A few changes to report at Pennsylvania's largest animal welfare organization.
The Pennsylvania SPCA has elected four new members - two business executives and two attorneys - to its Board of Directors and vice president Marc Peralta has departed for a job with Best Friends Animal Society in Los Angeles.
Helene van Beuren, board chair, said she was excited about the new additions to the board, among them one of the state's top animal law experts.
"Their professional expertise and guidance will be a great asset to The Pennsylvania SPCA as we continue to be the leading voice for animal welfare in the state."
The new members are:
Penny Ellison, Esq., an adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, has taught Animal Law and Ethics and supervised pro bono projects involving animal protection since 2006. She is a frequent speaker at seminars on Animal Law offered by the Pennsylvania Bar Institute. She also serves as Executive Director of Hand2Paw, a nonprofit organization that connects homeless youth and shelter animals through volunteering and internships.
Kathleen Graham-Kelly is an executive with Vanguard, one of the world's largest investment management companies, headquartered in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. Graham-Kelly currently serves as principal in Vanguard's Retail Investor Group.
Rose Hamilton currently serves as the executive vice president, chief marketing officer for Pet360.com, the ultimate online destination for pet parents. Prior to joining Pet360, she held the position of Vice President of E-commerce for Ann Taylor and LOFT brands.
Philip G. Kircher, Esq., is an attorney with Cozen O'Connor, an international law firm headquartered in Philadelphia. He is an animal welfare advocate and has provided pro bono services to numerous agencies.
Meanwhile, the PSPCA's former chief financial officer Marc A.. Peralta starts a new job yesterday as executive director of No Kill Los Angeles (NKLA) a coalition of area animal welfare organizations.
Peralta worked three years at the PSPCA, six months of which were spent as interim executive director. He also worked with the Nevada Humane Society in Reno, Nev. and the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region.
NKLA is a coalition of more than 50 Los Angeles area animal welfare groups with a common goal: ending euthanasia as population control.
Since its founding early this year, there has been a reduction in LA shelter killing by 3,000 animals over the same period in 2011. Best Friends Animal Society, which runs the world-famous shelter for abused animals large and small in Utah, also operates an adoption center out of an shelter in Mission Hills, which Peralta will manage.
"When I got into animal welfare, it was because I wanted to help animals who every day were dying in our shelters," Peralta said, "… Anyone in animal welfare agrees that we want to get to a point in time where no animal needs to die anywhere. Los Angeles is a community that loves animals and, though we still have some work to do, the city is committed to no-kill and I'm excited to be a part of this cause."