Wesley H. Wratchford, MHS Board Chair, held a variety of executive leadership roles in sales, marketing and management during a successful financial services career that spanned more than 20 years. Throughout his life, Wes has also been passionate about helping others and improving the quality of life for people and animals in need. Among the many civic and charitable organizations he has been associated with are The United Way, MSPCA, Last Hope K9 Rescue, Pat Brody Shelter, The Greater Worcester Land Trust, Worcester County Reserve Deputy Sheriff's Association, and the Rindge Food Pantry. Wes served for many years as President, Chaplain, and Officer of the Col. William Henshaw Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution. He currently serves as an Officer with the New Hampshire Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, working to honor America's veterans and offer historical and educational outreach to the public. Wes and his wife Sharon moved from Massachusetts and permanently settled in New Hampshire in 2016. They share their home with their 2 dogs and 4 cats, all rescues. In their spare time, they enjoy many outdoor sports, including kayaking, fishing, exploring the forests and backroads of New England, and fireside cooking with family and friends. Since moving to New Hampshire, they have focused their lifelong love and appreciation for animals toward MHS where they both serve on various committees. Wes joined the Board of Directors in 2017 and considers it a privilege to work with all of the staff and volunteers at MHS to promote and provide for the well-being of animals, and everyone in the Monadnock community.
Susan Peterson, MHS Board Vice Chair, joins the MHS Board with many years of volunteerism over the past 25 years. Susan's professional background is in Human Resources and she has worked in the field for over 25 years for a variety of businesses including manufacturing, retail, building and healthcare. Susan is originally from Wilmington, Delaware and relocated to NH over 40 years ago. She has been a true animal lover for many years and while growing up always wanted to be a veterinarian. Her path took her in a different direction, so she majored in Business Management with the focus on Human Resources Management. In her early years, dogs, cats and other small animals were always a very important part of her life and when she rescued her boxer from the Northeast Boxer Rescue she became committed to looking out for the welfare of animals. Susan has a history of volunteering for the Jaffrey Chamber of Commerce. Susan was on the Chamber’s Education Committee, acted as Chamber President and won the 2015 JCC Citizen of the Year honor. Susan now spends her time volunteering at MHS. Being close to a variety of animals fulfills the need to volunteer but mostly brings her closer to animals. Volunteering at MHS provides her with the enjoyment of many animals, from the smallest mouse to the largest dogs and brings a smile to her face and warmth to her heart. Susan looks forward to sharing her skills with MHS as a Board member with her Human Resources background. She also enjoys participating in fundraising efforts. Susan recently volunteered at the 2018 Walk for Animals and although the day was rainy and a little cool, it brought out many hearty animal owners and pets for a day of fun. In her spare time Susan enjoys spending time with friends, family and her cat Gingersnap (who she adopted from MHS in May 2018) as well as yoga and gardening.
Chris Bowen, MHS Board Treasurer, spent more than 25 years in the insurance business working as an actuary. He moved to the Monadnock area in 1990 and in 2013 made the decision to find a new direction that would make a more personally meaningful contribution to his community. He has been working with the Keene Farmers’ Market, the Cheshire County Conservation District, and the Conservation Districts Board of Supervisors. Animals have always been a very important part of Chris’ life. He currently lives in a household with 8 dogs, 17 sheep, a goat, a rabbit and a parrot. He trains border collies to herd and competes in and judges herding trials at a national level. His undergraduate and master’s degrees focused on Ecology and Animal Behavior. MHS has been a part of his life for many years. His family has adopted several dogs and he has taken many classes in obedience, agility and fly ball. The organization has been a beneficiary of the Catherine Bowen Trust, of which his father and he were trustees, for 7 years. Chris joined the board in February 2014.
Bob Schaumann, MHS Board Secretary, is an adjunct instructor at Franklin Pierce University, Keene State College, Southern New Hampshire University, and UNH, teaching MBA graduate and undergraduate courses in marketing, management, and communications. Schaumann is also president of Robert Sales Training Associates. Formerly with Digital Equipment Corporation, he held various management positions in sales, sales management, sales training, and marketing. He also has a background in broadcast and print journalism. Since moving to Jaffrey in 2011, Schaumann has immersed himself in a variety of community activities. He is a member of the Town of Jaffrey Budget Committee, Fire Department “Fast Squad,” Rotary Club, and Shelter From the Storm Fundraising Committee. In addition, he serves on the Jaffrey Chamber Membership Committee and is a Chamber Ambassador.
Mary Dziedzinski has been a resident of Rindge NH for over 15 years. Raised in Lowell, MA Mary received a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Boston University. Mary has spent 25 + years working in the non-profit genre and is currently the Clinical Director in the Worcester office of Jewish Family and Children’s Service. Mary also works per diem on a Geri-Psych unit conducting assessments and family meetings. Mary worked 10 years as an Elder Protective Services caseworker and is well trained in Crisis Intervention. Mary has assisted her colleagues over the years in understanding the connection between animals and their clients and the importance of ensuring the well being of the pets in the home as part of the assessments. Mary has an understanding of psycho-social issues which can create challenges for people in caring for their pets. Mary has years of experience in Community Outreach and Program Development. She has been passionate about animal welfare since she was a young person. Mary has adopted 6 dogs over the years from MHS and has volunteered in multiple capacities over the past 4 years. Mary volunteers at the shelter and has also been an active member on multiple committees. Mary has focused on assisting in fundraising efforts through her work with the Annual Walk for Animals Committee. Mary is a strong, energetic and positive advocate for animals, MHS staff and volunteers and the relationships with the community and its members. Mary wholeheartedly believes in the MHS mission and feels honored to be a part of that mission/purpose in any way possible. Mary currently shares her home with her husband, 3 MHS alumni dogs Frankie, Bella & Zeus and another dog - Sammy.
Lee Rigby grew up with a love of animals including her trusted golden retriever Mack and mischievous cat Misto during her high school years. After being accepted into graduate school, Lee decided to temporarily pursue her love of animals as a vocation. Lee interned at a dog training school on the north side of Chicago and fell in love with the animals and working with them. She deferred graduate school and ultimately decided that she had found her calling and in 2002 founded her own business: Dog’s Best Friend Training. After moving to Vermont in 2004 Lee continued to operate her business but also dedicated a significant amount of her time volunteering at the Humane Society of Chittenden County in South Burlington, VT. After the birth of her son Gavin, Lee decided to stay home and raise him but remained active in the Keene community. She served as Class Parent at the Monadnock Waldorf School, MWS Crafts Fair Organizer (major fundraiser) and served on the board of Sophia’s Hearth Family Center from 2012-2015. Lee began her volunteer work at the Monadnock Humane Society in 2013 and has performed a variety of volunteer work - from walking and training shelter dogs to training other volunteers. She is currently co-chair of the Walk for Animals committee and helped establish the shelter dog training class. Lee was a key team member in the MHS HIVE (high impact volunteer engagement) program from 2017-2019. Lee was awarded the MHS Volunteer of the Year Award in 2019. Lee graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Psychology and minor in Germanic Studies. She is a certified Level 1 instructor of Kundalini Yoga. She hikes daily with her husband Graham and two MHS rescue dogs - Winston and Lulu.
Sharon M. Wratchford developed a love for all animals at a very early age. Her home has always been filled with pets, and, during her childhood she learned from her father how to raise and train sporting dogs. Her very first rescue dog, “Rags”, a Doberman/Poodle mix, taught her about responsibility and compassion and that pets are treasured members of the family. Sharon graduated from Holy Cross College in Worcester, MA and pursued a profession in financial services that led to a successful and fulfilling 30-year career, culminating in the role of Executive Vice President of Strategic Operations for Natixis Global Asset Management in Boston, MA. Over the years, Sharon built a diverse skillset, including leadership, strategic planning, investment management, sales, marketing, operations, and risk oversight/audit. She retired in 2016 and, while she greatly enjoyed her career, her true calling was always to work on behalf of animals in need. Sharon believes in the importance of giving back to the community and working with others toward common goals through trust, mutual respect, and teamwork. She previously served as a Board Member for the Home for Little Wanderers, and as a volunteer with several other non-profit organizations including: Strong Women Strong Girls, Last Hope K-9 Rescue, Pat Brody Shelter for Cats, MSPCA/Nevins Farm, and NEADS World Class Service Dogs. Additionally, she served on numerous corporate boards and currently serves as a Board Member and Audit Committee Chair for Baystate Savings Bank in Worcester, MA. Over the past several years, Sharon has been a community member volunteer with Monadnock Humane Society, and has served on numerous committees including Strategic Planning, Governance, and as Chair of the Development Committee. She also volunteered as an assistant to MHS dog trainer, Duke Champney, from 2017 to 2020. Sharon and her husband, Wes, served as Co-Chairs for MHS’ annual Hair Ball fundraiser from 2018 - 2020. In September of 2020, they launched the Wratchford Family Anti-Cruelty Fund (WFACF) https://monadnockhumanesociety.org/wratchford-family-anti-cruelty-fund/ with MHS to help provide specialized medical, emotional and physical support to abused, neglected or abandoned animals. Sharon and Wes currently share their home, in Rindge, NH, with their 2 rescue dogs and 4 rescue cats. In addition to spoiling their beloved pets, she enjoys cooking, gardening, time at the gym, kayaking, boating, hiking, and relaxing with family and close friends.
Peggy Bedore holds the position of HR Generalist at Monadnock Community Hospital in Peterborough, NH. She has many years of HR experience in companies both in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Peggy has served two terms on the Board of Directors for the NH Brain Injury Association. Joining the Board of Directors in May of 2015, she looks forward to networking, talking about Monadnock Humane Society and bringing positive information about the shelter to many. Although she spends many hours each week helping managers and staff at Monadnock Community Hospital, she has been a volunteer at Monadnock Humane Society since the opening of our new facility. Her first experience with Monadnock Humane Society came when she adopted Roxie, a Rottie/Lab mix found on Route 10 in Hinsdale, from the older shelter site. The positive experience and support exhibited by the staff drew her to the tour and grand opening of the new site. She then attended a Volunteer Orientation and the first Train the Trainer program. Peggy is able to volunteer her time assisting in classes. She has been able to utilize these experiences and knowledge in working with her own three dogs who are all alumni of MHS. One of her oldest, Naomi, came to MHS with her brother. When her spay was performed, she was found to have a fractured spleen. Although Naomi had been abused, with a little patience and time, she has successfully completed the Canine Good Citizen program and has been a successful fundraiser and has been a valuable member of the Walk for Animals team since joining Peggy’s household.
Susan Wyckoff has been a resident of Walpole for eight years and has spent the majority of her adult life in beautiful New Hampshire, earning her Master’s degree from Keene State College and Ph.D. from UNH. Susan has devoted her 35-year professional career in higher education to serving in campus senior leadership positions and most recently as a professor in the area of university administration at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Bay Path University. She has held leadership positions in multiple higher education professional organizations at state and national levels as well as serving locally as a member of the Walpole Historical Society and The Women of Walpole organizations. Susan has experience in myriad key areas which she brings in service to the MHS Board: strategic planning; program development and implementation; budget development and fiscal oversight; marketing; personnel management; and community outreach. On a personal level, Susan’s experiences with animals began early and she has been a life-long animal lover since childhood. Her first animals (guinea pigs, fish, and collie “Lady”) taught her much about empathy, responsibility, love, and dedication to animals in her care. In adulthood, she and her husband Bill have adopted countless dogs and cats from shelters and have gladly opened their home to them. Most recently during the pandemic, Susan and Bill fostered and then adopted their latest dog, 10-year old “Shaggy” from MHS. The staff at MHS declared this an official “foster fail” situation, and Shaggy has since settled in beautifully as a family member in his forever home.
Valerie Starbuck was born and raised in Keene, graduated from Keene State College with a BS in Education and later received an MBA from Rivier University in Nashua. After teaching for a few years, Val joined Lockheed Martin in Nashua as a Human Resource professional. She was promoted to manager of Employee Relations, then manager of Employment and retired after 19 years with the company. She and her husband, Jon, moved to Spofford in 1996 where Val has become very active in local activities. She serves as food and federal funding coordinator for Joan’s Food Pantry, Trail Adopter for the Chesterfield Conservation Commission, and Exotic Weed Watch Coordinator for the Spofford Lake Association. She also served as a member of the Chesterfield Planning Board for 8 years, President for the Spofford Lake Association Board, and Finance Director for her church. Val has always loved animals, and as a child, was known for bringing home injured or stray animals and caring for them until she found forever homes. Val and her family have supported MHS for many years through adoptions and donations, and now, Val has taken this opportunity to share her talents with MHS as a member of the board. Val also serves on several committees and still volunteers at MHS, with her husband, in a variety of other ways. She believes strongly in the mission of MHS and greatly appreciates the staff for their dedicated efforts on behalf of all the animals and humans whose lives they touch. Val feels that her and Jon’s lives have been tremendously enriched throughout the years by their many relationships with adopted pets, both cats and dogs. They are very happy to share their home with two MHS alumni dogs, Ziggy and Bella and are grateful for the wonderful training programs at MHS that have aided in the adoption experience.
Lindsay Carter was born and raised in Florida and moved to New Hampshire in 2005. Animals, big and small, have always held a special place in her heart. Ever since she was a little girl, she was constantly looking for ways to help. Lindsay and her mom volunteered at a local animal shelter in Florida and fostered many cats and kittens throughout the years. She adopted her first rescue puppy when she was four years old and has been an animal rescue advocate ever since. Lindsay started volunteering at Monadnock Humane Society in 2017 as a member of the Walk for Animals Committee, and her dedication to MHS and animal welfare continues to grow. She is extremely passionate about strengthening animal rights legislation and advocating for the humane treatment of all animals, including farm animals and wildlife.
Lindsay has a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and has many years of office administration experience. She currently works as the administrative assistant at Hancock Elementary School. She lives in Hancock with her fiancé, Scott and MHS rescue cat, Frankie. In her spare time, she enjoys playing tennis, paddle boarding and snowboarding. Lindsay is truly honored and excited to have the opportunity to serve on the MHS Board of Directors.
Daniel R. Dodge joined the MHS Board of Directors on June 1, 2018. Dan is the owner of Dan Dodge Hospitality, LLC. Dan has a record of success in diverse public, private and non-profit sector environments. He has spent nearly 40 years in hospitality operations in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Florida, and is a skilled executive in all facets of resort, hotel and club business.
His extensive record of community involvement includes serving as the Mayor of the Town of Hillsboro Beach, Florida, Director of Broward County League of Cities, Board Chair of Equine-Assisted Therapies of South Florida, and Director of Greater Pompano Beach Chamber of Commerce. Dan is also currently the Treasurer and Director of Monadnock International Film Festival (MONIFF).
Dan was raised on one of his family’s farms in New Hampshire and has a great passion for all animals. He and his family have a lifetime of experience with humane societies and animal welfare groups in Florida, as well as the New Hampshire Humane Society in Laconia. He defines the human-animal bond as being “beneficial to both…an ancient friendship.”
Michael Spitze is the User Services Manager with Antioch University. He has been with Antioch for fifteen years working in a variety of positions within the Information Technology Department. He has a wide range of experience in information technology which includes setting up employees’ computers, installing network infrastructure, maintaining servers, budget planning, purchasing, and working in vendor relations and staff management. Michael is a New Hampshire native and he has been calling Keene his home for approximately 18 years now. Michael is excited to join Monadnock Humane Society’s Board of Directors and is eager to share his knowledge and experience.
Lifetime Vice Presidents
Dr. Carla Folkert has been in Keene for 20 years and joined the Park Place Veterinary Hospital team in 2009. She grew up in Rochester, Minnesota and attended Iowa State University graduating with a BS in1982 and Veterinary School in 1986. She practiced in Topsfield, Massachusetts until 1991 when she moved to Keene. She has been active with the Monadnock Humane Society since 1992, twice serving as the Chairperson of the Board of Directors. Carla and her husband have two children. She enjoys gardening, kayaking, crafts and any activity with her family.
Linda Guinane is a long time supporter of the Monadnock Humane Society. She and her late husband, Jim, were instrumental in creating the beautiful facility we currently enjoy. Linda continues to serve MHS as an honorary Lifetime Vice President of the board.
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