Board of Directors and Staff

The Board of Directors and shelter staff of the Santa Cruz SPCA are an extraordinary team of well-qualified leaders who are commited to excellent animal care and welfare. 


Sheri Billings

Sheri Billings has served on the Board since February 2011. She is a CPA and owner/principal of the Summit Accountancy Group, Inc., in Soquel, specializing in income taxes and business valuations. A fancier of all things feline, Sheri shares her home with two rescue cats, Buddy and Bentley.  Her hobbies include fly fishing.

Vice President

Hedy Nochimson

Hedy Nochimson joined the Board in April 2016.  A lifelong animal lover, she became a SCSPCA volunteer in 2012, in the spirit of giving back and in gratitude for all the wonderful animal companions that had shared her life.  With a special fondness for felines, Hedy has been very involved in the welfare of SCSPCA cats. Not being able to resist the other residents of the shelter, she has also fostered and adopted a little Maltese/Poodle now known as George. After working for 20 years as a software engineer in the high-tech industry, Hedy retired and began a second career as a chef, opening her own business and becoming an active member of the growing food scene in Santa Cruz. Besides cultivating her passion for food and family, Hedy enjoys travel, home design, and sports activities.


Linda Powers

Linda Powers joined the Board in October 2021.  She has been a Kitty Parent most of her adult life.  When her precious Roscoe died in 2009, she first looked to the cats at the SCSPCA for feline companionship.  The mention of a planned new facility, where the cats would have daylight and fresh air, had her hooked.  Linda and her husband Bob have been contributors to making this dream a reality, and she looks forward to helping the dedicated SPCA staff realize the full potential of this wonderful place.  Linda and Bob worked as a 2-person bubble of cat socializers during the pandemic.  Their new passion is fostering cats who have special needs — including a year with the infamous Pluto — or cats who simply are not thriving in the shelter environment.  Linda’s educational and career background is in mathematics and physics, having spent over 25 years as a theoretical researcher in Inertial Confinement Fusion.  Since retirement she has more time to dedicate to travel, fitness, piano, and creating stained glass “masterpieces.” 


Nina Mar Burnette

Nina believes that people who love and respect animals will be better stewards of the planet, and be kinder human beings in general. Given the opportunity as a child, she always chose to cat-sit or dog-sit versus babysit. Nina joined the board of directors in April 2017, and brings an extensive financial and tax background. She earned her J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, and her LL.M., Taxation from New York University. Nina recently retired from a career with Apple, Inc. as Senior Director, International Tax & Senior Tax Counsel. In addition to their daughters, and many animal companions throughout the years, Nina and her husband have raised three golden retrievers.


Malcolm Bramwell

Malcolm Bramwell, who joined the board in February 2021, has always been interested in animals and photography. However, this was not a career he was able to adopt professionally. For over thirty years, Malcolm was involved in the analytical instrument business, serving as Vice President, West Coast Operation, Bruker BioSpin Corp., focusing on the amazing development of (NMR) nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

Shortly after retiring, Malcolm and his wife adopted a wonderful tabby kitty from Humane Society Silicon Valley (HSSV). He sent them a couple photos of their new kitty with a note stating how wonderful she was. Marketing staff asked if he would be willing to volunteer and photograph shelter cats and kittens for the HSSV website, newsletters, calendar, and other collateral. Thus began his volunteer life in 2008. Malcolm has also participated in the HSSV Volunteer Advisory Committee, aimed at enhancing collaboration between volunteers and staff.

During his 10+ years as a volunteer, Malcolm has thoroughly enjoyed the interaction (mainly with cats, but dogs too), and the photographic opportunities offered. Cats, of course, are not the most cooperative of photographic models, but he feels that patience is worth the end result. Malcolm has also photographed felines for Town Cats and The Dancing Cat in San Jose, and conducted photography classes at the latter. He also enjoys reading, with a glass of wine, and a cat on his lap.


Sloane Devoto

Sloane, who joined the board in November 2021, has been an avid animal lover since the day she was born. She currently is owned by two rescue dogs; one she met at the Santa Cruz SPCA while waiting outside to make a donation. She is excited and appreciative to have the opportunity to give back to the organization that has brought such happiness into her life. In the past Sloane has advocated for animals through organizations such as Greenpeace, the World Wildlife Fund and elementary school curriculum programs. With a master's in Education Administration and Learning Design and Technology from Purdue University, she passionately believes that education is a vital component to unlocking the many benefits surrounding animal-human relationships. Two of her dogs lived to be over 20 years old, which she attributes to the current opportunities to provide better health care to our animals, as well as understand them better through behaviorist research. She knows that her dogs were also lucky to be living in Santa Cruz with the beaches, the trails and the beautiful weather! Sloane has worked with the Tales to Tails program through the Santa Cruz County Library System and served on the Board of the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History. In her free time Sloane enjoys spending time with her two dogs, reading, hiking, golf, and playing the piano.


Executive Director
Alison "Ali" Talley

Meet Ali!
Ali joined the SCSPCA team in November, 2018. Though new to Santa Cruz, Ali has spent the past 24-years working in and with animal shelters; she has been working with companion animals since 1991! Ali has held leadership roles at the East Bay SPCA, at the Humane Educational Society in Chattanooga, TN, and she spent more than 10-years at Humane Society Silicon Valley (HSSV). During her time at HSSV, Ali was a key leader on their Operations Team where she focused on animal behavior and training, but also played cross-functional roles across the organization. Ali feels very fortunate to have been with the organization during their Capital Campaign and to have been a part of the team that moved the operation from their traditional shelter to the state of the art Animal Community Center. Prior to her work at HSSV, Ali received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the UC Davis Animal Science Department where her studies were focused on companion animal welfare and animal shelters.

Ali's four-legged family currently includes three cats and one dog, all of whom are--of course--former shelter animals. In her free time, she enjoys photography, road-trips, live music, gardening and spending quality time with her family. Ali is thrilled to join the Santa Cruz SPCA team and looks forward to leading the organization into the future, including the SPCA's new purpose built forever home (expected Spring, 2020)!

Shelter Manager
Mandi Hart

Meet Mandi!

Mandi has been a part of the SCSPCA team since 2009. With over 20 years of experience working in the animal care industry, she brings an extensive knowledge base related to animal care, medicine, behavior, and training. Along with shelter management, Mandi coordinates many of the organization’s marketing campaigns, social media presence, community engagement, and programming efforts. During her time with the SCSPCA, she has also taken an active role in animal welfare legislation, attending the Humane Society of the United States’ Lobby Day in 2012, and testifying at a Department of Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting to help pass SB 1221, a bill banning the use of hounds for bear and bobcat hunting.

Born and raised in Santa Cruz, Mandi has lived a life that revolves around animals. She took pride in caring for her childhood dogs, cats, horses, goats, chickens, and rabbits, and currently enjoys riding her horse Biggs and walking her dog Sage. Mandi has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism with an emphasis in PR from California State University at Northridge.

Development Manager
Pete Cooper

Meet Pete!
Pete joined the team in April, 2022, bringing with him around twenty years of experience in the nonprofit sector. Originally from New Zealand, Pete has worked in a variety of advocacy / campaigning roles, with groups such as Greenpeace, Amnesty International, and the Environmental Investigation Agency, in New Zealand, Australia and the UK.

Pete moved to the US in April 2020, and more recently, he and his wife--a Santa Cruz local--moved to Santa Cruz, where they enjoy our wonderful combination of forests and beaches with their two rescue dogs.

Manager of HE & Volunteering
Brenna Ewing

Meet Brenna!

Brenna has lived in Santa Cruz and worked in animal care, placement, and education at local shelters for more than 20 years. She joined SCSPCA in May of 2006 as the humane educator because she believes education is the most effective way to make a difference for animals and promote a humanely progressive society. Brenna enjoys teaching children and adults compassion and respect for all living things. Her humane education programs teach that even the smallest actions can have big effects, and that responsible choices can improve the lives of animals – both domestic and wild –as well as the people of our community. During the school year, Brenna spends much of her time in classrooms and other education settings, presenting fun, informative, and interactive material to both adolescents and adults. She also directs the SCSPCA Summer and Winter Kids’ Camp and a series of youth volunteer programs.

Brenna lives with an SCSPCA-adopted pug mix named Poe and a rescued blue and gold macaw named Loki. Brenna has a B.A. in marine biology from the University of California at Santa Cruz.

Our Talented Staff

Lynn Brisson

Meet Lynn!

 Lynn has managed the SCSPCA’s accounting needs since 2011. A CPA by profession, she works primarily with local non-profits and enjoys her time at the shelter, where she can pair her accounting skills with her love for animals, on any given day gaining a “lap assistant” or a “keyboard helper.” She enjoys playing soccer, reading, and doing jigsaw puzzles.

Client Care Coordinator
Nicole Fischer

Meet Nicole!

Coming Soon!

Development Coordinator
Sarah Michael

Meet Sarah!

 Sarah arrived at the Santa Cruz SPCA after relocating from New York City in the summer of 2014.  A lifelong animal advocate and confirmed “Cat Person,” Sarah spent many years at the SCSPCA as an Client Care and Adoptions Coordinator but has now moved into a Development Coordinater role where she tends to the important relationships we've built with the people who support us! She utilizes her exceptional client care abilities and creative writing skills to assist the team in all things development and fundraising. While not at the SCSPCA, Sarah teaches chair yoga classes as well as sings, plays mandolin, and performs theatre throughout Santa Cruz.

Client Care Coordinator
JoAnna Rottke

Meet JoAnna!

JoAnna made the transition from long-time volunteer to Adoption Counselor and Client Service staff in 2019. She self-identifies as a “dog person” and loves being around lots of them. Her fantasy is to have a large sled team made up of Chihuahuas. When she did Agility trials with her Cattle Dog, Tallulah, she loved spending the weekend with hundreds of excited, happy dogs and their owners.

Her Chihuahua, ChaCha was adopted from the SPCA in 2010, and she recently adopted Chewy.

For over 20 years, JoAnna worked for the Dickens Project at UCSC, and still serves as President of their Friends group. In 2018, her short play, “Christmas with Dickens” was performed at local libraries, and her short stories have been read on the radio.

Development Coordinator
Madeline Bollengier

Meet Maddy!

Coming Soon!

Animal Care Supervisor
Ana Cortez

Meet Ana!

 Ana has been an important part of the SCSPCA’s animal care team since 2012. She works incredibly hard to ensure the health and well-being of each animal that comes through our doors, and she carefully maintains a high level of care throughout their stay. Ana also assists with volunteer orientation and training as well as the management of in-kind donations. When she’s not working hard for the animals, she enjoys spending time with family, reading, and watching movies.

Humane Education Coordinator
Alison Shearman

Meet Alison!

Coming Soon!

Animal Care Coordinator
Luisa Cortez

Meet Luisa!

 Luisa joined the SCSPCA facilities team in 2015. With a natural desire to clean and organize, Luisa dives into her sanitation duties with vigor. She enjoys creating an environment conducive to the health and happiness of all the shelter guests, and she meticulously delivers just that. In her free time, Luisa enjoys socializing with friends, crocheting, and baking.

Animal Care Coordinator
Teresa Vasquez

Meet Teresa!
Coming Soon!

Animal Care Coordinator
Jenna Freshour

Meet Jenna!

 Coming Soon!

Animal Care Coordinator
Rhiannon Benson

Meet Rhiannon!

 Coming Soon!

Shelter Location

2601 Chanticleer Ave.

Santa Cruz, CA 95065

(P) 831-465-5000

(F) 831-479-8530

Hours of Operation

Mon & Tues - CLOSED 

Animal Browsing

Wed to Sun 11am - 5pm

*PET FOOD PANTRY - Fridays 1:00pm - 3:00pm



The Santa Cruz SPCA is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the welfare of animals. We receive no government funding, and depend solely on financial support from our friends. Our organization is not affiliated with any other SPCA or Humane Society.

Tax ID: 94-6171565

The Santa Cruz SPCA is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the welfare of animals. We receive no government funding, and depend solely on financial support from our friends. Our organization is not affiliated with any other SPCA or Humane Society.

Tax ID: 94-6171565

© 2017 Santa Cruz SPCA