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Board of Directors

Elissa Katz (Secretary) is a partner in the law firm of Meranze, Katz, Gaudioso and Newlin, P.C., a Philadelphia, PA law firm concentrating in the practice of labor law. She is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association Animal Law Committee. In addition to serving on the Board of WFAS, she is on the Board of The Humane League, a farm animal/vegan advocacy organization with offices in Philadelphia, Boston, Baltimore, and New York. Elissa is also the president of Humane PA, a non-partisan political action committee working to end cruelty to animals in Pennsylvania. She is a regular volunteer with the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) performing cat care on a weekly basis and processing adoptions.

Robin Flynn (Treasurer) earned her B.S. from Boston College and began her career in management consulting and currently manages Technology and Communications for a brokerage firm. A long time vegan and avid animal rights advocate, she previously sat on the board of a farm animal sanctuary and has worked on and or managed several animal rights, environmental, and hunger and homeless campaigns. Robin originates from Wisconsin farm country, and now resides in Boston, MA with her partner Miki and 3 rescued cats.

David Cabrera (President) is Principal and Co-Founder of the contemporary art gallery Alexander Gray Associates in New York, where he oversees the management of the Gallery, including financial, personnel, and operations. Cabrera has been an activist and volunteer with numerous issues rooted in compassion going back into the 90’s. He was a member of ACT-Up (The AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power), Gay Men’s Health Crisis, and more recently he has been a hospice volunteer counselor, providing vigil sitting through Visiting Nurses Services of New York and speaking on the subject.  In the field of animal awareness and veganism, he and his partner, Alexander Gray, have been sponsors of the media projects Our Hen House and Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s Food for Thought podcasts. Cabrera has volunteered at Woodstock Farm Sanctuary since 2011. He lives in New York City, and Germantown, NY with his partner.

Dr. Ethan J. Ciment (Vice President) is a podiatrist in private practice in New York City. He is the founder and director of The Chelsea Foot & Ankle Center where he treats the entire spectrum of foot and ankle medicine and surgery. He is board certified by the American Board of Podiatric Medicine, a Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Orthopedics and Medicine, and he is a member of the American College of Foot and Ankle Pediatrics. Ethan and his husband Michael blog at Vegan Mos where they share their own original vegan recipes, thought pieces about veganism and animal rights, and explore the intersection of animal rights and gay rights. Originally from Silver Spring, Maryland, Ethan has been a New Yorker for 25 years. He and Michael currently reside in Williamsburg, Brooklyn with their two vegan dogs, Riley and Charlie.

Jody Rasch manages VegInvest Trust, a private equity trust that specializes in companies that reduce animal use and promotes a vegan lifestyle. Prior to this he headed the Social Performance Group at Moody’s Corporation working on projects including microfinance and social investing.  He developed the Moody’s Social Performance Assessment (SPA) which provides a gap analysis of social practices for microfinance institutions.  He also served on various advisory boards including Women’s World Banking’s Gender Performance Initiative, the SMART Campaign’s Certification Task Force, Grameen Foundation’s Social Performance Advisory Committee and the Global Impact Investing Rating Service (GIIRS). Mr. Rasch has presented on social and financial issues at conferences worldwide, including Eastern Europe, Africa, Latin America, Asia and the United States. Prior to this Mr. Rasch worked at Moody’s Risk Management Services as part of the training group heading up product training for derivatives and corporate finance and as project manager for RiskCalc a corporate risk modeling product. Prior to joining Moody’s in 2002 Mr. Rasch owned, for 15 years, a training company that conducted financial training programs for international commercial and investment banks. He also headed the New York derivatives sales desk of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and has worked in the corporate treasury departments of two Fortune 500 companies. Mr. Rasch has a B.A. degree in Economics from the University of Michigan and holds an MBA in Finance from New York University. Mr. Rasch is on the Board of Directors of three not for profit organizations.  Battery Dance Company, which conducts cultural diplomacy in over 60 countries and the United States through its “Dancing to Connect” program; VegFund which supports grass roots activists in promoting a vegan lifestyle and Woodstock Farm Sanctuary.

Lita Dwight is the owner and founder of bryt life foods, an artisanal maker of vegan yogurt and cheese.  She is an avid animal rights advocate and activist in many other social justice movements. Lita was an investment management attorney for Sidley Austin Brown & Wood and also served as a staff attorney for the Legal Aid Society, representing victims of domestic violence. She served as an investment adviser for Merrill Lynch, specializing in non-profit organizations. She owned and operated a real estate development company, Acquis Development Corp, renovating historic properties in landmarked Brooklyn. She currently lives with her partner and two dogs, Lacey and Lou in the Navy Yards neighborhood of Brooklyn.

Dr. Jeannine Cicco Barker is a licensed clinical psychologist and board certified art therapist at the University of Pennsylvania, specializing in eating concerns, sexual assault, trauma, and the systemic impact on mental health. Social justice and multiculturalism inform her work, further fueling her commitment to social justice activism. As a passionate animal rights advocate, she has been involved with fundraising event planning as a volunteer with Farm Sanctuary, and runs with local and national vegan advocacy running teams. Jeannine, a proud Xicana, is sensitive to the intersections between human and nonhuman animal rights issues, and she is eager to make veganism more accessible to communities of color and to further inclusivity and representation in the animal rights movement. She began volunteering at Woodstock in 2015 and immediately fell in love with the Sanctuary and its residents. At the Sanctuary, she is often found hanging out in the goat and sheep barn or cuddling with the turkeys in their coops. She is from Philadelphia and continues to call it home with her partner Sean and their three rescues.

Sanctuary Sustainer 2017