SPHR
Vice President of People Development

Trish leads both Employee Engagement and Volunteer Engagement for San Diego Humane Society. A tireless advocate of all things people, Trish keeps the energy high, ensures staff is rewarded for their hard work, and keeps our policies and benefits up to date. She can also be seen walking someone’s dog at least once on any given day!

ANIMALS: Ms. Panda, a 6-year old Boston Terrier mix, and Duke, an 11-year young, Lab mix. At home he is nicknamed “Marley’s Ghost,” due to his mischievous behavior. Both are alums of San Diego Humane Society.

IF YOU COULD HAVE ONE SUPERPOWER WHAT WOULD IT BE? “The power to heal others; animals and people.”

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Stacey Zeitlin
Vice President for Community Engagement

Stacey is affectionately known as “the rock” of the Community Engagement department. Stacey is in charge of leading the creative team that carries out marketing and community outreach efforts for San Diego Humane Society. Her nickname comes from the unwavering support and expert guidance she provides to her team, as well as her reputation for never missing a deadline or detail!

Stacey has two tuxedo cats, named Chira and Jackson.

I’LL BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW: “I absolutely love to travel and experience other cultures. Both of my cats are named after places my husband and I have visited: Chira is named for the Pachira Lodge in Tortuguera, Costa Rica. Jackson is named for Jackson Hole, Wyoming.”

Geraldine D’Silva
Director of PAWS San Diego

As a relentless defender of the special love between humans and their pets, Geraldine ensures animals and their human families can stay together by overseeing our PAWS San Diego program. Thanks to Geraldine’s passionate and expert leadership, this program continues to improve the quality of life for people and pets throughout the San Diego region, while also helping to prevent beloved companion animals from ending up in local shelters.

Ziggy Stardust, who is a black lab mix (most likely mixed with mischief!) and Stanley who is a little dog with a big attitude.

I’LL BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW: “As a child, I used to take my pet chipmunk, Squeaky, to school!”

Jessica Des Lauriers
Senior Director, San Diego Campus

Jessica is the go-to guru for all things animal-related at our San Diego location. Overseeing Veterinary Medicine, Admissions (animal intake), Guest Relations, Adoptions, Foster Care, Retail, Kitten Nursery and Project Wildlife, Jessica’s leadership is crucial to ensuring that animals entrusted to us receive the continuity of care they need.

Blitz, German Shepherd mix, was adopted from a local rescue. Kona, Yellow Labrador, is an SDHS Alumni.

IF YOU WERE AN ANIMAL, WHAT WOULD YOU BE?  A fish, so I could be in the ocean all of the time.

Michelle Quigley 
Vice President for Regional Operations

Michelle is the mastermind behind all aspects of operation at our Escondido and Oceanside Campuses.  Each day, she works diligently to ensure San Diego Humane Society programs are running efficiently in the Northern region of our County. With more than 21 years of animal welfare and operations experience, Michelle is well versed in ensuring harmonious synchronization between staff, volunteers and animals.

ANIMALS: Little Miss Pocket is a 2.5 pound teacup Chihuahua – a “foster failure.” She is my little protector (yes, my Pocket Protector).
Sid Vicious is also a Chihuahua with some “special issues” (hence his name).
Connor is a very senior Jack Russell Terrier with numerous geriatric issues. He was a hospice adoption and wasn’t expected to live very much longer, but he had other ideas and is still going strong almost three years later.

IF YOU HAD ONE SUPERPOWER WHAT WOULD IT BE?:  To detect and cure cancer before it caused any harm (wait, does that count as two super powers?)

Cynthia Mitchell, DVM 
Medical Director

As Medical Director for San Diego Humane Society, Dr. Cynthia Mitchell overseas the team of veterinarians who provide lifesaving specialized surgeries, progressive treatments and long-term care and rehabilitation to animal patients in San Diego Humane Society’s care. There are no limits to the dedication, passion and enthusiasm she brings to keeping the pets in our community happy and healthy.

ANIMALS: I have two dogs – a Giant Schnauzer mix (Ren) and a Rat Terrier (Odie) – and a cat (Chase).

IF YOU HAD ONE SUPERPOWER WHAT WOULD IT BE?:  Earthbending. I love to garden and it would come in so very, very handy.


Chair: Colleen Blackmore Reilly

Secretary: Ken Cohen

Chair – Board Governance Committee: Eve Benton

Chair – Finance Committee: William Lafleur

Chair – Philanthropy Committee: Richard Bockoff


Lynn Bruser
George Coles
Diane Glow, EdD
Anne Liu
David Lynn
Dr. Judith Muñoz
Debra Patterson, CFP
Chip Rome
Jodi Smith
Charna Sugar
Esteban Villanueva, JD
Tori Zwisler