Board of Directors

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The Animal Samaritans Board of Directors is a high-level volunteer body of influential individuals who work with the Animal Samaritans executive staff to advance the organization’s mission. Animal Samaritans could not exist without their tireless service.

Len Betz

Len Betz

Board President

Len is the Board President for Animal Samaritans.  He is a graduate of the Kodaikanal International School in Tamil Nadu, India, received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Baylor University and  a Master’s of City and Regional Planning from Ohio State University.  

Len spent his career as a City Planner for the City of Los Angeles. He has participated and served on  boards for non-profit housing, social services and community organizations.

 

Mark Dodge

Mark Dodge

Vice President

Mark is a native of the Northeast and has an undergraduate degree from the University of Vermont and an MBA from The Drucker School at Claremont Graduate University.

Mark is the President and CEO of Associa Desert Resort Management, the largest HOA management company in the Coachella Valley. His experience is wide and includes both senior management and financial positions in the publishing, sports marketing, automotive, technology, and event management industries.

Mark lives in Palm Desert with his wife Jamie and his three children, Jack, Sophia, and Alex.

 

 

 

John T. Schooler

John T. Schooler

Treasurer

John was born and raised in Santa Barbara, California. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of California, Berkeley in 1974 and Juris Doctorate from the University of West Los Angeles School of Law in 1980. John worked for the IRS for 36 years, serving in many roles including supervising a nationwide team of attorneys responsible for tax controversy matters in connection with estates, gifts, and generation-skipping transfers.  After John retired from the IRS, he practiced law in California and specialized in probate, tax controversy, and estate planning. John also taught at UCLA Extension for over 25 years and was an adjunct professor at the University of West Los Angeles School of Law.

John lives in Rancho Mirage with his husband Tom and their two awesome dogs: Kobe, a 17-year old Shiba Inu they rescued 15 years ago and Barney, a 5-year old gray Standard Poodle they are fostering through Guide Dogs of the Desert.

Dea Franck, Esq.

Dea Franck, Esq.

Secretary

Dea Franck graduated Magna Cum Laude and class Valedictorian from the Thomas Jefferson School of Law and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Drama from University of California, Irvine. She has worked as a law clerk for multiple firms, as a judicial extern for Federal District Judges, and is currently an associate attorney for Epsten Grinnell & Howell, APC.

An ardent animal lover, Dea regularly volunteers her time at Animal Samaritans’ no-kill shelter and adoption center, socializing cats and walking dogs.  Dea resides in Palm Desert with her spouse Sean and their four-legged feline children.

 

 

Barbara Flanagan

Barbara Flanagan

Founding Board Member

Barbara is a founding Board Member for Animal Samaritans.  She grew up is South Pasadena, California and lives in Palm Desert.  She attended college at the University of Alabama, University of California Los Angeles, and California State University, Los Angeles. She received her Master’s Degree at Azusa Pacific. Barbara was also a teacher in Indio and Palm Desert.

Barbara is one of the founding members of Animal Samaritans and started its Humane Education Program and Animal Companion Therapy Program.  Barbara has 2 children, 5 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild.  Barbara resides in Palm Desert with her rescue dog and cat.

 

 

 

Sandy Beakey

Sandy Beakey

Board Member

Sandy is the Board Vice President for Animal Samaritans.  She graduated from the University of Hawaii, Chabot College in California and California State University, Hayward.  She was born in Encino and moved to Palm Springs where her family members were prominent hotel owners.  She was a managing broker in Northern California before returning home to the desert.  Sandy has worked as a real estate broker since 1980 and was appointed Managing Broker for Bennion Deville Home and has been the proud recipient of the Realtor of the Year Award.

Sandy has two passions:  real estate, and working for the rescue, health and safety of helpless animals.  She has been a member of Animal Samaritans for over 20 years. Sandy resides in Cathedral City with her spouse Ted and their rescue cats.

 

Marcia Erickson Boate

Marcia Erickson Boate

Board Member

Marcia was born and lived most of her life in Southern California. After graduating from Stanford University she returned to Los Angeles and became a leader in historic preservation and architectural history of the area. She served for 9 years as commissioner on a state commission developing a 42 acre historic site in the heart of the city. She served on numerous boards including founding member of Guide Dogs of America Foundation.

In 1989 she and her husband, Judge Vincent N. Erickson, moved to Palm Desert. Locally, she served on the board of Guide Dogs of the Desert, published a book, “Wit and Wisdom of the Coachella Valley” and founded a popular destination management company, Desert Discovery. She lives with her black lab Holly in Palm Desert and likes to play golf and travel to the slopes of Mt. Hood with Holly in the summer.

 

 

Bert Garland

Bert Garland

Board Member

Bert has 45 years of sales experience, 34 years in real estate sales and brokerage, 10 years of aircraft sales in three states and has owned and operated an insurance brokerage in 5 western states managing 50 plus employees. In addition to land use consultant and wetland conservation banking experience, Bert is an accomplished developer in self-storage facilities, shopping center rehab, multi-story office building rehab, industrial parks and subdivisions.

 

Brian Regan

Brian Regan

Board Member

Brian Regan graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from California State University, Fullerton. He has worked at prestigious southern Californian museums, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena.  Since 2009, Brian has been working at Heather James Fine Art as Gallery Manager.

A lover of all animals, Brian feels no house is a home without a special dog or cat in it.

Brian lives in Palm Springs with his partner, Rob Hoglund and their very spoiled cat, Kat.

 

 

 

 

Lanny Seese, MD

Lanny Seese, MD

Board Member

Lanny was born in Ohio and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan, where he graduated Cum Laude from Ohio State Medical school. After finishing his training, he was a captain in the Air Force, spending most of his time in Italy.

After moving to California, he was one of the founders of Mullikin Medical Centers, which became the largest private practice corporation in the country. During that time, he was Chief of the family practice section and Chief of Staff of Pioneer Hospital in Artesia.

Lanny was a board member of Desert Aids Project for 10 years before joining Animal Samaritans. Lanny resides in Palm Springs with his spouse Mark Miller, and their three rescue dogs.

Patrick Evans

Patrick Evans

Board Member

Patrick Evans is the News Channel 3’s morning and noon meteorologist, host of Eye on the Desert, and also hosts afternoon drive on CV 104.3 FM from 2 pm – 6 pm. In August 2002, Patrick moved to the Palm Springs area for the new Coachella Valley CBS affiliate, where he’s been the Chief Meteorologist for nearly 14 years and has been with the station since it went on the air. Patrick also provides weather forecasts for CV 104.3’s sister station, “The Valley” 106.5 FM.

Patrick and his wife Andrea, along with her children Karina and Vesta, love to travel and take care of their rescue dachshunds Guinness and Ryan. Patrick has served on the Board of the Family YMCA of the Desert, Pathfinder Ranch, the Desert Symphony, and Loma Linda Children’s Hospital Foundation. In April of 2014, Patrick was the 366th recipient of a Star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars as a result of his work with philanthropic organizations throughout the Valley.

A longtime devotee of Frank Sinatra, on occasion Patrick can be spotted at various spots around the Valley, crooning a few tunes with local musicians. Each afternoon at 4 pm, Patrick features “Frank at 4” on CV 104.3, a daily dose of the Chairman of the Board, along with a little history about the man and his music. Another passion is food: Patrick started an Italian Sausage company named Fulvio’s Foods, in honor of his late father, Fulvio Antonio Iachetta, which is served in dozens of restaurants throughout the Valley.

Maria Machuca, MPA

Maria Machuca, MPA

Board Member

Maria Machuca is a native of the Coachella Valley. She grew up in Mecca and is the proud daughter of farm workers who taught her the value of education, hard work, and community service. Her father is an active member of the United Farm Workers Union and was raised under the beliefs and teachings of Cesar E. Chavez. After graduating with honors from Coachella Valley High School, Maria received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Sciences with a minor in Latino Studies and a Master of Arts degree in Public Administration from California State University, San Bernardino. By accomplishing this prodigious achievement, Maria has been able to return to Mecca to exercise the schooling she has picked up along her educational path to better serve her community.

She currently works a Community Program Specialist at the Mecca Family & Farmworker’s Service Center for the County of Riverside-Department of Public Social Services. Since 2004, she has been able to bring services to her community to assist families and farm workers to become self-sufficient and healthy. In 2018, Maria became a Notary Public for the State of California. Her goal is to provide no-low cost notary public services to the residents of the Eastern Coachella Valley.

Maria has organized several health fairs and community events such as: Fiesta Campesina Health Fair, Día Del Nino Resource Fair, Mecca’s Desfile de Luces, Festival de la Una, Día de Los Reyes Magos Toy Event and many more.  She is an active supporter of the United Farm Workers Union and SEIU Local 721. She is also the proud mother of a Pitbull/Lab sweetheart named Paz Pantera Machuca, who she says has brought peace, joy, and stability to her life and to her community.

Aurora Wilson

Aurora Wilson

Board Member

Aurora Tenorio-Wilson is Hispanic; one of seven children from Chicago.  The family relocated to California in the 1960s where she graduated from Mt. San Jacinto Community College.  She lived in the Torrance area for 12 years and earned her BS Degree in Public Administration from CSU Dominguez Hills.

Relocating to the Desert in 1990 Aurora worked for Cathedral City Hall and later with  Supervisor Corky Larson as the ED for the newly created Regional Access Project (RAP). Aurora then spent 5 years w/the County and Supervisor Roy Wilson, earned her MPA from CSUSB and then worked for the Coachella Valley Association of Governments (CVAG) as a Department Director until she retired in 2014. She was appointed to the College of the Desert Board of Trustees in 2013 and is in her second term representing District 4.

Aurora serves on several non profit boards but her proudest achievement is her  daughter, Ashley.  A private person, Aurora is grateful for the opportunities to serve the Desert communities and enjoys family, friends, reading, movies, music, travel and walking/jogging.

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Financial Stewardship

We know you have many choices when it comes to how to invest your philanthropic dollars, and Animal Samaritans takes seriously the stewardship of your investment in us.

The Wise Giving Alliance of the Better Business Bureau recommends that nonprofits not spend more than 35 cents on the dollar of its budget on administration and fundraising.

At Animal Samaritans that number is, year over year, close to 10 cents on the dollar. That means the other 90 cents goes to our mission and our services.

That’s just one of the reasons that Animal Samaritans, for more than 4 decades, has been among Southern California’s most trusted animal welfare organizations.

pets. not profits

At our state-of-the-art veterinary clinics, we’re there to provide your animals with the highest quality care, not to make a profit.

Because of your support, we are expanding this mission to broader and more diverse communities.

12,000 Animals saved!

Our Adoption Alliance Rescue Program has saved the lives of more than 12,000 animals. And were just getting started. We work with the local shelters to place animals they do not have the resources or staff to handle.  Thanks to donations like yours, we do!