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Getting to Know Winn

Meet the dedicated people of Winn Feline Foundation

Board of Directors

Winn Feline Foundation’s Board of Directors is a diverse group of respected professionals and dedicated cat lovers. Their depth of expertise is broad, including authors, cat veterinary specialists, chief medical officers, established researchers, businesspersons, lawyers, a columnist/radio personality, and cat fanciers and show judges. These individuals volunteer their time and receive no compensation — all donor contributions go directly to fund critical research.


Glenn Olah

Glenn Olah photoDVM, PhD, DABVP (Feline), President

Albuquerque, NM

Glenn Olah is a practicing clinician at Albuquerque Cat Clinic in his home state of New Mexico. He has been volunteering with Winn for several years, and has provided valuable assistance in summarizing Winn’s scientific research for lay people. He is board certified in feline practice with ABVP, was a member and former chair of the AAFP Research Grant Committee, and is a board member of Felines and Friends, a cat rescue organization in Santa Fe, NM.

Dr. Olah holds a PhD in Physics from Rice University in Houston, TX, and he focused on biophysical and structural biology research for a number of years. Eventually, he pursued his desire to work as a veterinarian, receiving his DVM degree at Oklahoma State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Involvement with Winn allows Dr. Olah to combine his research experience with his passion for feline medicine.

A published researcher and author, Dr. Olah still finds time to honor a number of professional commitments, including writing articles pertaining to feline medicine for veterinary magazines and helping feline rescue efforts in the Santa Fe area. He has also assumed the lead on coordinating Winn’s continuing education efforts with those of other veterinary organizations.

Vicki Thayer

Vicki ThayerDVM, DABVP (Feline), Executive Director and Immediate Past President

Lebanon, OR

Executive Director Vicki L. Thayer has a 35-year background in feline medicine. A graduate of Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Thayer is board certified in feline medicine by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP) and was principal owner of Civic Feline Clinic. Located in Walnut Creek, CA, the clinic was the first exclusively feline veterinary practice in the Diablo Valley region of the state.

Dr. Thayer has contributed to Guideline articles on feline retroviruses, with particular emphasis on clinical management. She also has written a chapter on Medical History and Physical Examinations for The Cat: Clinical Medicine and Management (Elsevier, 2012), edited and co-authored by fellow Winn board member Dr. Susan Little.

She has considerable experience in organized veterinary medicine in the American Veterinary Medicine Association (AVMA) and American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP), as well as through other community activities. Dr. Thayer served on the board of AAFP for 20 years, and as president from 1996-1998. From 2004-2010, she was AAFP’s delegate to AVMA. She was on the board of the newly established ABVP Foundation as treasurer in late 2013 through the end of 2015. She is currently a board member of the largest private cat adoption shelter in the Pacific Northwest, Cat Adoption Team.

Dr. Thayer joined the Winn Feline Foundation Board of Directors in 2008 and served as board president from June 2011 to June 2014, stepping into the position of Executive Director on July 1, 2014. She lives on a 40-acre heritage farm in the foothills of the Oregon Cascades with her husband, six cats and two dogs.

Shila Nordone

Dr_S_NordoneMS, PhD and President-Elect

Raleigh, NC

A Veterinary Consultant for the Winn Feline Foundation, Dr. Shila Nordone is currently a Research Assistant Professor and instructor in veterinary immunology at NC State College of Veterinary Medicine. She is the recipient of many honors, including the Iowa State University "Excellence in Graduate Teaching" award. Dr. Nordone has participated in research projects and authored papers on human immunodeficiency virus, feline immunodeficiency virus, and Bartonella henselae.

Dr. Nordone graduated from North Carolina State University with a BS in animal science, then completed her MS degree at Iowa State University in nutritional physiology. She received her PhD in immunology at NC State in 2000.

 

Janet Wolf

janet_and_casperSecretary

Newport, NJ

Winn Board Secretary Janet Wolf has early memories of a black kitten with a red bow around her neck. That was the start of her love of all things feline — domestic and wild, small and large, pedigreed and random bred. While she had few cats growing up, Ms. Wolf adopted a cat as soon as she left home for college. Over the course of six years, two different cats kept her company as she completed her studies and began her career at the National Park Service.

Ms. Wolf soon discovered how much she enjoyed raising litters of kittens and became a pedigreed cat breeder while also rescuing un-owned cats and their litters. Word spread, and she and her husband, Otto, became known for providing additional help neutering, socializing and placing un-owned litters. Today, they continue to rescue and breed Birmans.

Breeding and rescuing cats has led to Ms. Wolf’s increasing interest in feline health issues. Several years after she started breeding cats, there was a devastating outbreak of FIP in her cattery. She was already volunteering as a writer for Winn, and ended up co-chairing the first International FIP/FECV Conference.

Ms. Wolf previously served as the Winn board’s first executive director and now serves as secretary. She considers her time with Winn rewarding, watching the improvements in feline care and the discovery of new therapies, genetic tests, drugs and so much more.

Vickie Fisher

Vickie Fisher photoTreasurer

Corrales, NM

Having served as president of The International Cat Association (TICA), Vickie Fisher joined the Winn Board of Directors as Treasurer, with a solid background of experience in the world of felines and their well being.

Ms. Fisher’s extensive career in finance and accounting as CFA and VP of finance in the insurance and legal sector also contributes to her role at Winn. She served as cabinet secretary for the New Mexico Tax Department, and chaired the audit committee for the Public Service Company Board of Directors. Ms. Fisher recently retired from the Presbyterian Healthcare Services Board, where she served on the finance committee and chaired the compliance and audit committee for 10 years.

Ms. Fisher leads a non-profit “friends” group in Albuquerque, NM that works with the city’s animal welfare department. She also served as deputy chief administrative officer for the City of Albuquerque for eight years and was responsible for budget, finance, strategic planning and the city’s enterprise departments.

Brian Holub

Brian Holub photoDVM

Westford, MA

Brian Holub has been working with the Winn Feline Foundation for nearly two decades. Dr. Holub is a past member of the foundation’s official grant review committee and continues to help select grant recipients each year by reviewing research proposals and making funding recommendations. At present, he works as a clinical instructor at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University.

Dr. Holub has significant frontline experience in the world of feline health care. In addition to his role as a contributing veterinarian to the Winn Pet Memorial Program, he has run the Countryside Veterinary Hospital in Chelmsford, MA since 1985. Recently, Dr. Holub joined VetCor, Inc. as its Chief Medical Officer, though he can still be found at his clinic tending to ailing cats at least once a week.

Dr. Holub is focused on practice management and helping hospitals in the VetCor network adopt practices that best serve the needs of its patients and their families. A breeder of pedigreed American Shorthair Cats for over 23 years, Dr. Holub has a special interest in pedigree cat medicine, multiple cat environments and feline reproduction.

George Eigenhauser

George EigenhauserCFA Liaison

Marysville, CA

George J. Eigenhauser Jr. is an attorney at law, licensed in the state of California since 1979. He has served on the Winn Board of Directors and as CFA liaison to Winn for more than 10 years. His expertise in the area of wills, trusts and estate planning allows him to assist donors with planned giving decisions. He is also the legislative coordinator for the Cat Fanciers’ Association, Inc. and has served on the CFA board for 15 years.

Mr. Eigenhauser graduated from law school at Western State University and holds an undergraduate degree from Shimer College. He currently practices law in Marysville, CA, with an emphasis on wills, trusts and estate planning.

As a true cat fancier, Mr. Eigenhauser raises and shows Maine Coon cats. While he started in CFA showing household cats, his first Maine Coon cat was acquired in 1992, and his cattery’s name is Telecoons.

Steve Dale

Steve_RickyCABC, Media Contact

Chicago, IL

Certified animal behavior consultant Steve Dale reaches more pet owners than any other pet journalist in America. Among his many professional accomplishments, Mr. Dale writes a twice-weekly syndicated newspaper column, serves as a contributing editor at USA Weekend, and hosts two nationally syndicated radio shows. He is also an author, a columnist for Cat Fancy, a Chicago Tribune blogger, and a contributor to Advanstar publications for veterinary professionals.

Mr. Dale is a founder of the CATalyst Council and served on its Board of Directors from 2008 to 2012. In addition to his work with Winn Feline Foundation, he serves on the board of the Tree House Humane Society in Chicago and as a national ambassador for the American Humane Association.

After his beloved cat Ricky passed away of feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), Mr. Dale created a fund to raise money to research this often-fatal disease. As a direct result, a genetic test was created to determine if a gene defect for HCM exists for two breeds.

Drew Weigner

Drew WeignerDVM

Atlanta, GA

Drew Weigner is one of the few board-certified feline specialists in the nation, having practiced medicine for more than 25 years. Weigner graduated in 1982 from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. In 1987, he established The Cat Doctor in Atlanta, the first feline specialty practice in the southeastern United States, which became accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association in 1991.

In 1995, Weigner was a member of the first group of veterinarians to earn board certification in feline practice by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners. He served as president of the Academy of Feline Medicine in 2002 and as a board member of the American Association of Feline Practitioners for several terms.

Weigner is the author of numerous scientific and consumer articles and is sought after as an expert in feline medicine by such organizations as CNN, the Chicago Tribune, and USA Today. He is dedicated to educating the public about feline issues and frequently appears in consumer magazine, newspaper, radio, television, Internet publications, and the WebMD® pet health community.

Lorraine Shelton

Lorraine_Shelton-webEastvale, CA

A familiar name to cat fanciers around the world, Lorraine Shelton joined the Winn Board of Directors in September 2014. The co-author of multiple books on feline husbandry, including Robinson's Genetics for Cat Breeders and Veterinarians and the recently released The Original Cat Fancy Cat Bible, Lorraine has lectured on scientific aspects of companion cats for The International Cat Association (TICA), the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA), the Fédération Internationale Féline (FIFe), and the World Cat Congress. Further, she maintains the largest and oldest on-line resource for feline health information for cat breeders, the Fanciershealth Yahoogroup. She is also the founder and President of Helping Persian Cats, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization in the Los Angeles area specializing in pedigreed cat rescue. She was approved as a specialty judge for TICA in 2013 and has been recently appointed as a member of their Genetics Committee. While living in Eastvale, CA, Lorraine is currently the Quality Assurance Officer for Exova, a contract analytical laboratory in Santa Fe Springs, CA, serving the pharmaceutical, dietary supplement, and medical device industries.

Susan Gingrich

Susan-Gingrich

Loudon, TN

Susan E Gingrich joined the Winn Board in late 2015. She is a Registered Nurse, with a master’s degree in human services, and recently retired as the Director of Housing in the Commonwealth of PA. Her professional career involved employment in the public and private sectors in the fields of health care, special education, information technology, and communication.

Along with her husband, Jim Shurskis, Ms Gingrich founded the Bria Fund for FIP Research at Winn, and continues to lead efforts related to the fund. She is a member of the National Birman Fanciers, where she is involved in Birman Rescue.

Susan enjoys ballroom dancing and working on political campaigns. She is also an active member of a local theater group. 

 

Dean Vicksman

Dean Vicksman
DVM, CVJ

Denver, CO

Dr. Dean Vicksman, a Denver native, graduated with honors from Colorado State University School of Veterinary Medicine in 1986. He was then accepted into Angell Memorial Animal Hospital’s internship program in Boston for advanced training in small animal medicine and surgery. He has co-owned and directed Evans East Animal Hospital since April 1, 1987, with Dr. Steve Kromka. He is a Certified Veterinary Journalist and a participating member of the Veterinary News Network.

His personal interests include skiing and martial arts and Dr. Vicksman has a 2nd degree black belt in Peoples Kenpo Karate. In keeping with his journalist interests, he is a guest speaker on ABC Channel 7 and FOX31 News pet segments. He is currently Chairman of the Board at PetAid Colorado, the past Chairman of the Board at the Dumb Friends League and on the Advisory Board of the Grey Muzzle Organization. He and his wife, Rebecca, and their two children, Sarah and Koby, enjoy their dogs Odin, Whinnie, Jadzia, and Pickles.

 

Grant Review Panel

The combined knowledge and experience of the grant review panel enables Winn Feline Foundation to select and fund the most credible proposals. Our reviewers include board members, two appointed veterinary consultants and invited advisors who are most often practicing veterinarians.

Veterinary Consultants

Veterinary consultants are appointed for three-year terms to serve as grant reviewers. Their skill in various areas of research (e.g., statistics, medicine, surgery, cancer therapy, molecular biology, and diagnostics) is invaluable.

Shila Nordone

Dr_S_NordoneMS, PhD

Raleigh, NC

A Veterinary Consultant for the Winn Feline Foundation, Dr. Shila Nordone is currently a Research Assistant Professor and instructor in veterinary immunology at NC State College of Veterinary Medicine. She is the recipient of many honors, including the Iowa State University "Excellence in Graduate Teaching" award. Dr. Nordone has participated in research projects and authored papers on human immunodeficiency virus, feline immunodeficiency virus, and Bartonella henselae.

Dr. Nordone graduated from North Carolina State University with a BS in animal science, then completed her MS degree at Iowa State University in nutritional physiology. She received her PhD in immunology at NC State in 2000.

Joe Hauptman

Hauptman_Joe-lr photoDVM, MS, DACVS

Okemos, MI

Dr. Joe Hauptman has been on the faculty of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Michigan State University since 1981, and is currently a Professor of Surgery, while serving as a Veterinary Consultant for the Winn. With special interest and expertise in Statistical Design and Analysis, he is a consultant, reviewer, presenter, and practitioner in the area of Statistical Design and Analysis to numerous entities.

Dr. Hauptman graduated from the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine in 1975. He completed his MS degree in Surgery at Kansas State University in 1978, and became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in 1981.

Veterinary Advisors

Each year, veterinary advisors are identified to serve as additional proposal reviewers. These advisors are generally veterinary practitioners or clinicians with special expertise in feline medicine.

Susan Little

Susan_Little_DVM_and_Zanzibar_Apr_2014DVM, DABVP (Feline), Past President

Ottowa, ON, Canada

Dr. Susan Little received her BSc from Dalhousie University (Nova Scotia, Canada) and her DVM from the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. She has been in feline practice since 1990 and achieved board certification in Feline Practice in 1997, re-certifying in 2006. She is part owner of two feline specialty practices in Ottawa, Canada. She served on the board and is a Past President of the Winn Feline Foundation. She also serves as Past President on the board of the American Assoc. of Feline Practitioners, and is a feline medicine consultant for the Veterinary Information Network. She is a peer reviewer for the Canadian Veterinary Journal and the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery as well as the author of many journal articles. Dr. Little is the recipient of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Assoc. Small Animal Practitioner Award (2010), the NAVC Small Animal Speaker of the Year Award (2013), and the International Society of Feline Medicine/Hill's Pet Nutrition Award for outstanding contributions to feline medicine (2013). She is the editor and co-author of 'The Cat – Clinical Medicine and Management' (Elsevier, 2012) and the editor of August's Consultations in Feline Internal Medicine, Volume 7, published November, 2015.

 

Melissa Kennedy

Head_shot_Kennedy_Melissa_BDS_2014_turnDVM, PhD, DACVM

Knoxville, TN

Born and raised in Eastern Tennessee, Dr. Melissa Kennedy is an Associate Professor at the University of Tennessee, College of Veterinary Medicine. She also serves as a veterinary advisor to the Winn Board of Directors.

Dr. Kennedy attended the University of Tennessee, where she completed her DVM degree in 1983 and her PhD in 1991. She was in small animal practice for approximately five years after achieving her DVM degree, but was drawn back to UT for her PhD in Comparative and Experimental Medicine.

Dr. Kennedy instructs veterinary students in immunology and virology, oversees the clinical virology diagnostic lab, and is involved with research primarily of feline diseases, including those of nondomestic felids. Her research focus has included feline coronavirus in cats and in cheetahs, feline calicivirus in cats, and feline lentivirus in African lions. Dr. Kennedy is currently investigating possible therapeutics for FIP.

Karen Greenwood

karengreenwoodVice President, Research and Development

Overland Park, KS

Karen Greenwood is the Vice President of Research and Development at Parnell, based in Overland Park, Kansas. She moved to this role in September 2015 after 27 years with Pfizer Animal Health/Zoetis and is very much enjoying being part of a small, dynamic company.

Her research focus is osteoarthritis in cats, dogs and horses, fertility hormones in dairy and beef cattle and nutraceuticals for a range of issues in cats and dogs. Karen enjoys the intricacies of drug discovery and development, and the opportunity to be able to turn scientific discoveries into products that benefit pets and owners.

Karen received a Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry from Southampton University in Southampton, UK. She lives in Shawnee, Kansas with her husband Sean, and her two children, Zoe and Hayley.

 

Scientific Advisors

Periodically, an outside scientific advisor may be approved by the Winn Board of Directors to attend a board review meeting. The scientific advisor is not assigned grants for review, though they can offer advice for consideration.

Tracey Williams

Tracey_WilliamsSenior Principal Scientist in Global Therapeutics Research
at Zoetis

Kalamazoo, MI

Tracey Williams graduated from Liverpool John Moores University, UK with a BSc in Applied Biology in 1994 and joined Pfizer Animal Health, Sandwich, UK in 1996 as a trained microbiologist. She relocated with Pfizer to Kalamazoo, MI in 2008, remaining in the Animal Health group throughout the transition to Zoetis in 2013.

With over 20 years’ experience in the Animal Health industry, Tracey brings her passion for research into understanding the biological pathways and mechanisms of companion animal diseases and identifying how these can be exploited to improve the health and wellbeing of our closest companions.

Tracey currently lives in Kalamazoo caring for her “kitty commune” of eleven rescue cats.

 

Many thanks to these dedicated volunteers for generously offering their time and expertise to help improve the health and welfare of all cats.

Winn Staff

Though Winn’s board, volunteers and advisors are located across North America, Winn’s headquarters in Wyckoff, NJ is the heart of our operations.

Alisa Salvaggio

Alisa_Salvaggio webDonor Care Specialist

Bergenfield, NJ

The Winn Feline Foundation welcomed Donor Care Specialist Lisa (Alisa) Salvaggio in April 2014.

Ms. Salvaggio brings a wealth of experience to her role at Winn. She began her career at AA World Class Embroidery, one of the largest manufacturers in the embroidery industry, as the manager of customer service. After 13 years, she joined the customer service team at Liz Claiborne, where she specialized in the international sales market, and worked on additional brands owned by the company.

Five years later, Ms. Salvaggio joined Clancy Twomey Marketing as a customer service specialist, and also served as the direct assistant to the CEO/President, working for both private and non-profit organizations.

Ms. Salvaggio lives in Bergenfield, NJ, with her husband of 16 years and two daughters. In her free time, she is a dedicated dance mom and a volunteer at her local school.