A.D.O.P.T. is very excited to have the opportunity to work with such a diverse, passionate and ambitious group of people who have come together for the betterment of the animals we serve.
Board of Directors
Amy Wolf, President
Amy has been the Board of Directors President since June of 2016. She is also the chairwoman of the Social Media Committee. Since joining the board she has worked to improve the standing of the shelter in the community, improve board policies and procedures, and increase the presence of the shelter on social media.
Amy works as an IT Analyst at ULTA Beauty and has a background in training and instructional design. She is a proud cat mom of three – including one A.D.O.P.T. alumni.
Amy first started working as a volunteer on the cat side at A.D.O.P.T. in June, 2008. The thing that always amazes her is the unconditional love from the animals. They can come from difficult circumstances, but they are so open to affection when you meet them. All they want is love. There’s nothing like sitting down in one of the cat rooms and suddenly having several cats on your lap wanting attention.
Amy is drawn to the animals with special needs. This could be the more timid animals that need more work to draw them out, ones with health issues or deformities, or older animals. She loves to see how the animals’ lives improve with the care and attention given them at the shelter.
Amy’s favorite program at the shelter is the Blessed Bonds program. It is heartbreaking to see people in circumstances that make them unable to take care of their beloved animals. To be able to care for these animals at the shelter until the owners can care for them again is so important for these animals and their owners who love them.
Amy is always impressed with and humbled by the dedication of the other volunteers, board members, and the staff. It is truly the people at A.D.O.P.T. that make all of the difference.
Laura Nagelbach, Vice President
Laura has been the Board of Directors Vice President since February of 2017. She is also the chairwoman of the Volunteer Committee.
Laura has been a volunteer at A.D.O.P.T. Pet Shelter since October 2009. She began as a Dog Kennel volunteer and after a year or so, began to train to be an Adoption Counselor. Laura enjoys the role of an Adoption Counselor as she has an opportunity to meet potential adopters and help them in finding the perfect match with one our wonderful dogs. She has also participated in taking our shy dogs to “A Sound Beginning” classes. “It is so rewarding to watch them gain confidence and feel loved and successful during their training.” Laura has worked with the Oklahoma transports and brought our newest residents to the Shelter. She has also fostered two dogs, one from Puerto Rico and the second from Oklahoma, Rose, who became a “foster failure” and now makes her home with Laura and her husband Andy.
Since 2008 Laura has worked for Raymond James, a full service brokerage firm. Laura feels there is a direct connection to the way she feels about working for Raymond James and the way she feels volunteering at A.D.O.P.T. At Raymond James we are dedicated to people and their financial well-being. “At A.D.O.P.T. we are dedicated to our animals and their overall well-being. Our communities are very much the same. “
Laura has a Bachelor’s of Science in Finance and Economics from Northern Illinois University and a MBA in Finance from DePaul University. Laura and her husband Andy have two adult sons and have lived in Naperville for 20 years. She has two much-loved A.D.O.P.T. alumni dogs, Sophie age 12 and Rose age 2. She is a long-time member of 100 Women Who Care Naperville.
Trent Biederman, Treasurer
Trent has been the Board of Directors Treasurer since June of 2016. He is also the chairman of the Financial Committee. He has over 13 years of accounting and auditing experience.
He adopted Baxter from A.D.O.P.T. in 2012.
Candace Wills, Director
Candace has been on the Board of Directors since June of 2016.
She leads an Internal Audit department for a natural and organic food distributor. She is a purple level dog care volunteer at the shelter and takes dogs to off-site adoption events and A Sound Beginning training classes.
A committed supporter of A.D.O.P.T., Candace asked friends and family to donate to A.D.O.P.T. in lieu of gifts for her recent wedding.
Cooper, their 11 year old Cairn Terrier, did an amazing job walking with Chris down the aisle!
Chris Stirn, Executive DIrector
Chris started working for A.D.O.P.T. back in 2009 when she was brought on as A.D.O.P.T.’s Veterinary Technician and then proceeded to become the Medical Services Coordinator overseeing the medical department and low cost spay/ neuter program. She was instrumental in the development of A.D.O.P.T’s Low Cost Vaccine Clinic and Compassionate Programs. After some time with A.D.O.P.T. Chris was promoted to Director of Operations overseeing shelter operations and programing. She was then promoted to the shelter’s Executive Director in 2014. Chris has always had a strong passion for animals and has served on the Illinois Animal Welfare Federation Board of Directors and has been involved in animal welfare for close to 30 years working primarily in the veterinary specter and then moving to animal control where she worked as an Animal Control Officer and Humane Education Officer and finally animal sheltering where she has found her true calling and strives to improve the quality of life for all homeless animals. Chris lives in the Western Suburbs and enjoys spending time with her family and is the proud mother of 4 children and two rescue babies Charlie an Old English Bulldog and Maximus the wide eyed cat.
Kathryn Heigel-Meyer, DVM
Dr. Heigel-Meyer is a 2007 graduate of the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. Following graduation, she worked in private practice several years in central Illinois while also helping several feline rescue groups. In 2010, she moved up to the Chicagoland area to be closer to family.
In 2014, She started working at our shelter and quickly fell in love with shelter medicine. Dr. Heigel-Meyer provides medical care to the animals at the shelter ensuring that they receive any necessary medical treatment as well as preventative care. She also provides the public with affordable vaccinations and wellness care through the A.D.O.P.T. Pet Shelters Low Cost Vaccine Clinic.
Dr. Heigel-Meyer’s veterinary interests include dentistry and cardiology. She and her husband are the proud parents of 5 cats and 1 dog. In her free time she enjoys camping, hiking and playing board games
Andrea Stauffenburg, DVM
Dr. Stauffenburg graduated from the Iowa State University in 2008 and has practiced small animal medicine in many capacities ranging from high volume to family medicine with a special interest in surgery.
Dr. Stauffenburg’s provides spay/neuter services for animals in our care as well as for local rescue groups through A.D.O.P.T.’s spay/neuter clinic.
Dr. Stauffenburg is married with 2 children and 1 rescue kitty adopt from A.D.O.P.T.. During her free time she enjoys outdoor activities with her family.
Liz Bierman, Shelter Manager
Liz joined the A.D.O.P.T. Pet Shelter team in August 2016 as Kennel Manager and Trainer. Liz comes from a wide array of animal background. She has worked at a couple other shelters before here as well as a veterinary clinic. She loves working here because she knows all the animals receive amazing care and find the best homes!
Liz’s main responsibilities for the kennel are to maintain the animals in the kennel and make sure everything stays organized and clean. The kennel staff is crucial to the animals here at the shelter as they do a wonderful job keeping the animals clean, happy, and healthy! Liz is in charge of dog intake and managing adoptions along with keeping the Facebook page organized and up to date. As a trainer, Liz performs the behavior evaluations on all the dogs and teaches classes to shelter volunteers on how to work with and manage various types of dogs. Special focus is given to both dogs and cats that are assessed to need extra attention with regard to their behavior training. On-going training and one-on-one interaction is provided to help the dog or cat become a great family pet.
Liz attended the University of Illinois and graduated with a Bachelor’s in Animal Science. While in school, she learned genetics, biology, nutrition, and animal welfare. She worked hands-on with many different animals and maintained an internship with the humane society where she learned her animal behavior and training background. She volunteered at many different training facilities, assisting in dog training classes. She;s picked up medical skills to while working at A.D.O.P.T. and helping with the low cost clinic. Her 2 “babies” are both rescue dogs that are the joys of her life and spoiled rotten!
Lori Dicke, Cat Care Manager
Lori first came to A.D.O.P.T. in 2006 as a volunteer providing cat care. Things were quite different then as we were almost entirely dependent on volunteers. She quickly learned how to do everything from basic cat care to giving medications and sub cutaneous fluids. Shortly after she started volunteering, Lori was asked by one of the shelter managers to foster a mother cat and her four kittens. She willingly began to foster the cat and kittens and she is proud to say she is a failed foster! She adopted three of her fosters and gave them a permanent home with her.
In 2011 Lori retired from her full time job and shortly after joined the staff of A.D.O.P.T. providing loving cat care on a part time basis.
Lori has has fostered well over three hundred cats, kittens and even a few dogs during her time with A.D.O.P.T. She has taken on additional responsibilities including cat intake, adoptions, responding to cat related emails, staff supervision and, of course, continues to provide exceptional cat care.
Lori shared that the most rewarding part of her job is watching frightened kitties slowly relax and come to love and trust our staff when given the loving attention they deserve. Although things can be challenging at times, seeing our babies go into loving homes makes it all worthwhile!
Jill Lebovitz, Volunteer Coordinator
Jill has been the Volunteer Coordinator at A.D.O.P.T. Pet Shelter for two years and is also the Coordinator of the shelter’s Foster Care Program. Before coming to A.D.O.P.T, Jill worked at another shelter for seven years.
Jill’s main responsibilities are to recruit, train, schedule and maintain volunteers at the shelter. “Volunteers are crucial to the success of the shelter,” says Jill. “We couldn’t operate without them.” Volunteers do everything from hands-on animal care, adoption counseling, off-site events, social media, fundraising, foster care and more. Over 13,400 volunteer hours were logged in 2016.
Foster Care is another important component of the shelter. The majority of animals in Foster Care are either too young to be adopted, are recovering from illness or need socialization. Foster volunteers care for the animals in their own homes and remain in close contact with the animal care staff until the animals are ready to return to the shelter. Jill has been a foster mom herself for ten years.
Jill, who has a Master’s degree in Psychology, worked for 15 years in the healthcare industry. She then decided to follow her true passion, animals. “I just love everything about them,” says Jill. “They give unconditional love, companionship and loyalty and ask for so little in return. The best part about my job is seeing a cat or dog go home with his/her new forever family. We love getting updates and pictures and seeing how happy the animals are.”
Jill is a proud “cat mom” of several cats. She is also active in several Animal Rescue organizations.