John's first word in this life was rabbit, and he has been an animal person and a student of the human-animal interrelationship ever since. When not tending to stray, injured, or confused critters John followed a path in business. He was a vice president and publisher with Affinity Group, Inc., producers of magazines and books relating to recreation. John is past president and board member of the Western Publications Association, and a founding member of Professional Small Business Investment Co., a federally chartered SBIC. He was chairperson of RV Care, Inc., a recreation vehicle dealer coalition, has served on several RV industry committees and is the current chair of an industry task force focusing on improving customer satisfaction with the RV product. John shares his home Northern California with magical and wise companion animals who were once homeless but quickly adapted to being treated as royalty.
Kenneth Shapiro earned his BA from Harvard University and his PhD in clinical psychology from Duke University. He is cofounder of the Animals and Society Institute. He founded Psychologists for the Ethical treatment of Animals and the Society and Animals Forum. He is founder and editor of Society and Animals: Journal of Human-Animal Studies; cofounder and coeditor of Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science; and editor of the Human-Animal Studies book series. His most recent book is Animal Models of Human Psychology: Critique of Science, Ethics and Policy. He is one of the developers of AniCare and AniCare Child, the only psychological treatment models for animal abusers, and trains therapists throughout the country on the use of these models.
Joel previously served as a board member of the Animal Rights Network, Inc., publisher of the Animals' Agenda magazine, and the Institute for Animals and Society (predecessor to the ASI). He also serves on the board of the William and Charlotte Parks Foundation, and participates in animal rescue and adoption activities on the east coast.
Joel taught at several New York-area universities before becoming the media archivist at ABC News for 22 years. He lives in the New York City area with feline friends Doris, Sammie, Vittorio and Cesare.
Petra Pepellashi began her fight for animals at age four with a dispute over which neighborhood child would take home a black and white stray cat. Her friendship with the beloved Mitzen was the first of many life long relationships with companion animals. She currently shares her life and home with two former stray cats, Smoky and Tigger, and two enthusiastic dogs with the deserving names of Bello and Chase. Petra is retired from the advertising industry. She attended the Center for Creative Studies in Detroit as a graphic design major. She founded the graphic design firms Pepellashi & Rae and Pelikan Design, which specialized in creating packaging and promotional materials for the home video industry and Pelikan Pictures, which specialized in high-end computer art and retouching. She was also a member of The Executive Committee, a group of 60 CEOs and company presidents that gathered to discuss business issues and learn about innovative business practices. Petra is a former board member of The Association of Sanctuaries and current board member of The Michigan Humane Society. She facilitated the rewrite and expansion of the MHS Beliefs, Principles and Position Statements and is chairperson of the MHS Education Committee. She is an advocate for broad based Humane Education defined as empowering people to make choices that benefit oneself, other people, animals and the environment. She is currently enrolled in the Humane Education program offered by the Institute of Humane Education. Petra is fully committed to advocating for animals and humane education.
M. Friedlander is a founding
and current member of the Animal Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan, and
of Michigan Attorneys for Animals. She serves on the Legislative Committee of
the Animal Law Section and was active in the successful effort to overturn a
law allowing mourning dove hunting in Michigan. She served on the board of
Jazzpurr Society for Animal Protection, Windsor, Ontario; and is a hands-on
volunteer at Leuk's Landing in Ann Arbor, and at
SASHA Farm, a sanctuary in Manchester, MI, where she can be found periodically
(and happily) scooping litter and mucking stalls. Bee received J.D. and B.A.
(Sociology) degrees from The Ohio State University, and a Post Baccalaureate
Certificate in Non Profit Sector Studies from Wayne State University. She is a
member of the Michigan and New York State bars, and describes herself as a
recovering attorney. Bee and her husband share their home with cats Mica,
Blanco and Julia.
Nancy Gordon has had a varied career. In her early years she was a singer, actress, dancer. She attended Boston University Theater School, took a two-year break to live in Paris, and sang in nightclubs around Europe. She returned to the USA to attend Columbia University, from which she graduated in Comparative Literature. Then the theater called again, and she performed in musical comedies in summer stock and in the National Company of Anthony Newley Stop the World I Want To Get Off,with Joel Gray and Kenneth Nelson.
She was a film editor in NYC and worked for CBS and then for a film production company that did films and PSAs for not for profits. There she met her husband, Paul Swedenburg, who was an editor.
She marched on Washington DC with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was Co-Chair of the Legislative Committee of NYC NOW, and liberated the NYC bars. She made a documentary on a woman artist, which dealt not only with her art and life, but with ageism and sexism.
Always an animal lover, she discovered the animal rights movement in the late 70s, which, for her, encompassed everything she cares for: animals, the environment, civil rights, women's rights, and ahimsa (do no harm).
She founded HAVE, Inc. in 1977, a professional multi-media sales and services company, and through her company has been able to help animal organizations with their audio and video duplication needs. Some of the large and small organizations HAVE works with are ASI, Farm Sanctuary, Elephant Sanctuary, Equine Advocates, PETA, and the list goes on.
Nancy was on the board of the Columbia Greene Humane Society for nine years. Also on the board of Animals Agenda and now is honored to be on the board of ASI.
Jerry Simonelli is an attorney in the Washington, DC area whose career background includes government service and business. After law school, Jerry served as legislative assistant to a top ranking U.S. Congressman and then was elected to the Connecticut House of Representatives where he served on the Finance, Environment and Government Administration Committees. His legal practice has been in tax and business and his legal writings have been published in the New York Bar Journal, District Lawyer and Case and Comment. Jerry's animal protection activities include membership on the Animals and Society Institute's Board since 2004 and membership on the animal law committees of the American Bar Association and District of Columbia Bar Association. His essay "Non-Violence and the Animal Rights Movement" was published by the Animal Legal & Historical Center at Michigan State University. From 2005-2008, Jerry served as advisor to the co-chair of the Congressional Friends of Animals Caucus developing animal protection legislation. Jerry is currently an adjunct professor of law teaching animal law at the University of Windsor in Canada and at Wayne State University in Detroit.
Kristin L. Stewart, is an attorney and PhD in cultural geography with an emphasis on animals and society. Kris engages in teaching and research related to exploring the ethical, legal and social dimensions of human-animal relations. Kris is also an Ethics Advisor for Practical Ethics.
A. Nash was ASI's first chair and was a founding member of the Animal Law
Section, State Bar of Michigan.