Heather L.S. Dotto, President
Heather Dotto recently stepped into her new role on the Board as President, but has served on the board since its inception over 4 years ago. She currently lives in Monterey. While in college she worked for Town Cats of Morgan Hill and later as an assistant veterinary technician for a feline practitioner. Having grown up in a home with cats and dogs, she has always viewed pets as members of the family.
Heather obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Visual Arts with a double minor in Museum Studies and Education from Cal State Monterey Bay in 2002. Following her graduation she enjoyed a career as a high school teacher, teaching art history and photography and serving as department chair for the visual and performing arts department. In her career as an educator Heather had the opportunity to travel through Europe, but her heart was never far from her early education in animal care. In nearly every country she visited stray cats and dogs could be found, serving as a harsh reminder that animal neglect is a global issue.
Heather owns and operates a metal fabrication company with her husband. She is responsible for marketing/advertising, managing employees, facility procedures and general bookkeeping. Heather chose to take a temporary leave of absence from teaching as she helps to build the family business and raises her growing family. Heather and her husband have four cats, two foster cats and a bulldog! In addition to the Dotto family pets, the number of privately rescued and placed cats, dogs, birds, opossums and ducks continues to grow annually. A favorite quotation of Heather’s comes from Mahatma Gandhi: “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
Gina Damiano, Board Director
Gina joined the board in February 2017, and brings with her a love for animals and a legal background. She is a commercial contract attorney, and has worked in various industries in Silicon Valley. Gina is a Bay Area native, living in San Jose and Gilroy most of her life. She graduated from Saint Mary’s College of California in 2004 with a degree in politics. Following that, Gina worked as an executive assistant and event planner before deciding to follow her dream of being an attorney. In 2014, she graduated from California Western School of Law in San Diego. Gina lives in Gilroy with her maltipoo, Willow, and she is so happy to serve this great organization and the cats of Santa Clara County.
Olga Eippert, Secretary
Olga joined the board in October 2015. She is originally from Germany, but came to the United States in order to get her higher education. In summer 2015, she graduated from San Jose State University with a Bachelor’s in Business Management. Prior to her studies, Olga worked as a travel manager in Germany for over two years. She has also lived and worked in three different continents and traveled to over 30 countries.
Besides traveling, Olga is very passionate about animals of all sizes and species and she truly believes that all animals and pets deserve to be loved and treated with respect. In Germany she used to have a cat and two dogs herself. She has also worked as a Volunteer at the Peninsula Humane Society in Burlingame, CA. She is very excited to be a part of the Town Cats family and to help make a difference for all the abandoned cats in the community of Santa Clara County.
Cristina Munks, Board Director, HR and Acting Treasurer
Cristina joined the board in February 2016. She has been working in the Human Resources field for the past 10 years, working for small and large companies across multiple industries. Cristina holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and also obtained her PHR Certification in 2013.
Cristina has always been an animal lover, having grown up with cats, dogs, horses, goats, and about every other animal you can think of. She enjoys donating her free time to various animal rescues across the Bay Area and has been known to take in foster animals from time to time. Cristina has two cats of her own and hopes to rescue a dog in the near future, assuming the cats agree to it!
Laura Reed, Board Director Legal
Laura joined the Board of Town Cats in January 2017. After enjoying a brief career as a research scientist, she went to law school and now serves as counsel for a life sciences company. In addition to working with animals, Laura likes to spend her time running long-distance races, camping, hiking, and skydiving.
Laura’s been a cat lover her entire life, and has always had animals, including cats, dogs, iguanas, turtles, and even a rat. She’s worked as a pro bono attorney for the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) and served as secretary for the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund in law school. She ran an ultramarathon recently to raise money for ALDF and is currently serving as a cat foster for Town Cats. She is very excited to bring her experience and passion for helping animals to Town Cats.
Jan Stevenson, Board Director, IT
Jan joined the board in October 2015. She is a software engineer working in Data Storage technology.
Jan is passionate about all manner of animals from companion animals to wildlife. Her experience with rescuing felines dates back to the 1990’s with a feral colony in Santa Clara. Her earliest experience with companion animals was with a German Shepherd she befriended as a 3 year old. She also spent time on the family farm experiencing pasture cattle and chickens, ducks, and a whole host of barn cats. Even then she was passionate about providing the best care for animals. In addition to Town Cats, she volunteers time at a local shelter in the kitten nursery.
Beth Ward, Board Director Animal Welfare
Beth joined the Town Cats Board in late November 2013 as the President, in which role she served for 3 years. Beth has recently stepped down as President, but will continue on the Board. She brings to our board nearly twenty years of experience in the nonprofit animal welfare world. Beth is currently the Director of Animal Services for Contra Costa County. From June 2001 until November 2015 she was the Vice President of Community Alliances at Humane Society Silicon Valley. Prior to joining HSSV in 2001 she was the Director of Animal Care for Peninsula Humane Society.
In 2008 Beth helped to form the WeCARE alliance dedicated to saving lives of homeless animals in Santa Clara County. Town Cats became one of the six shelters that was instrumental in ensuring that ALL healthy animals were saved in 2011 and every year since. Beth is a passionate feral cat advocate and has a personal mission to increase the number of feline lives saved in Santa Clara County. Beth embraces this opportunity to be part of the Town Cats mission and to make a difference for cats in our community.