CSNW Board of Directors
Lisa McCurdy, Esq., President
Lisa McCurdy is a shareholder in the Los Angeles office of Greenberg Traurig, LLP. Her legal practice focuses on business litigation, trusts and estates litigation, real estate litigation, and animal law. In addition to her legal work, Lisa works with a number of animal rescues in the Los Angeles area and regularly volunteers her time to help reduce the population of homeless animals. As a result of this work, 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 the University of California – Los Angeles, and earned her law degree at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. Lisa enjoys traveling abroad, most recently on safari in Africa where she was blessed with, among many amazing experiences, the opportunity to trek with the mountain gorillas in Rwanda. She is also involved in sponsoring children’s educational programs in Kenya with Miracle House Children’s Homes.
Casey Hanisko, Vice President
For sixteen years Casey has been responsible for marketing international-based tours with a deep focus on education, adventure, and responsible travel practices. She has traveled to over 30 countries covering all seven continents, her passion for wildlife and culture driving her continued search for new places. Casey has been an advocate for animal and human rights since she was a teenager, over the last twenty years she has volunteered her time to many organizations including Progressive Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), Seattle Animal Shelter, Refugee Women’s Alliance, the Northwest Immigrants Right Project, Youth Tutoring, and currently as a board member of CSNW. She received her BA in English from the University of New Hampshire where she also minored in Spanish. An avid photographer, gardener, and runner she enjoys spending her time outdoors with her two young children and husband.
James Douglas, Treasurer
James’ career spans hardware development, product and project management, sales and marketing, localization and software development. He has led large multidiscipline teams across the world and the development of supply chains with partners in India, Europe and East Asia. Having worked for Philips in the Netherlands and Microsoft in Ireland and the US, he is comfortable working in and with different cultures and environments. His keen interest and training in Organizational and Leadership Development, along with coaching, have been an asset throughout his career. James has an engineering degree from Trinity College in Dublin, is married with one daughter, and his wife, Jennifer, volunteers at the sanctuary. Although Smithy is their only permanent canine, they have enjoyed a regular stream of foster dogs, generally the older ones harder to place.
Bruce Wagman, Esq., Board Counsel
Bruce Wagman is a partner at the San Francisco law firm Schiff Hardin LLP. His practice focuses on animal law, with a special interest in chimpanzee issues. Bruce works tirelessly as an advocate for animals, and has won major victories for shelter dogs in Georgia; chimpanzees in Hollywood, California; and nearly 1,000 dogs in hoarding situations in North Carolina. He is also the co-editor of the Animal Law textbook used in law schools across the country. Bruce graduated from University of California - Hastings Law School, and has undergraduate degrees from Columbia and Cornell.
Kimber Leblicq, Secretary and Past President
Kimber Leblicq has over ten years of experience in the Pacific Northwest nonprofit community. She has focused her career doing fundraising, communications, and marketing for performing arts and environmental organizations. She is currently the Membership and Communications Director at AIA Seattle. She previously served as Director of Membership and Development at Seattle Audubon, and Director of Corporations and Foundations at Seattle Children's Theatre. Kimber is a compassionate advocate for animal welfare and the environment. Past volunteer commitments include education and outreach volunteer for Seattle's Progressive Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), and founding committee member for Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest. Kimber received a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Northern Arizona University and is also a working jewelry designer and metalsmith.
Karen Bachelder has worked with primates - human and non-human - for almost 40 years. She served as Executive Director of four nonprofit human service agencies in the Seattle area and most recently managed international partnerships for a nonprofit providing educational programs to schools around the globe. In 2001 she fell in love with chimpanzees while volunteering at the Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue Center in Africa. Since then, she’s returned for part of each year to help manage the Center and spend time with its 74 residents. In addition she’s assisted on research studies with orangutans in Sumatra, manatees in Costa Rica, and recently volunteered at the PAWS Wildlife Center in Lynnwood, WA. Karen holds a B.A. degree in International Relations & French from the University of Delaware and a Master’s degree in social work from Hunter College, City University of New York.
David Brotherton is the founder and president of Brotherton Strategies, a Seattle-based communications firm serving socially-responsible corporate, philanthropic and non-profit clients. Before starting his own firm, David was communications director for the Marguerite Casey Foundation. He previously served as vice president of public affairs for Imagio | J. Walter Thompson, and as director of public relations for RealNetworks. David began his career in Washington, DC as a congressional speech writer and later a political reporter. He has also served on numerous political campaigns at the federal, state and local levels. David earned his bachelor’s degree from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR and did his masters work in journalism at the University of Oregon.
Caitlin Hawks, Esq.
Caitlin Hawks is an associate with the law firm of Savitt Bruce & Willey LLP in Seattle, Washington. Her practice focuses 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.
Stephanie Marx is a digital marketing professional with more than 15 years of experience, most recently with a focus on social media and previously in web marketing and design. She has had a lifelong passion and affinity for animals and supports a number of non-profit organizations through donations, volunteering and advocacy. Stephanie grew up in the UK and loves to travel. During several trips to Africa (Botswana, Tanzania, Rwanda), she has had the gratifying and unforgettable experience of seeing mountain gorillas and other wild animals in their natural habitat. Stephanie and her husband, Kurt, have been supporters of Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest since 2008.
Donna Mensching, DVM
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 going to veterinary school at Cornell. After practicing in general and emergency small animal practice for nine years, she followed her passion for conservation and attended a summer institute called Envirovet, a program designed to integrate veterinarians into multidisciplinary solutions for environmental issues. The Envirovet experience led to a residency in veterinary toxicology at the University of Illinois. After becoming board certified in veterinary toxicology, she became the Veterinary Medical Director of Veterinary Poison Emergency Treatment Services (VET PETS) at the Washington Poison Center. It wasn't long after moving to Seattle that her passion for nonhuman primates led her to CSNW where she volunteers and has helped develop a veterinary clinic for the Cle Elum 7.
Erica Knauf Santos, Esq.
Erica Knauf Santos is a Seattle attorney in private practice. Along with legal experience, Erica brings three years of experience caring for non-human primates from her time at the Chimpanzee & Human Communication Institute. She also volunteered with Pasado’s Safe Haven doing animal rescue after Hurricane Katrina. She previously served on the Board of Directors for the Great Ape Project and the Advisory Board for IDA-Africa, and was an at-large member of the Washington State Bar Association's Animal Law Section. Erica received her BS in primate behavior and ecology and BA in psychology with a minor in anthropology from Central Washington University and her JD from Seattle University School of Law. She lives in Seattle with her husband, two sons, a dog and two cats.
Samuel Schneider, D.O.
Sam Schneider is a Family Medicine Physician working at Community Health Services of Spokane. Prior to this, he had a small private practice in Cle Elum, where he met former CSNW executive director Sarah Davis and became involved with the sanctuary. With specialized training in rural family medicine, Sam has focused his energies on providing medical care for the underserved in Washington state for the last seven years. He wasn’t always a doctor. Prior to becoming a doctor, Sam owned, directed, and performed in a one-ring, no animal, community based circus, the Plum Loco Circus in Seattle, WA, as a clown, acrobat, and juggler. Sam has an abiding interest in wildlife and environmental conservation. Sam is married to Jennifer, and has two boys, Robin and Toby. In his free time he is an avid whitewater rafter, mountain biker, and former Ultimate Frisbee player.