March 14, 2019
Categories: Continuing Education

Let the learning begin! Our four fellows are off and running at their respective cities. The Maddie’s® Executive Leader Fellowship will allow these individuals to develop and strengthen their knowledge and skill sets in no-kill animal sheltering management and leadership.  

Now, let’s meet these professionals that are ready to take their leadership abilities to the next level.

At Humane Society Silicon Valley, we have Taylor Sharp and John Cicolella. Sharp was the Pacific Regional Specialist at Best Friends Animal Society where she designed and implemented state and regional strategies to increase save rate and oversaw 450+ Best Friends Network Partners through resources, consultations and financial aid. She also co-founded Pet Alliance of Washington, a group focused on bringing the state to a 90% save rate. She has a B.A. in Psychology and a Business Management minor from Simpson College and enjoys fostering animals and hiking.

Cicolella has a unique blend of IT animal welfare and animal behavior and training experience. While he was working as a network administrator, he co-founded a pitbull rescue, Rescue Pit, Inc. and served as its president. He earned a certificate in training and counseling from The Academy for Dog Trainers, which has allowed him to counsel owners to ensure a successful outcome and gain knowledge of how most animals learn. He co-founded a dog training company, Dog Educated, which has worked with over 500 dogs and their owners. When he’s not training dogs, he likes to spend time with his own dog, Monty.

Desiree Roberts and Stephanie Muller-Simpson are fellows at Austin Pets Alive! and Austin Animal Center. Roberts has been involved in animal welfare since she was 13, from volunteering at an animal shelter to working as a kennel and veterinary tech. After working in the corporate world, she returned to school at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and was eager to return to animal welfare. She eventually became Director of Operations at her local shelter, working to increase capacity, improve operations and strengthen legislation to save more lives. She enjoys traveling, being outdoors and being a foster mom.

Muller-Simpson’s interest in animal welfare began as a child, when she accompanied her parents on dog walks at an animal shelter.  She knew she needed to pursue a career in animal rescue after working part-time at municipal shelter and seeing the number of adoptable animals euthanized due to lack of space and other resources. In 2017, she became Executive Director at Heartland Animal Shelter in Northbrook, Illinois where she brought a fresh perspective and new, progressive ideas which resulted in a significant decrease in animal illness and length of stay for the cats and dogs under the shelter’s care. Stephanie enjoys playing video games, doing yoga, fostering special-needs animals and spending time with her husband and adopted cats.  

Please join us in welcoming Taylor, John, Desiree and Stephanie to the Maddie’s Fellowship Family. We can’t wait to see what you do!

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