AWLA Leadership

Samuel Wolbert

President and CEO

Sam joined AWLA as the President & CEO in 2017. Since then, AWLA has improved its lifesaving through more adoptions and increased transferred-in animals from under-resourced communities. Prior to his time with AWLA, Sam held roles as an Executive Director for a shelter in Kentucky, a District Leader with the Humane Society of the United States, and an animal rights legislative attorney. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Michigan and a law degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

Sam is an Arlington resident and shares his home with a senior pit-mix named Meemaw and two black cats, Leila and Wayne. He is a 40 Under 40 Honoree from the Leadership Center of Excellence and a graduate of Leadership Arlington’s Signature Program Class of 2019.  Sam sits on the Board of both Arlington County’s Chamber of Commerce and the Fairlington Citizens Association.  A native Michigander, Sam loves the fall when it finally cools off and he can spend time outside without mosquitos or humidity.

Amy Schindler

Chief Operating Officer

Amy Schindler is an affiliate member of the IAABC Shelter division and certified pet dog trainer (CPDT-KA) . Amy has evaluated animals for HSUS cruelty cases. She has completed numerous specialized trainings for both canines and felines and has presented at national animal sheltering conferences. Amy has written published articles for the IAABC Journal and as well as other publications. Previous to joining the Animal Welfare League of Arlington, she was the Operations Manager at the Jacksonville Humane Society. During this time she also managed the animal behavior staff for Animal Care and Protective Services, the area’s municipal partner shelter as well as supervising a temporary shelter for dogs with behavior challenges. Over the course of her career. Amy has also taught group classes and private lessons using reward based training methods.  Amy lives with her husband Chris with their 4 adopted dogs and 1 cat who thinks he is a dog.

Ronny Shafer

Director of Finance and Administration

Ronny has worked at the League for more than 20 years starting as an Animal Care Technician. She graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in Business Management. Over the years, she has shared her home with dogs, cats, and a hamster. Currently, her home is ruled by a cat and a dog.

Ashley Hay

Director of Community Support

Ashley was born and raised in Edmond, OK. She has a BA in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics. Ashley has an extensive history of working with animals. She was an animal care tech, groomer, and veterinary receptionist before she joined the League in 2016. She has worked in our Adoptions and Finance & Administration departments and was the shelter’s Office Manager, coordinating our lobby renovation in the spring of 2019. Most recently she’s been overseeing our new front desk staff at the Animal Services desk. She’s extremely passionate about helping people with pets get the resources they need.

Ashley proudly shares with her home with her husband and her small circus: Wesley (human), Hamilton (pittie), Hudson (corgi), Kingsley (cat), and Dino (leopard gecko).

Marnie Russ,


Kat Williams

Director of Development

Kat started at AWLA in 2014 as a Front Desk and Special Events Volunteer and in 2015 joined the staff as Community Programs Specialist. She then moved to the Development Department where she managed the League’s annual giving program and special events and was later promoted to the role of Director of Development.

Kat comes to animal welfare by way of the arts with a BA in French from the College of William & Mary and an MA in the History of American Decorative Arts from Parsons School of Design. She lives in Arlington with two large cats and two small dogs – all rescues.

Charnita Fox

Director of Animal Care & Facilities

While born in Georgia, Charnita has been a DC resident since the age of 5. She has always been surrounded by animals as she was raised by a family full of animal lovers. Naturally, she has a genuine concern for all creatures and can’t ever remember not being an advocate for animals. Following high school she had her mind set on becoming a Registered Nurse, but took a different path and became a Certified Veterinary Assistant and has been working in veterinary offices and animal welfare organizations (the Washington Humane Society and the Animal Welfare League of Arlington) ever since.  While employed with WHS now Washington Animal Rescue Alliance she started as an Animal Caretaker and then moved on to manage the Front Desk/Dispatch for DC Animal Control. Previously employed with AWLA she started as an Animal Care Technician, a short stay in the Adoptions department as an Adoption Counselor, and then returning to the kennels as the Manager of Animal Care. Though she has left the animal world a few times she always returns.

Jennifer Toussaint

Chief of Animal Control

Jennifer Toussaint is the Chief of Animal Control in Arlington County, Virginia at the Animal Welfare League of Arlington. Jennifer joined the Animal Control team in early 2012 as a Deputy and worked her way up to the Chief position in 2016. Since becoming Chief, Jennifer has implemented a local ordinance in relation to exotic animal care and ownership. She has also expanded the Animal Control Departments outreach efforts in providing additional support to pet owners to enable high owner pet retention in the community. She specializes nationally in Humane Urban Wildlife Management practices and has been published multiple times on the topic and presented at the 2017 Humane Society of the United States Expo as well as the National Animal Control Association Conference. Jennifer is the 2017 recipient of the Virginia Animal Control Association Dr. Kent Roberts Animal Control Officer of the Year and received a commendation from the VA General Assembly.  She is a graduate of Moravian College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Spanish. Jennifer shares her home with two dogs- an AWLA alum American Staffordshire terrier mix named Tank and a Boston terrier named Rheagan.


Marnie Russ, National Kitten College Program Administrator

Marnie Russ started her career in Animal Advocacy at the Animal Welfare League of Arlington in 2000 when she began volunteering in the cat room and was one the shelter’s first neonatal kitten fosters.  A lobbyist at the time, she turned this passion into lobbying for the ASPCA at the state and federal level and eventually cofounded the National Kitten Coalition.   Marnie has spoken at conferences, shelters and universities across the country on neonatal kitten care and advancing shelter and foster care for at-risk kittens. Marnie developed the Kitten College at AWLA which opened its doors in July of 2017 and has quickly become a model program for mid-size municipal shelters streamlining their efforts to save kittens.

Board of Directors

Allen Herzberg


herzbergAllen volunteers regularly at AWLA, helping with dog play groups. Allen runs a corporate and individual tax practice in McLean, serving his clients as a CPA for the past 23 years. He and his wife, Jennifer, live in McLean with their two high school age children, Grant and Lauren, and their dog Kenny, a very active yellow Labrador Retriever.

Alice Barrett-Feeley

Vice Chair

Alice is the Senior Vice President with Paradigm Management Company, located in in Arlington, where she has been employed since 1991. Alice’s support of the AWLA began with the adoption of her family’s cat, Max, in 1999. She and her family later adopted a shelter dog, Molly, through a prison dog training program, located in central Virginia. Alice lives in Arlington with her husband, Brendan and son, Matt. Alice was previously a board member with Doorways for Women and Families.

Jennifer Case


Jen-FullSizeRender (1)Jennifer Case is a CPA and has an MBA from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She spent eight years in public accounting and has over 10 years of experience in industry accounting working primarily with non-profit organizations. Jennifer is the Controller of the Archdiocese of Washington and is a member of the KPMG Executive Leadership Institute for Women. She previously volunteered for the Washington Humane Society and has a passion for helping animals.

Carol Freysinger


For over 20 years, Carol has worked with nonprofit organizations to help them formulate and realize their strategic goals and manage their daily operations. She is delighted to be serving on “the other side of the table”  as an AWLA  Board member. Carol and her husband, Reid Goldstein, live in Arlington’s Douglas Park neighborhood with their rescue pup, Molly the Hound.

Tim Denning

Tim Denning is the Vice President of Business Development and an Officer of the Company for Synectics for Management Decisions (SMDI). He has also led business development at STG Group (OTCQB:STGG) and held various executive positions within L-3 Communications. Tim is a graduate of Leadership Arlington’s Signature Program, was named in 2016 as a DMV 40 Under 40 by the Leadership Center for Excellence, serves as Chair of the Arlington Community Development Advisory Committee, and is a Commissioner of Economic Development for Arlington. Tim and his dog Hugo are a Pet Therapy team visiting GWU Hospital and Arlington County libraries and is also on the Board of Arlington Street People Assistance Network (ASPAN). In addition, he actively volunteers with the Humane Rescue Alliance Volunteer Leadership Council, Offender Aid Restoration, Business Development Assistance Group of Fairfax, the Arlington Economic Development Group, the Federal Baseball League, and Rebuilding Together of Arlington/Fairfax.

Kayleen Gloor, DVM, MS

Kayleen is a veterinarian and one of the owners of Clarendon Animal Care. She has been practicing veterinary medicine in the area since 2006 and has been volunteering with rabies clinics, doing visiting vet work, helping with veterinary assistance programs and doing surgical relief for AWLA in some capacity for nearly the last 10 years. She has seen AWLA grow and develop over that time period and is excited to help to continue to foster that growth and development as a board member.

Sally Kaplan

KaplanSally retired in 2010 from ABC News after 33 years.  Since then she has volunteered at the AWLA, working in the dog kennel, dog walking and helping to supervise doggy play groups.  She and her late Golden Riley loved participating in dog assisted therapy with the group at Manor Care for 5 years.  She and her partner Larry live in Arlington with recently adopted Emmi, a lab mix puppy.

Ed Kussy

Ed is a partner with Nossaman LLP in Washington, DC. His legal practice focuses on the construction of large transportation projects, public private partnerships, and environmental law. Prior to joining Nossaman in 2008, Ed worked for 34 years in the Chief Counsel’s office of the Federal Highway Administration. He was the Deputy Chief Counsel for the last 18 years of his federal service. Ed’s affection for AWLA comes from his dog Nicki, who his late wife, Erika, and he adopted from the League in 1996. She was part of their family for 17 years and was 21 when she died. Ed lives in Alexandria.


Dr. Katy Nelson, DVM

Dr. Katy Nelson is the host and executive producer of “The Pet Show with Dr. Katy” on Washington DC’s WJLA ABC 24/7 news channel, as well as an associate veterinarian at the Belle Haven Animal Medical Centre in Alexandria, VA. She serves as an expert on animal health on Washington DC’s All News Radio Station, WTOP News as well as on Washington DC’s ABC affiliate WJLA ABC 7. She has been featured on the TODAY Show, Fox & Friends, Sirius XM, NPR, CNBC, The Meredith Vieira Show, HuffPost Live, and is the expert for the second season of the popular show “Unlikely Animal Friends” on NatGeo Wild.

Dr. Katy is the Medical Director of Pet Health for Stop Aging Now, and has her own line of all-natural pet health supplements called Charlie’s Choice.  She is a frequent contributor to Family Circle Magazine, Good Housekeeping, Better Homes & Gardens, Cheddar TV, HuffPost Pets, BarkPost and and is featured in over 200 pet health videos on PetMD.

Dr. Katy earned her veterinary degree in 2001 from the Louisiana State University’s School of Veterinary Medicine. She is a Certified Veterinary Journalist (CVJ), accredited by the American Society of Veterinary Journalists (ASVJ). Through her consulting business, KJN Pet Marketing, she has served as a valuable source to reporters around the country for the past 7 years, and as a marketing consultant for pet-related companies – from Fortune 500 corporations to pet/pet parent targeted start-ups.

A native of Louisiana, Dr. Katy now lives in Washington DC with her husband, their son and daughter, and their rambunctious rescue dogs Mookie Betts, an incredibly lovable Labradoodle, and Eddie Underbite, a Shih Tzu/Bichon mix.

Jeffrey Newman, DVM

Jeffrey NewmanJeff Newman has volunteered with the AWLA for the last 13 years. A graduate of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Auburn University in 1992, he has practiced veterinary medicine in Georgia, Nevada, and in Virginia. He is a co-owner of Caring Hands Animal Hospitals, a group of eight hospitals in Virginia and Maryland. Additionally, he is President of CHASE (Caring Hands Animal Support and Education), a non-profit that promotes veterinary engagement in shelters and provides low-cost surgery for community cats, and is also the immediate past president of the Virginia Veterinary Medical Association.

Sheila Raebel

Sheila has spent the majority of her career providing integrated payment solutions for state and local government agencies. Also, as the owner of a local pet store, Dogma Dog Bakery, Sheila has been a long-time supporter of the League, as well as many local and national animal rescue organizations. Her understanding of the complexities of local governments and the budgetary challenges they face made her realize that there should be a better way to support open access shelters than just limited funding through tax dollars. So, she works with local rescues and small pet and feed stores in rural areas to help support their local shelters. She lives in Arlington with her husband and 16-year-old former shelter dog, Bailey.

Rick Inderfurth

Rick Inderfurth is currently an adjunct professor at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs (ESIA). He previously served in the State Department in the Clinton Administration as an Assistant Secretary of State, an Ambassador to the United Nations, and oversaw Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s “De-mining 2010 Initiative” to remove landmines around the world that threatened civilian populations.

Prior to this government service, he worked as a State and Defense Department correspondent and later a Moscow Correspondent for ABC News. While there he and his family took in a stray Russian dog – naming him Nikolai – and bought a kitten from the Moscow pet market – naming her Marieka. Both were delighted to depart the then Soviet Union for America. They were followed by more rescues – Teddy and Mr. Duke. The current Inderfurth rescue dog – Benny – is shown in the photo.  Note the fence. It was 4 and a half feet before Benny arrived. He immediately sailed over it. Rick and his wife Merrie had to build – to echo ‘Jaws’ – a bigger fence! 

Kristianne Littlefield

Kristanne has served in senior level technology positions in international, nonprofit, private and government sectors.  Currently, she is the CIO and Vice President of IT at PhRMA.  Kristanne is a graduate of Leadership Arlington and is very supportive of animal welfare issues.  She is thrilled to be part of the AWLA family and contribute to its valuable work.  Kristanne resides in Northern Virginia with her husband Ray and two rescue dogs – Sammie and Coco.