The Humane Society of Union County’s mighty Board of Directors shares a common bond that transcends any differences:
A Deep Love of Animals
As we meet the challenges of saving lives and running a successful nonprofit organization, our goal is to always nurture respect, resourcefulness and good humor.
If it leaks, streaks, creaks or is weak, Mike Como shows up to help make it right, usually with his Golden Retriever Jack riding shotgun. Our Adoption Days yard, Pet Food Pantry, and Monroe Spay Neuter Clinic fall under Mike’s watchful eye. Additionally, Mike is wading through the permitting, plans and processes for our future expanded clinic. Mike is also a Town Councilman for the town of Wesley Chapel, where he resides with his family.
Ed Faulkner, DVM
We’re still pinching ourselves that Dr. Ed Faulkner is on our board; we’ve added the letters “RNG” (Really Nice Guy) to the top of his long list of veterinary credentials. Dr. Faulkner moved to Union County two years ago and owns Weddington Animal Hospital. After attending Belmont University in Nashville for his undergraduate degree, Dr. Faulkner attended North Carolina State University and was president of his veterinary class. He is a member of the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Association, the North Carolina Academy of Small Animal Medicine, and the American Association of Feline Practitioners. Dr. Faulkner has special interests in soft tissue and orthopedic surgery, infectious diseases, and internal medicine. When he’s not spending time with his human and fur family, Dr. Faulkner can be found rooting for his favorite team in just about any sport or taking off for the mountains and rivers of North Carolina to hike and indulge his love of trout fishing.
As a real estate broker, mother of twins, a passionate equestrian, rescuer, and lover of all animals, Lisa Giovanniello has expanded her very full life to bring her fundraising and event planning expertise to the HSUC. Born in Rhode Island, Lisa went to college and worked in Boston, and then moved to the Charlotte area 20 years ago. She and her husband Tim and 10-year-old daughters now live in Waxhaw and “share our home with a 7-pound Chihuahua named Lily, an HSUC Chihuahua named Enzo, two guinea pigs named Eli and Max, and a beautiful white cat named Elsa. We also have 4 horses named Mark, Rhett, CC, and Ella and a miniature pony named Rosie. “Lisa loves riding and training her own horses and showing them at Arabian horse shows. What made Lisa choose to become part of the HSUC? “I am just floored by all the good that the HSUC does in the community to help dogs and cats. The HSUC shares my belief that pets should be part of a family.”
Kelly Martin has the distinction of being the only Board member who grew up on a poultry farm, and owns two cats and a hog. (The hog happens to be a Harley Davidson which she and husband Scott ride whenever possible). Originally from Washington, DC, Kelly grew up in Virginia’s beautiful Shenandoah Valley. She moved to the South in the 90’s and is a Global Account Manager in Business Development for accounting firm Ernst and Young in Charlotte. When Kelly isn’t working, riding or spending time with kitties Ella and Bowie, she is an avid volleyball player and runner. Kelly also lends her seemingly boundless energy to the HSUC, which she joined because of her desire to “raise the awareness of how many animals actually need our help in the community.” Her focus with us is developing projects that get our name out into the community through Kelly’s large network of business and sports-minded enthusiasts.
Nicole Moore-Johnson has owned and operated a premier pet care facility in Union County, NC since 2000. Charlotte Kennels in Indian Trail has a devoted following of clients for their boarding, training, grooming and doggie daycare facility; they also board cats and exotics. Her love of dogs started at a very young age when she learned the training and breeding of retrievers for field trial. Nicole received a BS in Nursing, and became a Vice President for a large dialysis corporation, overseeing 13 outpatient chronic centers and 4 inpatient acute centers. While she excelled at her career and found it rewarding, Nicole opened her own business in order to have more time closer to home and family. She has two grown children and two grown stepchildren. Nicole lives in Union County with her husband and 5 rescue dogs including Texas, a timid German Shepherd, Wiley Coyote, a clownish shepherd mix, Lillee, a diva poodle mix, Jill the road warrior, a Jack Russell mix, and “balanced” Lucy, another Jack Russell mix. Nicole has been an animal rescuer for over two decades and has greatly increased the Humane Society’s kitten and cat adoptions through her efforts.
Laurie Smith exchanged a career in Advertising in NY City to start a new adventure in North Carolina. She was a VP and Creative Supervisor for Grey Worldwide, and a promotion writer for Sports Illustrated Magazine. Almost as soon as they arrived in Charlotte, Laurie was able to fulfill one of her lifetime dreams: to own a shaggy dog, which then led to another shaggy dog. Her love of the long-haired canines lured Laurie to pursue a new career as a professional dog groomer. After five glorious years as a pet stylist, carpals tunnel forced her to abandon the grooming business she loved. Laurie returned to studies and became certified as a Business Coach in 2008. Currently, Laurie shares her skills from three successful careers with the Humane Society. She and her husband Harvey live with what she describes as “only” 2 dogs and 3 cats.
Laura Sur has taken on many roles in her years with the Humane Society while raising two daughters and working for an accounting business. Laura served as the Humane Society’s Board Treasurer and Secretary and continues to contribute her accounting skills to monthly financials. Her volunteer work over the years has included welcoming approximately 100 foster animals into her home. Laura is now a grandmother and dog Mom to Ruby, Willy, and Deuce. Growing up, Laura was an “IBM brat”, and lived in Alabama, New York, Kentucky, and Charlotte before settling in Monroe, NC
As the saying goes, “If you want something done ask a busy person”. That seems especially relevant to Board Member Jenna Westbrook. Jenna is a seasoned nonprofit professional and the Executive Director of Union Academy Foundation, a charter school in Monroe, NC. Originally from Gettysburg, PA, Jenna moved to Charlotte with her husband Matt and was employed by some of Charlotte’s most well-respected nonprofits including the Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte, and Girl Scouts, Hornets’ Nest Council. Jenna and her husband Matt, a Battalion Chief with the City of Charlotte, are Waxhaw residents. Together they have 3 children: 2 sons and a daughter. Their 7 year old rescue dog Sunnie was actually adopted from the HSUC. Whenever she can grab some downtime, Jenna enjoys travel, reading and spending time with her family.
Deborah Zappa is President of the all-volunteer Board of Directors of the Humane Society of Union County. Deb was always an animal lover but didn’t become a pet owner until she moved to Charlotte from Michigan. She and her husband Marc have opened their home to nearly a dozen dogs and cats, and sponsored medical treatment for countless others. This successful entrepreneur and business owner had a previous career as a Special Education teacher; these roles have contributed to Deborah’s ability to juggle any organization’s daily challenges with skill, humor, and grace. After serving as the Humane Society’s Vice President, Deborah stepped into the role of President in August of 2018. Deborah welcomes opportunities to speak at local groups, sharing her vision for the Humane Society and her passion for animal advocacy. Each year, Deborah looks forward to gaining new inspiration and insights at the national conference for the Best Friends Animal Society.