Meet our Board of Directors

It takes a village…and a very dedicated Board of Directors!

Being on the Board of Directors for a non-profit is a role that should be taken very seriously. It comes with tremendous responsibilities, both legally and ethically, and also requires a deep commitment to the mission of the organization.

For those of you who may not be familiar with the role that a Board of Directors plays in the operations of a non-profit organization, here’s a quick Top 10!

The Top 10 Responsibilities of a Non-profit Board

  1. Decide upon the organization’s mission and purpose(s) and then make sure that these are followed.

  2. Choose a leader, in our case an Executive Director, who report to the Board, and ensure that person is surrounded by the right people.

  3. Set goals, and periodically assess the performance of the Executive Director.

  4. Ensure effective planning and that the organization’s mission and goals are being met.

  5. Make sure that all programs offered by the organization align with, support, and advance the organization’s mission.

  6. Provide financial oversight by ensuring that there is enough money to do what is required and that overspending doesn’t occur.

  7. Protect the assets of the organization.

  8. Ensure that expectations are understood and met by all members of the organization.

  9. Ensure that the organization adheres to strict legal and ethical standards in all of its practices.

  10. Be ambassadors of the organization to the outside world by conveying the organization’s story and promoting an accurate public image.

Phew, that’s a lot, and now that you know . . . we wanted to share who these folks have been, and will continue to be, for HEEFS and FHEEFS.

The HEEFS Board of Directors is saying goodbye to an old friend, and hello to a new one!

It is with deep gratitude that we announce the resignation of Susan Housel as Treasurer of the Board effective July 1, 2019.

There is so much to share about the amazing woman that Susan is. She knew “the dads” way back before Esther even came into their lives. She, together with her wonderful husband, Ray, were (and are) very dear friends of Steve and Derek, and among so many of her accomplishments, she was a pivotal part of the initial fundraising campaign that made HEEFS the Sanctuary that it is today. Over these past many years, Susan has given tirelessly of her time and many talents. She has been integral to every decision that the Board has made, providing wisdom and kindness, and most of all, a deep commitment to all of our residents.

Susan will continue to be an integral part of the HEEFS family. She’ll be at the farm involved in all sorts of activities such as helping with tours and with our special events!

Susan has been honing her Spanish language skills, and she is very committed to supporting the Latinx community in Florida for the upcoming 2020 American election – a more worthwhile cause we cannot imagine.

Susan’s commitment to intersectional activism is unparalleled, and we are honoured to call her our friend.

Now for the good news!

We are thrilled to be welcoming Kimberly Roemer as our new Treasurer effective July 1, 2019. She is a brilliant business woman and a committed animal rights activist.

Kimberly is a Manager at Granger & Company, P.A., with over 32 years of accounting experience. She started in commercial banking and has worked at both national and regional public accounting firms. She has also taught tax accounting at the Perdue School of Business at Salisbury University. Kimberly is a Certified Public Accountant and has a B.A. in Economics from Rutgers University and a Masters in Taxation from Pace University.

We are beyond thrilled to have someone of Kimberly’s calibre leading our financial and accounting practices, and we are excited about all the wonderful best practices that she will be introducing.

 

And, as most of you know, our HEEFS Board of Directors continues to have both Krista Hiddema and Kathy Fischer as integral members.

Krista Hiddema serves as our President and was one of the founding members of the HEEFS Board.

Krista is an activist/academic who is currently pursuing her doctorate in eco-feminism, while also running For the Greater Good, and sitting on both the HEEFS and FHEEFS Boards.  After spending over 20 years in the for-profit sector, including 10 years as a partner in a law firm in Toronto, Krista then spent six years as the Vice President of Mercy For Animals in Canada, where she led 12 undercover investigations exposing the truth of what happens behind the closed doors of slaughterhouses and factory farms. She is passionate about farmed animals and in helping people realize that farmed animals are just as deserving of love and respect as the cats and dogs we share our lives with.

Krista lives with her husband, Nigel, where together they rescue Great Danes, cats, and also run www.Egg-Truth.com and Dairy-Truth.com.

Kathy's commitment to animal advocacy started in her teens, and she brings over 20 years of marketing and communications experience to Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary. Kathy started off as a weekly volunteer at the Sanctuary and helped launch the volunteer program. Kathy’s strong relationship-building and leadership skills help ensure that every animal at HEEFS is given the love and respect they so richly deserve. In her spare time, Kathy loves hanging out with her canine family members, Maggie and Zoli.

Kathy Fischer - Vice President

Kathy's commitment to animal advocacy started in her teens, and she brings over 20 years of marketing and communications experience to Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary. Kathy started off as a weekly volunteer at the Sanctuary and helped launch the volunteer program. Kathy’s strong relationship-building and leadership skills help ensure that every animal at HEEFS is given the love and respect they so richly deserve. In her spare time, Kathy loves hanging out with her canine family members, Maggie and Zoli.

Cailen LaBarge – Secretary and Advisor

Cailen is an animal advocate and highly accomplished US-based non-profit attorney. Since going vegan in law school, she has worked with a number of animal protection organizations. Recently, Cailen served as General Counsel for the international farmed animal protection organization, Animal Equality, where, among many achievements, she implemented consumer protection litigation and a program that aims to address ineffective regulatory oversight of animal agriculture industries. Cailen lives in Massachusetts with her animal activist partner, and Floyd, her beloved 16-year old blind terrier. Cailen loves running, hates winter and is training to be a helicopter pilot!


Friends of Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary update!

As many of you know, FHEEFS' purpose is to support programs that benefit the work of HEEFS and other farmed animal protection organizations in Canada and the United States such as the Esther Shares Program.

We are thrilled to share with all of you that the Friends of Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary Board of Directors has grown with the addition of two wonderful animal advocates, Ann Belles and Scott Phillips, who have joined current Board members, Krista Hiddema and Steve Jenkins.


Our FHEEFS Board of Directors


Ann Belles

Director

Ann Belles has been recusing the abused and abandoned her entire adult life. Living in California, she is the adoptive parent of over 60 children and young adults who, prior to their adoption, suffered significant abuse and neglect. For the past 10 years, Ann has also rescued and rehomed over 300 dogs from a local shelter who were scheduled for euthanasia. Ann was introduced to HEEFS in 2015 through social media and almost immediately became a dedicated and tireless supporter of the Sanctuary. As a member of the FHEEFS Board, Ann will be able to continue to do what she does best by helping farmed animals in need live healthy and engaged lives.

Krista Hiddema

Secretary and Treasurer

Krista Hiddema serves as our Secretary and Treasurer for FHEEFS and was one of the founding members of the HEEFS Board.

Krista is an activist/academic who is currently pursuing her doctorate in eco-feminism, while also running For the Greater Good, and sitting on both the HEEFS and FHEEFS boards.  After spending over 20 years in the for-profit sector, including 10 years as a partner in a law firm in Toronto, Krista then spent six years as the Vice President of Mercy For Animals in Canada, where she led 12 undercover investigations exposing the truth of what happens behind the closed doors of slaughterhouses and factory farms. She is passionate about farmed animals, and in helping people realize that farmed animals are just as deserving of love and respect as the cats and dogs we share our lives with.

 

Krista lives with her husband, Nigel, where together they rescue Great Danes, cats, and also run www.Egg-Truth.com and Dairy-Truth.com.

 Scott Phillips

Director

Scott has always fought on the side of what is right. Starting with his career in law enforcement through to his work with the U.S. Department of Justice and research at the FBI’s National Academy, into his current position as a full professor in the Criminal Justice Department at SUNY Buffalo State, Scott brings a strong sense of justice to everything he does.   

When it comes to time away from work, Scott is no less committed to equality and compassion. Scott, along with his wife and fellow advocate, Mary, began volunteering at HEEFS in early 2017.  Scott and Mary commute from their home in New York state on a regular basis to volunteer at the Sanctuary and can always be counted on for event and fundraising support. They both believe deeply in the mission of FHEEFS and are working hard to help create a world where farmed animals know only love and respect and are considered “some ones” not “something”.

Steve Jenkins

Chairperson

Steve has been crazy for animals ever since he can remember - rescuing turtles in the road, squirrels who have fallen from trees, so it was no surprise when he answered the call from an acquaintance to bring a "mini-pig" into his and Derek's very small home in Georgetown. This impulsive act put Steve and Derek on the roller coaster ride of a lifetime leading them to establish Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary in Campbellville, Ontario, as a sanctuary for abused and neglected farmed animals.

Steve is a loud and proud speaker for animals around the world and he brings his incredible communication skills and love of all animals to Friends of Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary.


We are so grateful for such talented and dedicated Board members, and we encourage you to reach out to any of these wonderful people at any time!