DONNA MENSCHING, DVM, PRESIDENT
Donna Mensching has had a longstanding passion for environmental conservation with a particular interest in nonhuman primates as charismatic megafauna. During her undergraduate years, she volunteered and worked at the Duke University Primate Center caring for bush babies, giving tours, and analyzing data for a study of intergroup dynamics among longtailed macaques. She continued pursuing her passion for animals by attending veterinary school at Cornell. Following nearly a decade in general and emergency practice, she attended Envirovet, a summer institute designed to involve veterinarians in interdisciplinary solutions to environmental problems. That experience led to a Master's degree in environmental toxicology, board certification in toxicology, and poison control center work. The latter brought her to Seattle where she was introduced to the Cle Elum 7, volunteering and helping to establish a veterinary clinic at CSNW. Currently back on the east coast and in private practice, in addition to her role as Vice President of the board, she serves as the chair of the Direct Care Committee for the Cle Elum 7.
MATTHEW GERSHMAN, ESQ., VICE PRESIDENT & SECRETARY
Matthew Gershman is a shareholder in the litigation and appellate groups of the Los Angeles office of Greenberg Traurig, LLP. Matthew’s practice focuses on disputes involving real estate, family trust management, partnership disputes, copyright claims, and class-action claims in the areas of false advertising, unfair competition, and products liability. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland, majoring in marketing, logistics, and supply chain management. Matthew has many years of experience serving on the board of directors for a homeowners’ association, as well as coaching a public high school’s mock trial team.
STEVEN GERSHMAN, CPA, TREASURER
Steve Gershman, Counsel at KatzAbosch, joined the firm in 1973. He has experience in accounting, auditing, management services, and personal financial planning that spans more than 48 years. He has been an instructor at the University of Baltimore and an Adjunct Instructor at Howard Community College. Steve is also an active speaker at various community meetings and seminars. He has served as a board member and/or officer on several boards, including the Howard County Leadership Program and the American Institute of Mental Health.
A long time friend of animals and guardian of many a rescue dog, Chris is incredibly proud to be part of CSNW. Chris has directed a number of businesses during his professional career, ranging from large publicly held companies to his own consulting business. He now has channeled his love of music to take his career in a new direction, running a division of the world’s largest instrument retailer. Chris lives in the Los Angeles area with his wife, two young kids, and two dogs. Once upon a time, he was an avid traveler and spent a number of his childhood years living overseas. His favorite trip was to east Africa, topped off by a trek with the mountain gorillas in Rwanda. In another life, he would be a professional golfer.
CAITLIN HAWKS, ESQ.
Caitlin Hawks has been an associate with the law firm of Savitt Bruce & Willey LLP in Seattle, Washington. Her practice focused on complex business litigation, intellectual property litigation, and bankruptcy; however her true passion has always been in helping animals. She provides a broad range of pro bono legal assistance to various local and national animal protection organizations. Her work has ranged from assisting companion animal rescues in obtaining trademark protection to a major qui tam action against the owners of a slaughterhouse in California. Caitlin earned her law degree at the University of California – Los Angeles and her bachelor’s degree at the University of Puget Sound. She previously worked as an associate in the Los Angeles office of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP.
LISA MCCURDY, ESQ.
Lisa McCurdy is a shareholder with the global law firm, Greenberg Traurig, LLP. Her legal practice focuses on business litigation, trusts and estates litigation, real estate litigation, and animal law. Lisa did not discover her interest in law until the early 2000s; her love of animals started at birth. Lisa is a published author on various animal-law related topics and she supports a number of animal rescues in Los Angeles who are working reduce the population of homeless animals around the country. She was appointed by the Mayor of Los Angeles in March 2012 to serve as a Commissioner for the Animal Services Department of the City of Los Angeles, and served in that capacity and as Board president until February 2014. Lisa has a degree in psychology with a specialization in business and administration from UCLA and earned her law degree at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. Lisa lives in the Los Angeles area with her husband, two young children, and two scruffy rescue dogs.
MARTHA FAULKNER, MA, LMHC
Martha’s life’s work has always been about healing, finding, and reuniting people. Her personal history of being adopted and own search for her birth family led her to attain a Master’s Degree in Applied Behavioral Science followed by a license as a Mental Health Counselor. She worked as a therapist helping adopted children, adults, birth parents, and adoptive families. She also served as a court-appointed Confidential Intermediary (CI) to facilitate reuniting families separated by adoption. Martha’s love of animals helped form the basis of her next adventure. With her Real Estate Broker’s license in hand she formed www.homes4petlovers.com through RSVP Real Estate. Martha’s belief that everyone needs a home helped form the basis of her mission to help people with their real estate needs, while at the same time supporting the local animal welfare community. Martha donates 10% of her real estate commissions to animal welfare organizations that clients choose. Martha has served as a board member and Board Chair for Homeward Pet Adoption Center (HPAC) and continues to volunteer walking the shelter dogs there on a weekly basis.
ELIZABETH DIXON LIST
Elizabeth is a Philanthropic Services Advisor with Seattle Foundation, and spends her working hours building relationships and making strategic connections within and outside the Foundation. Prior to her time with Seattle Foundation, Elizabeth spent over ten years as a fundraiser for Seattle-based non profits, specializing in major gifts. Elizabeth has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Georgia and minored in Fine Art. In 2015 she published a children’s picture book, “The Potluck”, the story of a young girl who wants to protect her endangered animal friends. Animal advocacy has been a life-long passion for Elizabeth, with chimpanzees holding a special place in her heart. Elizabeth currently lives in Issaquah, Washington, with her husband, daughter, two dogs, and one cat who thinks he’s a dog.
JESSICA MAYHEW, PHD
Jessica is an Assistant Professor in Anthropology at Central Washington University. She has a BA and MA from the University of Chicago, where she first realized that her deep-rooted love of primatology would become her profession. A native of the Granite State (New Hampshire), she came to Washington in 2013 after finishing her Ph.D. in evolutionary psychology at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. She specializes in ape behavior, social cognition, and juvenile play. Always trying to peek inside the minds of other primates, she conducts fieldwork in the summer, works alongside students in the Primate Behavior program during the school year, and volunteers on weekends at CSNW with the Cle Elum 7.