Meet Our Team of Heroes
Our Board of Directors is a talented group of individuals who are dedicated to producing many fun humane education videos, which will teach compassion and show how acts of kindness can improve the lives of others, which, by its very nature, improves every life.
Lori founded HERO to pursue her passion of teaching children kindness and respect for all. A college Professor successfully argued to Lori’s class that education is the key to solving many problems. Although the Professor’s message stayed with her, she pursued a career in law. While law is intellectually rewarding, it is not warm and fuzzy, so she volunteered at a local animal shelter walking dogs and playing with cats. As she learned about the rescue community and all their good work, it seemed one piece was missing– education. She had come full circle; her college professor would be happy. She then sought volunteer work as a humane educator, working with Bark Avenue Foundation and Lucky Dog Humane Education. It was soon thereafter that HERO was born.
The idea came one afternoon after observing elementary school children enthusiastically participate in a humane education program about dogs. This was the third time Lori had the opportunity to co-present. The children were excited and attentive. They were taught about animal shelters, pet overpopulation, spay and neuter, microchips, kindness, breed discrimination, and encouraged to keep their pets forever. Driving away from the school, Lori felt overwhelmed by the sheer number of children who would benefit from learning these important principles and the limits of her ability to reach them all. Bark Avenue has a hand full of volunteers who are available to teach during after school programs, the few times Lori had participated, she was taking time off work. On the drive home, she pondered how we could teach more children and the “aha” moment came. Videos that anyone can stream online!
After more thought and planning, she changed jobs to free up some time. She continues to teach at elementary schools, gaining valuable experience. She is honored and grateful to work with a talented and dedicated Board of Directors who will launch HERO to its full potential.
Lori also enjoys researching and writing articles for a dog blog. Lori’s sister, a retired teacher, has agreed to act as a consultant for HERO video production. Lori lives with her boyfriend and their rescue dog, Layla.
Steven is a CPA who brings many years of business experience and a common-sense approach to running a non-profit. Steven was born in Budapest, Hungary and personally experienced the fall-out when hate dominates. His parents, forced to join a transport to a labor camp, managed to pass off their son to a Red Cross operative who placed Steven in a safe house under the protection of Swedish consular interests. After the war, Steven was reunited with parents. Steven was a teenager when he was again forced to flea for safety during the Hungarian Revolution and eventually found himself welcomed by a family in Santa Monica.
Steven, ever resilient, and now without his own parents for guidance attended high school and then graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a BS in Mathematics. He earned his MBA from California State University. He passed the CPA examination and became licensed on June 16, 1972.
Steven’s kind spirit and experiences will be invaluable when we teach respect for all cultures and religions.
Steven lives with his wife and enjoys times with his two daughters and two granddaughters.
Margaret has been a long-time proponent of education, having participated for many years in an international philanthropic education non-profit organization for women. Margaret’s objective for education is to introduce informative, engaging, artistic expressions of human kindness in order to encourage creativity. Margaret feels the need to learn how to behave in a more humane manner toward animals and humans is evident in our culture; not only among children, but among the adults in the lives of the children. As the children learn, they can teach others. Her hope is that HERO will be an instrument of change in our culture toward this higher ideal.
Margaret has always had a soft spot for dogs, especially dachshunds. She lives with her husband and rescue dog, Jesscie, a dachshund/pit bull mix. Margaret’s daughter, an elementary school teacher, will act as a consultant for our video production.
Margaret has given her unwavering support of HERO since it was just a spark of an idea and her continued dedication will ensure our success.
Debbie believes there is a need to educate our children not only in reading, writing, and arithmetic; but, also kindness and humane treatment for all sentient beings. She has learned through her own experience how humane education imparts and enhances our children’s natural kindness; hence it is a profound investment in our children. Debbie is excited to be part of an incredible opportunity to provide innovative resources through video/media for a wide audience to obtain. Her vision is to see humane education embraced by our nation’s education system and implemented as part of the curriculum, not only for the current generation of students, but for many generations to come.
Debbie lives with her husband and enjoys spending time with their blended family of 3 children, 11 grandchildren, and 3 great-grandchildren. Debbie’s life-long commitment to helping others, and her strong organizational skills will be a huge benefit to HERO.
Kelly agreed to serve on HERO’s Board because she is a huge believer in the importance of social/emotional education. Teaching children about animal issues is a wonderful way to foster empathy and inclusion and teaching children to properly care for animals provides an incredible benefit to the animals. Kelly has seen how social/emotional learning has fallen aside due to the current education system’s academic benchmarks that must be met. Students themselves have a lot of pressure to meet challenging standards in all academic areas, which tends to create anxiety and leads to a lack of empathy skills. Learning about kindness and care for animals will provide the missing link for a well-rounded education.
Kelly lives with her two school age children, two rescue cats and a very large Sulcata tortoise. Kelly has always loved animals of all kinds. She grew up with dogs (a Westie and an Old English Sheepdog) and one of her college roommates was a blue Great Dane.
Kelly’s experience as an educator and mother to kids and pets, will be invaluable to HERO. Thanks to Kelly our videos will be fun, age appropriate, and contain talking points for educators and parents.
Layla declines to share the first six years of her life, but around that time she found herself in a Los Angeles City shelter, where she was rescued by Best Friends Animal Society, a no-kill shelter, where she stayed for two years before being adopted by Lori. Now a mature and sophisticated 8 year old, Layla agreed to serve on the board on behalf of all companion animals and wildlife and also to snag a treat or two from her new friends. Layla reminds us that kindness is the key to making the world a better place.