DEBRA BERGER, CHES, Founder
After earning her BS in Communications from Georgia State University, Debra worked for Turner Broadcasting Systems, The Apparel News Group, and other publications.She returned to school in 1988 to become a Massage Therapist.
Through her various jobs and careers, her volunteer work remained consistent in the area of animal protection. She began working at the Atlanta Humane Society as a shelter volunteer. It became obvious to her that a great deal of animal cruelty resulted from lack of knowledge. Furthermore, she became increasingly aware of the connection between animal cruelty and human violence. In response to these realizations, she studied and trained in Humane Education courses from national organizations, and became a Certified Humane Education Specialist (CHES) and Outreach Volunteer. In recognition of her animal advocacy work, she won the 2009 Community Impact Award from The Humane Society of the United States.
Debra Berger contends that Humane Education will benefit students
and society in more ways that we can presently imagine!
JUDY LANDEY, PR & Marketing
In 1980, Judy founded
Judy Landey & Associates Public Relations,and has directed the firm as President for 20+ years.
In addition to serving her many professional clients, Judy has volunteered her PR and event planning skills to numerous local and national animal rescue and advocacy organizations, including Atlanta Pet Rescue, Save Our Pets Food Bank, and the Humane Society of the United States. She has been very involved in anti-dog fighting campaigns by gaining powerful media exposure, as well as devoting personal time to securing medical care and training for rescued dogs that may have otherwise been euthanized. Judy has organized headline events for animal rescue, while working behind the scenes to save abandoned animals. Along with her PR talents and passion for animals, Judy holds a Masters Degree in Education from Georgia State University.
DENAE TAYLOR, Educational Coordinator
Dogs have been a source of unconditional love and happiness for me. After leaving the corporate world in 2011, I decided it was time to take my passion for 4-legged creatures and turn it into a full-time career. Before becoming a dog trainer, I volunteered with rescue groups and individuals to help find homes, refuge, transport or spay/neuter options for those in need. It was always so fulfilling to know that you really could make a difference, even if it was one dog at a time. Over the years of volunteering, I adopted 4 of my foster dogs, adding to my household and creating my “Pack of 5.” Realizing that adopting was just not enough, I became interested in making my dogs better by using positive reinforcement techniques to shape their behavior.
During my course work with the Animal Behavior College, I had the opportunity to be mentored by Monique Williams of Shadow Me Dog Training. Under her tutelage, I attended many classes and learned how to improve my teaching techniques. At the same time, Lisa Mathews of Pawsitive Practice Training, invited me to attend many of her classes to learn, as well. These two great opportunities taught me the power of positive reinforcement training and how to conduct group classes.
One year later I am a Certified Dog Trainer through Animal Behavior College! I am putting my skills and knowledge to use as a Junior Trainer
and a Humane Educator. As the Educational Coordinator for the Georgia Center for Humane Education, I have the opportunity to teach children and other groups on animal safety.
ELISABETH GAMBILL-NIKSICH, Volunteer Manager
Elisabeth is a North Carolina native and holds an Associate of Liberal Arts degree, a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, and a paralegal degree. In addition to her paralegal skills, Elisabeth’s expertise includes a long career in sales and sales management, sales training and public speaking. As an active, passionate animal advocate Elisabeth has lobbied and volunteered on behalf of animals for 30 years. In 2008 Elisabeth launched the End Dogfighting in Atlanta Campaign for The Humane Society of the United States, which emphasized humane education. In addition to her role as Administrative Chairperson and Volunteer Manager for GCHE, Elisabeth is active in feral cat rescue and also volunteers for The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) promoting awareness of IFAW’s global work with animals in crisis. She and her husband, Gene, are parents/caregivers to 3 former feral but now domesticated cats, 4 feral cats, a parakeet and 2 African dwarf frogs.
ANDREA APPEL, Humane Educator
Andrea earned a BS in Education at Georgia State University. She has also trained in Humane Education programs, including The Healing Species Program, based in Orangeburg, SC and the Red Rover reader (Formerly HEAR) program from United Animals Nation. Andrea was the owner and manager of a retail store for more than a dozen years, and is now in graduate school studying Non-Profit Administration.s Four rescued dogs have found their forever home with Andrea.
Our support team includes Ramya Pinapati, Amanda Powell, Lauren Miller, Lisa Reisman, Shelley Yedvarb, Cynthia Daniels, Craig Taylor, and many generous volunteers and supporters.
GCHE Board Members
- Mitchell Rosen, Attorney, Kitchens, Kelly, Gaynes PC
- Brian Schiff, CPA, Birnbrey, Minsk, Minsk & Perling LC
- Laurie Botstein, M.S, C.C.C.-SLP, Speech & Language Pathologist, Education Specialist for GCHE
- Janis Beavin: More info soon!
- Mark Kopkin: More info soon!
- Cheryl McAuliffe, GLPA
- Gigi Graves, Executive Director, Our Pal’s Place
- Lewis Regenstein, President, Interfaith Council for the Protection of Animals and Nature (ICPAN)
- Joseph Berger,MD, RPh, Psychiatrist, North Atlanta Psychiatric Services