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Our People

Board of Directors

Lisa DeCarlo, Esq., Chair
Debbie Ferguson, Vice Chair
Deb Smith, Treasurer
Joshua Darrin, Secretary
Nancy Bowyer
Jeannine Farrelly
Don Garlit
David Middlesworth

Advisory Board Director
Victoria Stilwell


Nicole Forsyth
President and CEO

As President and CEO, Nicole Forsyth leads the RedRover team and loves thinking strategically, innovating, imagining and keeping RedRover constantly vigilant for ways to improve the lives of animals far into the future. She holds Master’s degrees in Communication and Animal Biology, with a welfare focus, and a Bachelor’s degree in English and Education.

She has two dogs, Gertie and Jasper, one cat, Milo, and is excited to be adding chickens to the family soon!

Rebecca Sarsfield
Chief Financial Officer

Rebecca Sarsfield has been RedRover's Chief Financial Officer for 11 years. She manages administration, accounting/finance, government compliance and facilities and strives to achieve RedRover's values of accuracy and precision in everything she does. Ms. Sarsfield earned her Bachelor’s degree from San Jose State University with an emphasis in Arts and Nonprofit Administration.

Rebecca shares her home with five humans and six animals: rescued cats Sagira, Tumaini, Azizi and Prince, rescued German shepherd Raina and fish Claire.

Linda Genevieve Bak
Development Manager

Linda Bak is the Development Manager for RedRover. Combined with an MBA from the University of Florida, Linda supports RedRover through her experience in new business development, consulting and project management. Linda has an unwavering commitment to ensuring that RedRover has the means to bring animals out of crisis and into care.

Linda enjoys spending her free time outdoors with her Golden Retriever, Bradley. Linda also has two cats who prefer to stay inside.

Beth Gammie
Emergency Services Manager

Beth Gammie is RedRover's Emergency Services Manager. In this position, Beth leads the RedRover Responders program by monitoring disasters and other emergencies for deployment, managing requests for our assistance and serving as our Team Leader in the field when animals are in crisis.

Prior to this position, Beth volunteered with RedRover and other animal welfare groups in Florida and Arizona. Beth shares her home with Australian Shepherd mix named William Wallace, and is staff to her five cats.

Leili Khalessi
Marketing and Communications Manager

Leili Khalessi is RedRover’s Marketing and Communications Manager. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Sacramento State University and supports RedRover through her experience in project management, communications and design.

Leili is an avid yoga practitioner and serves on the board of directors for The Yoga Seed Collective, a nonprofit yoga studio in Sacramento. She has a 16-year-old cat named Ms. Kitty and recently adopted a German shepherd named Jack.

Karly Noel
Education Manager

Karly Noel is RedRover’s Education Manager. She brings her enthusiasm for learning and teaching to the RedRover Readers program and professional development training. She is the co-chair of RedRover’s Caring Committee and is committed to fostering a caring and uplifting office culture (just ask her dog, Louie, who accompanies her most days to the office).

Karly holds a Bachelor’s degree in Child Development and a Master’s degree in Education from California State University, Sacramento. Karly is a Certified Humane Education Specialist (CHES) and is on the Board of Directors of the Association of Professional Humane Educators (APHE).

Susie Robert
Program Manager

Susie Robert is the RedRover Responders Program Manager. Susie supports RedRover through managing the RedRover Responders training program and coordinating the volunteer response to emergency situations.

Susie earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology from the University of Edinburgh, and her Master’s in Animal Biology/Welfare from the University of California, Davis. She previously spent four years working for Santa Barbara County Animal Services. She has the privilege of sharing her home with her two cats, Norman and Mungo.

Esperanza Zúñiga
Program Manager

Esperanza Zúñiga is RedRover’s Program Manager of the RedRover Relief program. Esperanza studied psychology at California State University, Sacramento, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts. She has extensive experience providing crisis intervention and counseling.

Esperanza previously worked for the California Youth Crisis Line and also worked for the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) as an animal caretaker. She enjoys taking hikes with her dogs and spending quality time with her bunnies.

Erin Bialecki
Development Coordinator

As the Development Coordinator and Grant Writer at RedRover, Erin Bialecki manages the transactional aspects of the donor experience and supports the Development Manager in raising funds that grow RedRover’s programs and operations through grant writing, direct mail and donor cultivation.

She has volunteered for Coalition 4 Community Cats managing a feral cat colony and helping care for cats at the weekly spay/neuter clinics, and is currently a cat and kitten foster parent through the Sacramento County Animal Shelter. Erin shares her home with four formerly-feral cats.

Rachel Hughes
Program Coordinator

Rachel is the Program Coordinator for RedRover. She supports the RedRover Relief, RedRover Responders and RedRover Readers programs while demonstrating the caring, vigilant and unwavering attributes of RedRover’s brand. Rachel earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science from the University of California, Davis. She has volunteered for local animal shelters, and recently adopted a yellow Labrador retriever named Charlie.

Bailey Mannisto-Ichés
Marketing Coordinator

Bailey is the Marketing Coordinator at RedRover and joined the organization with a Master’s degree in Social Justice, 10+ years of experience working with various nonprofits and an unwavering commitment to animal and human rights. She holds a certificate in case management at the University of California, San Diego, and worked as a crisis counselor for various domestic violence and sexual assault agencies for five years.

You can often find this lifelong vegetarian-turned-vegan getting creative in the kitchen or spending time with one of her five rescued pups.

Casey Slagerman
Administrative Coordinator

Casey Slagerman is RedRover’s Administrative Coordinator and steadfast assistant to the CFO. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in Animal Science from the University of California, Davis. Her love for accounting comes from a long history of working with numbers and is just as strong as her affinity for languages and animals!  

Casey enjoys attending concerts, exercising and traveling with her 10-year-old cat named Odie, who’s been hitting the road with her since he was 5 weeks old. Their favorite place visit is Lake Tahoe, where Casey can ski and Odie can nap by the fire.

Karen Brown
Project Specialist

Karen Brown, RedRover’s Project Specialist, has been with the organization since 2003. Karen has worked to preserve and grow the bond between people and animals for over a decade in various positions as an educator, animal trainer, dog training instructor and RedRover’s Program Director. She has specifically developed expertise in disaster preparedness and response and holds a degree in Biological Sciences from the University of California at Davis.

Her family shares their home with a serious dog named Jack and a sassy rescued parrot named Xanadu.

Laurel Meleski
Program Assistant II

Laurel Meleski is a Program Assistant with the RedRover Relief program. She helps pet guardians find treatment and assistance for their furry family members who are ill or injured.

Laurel is a Reiki master teacher and acupressurist who believes in a holistic approach to healing for both people and animals. She has two rescue dogs, Bob and Ellie Mae, who bring joy and goofiness into her home.

Danielle Gates
Communications Assistant

Danielle Gates is the Communications Assistant for the Marketing and Communications department at RedRover. She supports the team through social media, copywriting and design, and embodies RedRover’s values of being ever-vigilant and ready to spring into action.

Danielle earned a Bachelor’s degree in English from University of California, Davis, and has previously worked as the Foster/Rescue Liaison for Sacramento-area shelters. She shares her home with a Brazilian mastiff named Huckleberry and a gray cat named Tomas.

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