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Partners for Pets’ new board will help guide expansion of shelter

From Illinois Business Journal news services

TROY – Partners for Pets, a 501 (3) (c) no-kill animal shelter, has named several new board members who will help guide the organization as it pursues a new shelter.

They are: Dr. Susan Schaberg, Darcie Cohn, Sandi Bruegger, Chris Byron, Breck Ahlers, Patricia Barney, Laura Reed, Beth Gori, Erika Pratte, Caitlin Lagemann, Sara Salger, and Sherri Whitworth.

The organization has rescued and foujnd homes for more than 12,000 dogs and cats since opening its doors in 2002. The rescue is currently raising funds to open a new shelter facility at 9136 Lower Marine Road in St. Jacob, just outside of Troy.

The new Partners for Pets shelter will feature an on-site spay and neuter clinic in addition to housing adoptable dogs, cats, puppies and kittens. There will be a memory walk and garden outside, with an option for those interested to purchase a brick, paver, bench or tree to honor a four-legged friend.

There will also be opportunities for naming rights when an individual or business sponsors kennel space for a homeless dog or cat.

According to Partners for Pets founder, Lisa McCormick, “Since 2002, we have saved over 12,000 animals from euthanasia while operating from a 1,200-square-foot building. Due to the challenge to serve the growing number of abandoned dogs and cats, we have used our limited funding to start our new shelter. In addition to adoptions, we at Partners for Pets are active proponents of spay and neuter campaigns in the St. Louis region. In 2014, euthanasia rates fell by 25 percent at Madison County Animal Control, a positive indication that we are making a difference by decreasing the number of unwanted animals in our area. All tax deductible donations and community support will directly serve animals in need through the Partners for Pets New Shelter Project.”

Current board members

Angie Turcott is a faculty administrator at Washington University in St. Louis. She has both personal and organizational experience in animal rescue. Prior to her work with Partners for Pets, Turcott specifically worked to rehabilitate and re-home approximately 2,000 puppy mill dogs. She has been involved with Partners for Pets since 2004 working in fund-raising, marketing, mass communication, and fostering. She and her husband enjoy racing the “Partners for Pets” open-wheel race car, motorcycling, and spending as much time with their rescue dogs as possible.

Tori Reany, an instructional designer at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and a graduate of Saint Louis University in Mathematics, uses her expertise to direct website and social media communication for Partners for Pets. Since 2013, she has been actively involved with fund-raising, managing weekly adoption events, and serves as a liaison between staff and volunteers. When Tori and her husband are not spoiling their three rescue dogs, you can find her at a St. Louis Blues hockey game.

Jamie O’Day, graduate of Southeast Missouri State University, co-owns Edwardsville restaurants Wang Gang and Unkle Munkey’s with her husband, Ryan. As a local business owner, Jamie networks to promote animal awareness and community support for Partners for Pets. Whether it is adoption events, fund-raisers, or fostering, Jamie makes helping shelter animals a priority. Jamie and Ryan reside in Edwardsville with their daughters, their cats, and their dogs, Maple Sausage and Waffles.

Nancy Palmer is retired from a 33-year career with the federal government. At retirement, she was a human resources manager supervising several employees across the United States in a virtual organization servicing operations throughout USDA. She has experience in hiring and staffing, procedure writing, background investigations, employee relations, and labor relations. She has volunteered with Partners since the summer of 2013 helping with adoptions, fund-raisers, and events, but her favorite thing to do every Friday morning is to give baths and groom the dogs at the shelter.
New board members

Dr. Susan Schaberg is a chemistry and math graduate of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. After working for Anheuser-Busch as a beer chemist, Schaberg went on to earn her MBA at the Kellogg School of Northwestern University. She worked in marketing/product management at Kraft Foods and Pet Inc. Ready for a new challenge, she earned her MD from SIU School of Medicine. Once she finished her residency at University of California Irvine, she started Schaberg Dermatology. She now lives in St. Louis with her husband Mike, several rescue dogs, a bird, and a pond full of koi.

Darcie Cohn is a graduate of Indiana University. She holds a degree in business administration, specializing in finance and international business. Cohn has spent most of her career at Deloitte working with various firms in the areas of forensic accounting, human resources and project management. Cohn, a resident of Edwardsville, also serves on the Edwardsville Children’s Museum board and spends her days with her husband, three children, and two dogs.

Sandi Bruegger is a graphic artist, designer, and photographer and owner of Sandi Bruegger Design. She graduated summa cum laude from the Savannah College of Art & Design in 2014, and will complete her MFA in Media Design April of 2015. She has years of experience working with domestic animal rescues on the local and national level and is excited about the future of Partners for Pets.

Chris Byron is managing partner at the Edwardsville firm of Byron, Carlson, Petri and Kalb and also a local property developer. He is a graduate of University of Illinois, University of Southern California and Washington University School of Law. He likes to spend his free time coaching his children’s soccer teams and cheering on the St. Louis Cardinals. He his wife and three children reside in Edwardsville.

Breck Ahlers is a business administration and marketing graduate of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. A resident of Glen Carbon with her fiancé and two rescue dogs, Breck works at Extra Help Inc. as a business development specialist. She has been involved with Partners for Pets since 2014 assisting in cleaning the shelter on Saturdays as well as fostering dogs. She enjoys spending her free time with her family, gardening, and golfing.

Patricia Barney, a graduate of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s MPA program, has a concentration in nonprofit organization. A resident of Edwardsville, she has long been involved in advocacy through Oasis Women’s Center, Praise Community Fellowship Church, Hope Rescues, and Partners for Pets. Her family includes her beloved rescued dogs and cats.

Laura Reed is co-owner of Cork Tree Creative, Inc., a public relations and marketing firm in Edwardsville. A graduate of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, she is also a member of the Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois, a 2015 graduate of Leadership Riverbend, member of the Madison-Bond Workforce Investment Board and member of the Professional Women’s Alliance of St. Louis. She lives in Edwardsville with her husband, Scott, and 9-year-old daughter, Ella.

Beth Gori graduated from the State University of New York at Buffalo with a degree in Biology. She attended law school at Saint Louis University and graduated with a J.D. and certificate in health law studies. She is an attorney at Gori Julian and Associates, P.C. as well as a Madison County assistant state’s attorney. She serves on the board for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Southern Illinois and is a board member for the Friends of the Wildey Theater. She and her family reside in Edwardsville.

Erika Pratte, the lead consultant for cat adoptions and foster placement, has been involved with Partners for Pets since 2013. She is the founder of Barry’s Fund, a fund-raiser initiative to help special needs cats and has been a leader in business sponsorship programs to benefit the rescue. She builds opportunities for Partners for Pets by coordinating participation in events such as Give STL, Pinball for Partners, Partners at the Park, and more.

Caitlin Lagemann uses her expertise in fund-raising and philanthropic endeavors through her work as a human resource manager in a local Edwardsville law firm. A Southern Illinois University Edwardsville graduate, Lagemann is currently expanding her professional opportunities by pursuing a MBA at McKendree University. A self-described animal lover, Caitlin advocates for animals by participating in events such as the One Million Pibble March on Washington, DC and through Hope Rescues and Partners for Pets. She said she loves to spend time with her two pit bulls, Lucky and Hendrix.

Sara Salger, an attorney at Gori Julian and Associates, P.C., received her undergraduate degree from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and Saint Louis University School of Law for her J.D. where she received an International Law Certificate. Sara gives back to the community by serving on the SIUE Alumni Mentor Committee and volunteers her time speaking to local high school and college law classes and groups. She and her husband have two children and a Dachshund.

Sherri Whitworth is the founder and co-owner of the local Godfrey favorite, Josephine’s Tea Room & Gifts. She opened Josephine’s in 1979 and has a long-standing presence in the local business community. She and her husband Fred are also foundation donors and consistent supporters of Lewis and Clark Community College. She has served on the board of 5 A’S Humane Shelter (Alton Area Animal Aid Association).

About Partners for Pets

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