Brent Toellner giving a presentation with a slide on a screen of a dog and Best Friends logo next to him

Request a Best Friends expert speaker on animal issues

Here at Best Friends, we are incredibly fortunate to have on staff some of the brightest minds in animal welfare, and some of them may be available to share their expertise with your conference attendees or group.

These animal welfare experts can speak on a variety of topics, so we’ve assembled the following links to help you get to know them a little better.

To begin the process of requesting an animal welfare expert, start with the guest speaker form below. (If you’re not sure which speaker you’d like, that’s OK. Complete the form, and we’ll look to see if a good fit is available.)

Once we receive your information, we’ll be in touch with you to learn more about your event.

When requesting a guest speaker via the form below, you are not obligated to book, nor is there a guarantee that your chosen speaker will be available. There may or may not be associated costs, which will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Request a speaker

Amy Starnes — Chief Innovation Officer 
Speaker's topics: Digital transformation, technology solutions, data-driven strategy

Arlyn Bradshaw — Senior Advisor for Community Relations  
Speaker’s topics: Coalition engagement, public policy, community relations

Barbara Camick — Director of Annual Giving  
Speaker's topics: Donor acquisition, direct mail, mid-level giving, general fundraising

Becca Boronat, MV, CAWA — Veterinarian
Speaker's topics: Enhancing Care: Evidence-Based Medical Protocols for Shelters With Limited Veterinary Access, Disease Prevention Through Stress Mitigation, Medical Intake and Disease Prevention, Animal Shelter Diseases (open to specific diseases or per system), Stress-Free and Safe Animal Handling, Daily Population Rounds, Expanding Veterinary Capacity in Animal Shelters, Pathway Planning, Humane Care in Animal Shelters (ASV Guidelines), 5 Domains of Animal Welfare, Empowered Vets: Fostering Leadership for Lifesaving Shelter Care, Veterinarian Role in Disaster Response, Veterinarian Input in Animal Behavior, Humane Euthanasia, Developing Partnerships for Lifesaving, Other shelter medicine-related topics

Beth Wolfer - Planned Giving Officer  
Speaker's topics: Development, stewardship, planned giving, public speaking/improving presentation skills

Brent Toellner — Senior Director, Lifesaving Programs  
Speaker's topics: Best Friends' Roadmap to 2025, trends in national shelter data,  
increasing adoptions, reducing shelter animal length of stay

Carrie Ducote — National Director, Shelter Collaborative Program  
Speaker's topics: Community cat programs, coalition building, best practices to achieve no-kill, and open adoptions/client service

Dr. Carley Faughn — Senior Strategist, Lifesaving Research  
Speaker's topics: Dog behavior, cat behavior, dog training and behavior modification, applied animal behavior research, animal rescue operations, emergency response, change management

Destiny Haney — National Embed Program Manager  
Speaker's topics: General cat lifesaving programming, community cat programs, kitten nurseries, bottle-feeding, community outreach & engagement programs, shelter/rescue collaboration, coalition-building

Elizabeth Doyle — Senior Writing Mentor and Style Editor  
Speaker's topic: Writing

Elizabeth Jensen — Northeast Senior Strategist  
Speaker’s topics: Client service, conflict resolution

Elizabeth Oreck — National Manager of Puppy Mill Initiatives  
Speaker's topics: Puppy mills, commercial dog breeding, retail pet sales ordinances, pet stores that sell animals or offer rescued pets for adoption, advocacy

Eric Rayvid — Director of Public Relations  
Speaker's topics: Social media, marketing, crisis PR, crisis marketing

Holly Sizemore — Chief Mission Officer  
Speaker’s topics: Nonprofit leadership, change management, leading toward no-kill, spay/neuter, community cats, government policy and no-kill communities, collaboration and networking to increase lifesaving, strategic planning, engaging and empowering staff and volunteers, data-driven approaches and standards in animal sheltering

Jen Reid — Manager of Horse Haven  
Speaker's topics: Rehabilitating horses (both behaviorally and physically), farrier work, relating to special needs in horses

Karen Gallardo — Sr. Director, Major Gifts and Planned Giving  
Speaker's topics: Planned giving, asset giving, campaigns, general fundraising, fundraising leadership

Kari Hartkorn — Director, Brand Experience and Hospitality  
Speaker's topics: Marketing, branding

Kate Moore — Director of Digital Engagement  
Speaker's topic: Online fundraising, email fundraising, recurring giving

Kaylee Hawkins — Pacific regional director  
Speaker's topics: Shelter operations, lifesaving programs, navigating change in animal welfare, community engagement, rescue/shelter relationships, sustainability, data-driven decision making & planning

Kimberly Elman — Senior Strategist, Shelter Data Collection & Volunteer Outreach  
Speaker's topic: Volunteer engagement

Ledy VanKavage — Senior Legislative Attorney  
Speaker's topics: Doggie due process, why breed restrictions don't work, community cat legislation, advocacy for animals, lobbying

Liz Finch — Senior Writer, Best Friends Network  
Speaker's topics: Community cat programs, breed labels and DNA testing, hoarding, Best Friends Network, progressive sheltering concepts, blog/editorial writing, roadblocks to lifesaving

Makena Yarbrough — Senior Director of Regional Programs  
Speaker’s topics: Creating culture, board development/management, team building and management, community engagement, marketing and branding, crisis management, campaign fundraising, customer service 101

Marc Peralta — Chief Program Officer  
Speaker’s topics: Nonprofit leadership, nonprofit management, shelter operations, collective impact and Coalition building, open adoptions, impactful returned to home (owner) programming, no kill language, using data for impact performance, cat life-saving, dog life-saving, performance management

Michael Hand — Producer, New Digital Media and Special Projects  
Speaker's topic: Imagery

Michelle Logan — Director, National Shelter Embed Programming  
Speaker's topic: Community cat programming and cat lifesaving, shelter operations, managed intake, animal enrichment

Michelle Sathe — Public Relations Manager  
Speaker's topic: PR

Pat Guerrero — Director - National Volunteer Engagement  
Speaker's topic: Volunteer engagement

Peter Wolf — Research and Policy Analyst  
Speaker's topics: Anything related to community cats (except veterinary medicine), focus on public policy and science surrounding community cat and trap-neuter-return (TNR) issues

Richard Angelo, Jr. — Legislative Attorney  
Speaker's topics: Community cat legal matters, shelter transparency laws, companion animal legislation, legislative advocacy for animals, lobbying, general animal shelter laws and regulations (state and local), dangerous dog laws, breed restrictions

Scott Giacoppo — Director, National Municipal and Shelter Support  
Speaker’s topics: Animal care and control management, community cats, animal cruelty investigations, field operations, community-based programming, lost pet services, wildlife conflict resolution and wildlife protection

Tawny Hammond — Director of National No Kill Leadership Advancement  
Speaker's topics: Leadership, getting political support for animal services, leading and managing lifesaving changes in the municipal setting, succession planning for animal services, community engagement in animal services, professional excellence in animal services, animal services and social justice (why animals matter), animal services as part of community wellness and lifesaving before the animal shelter doors

Tierney Sain — National Mentorship Program Specialist  
Speaker’s topics: Canine behavior, enrichment, and training

Request a speaker