Board of Directors

OFFICERS AND BOARD MEMBERS

Kate MeghjiKate Meghji, Interim President 
Executive Director, Humane Society of Vero Beach & Indian River County
[email protected]

Kate Meghji joined the Humane Society of Vero Beach & Indian River County in January 2019, and prior to that served as executive director of the Lawrence Humane Society in Kansas for 4 years, where she oversaw a $7.5M capital campaign to build a new, state-of-the-art shelter, increased adoptions by more than 30%, and achieved and maintained a live release rate of more than 93%. Kate began her sheltering career right after college at the Champaign County Humane Society in Illinois in 2005.

Kate's passions include coalition-building, using data to make informed decisions to improve animal welfare and capacity for care within a shelter environment, and utilizing evidence-based best practices to change and save lives.

Kate holds an M.B.A. from University of Illinois in Urbana and a B.S. in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from Evergreen State College in Washington.


 

Frank Valente

Frank Valente, Interim Vice President
President / CEO, Humane Society of the Treasure Coast
[email protected]

Frank Valente has been serving as the President and CEO of the Humane Society of the Treasure Coast (HSTC) since June 2007. Located in Palm City and serving Martin County and the Treasure Coast Region since 1955, HSTC is 501C3 nonprofit animal welfare organization that also provides contracted services for Martin County Animal Services. Prior to joining HSTC Frank served for six years as General Manager and Assistant Executive Director of the Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League in West Palm Beach.

Frank has served as Chair of the former South Florida Animal Welfare Organization for two years, has been a member of the Pethealth CEO Advisory Council and is on the Best Friends Steering Committee for Florida. Frank also serves on the Board of Directors for The Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness.

Frank Valente was born in New Jersey and has fond memories of growing up at the Jersey Shore. He received a BA in Political Science from Gettysburg College and lives in Palm Beach Gardens with his wife Julia and their Terrier/Chihuahua mix Bella. Bella was abandoned in a shoebox overnight at 2 weeks of age on the property of Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League 14 years ago.


 

Anthony Priore

Anthony Priore, Treasurer
Sr. VP of Administrative Services/CFO, Humane Society of Broward County
[email protected]

After 10 years working for a large corporate for-profit business, Anthony Priore entered the world of animal welfare in 1996 and has never looked back. Anthony started with the Humane Society of Broward County as the accounting manager and is currently the Senior Vice-President and CFO. During the last two decades, the Humane Society of Broward County has doubled in size, programs, and services provided to the public and have grown from a small local shelter to a well-respected organization serving the South Florida area. Anthony has served on several local and national boards including SAWA (Society of Animal Welfare Administrators). Anthony is a native South Floridian who enjoys the outdoors, several sporting activities and fine dining.


Sherry Silk, Board Member
CEO, Humane Society Tampa Bay
[email protected]

Sherry has worked in animal welfare for over 35 years. Prior to becoming the CEO of the Humane Society of Tampa Bay, she was the Operations Manager for the Michigan Humane Society in Detroit for most of her career.  She oversaw the large urban shelter as well as the cruelty investigation department.   In this capacity she appeared on Animal Planet’s Animal Cops for several years.  She has also worked for the ASPCA as an Outreach Manager covering six southern states providing assistance, guidance and grants to animal welfare organizations.

In addition to her role on the FAAWO board, she also serves on the HSUS Companion Animal Advisory Council representing the State of Florida and sits on the Best Friends Florida Steering Committee to work towards No Kill Florida 2025.

She has two adult children and shares her home with two terrier mixes and 3 cats.



Martha BodenMartha Boden, Board Member

CEO, SPCA Tampa Bay
[email protected]

Martha Boden is the CEO of SPCA Tampa Bay. Located in Largo, FL, SPCA Tampa Bay serves the Tampa-St. Petersburg area and cares for over 10,000 animals each year. She previously worked as the CEO of the Humane Society of Indianapolis and is an author for the Small Animal Channel website. A past member of two national animal welfare industry boards, Martha also helped found a statewide alliance of animal agencies in Indiana.

Martha grew up riding and caring for horses and began volunteering with the Animal Relief Fund (ARF), an animal rescue group and cat shelter in Minneapolis, MN. She oversaw ARF’s foster network and facilitated the group’s efforts to collaborate with other local animal welfare organizations. 

Through her work with ARF, Martha met members of the Animal Humane Society (AHS) management team in Golden Valley, MN. Interested in shelter administration, she eventually left ARF to join the volunteer ranks at AHS, assisting over two years in three different AHS departments: Operations, Development and Veterinary Services. That experience allowed her to make the transition to animal welfare as a professional when she joined the Humane Society of Indianapolis. Martha earned a degree in classical languages at Macalester College and worked as an IT project manager before moving into animal welfare.

Martha currently shares her home with Bailey and Annie, two Toy Poodle mixes she adopted as seniors. After more than 40 years up north, Martha is very happy to now live in the warm, sunny climate of St Petersburg, FL.



Amy CarotenutoAmy Carotenuto, Board Member

Executive Director, Flagler Humane Society and Animal Services
[email protected]

A native Floridian, Amy has devoted the last 34 years to protecting and advocating for animals. 

Carotenuto worked through the ranks as a cruelty investigator, veterinary technician and supervisor at Halifax Humane Society in Daytona Beach and became the director of Flagler Humane Society and Animal Services in 1992. Over the course of fifteen years, she led the organization through tremendous growth and construction of new building. She prosecuted large scale animal cruelty cases including the Brinkley puppy mill in which over 500 dogs were rescued and received international attention. That same year there was a county-wide evacuation due to forest fires. FHS was the lead animal rescue agency, safely relocating hundreds animals that had been left behind by owners.

She became the Administrator for Edgewater Animal Services, worked with Volusia County to establish and operate a mobile spay/neuter hospital, and founded “Rescued Hearts”, a non-profit animal welfare organization. Back at Halifax Humane Society from 2010 to 2013 she played an integral role in the formation of the Prison Pups and Pals Program and the opening of an offsite spay/neuter facility.

In 2013 Amy was asked to return as Executive Director of Flagler Humane Society and Animal Services.

Since her return: * FHS opened a pet food pantry for pet owners in temporary financial crises * A thriving wellness clinic was established * Stray intakes have decreased 21 percent * Adoptions have increased 21 percent * FHS began helping animals from less fortunate shelters, thus animals saved through transfers have increased 99 percent * The number of animals euthanized has decreased 82 percent * The live release rate has increased to 92 percent

She has been a certified humane euthanasia and stress management instructor for 25 years, providing input for the current manual and test. It is her passion to ensure that if we must euthanize, it is done with respect and compassion. 


Shelley Thayer, Board Members
Executive Director, SPCA Florida
[email protected]

The suffering she saw caused by Hurricane Katrina led Shelley into a full-time animal welfare career. She worked with Best Friends Animal Society in Emergency Response until moving to Kanab, Utah to work with co-founder, Stephen Hirano. From there she accepted an Executive Director position with Cat Depot, in Sarasota, Fl. During her tenure with Cat Depot, Shelley was able to lead her team through the construction of a new medical center, hospital, and volunteer/training center. She also started the organization's emergency response team leveraging her experience with Best Friend's Animal Society. Nine years later, she moved to Lakeland, FL and accepted her current position as the Executive Director of SPCA Florida. Since arriving, she has played a key role in rallying community efforts which have increased the counties save rate by 40%. The shelter's programs have expanded to include SNAP (TNVR) and FL SARC (State Animal Resource Center) as well as two food assistance programs, a medical assistance program, and the construction of a 2,200 sq ft surgery, dental, and pharmacy center.

Prior to animal welfare, Shelley spent 15 years promoting national brand development and events for companies including General Mills, PepsiCo, McCormick & Company, Universal Studios, Warner Brothers, and Disney.

Shelley loves both dogs and cats equally, along with horses and everything with four feet. She lives with Little Nell and Sebastian.