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VOLUNTEER BOARD OF DIRECTORS

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JOHN COPENHAVER

 

President, Board of Directors

 

In 2019, John joined the GA Pet Coalition’s all volunteer board where he currently serves as president. He is also the chairman of the Companion Animal Executive Committee formed by Gary Black, the GA Commissioner of Agriculture. He is an executive on the board of the Animal Protection Society and Canine Cellmates. He was on the advisory board for Angels Among Us prior to that.

 

After graduating from Brown University in 1975, he received his law degree from the U of GA.  After graduating from law school in 1979, John clerked for the GA Court of Appeals from 1980-1981.

 

After having served for many years in the private sector, with positions at AT&T, Bellsouth and IBM, John left IBM to be appointed by Pres. Clinton to the position of Regional Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Region Four which includes eight southeastern states. He also served as Chairman and CEO of the Disaster Recovery Institute in Washington, DC.  

John’s love for animals goes back to his childhood and he now shares his home with Gatsby, his 5 pound Maltese. He believes deeply in the mission of the GA Pet Coalition and is proud to be a part of the animal welfare movement that is constantly improving the quality of life for companion animals in GA.

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CHARLES DE VANE

 

Vice President, Board of Directors

 

Charles has devoted much of his life helping homeless animals. He grew up in Quitman and graduated from Valdosta State University and has lived in Quitman, GA all his life. He is a successful businessman and investor.

Charles served as past president of the Valdosta Humane Society from 2005-2007. In 2008, he founded Brooks Area Rescue Club (BARC). Charles, as head of BARC, funded a new shelter in the city of Quitman.

 

He has worked tirelessly with local and state officials on law enforcement training and the passage of animal protection laws. He and his wife Linda have several rescued horses and dogs.

Charles says “I've lived in south Georgia all my life and I think it’s a shame that anyone would intentionally harm or neglect an animal. Unfortunately, it is quite a common occurrence.

 

Many of us try to make a difference in our world. I believe that by focusing on legislation at the Georgia Capitol, we’re going to make the most substantial impact for a better world for animals throughout the state.

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JOHN P. TYLER

 

Vice President, Board of Directors

Legal Counsel

 

John is Counsel in the Tax Practice of Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP. Mr. Tyler is an attorney as well as a certified public accountant who focuses in the areas of tax planning and controversy.

Mr. Tyler graduated from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania in 1968 with a B.A. in economics and subsequently served as an officer in the U.S. Navy. He received the J.D. from Emory University School of Law.

 

After graduating from Emory, Mr. Tyler joined the accounting firm of Arthur Andersen & Co. where he practiced tax planning. He is a member of the American Bar Association (section on taxation) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

John has worked with several animal protection not for profit organizations including Friends of Duncan which he co-founded. He lobbied successfully to make animal cruelty a felony in Georgia and to strengthen the dog fighting laws.

 

He supported the new Georgia Pet Foundation license plate which is increasing funding for Spay and Neuter in Georgia.

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CHERYL M. BRIDGES

 

CEO, Board of Directors

 

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VICTORIA STILWELL

 

Member, Board of Directors

www.positively.com

 

Victoria is committed to helping the cause of animal rescue and rehabilitation and is heavily involved organizations around the world to increase awareness of puppy mills, dogfighting, animal abuse, pet overpopulation, dog bite prevention and other animal-related causes.

 

She is the Executive Director of the Victoria Stilwell Foundation - a non-profit charitable organization committed to providing financial assistance and dog training expertise to small rescue shelters and assistance dog organizations who practice positive training methods.

As co-founder of the national Dog Bite Prevention conference series, Stilwell is a National Ambassador for the American Humane Association and is a member of its ‘No Animals Were Harmed’ Committee.

 

She also serves on the Advisory Boards for DogTV, Dognition, The Grey Muzzle Organization, RedRover, and Canine Assistants, and she is a member of the US Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC).

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PEGGY MCCARTHEY

 

 

Member, Board of Directors

 

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MARA MORRISON

Member, Board of Directors

 

Dr. Mara Morrison is a native Texan, but has called Atlanta home for over twenty years. Receiving her bachelor's degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Mara remained at UNC for medical school. She completed her residency at Northwestern University in Chicago, IL and is board certified in Anatomic Pathology.

Mara has had a passion for helping animals since she was a young child. Caring for injured animals in her neighborhood and picking up stray dogs was a common occurrence. Mara still picks up every stray dog she comes across, but has put her love for animals into focus in more meaningful ways. She has been fostering dogs for over ten years, taking in injured, critically ill, and emaciated dogs, as well as pregnant and nursing moms and their litters. She still continues to foster to this day.

 

She served on the advisory board for Angel’s Among Us Pet Rescue and has also been very active with other charities as well. She was a past chair of the Arthritis Foundation Crystal Ball and has worked for almost a decade to support the Red Clay Ranch Equine Rescue. She also is very active with the Atlanta Ronald McDonald Charities and supports a school for impoverished children in Kigali, Rwanda known as The Faith Foundation. Mara is also the past president of the Mount Paran Woods Garden Club.

 

In addition to her charitable activities, Mara also runs a foundation in her late husband’s memory - The Thomas J. Morrison, III Foundation. The foundation presents a memorial golf tournament which donates all profits to different charities ever year. 

 

In her free time, Mara enjoys being with her two college aged daughters Mary Grace and Elle, and her 5 rescue dogs Piper, Patch, Belle, Coco and Gracie, who Mara brought home from the Turks & Caicos.

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TED JACKSON

Member, Board of Directors

 

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