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Meet the Purrfect Pals Leadership Team!

Meet our Team of Talented and Passionate Cat Lovers!

Much like the cats and kittens they help us save, our employees and volunteers at Purrfect Pals are unique. Each brings different experience, talent and perspective to our team and that diversity makes us even stronger. Together we are using our passion, dedication and innovation to provide second chances for the cats and kittens in our community who need us most…

Because Every Cat Matters.

Much like the cats and kittens they help us save, our employees and volunteers at Purrfect Pals are unique. Each brings different experience, talent and perspective to our team and that diversity makes us even stronger. Together we are using our passion, dedication and innovation to provide second chances for the cats and kittens in our community who need us most… Because Every Cat Matters.

Our Staff Leadership Team

Management Staff

Our Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Join Our Board of Directors!

We are pleased to be recruiting for new Board Members to support our organization. We are looking for candidates who possess a passion for cats, leadership skills and experience and expertise in fundraising, business administration, accounting, finance, sales, marketing, law, public relations, project management or event planning.

All Board Members are expected to attend monthly Board meetings (currently held on Sundays in Brier) and actively participate on at least one committee.

If you are interested in being considered as a candidate for openings on our Board, please email your resume to our Executive Director. We look forward to hearing from you!

Learn About our Staff and Volunteer Opportunities!

Join Our Board!

We are pleased to be recruiting for new Board Members to support our organization. We are looking for candidates who possess a passion for cats, leadership skills and experience and expertise in fundraising, business administration, accounting, finance, sales, marketing, law, public relations, project management or event planning.

All Board Members are expected to attend monthly Board meetings.

If you are interested in being considered as a candidate for openings on our Board, please email your resume to our Executive Director. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Carol Lamar, CAWA, PHR
Executive Director

    I love being at Purrfect Pals because I feel like I am part of something bigger than me. I feel like I am making a difference not only in the lives of the cats but also in the people that come here.

    Susan Bark
    Operations Director

      Susan has been managing the Purrfect Pals Foster Program since she joined our team in 2006. In addition to supporting all of our wonderful foster parents and the hundreds of kitties in their care, she oversees the “Monroe Corrections Kitten and Cat Connections” Prison Foster Program and our “Furever Home” Program for foster cats with special needs. She also manages our Shelter Relocation Program, working closely with the partner animal shelters and rescue organizations who we support.

        (360) 926-8462            fostercare@purrfectpals.org

      Kelsey Kohlwes, CPB
      Finance Director
        Kathleen Olson, CAWA
        Development Director

          Kathleen joined Purrfect Pals in 2017. She brought to our team 18 years of experience in animal welfare, including ten years as  Executive Director for the Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County. Previously Kathleen was Executive Director of Tacoma’s Point Defiance Zoological Society. Kathleen is a certified animal welfare administrator and a member of the Society of Animal Welfare Administrators and the Washington State Federation of Animal Care and Control Agencies. She has also conducted organizational assessments for animal shelters in Burien and Olympia as a consultant. She has also been actively involved in Rotary International since 1994.

            (360) 926-8467               kolson@purrfectpals.org

          Crystal Chiechi
          Outreach Manager

          A lifelong animal lover, I previously worked in the pet care industry for over a decade and know firsthand how a love for animals brings a community together. I started at Purrfect Pals as a volunteer then quickly realized I wanted to spend all my time with these special kitties! It is my honor to be a voice for the cats at Purrfect Pals and share their stories with the public to help them get the second chances they deserve.

          Shawnna Jonas
          Finance Assistant & Black Cat Ball Co-Chair

          I have always been an animal lover, but I knew cats held a special place in my heart. I started working for Purrfect Pals after reading their story and mission statement. It was an amazing feeling to find an organization so dedicated to the animals. It warms my heart seeing all the lives we have saved. I truly believe that every cat matters.

          Robin Ralls
          Cat Care Manager
          Jessica Rockstad
          Adoption and Sponsorship Coordinator

          I chose to work at Purrfect Pals because I agree with our vision of “a world where every cat is wanted.” The best thing about my job is the joy I get watching our cats find their forever homes, especially our long term residents with special needs. I believe that there is a perfect family out there for every cat!

            (360) 572-4880           adoption@purrfectpals.org

          Sierra Wharen
          Clinic Manager
          Carol Lamar, CAWA, PHR
          Executive Director

            I love being at Purrfect Pals because I feel like I am part of something bigger than me. I feel like I am making a difference not only in the lives of the cats but also in the people that come here.

            Susan Bark
            Operations Director

              Susan has been managing the Purrfect Pals Foster Program since she joined our team in 2006. In addition to supporting all of our wonderful foster parents and the hundreds of kitties in their care, she oversees the “Monroe Corrections Kitten and Cat Connections” Prison Foster Program and our “Furever Home” Program for foster cats with special needs. She also manages our Shelter Relocation Program, working closely with the partner animal shelters and rescue organizations who we support.

                (360) 926-8462            fostercare@purrfectpals.org

              Kelsey Kohlwes, CPB
              Finance Director
                Kathleen Olson, CAWA
                Development Director

                  Kathleen joined Purrfect Pals in 2017. She brought to our team 18 years of experience in animal welfare, including ten years as  Executive Director for the Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County. Previously Kathleen was Executive Director of Tacoma’s Point Defiance Zoological Society. Kathleen is a certified animal welfare administrator and a member of the Society of Animal Welfare Administrators and the Washington State Federation of Animal Care and Control Agencies. She has also conducted organizational assessments for animal shelters in Burien and Olympia as a consultant. She has also been actively involved in Rotary International since 1994.

                    (360) 926-8467               kolson@purrfectpals.org

                  Crystal Chiechi
                  Outreach Manager

                  A lifelong animal lover, I previously worked in the pet care industry for over a decade and know firsthand how a love for animals brings a community together. I started at Purrfect Pals as a volunteer then quickly realized I wanted to spend all my time with these special kitties! It is my honor to be a voice for the cats at Purrfect Pals and share their stories with the public to help them get the second chances they deserve.

                  Shawnna Jonas
                  Finance Assistant & Black Cat Ball Co-Chair

                  I have always been an animal lover, but I knew cats held a special place in my heart. I started working for Purrfect Pals after reading their story and mission statement. It was an amazing feeling to find an organization so dedicated to the animals. It warms my heart seeing all the lives we have saved. I truly believe that every cat matters.

                  Robin Ralls
                  Cat Care Manager
                  Jessica Rockstad
                  Adoption and Sponsorship Coordinator

                  I chose to work at Purrfect Pals because I agree with our vision of “a world where every cat is wanted.” The best thing about my job is the joy I get watching our cats find their forever homes, especially our long term residents with special needs. I believe that there is a perfect family out there for every cat!

                    (360) 572-4880           adoption@purrfectpals.org

                  Sierra Wharen
                  Clinic Manager
                  James Petts, President
                  Rancho BioSciences
                  Whitney Whitworth, Vice President
                  FareStart
                  Matthew Calnek, Treasurer
                  Microsoft
                  Matthew Calnek, Treasurer
                  Heather Torretta, Secretary
                  Community Volunteer
                    Kathy Centala, Founder
                    Retired, United Airlines

                    In 1988, Kathy took a look around at her community and saw far too many unwanted cats and kittens whose only options were, in most cases, over-crowded shelters with high euthanasia rates. Kathy wondered what could be done to improve the odds of these cats, and quickly determined that the only solution was to take away the option of euthanasia completely. Kathy had never run a shelter and the only thing she had less of than money was fundraising experience. Determined to open the Puget Sound region’s first no-kill cat shelter, though, she somehow scraped together the down payment for a modest house on five acres in Arlington in 1993.

                    An unpaid volunteer, Kathy still lives onsite at our sanctuary and remains very involved in our day-to-day operations. If you have received a handwritten thank you card from us, she most likely wrote it!

                    Alisha Hendren
                    Sno-Isle Libraries
                    Orna Samuelly
                    Alaska Airlines

                      Orna adopted her cat Tona, her first cat ever, from Purrfect Pals nine years ago at Petco in Issaquah. After she passed, Orna adoption 6-year-old Liki at PetSmart Renton. She was so impressed with the volunteers at Renton PetSmart, that she decided to join them, having time during the Pandemic to help other people and cats.

                      She brings 40 years management experience at large companies and consulting firms, most recently as a Director of Financial Planning and Analysis for 10 years at a national communications company.

                      Toni Zonneveld
                      Coastal Bank

                        Toni works at Coastal Bank and joined Purrfect Pals as a volunteer in 2011. She has served on the Purrfect Pals Board of Directors since 2013 and as a volunteer in our Everett Petsmart adoption center.

                        Toni’s family is owned by a kitty named Chewy (Named Chewbacca by Toni’s son when she was a kitten because of the way she mewed).  One of Chewie’s favorite pass times is sitting on her kitty condo watching the birds eat out of the bird feeder right on the other side of the slider.  She also thinks she is part dog.  She and Toni’s youngest dog, Ellie (who thinks she part cat), groom each other and often sit on the windowsill together looking out the living room window.  Mind you, Ellie is an English Springer/Border Collie mix so she is not a tiny dog.  They are adorable together!

                        James Petts, President
                        Rancho BioSciences
                        Whitney Whitworth, Vice President
                        FareStart
                        Matthew Calnek, Treasurer
                        Microsoft
                        Matthew Calnek, Treasurer
                        Heather Torretta, Secretary
                        Community Volunteer
                          Kathy Centala, Founder
                          Retired, United Airlines

                          In 1988, Kathy took a look around at her community and saw far too many unwanted cats and kittens whose only options were, in most cases, over-crowded shelters with high euthanasia rates. Kathy wondered what could be done to improve the odds of these cats, and quickly determined that the only solution was to take away the option of euthanasia completely. Kathy had never run a shelter and the only thing she had less of than money was fundraising experience. Determined to open the Puget Sound region’s first no-kill cat shelter, though, she somehow scraped together the down payment for a modest house on five acres in Arlington in 1993.

                          An unpaid volunteer, Kathy still lives onsite at our sanctuary and remains very involved in our day-to-day operations. If you have received a handwritten thank you card from us, she most likely wrote it!

                          Alisha Hendren
                          Sno-Isle Libraries
                          Orna Samuelly
                          Alaska Airlines

                            Orna adopted her cat Tona, her first cat ever, from Purrfect Pals nine years ago at Petco in Issaquah. After she passed, Orna adoption 6-year-old Liki at PetSmart Renton. She was so impressed with the volunteers at Renton PetSmart, that she decided to join them, having time during the Pandemic to help other people and cats.

                            She brings 40 years management experience at large companies and consulting firms, most recently as a Director of Financial Planning and Analysis for 10 years at a national communications company.

                            Toni Zonneveld
                            Coastal Bank

                              Toni works at Coastal Bank and joined Purrfect Pals as a volunteer in 2011. She has served on the Purrfect Pals Board of Directors since 2013 and as a volunteer in our Everett Petsmart adoption center.

                              Toni’s family is owned by a kitty named Chewy (Named Chewbacca by Toni’s son when she was a kitten because of the way she mewed).  One of Chewie’s favorite pass times is sitting on her kitty condo watching the birds eat out of the bird feeder right on the other side of the slider.  She also thinks she is part dog.  She and Toni’s youngest dog, Ellie (who thinks she part cat), groom each other and often sit on the windowsill together looking out the living room window.  Mind you, Ellie is an English Springer/Border Collie mix so she is not a tiny dog.  They are adorable together!

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