Leadership & Financials

Meet the Leadership Team

kerri burns ceo santa barbara humane

Kerri Burns


Santa Barbara Humane has experienced unprecedented growth since welcoming Kerri Burns as CEO in 2018. Recognizing the need to better serve our entire community, Kerri led the merger with the Santa Maria Valley Humane Society, and under her leadership, vital safety net programs like low-cost and free veterinary care and affordable dog training classes have expanded County-wide.

Prior to joining Santa Barbara Humane, Kerri served as Interim Executive Director at Tree House Humane Society in Chicago and was the President of Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando. She has extensive experience in animal rescue, having previously managed Animal Emergency Services Programs for American Humane and assisting animals through some of the nation’s greatest environmental disasters. Well-regarded in our industry, Kerri is a recipient of  American Humane’s Dennis White Award for her educational outreach on a variety of animal welfare topics. 

Kerri enjoys sailing and traveling. She frequently fosters shelter dogs and loves spending time with her own beloved dog, Kali.

dr. katie marrie chief veterinary officer santa barbara humane

Katie Marrie, DVM, MS

Chief Veterinary Officer

Prior to joining Santa Barbara Humane in 2019, Dr. Katie worked with the ASPCA in Los Angeles, performing high-quality, high-volume spay and neuter; participating in safety-net and relocation programs; and developing a fostering program for underaged cats. She also served as the Medical Director of the Spay Neuter Project of Los Angeles, where she expanded medical services and helped start an Access to Care program to help secure veterinary treatment for pets of low-income families. After completing over 50,000 spay/neuter surgeries, Dr. Katie shifted her focus to Shelter Medicine, and under her leadership, SB Humane quickly doubled our spay/neuter surgery numbers, decreased our length of stay for sheltered animals, more than doubled our adoption numbers, and enabled us to begin accepting hundreds of animals from overcrowded shelters.

Dr. Katie leads a team of five veterinarians at our two shelters and two high-volume clinics, offering services 7-days a week to over 20,000 animals a year. She graduated from UC Davis in 2008 with her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine and, in 2020, became one of a select few veterinarians in the nation to earn a Master of Science in Veterinary Medical Sciences with a Concentration in Shelter Medicine.  

Dr. Katie lives in Santa Barbara with her husband, Dave, dog Casi, and at any given time, a litter of foster kittens.

dori villalon chief operating officer santa barbara humane

Dori Villalon

Chief Operating Officer

In her role as Chief Operating Officer, Dori Villalon oversees the shelter, volunteer, dog training, and facilities operations at both campuses. She has an extensive background in animal welfare, having served in leadership roles at organizations in California, Colorado, and the Midwest.

Prior to joining Santa Barbara Humane in 2019, Dori worked as the Operations Manager and interim Director at Santa Barbara County Animal Services. Knowing that helping animals would be her lifelong career, Dori developed a bachelor’s degree in Animal Welfare Management at Sonoma State University. She is recognized for bringing a progressive approach to animal and client care.

Dori shares her home with her dog, Desi, and two orange Tabby cat siblings, Finn and Hazel.

paige van tuyl chief philanthropy officer santa barbara humane

Paige Van Tuyl

Chief Philanthropy Officer

For 21 years, Paige has led to ensure non-profit development and viability through leadership, direct fundraising, stewardship, donor development, and cultivation. She is the current Chief Philanthropy Officer at Santa Barbara Humane. She most recently served as the Executive Director of the Lynda Fairly Carpinteria Arts Center, focused on serving Carpinteria and helping the Arts Center become the premier small-town Community Arts Center in the country.

Paige was formerly the Development Officer of Girls Inc. of Greater Santa Barbara, an organization that employs research-based programming for girls delivered by trained professionals who focus on the development of the whole girl, supporting, mentoring, and guiding girls in an affirming, pro-girl environment. As Development Officer, Paige was responsible for all aspects of fund development. Before she joined Girls Inc., Paige served as Event Director for the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, where she was responsible for the dozens of development and public events throughout the year. She previously directed the Annual Fund at the SBCC Foundation, where she was responsible for formalizing a fund development program and annual fund programs for the Foundation, where she raised over $1 million every year and oversaw the highly successful College 100th Anniversary and associated campaign. Earlier in her career, Paige was a Development Liaison and Art Director at the Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara.

Paige’s passions include animal welfare, the arts, education, social justice, and helping non-profits to achieve sustainable financial independence. Paige attributes her professional success to her natural curiosity, aligning people with their passions, open-mindedness, and desire to be the best in her field. In her free time, Paige adores time with her family and friends, exploring new restaurants, enjoying all the natural beauty Santa Barbara has to offer and doting on her beloved pets. Paige is a native of Santa Barbara and attended Santa Barbara High School and UC Santa Barbara. She has served on the Association of Fundraising Professionals Santa Barbara/Ventura Board of Directors and the 93013 Fund Advisory Board. Paige was named one of the Pacific Coast Business Time’s 40 Under 40 and recently completed Antioch University’s “Women in Leadership” Program.

denyce gardner, executive assistant santa barbara humane

Denyce Gardner

Executive Assistant

Vanessa Lopez, RVT

Director of Veterinary Services

Before joining the veterinary team at Santa Barbara Humane, Vanessa worked for San Joaquin Valley College as a teacher for Veterinary Assistants. She has been a Registered Veterinary Technician since 2009 and has a Bachelor in Business Administration.

Vanessa has been in the field for over 20 years, and her background includes high-volume spays and neuters, general practice, emergency, shelter medicine, and teaching. She loves what she can offer the organization with her vast experience, saying, “It’s nice to work for an organization that shares my goals for the animals in our community.”

Amanda Allen

Campaign Director

sandy simmons director of shelter services santa barbara humane

Sandy Simmons

Director of Shelter Services
Santa Barbara Campus

bob lutz santa barbara humane shelter director

Bob Lutz

Director of Shelter Services
Santa Maria Campus

Board of Directors

John Corby

Susan Rodriguez
Vice Chair

Nicole Wichowski

Chad Prentice

Steve Golis

Leonard Himelsein

Crystal A. Knepler

Sofia Lariz

Lauren Serota

Olivia P. Young

Financials & Fiduciary Commitment

Additional Information

We will not sell, share or trade our donors’ names or personal information with any other entity, nor send mailings to our donors on behalf of other organizations.

This policy applies to all information received by Santa Barbara Humane, both online and offline, on any Platform (“Platform”, includes the Santa Barbara Humane website and mobile applications), as well as any electronic, written, or oral communications.

To the extent any donations are processed through a third-party service provider, our donors’ information will only be used for purposes necessary to process the donation.

Philanthropy is based on voluntary action for the common good. It is a tradition of giving and sharing that is primary to the quality of life. To ensure that philanthropy merits the respect and trust of the general public and that donors and prospective donors can have full confidence in the not-for-profit organizations and causes they are asked to support, we declare that all donors have these rights:

  1. To be informed of the organization’s mission, of the way the organization intends to use donated resources, and of its capacity to use donations effectively for their intended purposes.
  2. To be informed of the identity of those serving on the organization’s governing board, and to expect the board to exercise prudent judgment in its stewardship responsibilities.
  3. To have access to the organization’s most recent financial statements.
  4. To be assured their gifts will be used for the purposes for which they were given.
  5. To receive appropriate acknowledgment and recognition.
  6. To be assured that information about their donation is handled with respect and with confidentiality to the extent provided by law.
  7. To expect that all relationships with individuals representing organizations of interest to the donor will be professional in nature.
  8. To be informed whether those seeking donations are volunteers, employees of the organization, or hired solicitors.
  9. To have the opportunity for their names to be deleted from mailing lists that an organization may intend to share.
  10. To feel free to ask questions when making a donation and to receive prompt, truthful, and forthright answers.

Source: Association of Fundraising Professionals

The “E-Donor Bill of Rights” is intended to complement our Donor Bill of Rights and provide further and more detailed guidance for the world of online giving. In addition to the rights outlined in the Donor Bill of Rights, online donors should demand the following of their online solicitors:

  1. To be clearly and immediately informed of the organization’s name, identity, not-for-profit or for-profit status, its mission, and purpose when first accessing the organization’s website.
  2. To have easy and clear access to alternative contact information other than through the website or email.
  3. To be assured that all third-party logos, trademarks, trust marks, and other identifying, sponsoring, and/or endorsing symbols displayed on the website are accurate, justified, up-to-date, and clearly explained.
  4. To be informed of whether a contribution entitles the donor to a tax deduction, and of all limits on such deduction based on applicable laws.
  5. To be assured that all online transactions and contributions occur through a safe, private, and secure system that protects the donor’s personal information.
  6. To be clearly informed if a contribution goes directly to the intended charity, or is held by or transferred through a third party.
  7. To have easy and clear access to an organization’s privacy policy posted on its website and be clearly and unambiguously informed about what information an organization is gathering about the donor and how that information will be used.
  8. To be clearly informed of opportunities to opt-out of data lists that are sold, shared, rented, or transferred to other organizations.
  9. To not receive unsolicited communications or solicitations unless the donor has “opted in” to receive such materials.

Source: Association of Fundraising Professionals

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