Melissa has more than 15 years in the Social Service sector, developing and managing programs that serve people with developmental disabilities. After years of chasing stray dogs on the rural roads of Texas and California and fostering multiple litters of kittens and adult dogs in need, she became a Certified Humane Educator and founded UnChained in 2011.
Kristen is an enthusiastic photographer as well as an Environment Attorney with a special interest in Social Justice. Kristen is a graduate of Leadership Monterey Peninsula and board member of The Coastal Society, as well as a volunteer with Animal Friends Rescue Project. Kristen and her Therapy dog Lady, volunteer with Central Coast Hospice.
Diana Rapa is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed and a Canine Good Citizen Evaluator. In 2010, Diana founded The Perfect Dog rescue and since then, her rescue has saved, rehabilitated, and re-homed an average of 100 dogs per year from local kill animal shelters. Her passion is not only in rehabilitating shelter dogs, but also teaching pet parents the canine language, so that pet parents can better understand and communicate with their dogs and develop a great, compassionate, fun, and positive relationship with their dogs.
Walt is the co-founder of Mission City Dog Training in Santa Clara, CA and has been training dogs professionally since 1962. Walt loves cruising on his motorcycle, sailing, playing the ukulele and his keyboard.
Gianna has over 10 years of of experience as a Emergency/ Critical Care Veterinary Technician. She believes in the human-animal bond as a healing modality for trauma for young people including developing essential skills (i.e. team building, collaboration, caregiving, resiliency, responsibility, communication) She also possesses a Bachelors degree in Sociology from UCSC and is a State certified Domestic Violence Victims Advocate and Youth Advocate.
A firm believer in mindfulness and compassion, Felipe is a volunteer Foster with Peace of Mind Dog Rescue as well as a volunteer Leader with the Boy Scouts of America in Salinas, CA. Felipe believes in the power of community and the hope that springs from the hearts of children through the boundless love of our canine companions.
“Grab your leash and let’s change the world, WOOF!”
Leslie is a Group Program Manager, Commerce Strategy and Operations at Adobe; and Co-Founder of former nonprofit CRM Association/Silicon Valley Chapter. Leslie has over 15 years’ experience in Program Management, supporting Sales and Marketing Operations; and is a graduate of Golden Gate University, with a degree in Computer Information Systems and Marketing. In her spare time, Leslie volunteers at the Santa Cruz Animal Shelter.
Catherine is a Consulting Psychologist who works with local nonprofits and businesses to help them manage sustainable growth. Catherine’s expertise in Strategic Planning and Organizational Development will allow UnChained to reach more youths and dogs in our community. Catherine is a board member for the Big Sur Marathon and the Center for Photographic Art.
Debra Borden is retired from the Naval Air Warfare Center, after 30 years of Federal service. Debra comes with experience and expertise in strategic planning, data analysis and measuring effectiveness of projects and programs. As well, she’s a former Math Teacher of middle and high school students. When Debra is not busy training her 2 dogs, she’s acting as Board President for the International Wine and Food Society of Monterey Peninsula.
Megan Moon has a wealth of experience in nonprofit management including; program development & management, donor development, special event planning and coordination, fundraising and grant writing. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Humane Leadership and has worked for the Institute for Humane Education, The San Fransisco SPCA and the Humane Society of Greater Dayton, Ohio.
Professional Dog Trainer specializing in dog behavior.
Humane Educator and Founder of Growing Kinder, Inc..
Attorney, specializing in estate planning, trusts and probate.
Professional communications experience in corporate, university and philanthropic settings. Former Director of Communications for Hewlett-Packard Company