Meet the APS of Durham Management Team!

Shafonda D. Allen – Executive Director

Shafonda has been in animal welfare for over 20 years. She formerly served on the Board of the North Carolina Animal Federation, currently serves on the DEI Leadership Committee for The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement, and is very active in the animal welfare community. Shafonda is a proud Durham native who was educated locally with the desire to one day work in animal welfare. This dream became a reality for her in 1998 when she took a position with the APS of Durham. Having worked many positions in the organization Shafonda took the helm of APS in 2008. Shafonda hopes that the work she is doing in animal welfare will improve the lives of animals in our community for many years to come.

Leah Santelli – Director of Lifesaving Programs

Leah started at the Animal Protection Society of Durham in 2005 and has been with the organization for the last 16 years.  She has held many positions within the shelter including Adoption Counselor, Front Desk Lead, Veterinary Technician and Assistant Shelter Manager. She currently works as the Shelter Operations Manager, overseeing the daily functions of the shelter as well as central programs including Adoptions, Redemptions, Community Spaying & Neutering, Microchipping, Safety Net and Outreach.

Kay Bishop, DVM – Medical Director

Dr. Bishop has been the veterinarian for APS since 2012.  She originally worked with APS as a Rescue Placement Partner and occasional consulting private practice veterinarian prior to her employment with the organization. Dr. Bishop is responsible for oversight of all medical services at APS, which includes preventive and wellness care, care of sick and injured animals, and infectious disease control. Prior to coming to APS, she worked in private practice for 12 years, and she has experience working in animal rescue for the past 20 years. Dr. Bishop holds a Bachelor of Science in Zoology from NCSU in 1995, and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine in 1999.

Kevin ‘Skipp’ Morgan – Director of Facilities and Animal Husbandry

Skipp came to APS 19 years ago, making a career transition after 12 years of professional truck driving led him to desire a career where he could make a difference in his community.  He started as a Kennel Technician and worked his way up to Kennel Manager. In his current position, Skipp supervises all of the animal technicians who provide daily care and safe housing for the animals. He also serves as facility manager for the entire shelter.

Larissa Chantell – Foster Program & Volunteer Manager

Larissa joined our team in 2016 as an Adoption Counselor where she learned all of the details associated with the workings of the shelter, the complexity of working with pet owners in need, and the importance of providing community resources to keep pets in their homes. She also became very familiar with the various rescue organizations that also serve animals in need and how to expand that program. In 2019, Larissa was promoted to her current position. Larissa’s experience as an Adoption Counselor provided her the opportunity to get to know our current volunteers and they her. Now at APS she manages our 1,000+ active volunteers and facilitates our foster placement program to provide animals with the extra care they need to help them find new homes.

Megan Whitney – Behavior Manager

Megan has always been passionate about animal care and welfare. She joined the APS volunteer community in 2017, walking dogs, socializing cats, and helping with the behavior department. She transitioned to staff in 2019 as Behavior Assistant where she grew her passion for behavioral health and compassionate care in the shelter world. She currently manages all aspects of the behavior department at APS focusing on expanding our animal enrichment program and providing community support to adopters. Her work has directly translated to improving the mental and physical health of our shelter animals and helping pet owners and adopters who experience challenges with their pets. She enables pets to remain in their homes rather than being surrendered because of solvable issues.

Carolyn Wiley – Development Director

As Development Director, Carolyn leverages many years of experience in charitable organizations, non-profit publications, and tech startups to provide high-level strategy, lead new initiatives, and maintain the standard of quality for which APS is known. It is a dream come true to give back to the very shelter where she found her furever friend, Baloney, nearly 12 years ago. Being part of the Durham community, Carolyn has formed life-long bonds with the people, businesses, and social organizations of this area, sharing the goals of making Durham a welcoming place for all. Carolyn is a Duke University graduate and resides in the city of Durham with her husband, Thom, and their twins, Margaret and Rose.

Anna Wilcox – Events and Communications Manager

Anna started at APS at the beginning of Autumn in 2022. After graduating from Appalachian State in 2021, Anna was searching to start her career in the nonprofit world, eager to be part of life changing community work. As the Events and Communications Manager, she manages all marketing and communications as well as making sure APS is out and about in the community. She says working in our development office allows her to see the stories unfold from start to finish and the remarkable impact that has on our community. Anna believes people truly show up for APS and being part of the way we communicate our mission is very rewarding.

Meet the Animal Protection Society of Durham
Board of Directors! 

Sara Abrons – Board Chair

Sara, a 2018 addition to the APS Board, enjoys volunteering as a dog walker, as a member of the Behavior Team and to help represent APS at events. She cares deeply about APS’s mission to build lifelong bonds between animals and people. Also a member of Rotary, Sara likes to volunteer as much as possible because it helps combat her existential anxiety. When not wondering about whether 42 is, in fact, the answer to the ultimate question of life, Sara is a marketer and writer, as well as the co-founder of a consulting company. She lives with her husband, Jacob, a German Shepard mix named Eve, a naughty and adorable Great Pyrenees named Willow, and a large, fluffy cat named Taco. A Carolina grad, Sara struggles daily to balance her love of Durham with her utter disdain for Duke.

Natalia Siegel – Board Vice Chair

Natalia joined the APS of Durham as a board member in January 2021, after volunteering on the Development Committee for a year. As a Donor Engagement Officer with Triangle Community Foundation, Natalia brings with her a background in fundraising and non-profit programming. After moving to Durham in 2015 from DC, Natalia fell in love with how dog-friendly the Bull City was and adopted two of her own: Pop and Brutus. When not playing or snuggling with her pups, Natalia participates in a book club, loves trying all the great food that Durham has to offer, and visiting her native New York.

Michael Stimpfel – Board Treasurer

Michael joined the APS of Durham Board of Directors in 2021. Michael started his career as an auditor at Ernst & Young, serves as the CFO of one of North Carolina’s largest non-profit organizations, and is currently pursuing an MBA from UNC Kenan-Flagler. He takes pride in being a father to two goofy rescues and can be found exploring the trails of Durham with his dogs. When not wrestling with spreadsheets or his dogs, Michael enjoys traveling, exploring new restaurants, and playing intermural sports.

Jenny Campbell – Board Secretary

Jenny is a long term Durham resident. She served the local community as Chair of the Durham County Animal Welfare Advisory Committee for a number of years, and sat on the board of directors for Piedmont Wildlife Center for 6 years. She and her son have also volunteered at the shelter. She lives with her husband, son, two dogs and one cat (all APS alums) and commutes to NCSU via the green GoTriangle bus, hoping to one day ride a light rail train to work. Professionally, she is a Teaching Professor and Director of the Undergraduate Zoology Program at NC State. Prior to coming to NC State, she worked in zoos and conducted wildlife conservation research throughout the U.S. and internationally. Her main research and teaching interest is the study of the human-animal relationship, and she works with interested undergraduate and graduate students to provide them with meaningful research and educational experiences in this field. Her main teaching and advising goal is to help prepare students for the 21st century and empower them to understand the challenges their non-human neighbors – both wild and domesticated – face

Joe Philipose

Joe has lived in Durham on and off for 20 years and feels like it’s his home. Professionally, he’s an attorney by training and has been in the bioPharma industry for more than 20 years. He’s been connected to animal welfare organizations for many years as a volunteer and supporter before joining the APS board in 2022. He and his wife have had numerous rescue animals, including one from APS, and currently have one dog and one cat that their lives revolve around. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Alexis Joynes

Alexis W. Joynes has loved animals, dogs especially, her whole life. Her first dog at age 6, La Chienne Sable, was her first introduction to “true love”. Alexis is a dedicated animal lover and advocate. Having volunteered with APS since 2021 and serving as a board member since 2024, Alexis has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to making a difference in the lives of pets in need.

Alexis brings a rich background in communications to her role, having spent seven years in the dynamic world of TV news before transitioning to her current position as Communications Director of a local nonprofit organization. Her experience in effectively conveying messages and engaging audiences has proven invaluable in furthering APS’s mission and outreach efforts.

When she’s not busy championing animal welfare causes, you’ll often find Alexis in her garden, and enjoying quality time with her APS alum, Kayla the Dog Model Chihuahua. She also dedicates her weekends to participating in APS outreach events, tirelessly spreading awareness about responsible pet ownership and the importance of adoption.

Virginia Fitt

Virginia first joined the APS Board in 2016, and she and her husband currently have 2 cats and a senior bully mix dog. Virginia graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke Law, and shas been involved in animal welfare for a number of years. Virginia started an award-winning animal law pro bono program at the first law firm she worked with that continues today. Virginia is a biotech legal and compliance executive with experience in law and policy, governance, and human resources. She enjoys hiking at the Eno and traveling both near and far.

Robert Felder

Robert joined the APS Board in July 2021. Robert’s experiences in the Software IT Industry span 40+ years with IBM Corporation as a Systems Engineer and Software Sales & Business Transformation leader. Robert’s early involvement with APS was working on the Development Committee’s Tails at Twilight Gala. As a pet owner for many years, Robert hopes to help raise awareness of the great animal care that APS provides. Robert is also a volunteer Advisor with Executive Service Corp of the Triangle and is actively involved in providing business and technology services to nonprofit organizations. Outside of volunteering and other work activities, Robert enjoys woodworking projects and relaxing at the beach.

Allison Chan

Allison joined the Board of APS of Durham in January 2020, after volunteering with the shelter’s Tails at Twilight Gala Committee for two years. Allison believes that all animals deserve a loving home and proper care and is dedicated to supporting the Durham community in this effort. She moved to Durham from the Midwest in 2015 and has embraced the local scene and culture. Allison is an immigration attorney by profession with a busy practice based in Raleigh. She is a foodie and a wanderlust, and an animal lover at heart, with a senior rescue pup, Mishka (pictured), and her two horses, Breyer and Conundrum. Allison and her husband just welcomed their first child last month.

Brooke Wilson

Brooke is a Carolina native, spending much of her life hopping between North and South Carolina before landing in the Durham area in 2004. After graduating college with a degree in graphic design, Brooke pursued entrepreneurship through franchising. Her TWO MEN AND A TRUCK franchises in Raleigh and Durham have helped raise funds and awareness for APS through her Movers For Mutts campaign over the last several years. She has always been passionate about animal rescue and has learned a lot working with APS and other rescue centers before joining the APS board. Brooke has two rescue dogs of her own and 1 rambunctious cat rescued from APS. When she isn’t working to manage her network of businesses and volunteer initiatives, Brooke enjoys spending time outside with her pack by the pool, gardening, hiking, or traveling.