Meet Our Board of Directors
Karen Snook is our Executive Director. After 20 years in the corporate world where her last role was Vice President of Leadership Development for Countrywide Financial Corp., she decided to follow her heart and work in the non-profit world. She got her undergraduate degree from UCLA and her MBA from Pepperdine. She has been the Executive Director for three other animal advocacy organizations and learned a lot from each experience. She earned her Permaculture Design Certificate from Larry Santoyo, and enjoys designing super-efficient multi-function gardens. Kindred Spirits Care Farm is the fulfillment of a dream for her.
Nathan is our facilities manager here at Kindred Spirits Care Farm. He has over 30 years in the construction industry, a degree in fine art and is also an ordained Tibetan Buddhist Lama. In this photo, he is conversing with another kind of llama, the four footed variety. Nate doesn’t always wear his lama robes, but when he does, he likes to be in the presence of other “llamas."
Laura Beth Heisen
Not only is Laura Beth an attorney and an MBA, she is also a big hearted, animal rescuer and advocate. She and Karen started a very successful animal oriented non-profit together in 2000 and have rescued thousands of animals together. She knows her stuff and is helping Kindred Spirits Care Farm with planning and organizing for optimum effectiveness. She loves cows, so she thought it would be fun to have this pretty bovine as her website icon.
We are so lucky that Jerneja Tomsic, a PhD in Biology, left Ohio to move to California. In Ohio, she was on the board of an animal rescue and advocacy non-profit for 5 years, and had many farm friends, but she had a very special bond with her beloved Bambi, an adorable Jersey calf. The hardest part of leaving Ohio was leaving her animal friends behind. But now she is here and has fallen in love with Pedro, Evan, Domino and all the others at Kindred Spirits Care Farm. Welcome Jerneja!
Dani Janzen, a PhD in biochemistry, grew up gardening in Wisconsin. While volunteering at Kindred Spirits Care farm, she found she also loves irascible ducks, goats who are too smart for their own good, and all manner of animals. Dani is a wonder in the garden and on most Saturdays, that is where you can find her, helping spread gardening joy with all the volunteers. We welcome her brilliant mind and good nature to the team. We look forward to her help growing Kindred Spirits Care Farm and sharing the happiness she has found here with others.
Kenn Phillips, President & CEO, The Valley Economic Alliance
Kenn Phillips is the President and CEO of The Valley Economic Alliance, (TVEA) serving the San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles County and its 5-city partners (Burbank, Calabasas, Glendale, Los Angeles and San Fernando) for the past 15 years. He has assisted more than 2,500 San Fernando Valley businesses in economic development including tax incentives in employee recruitment, training, and City and County tax credits. Kenn also serves as a Board member for the City of Los Angeles Workforce Investment Board, Sherman Oaks and Encino Hospitals, United Chamber of Commerce, CSU, Northridge Ernie Schaeffer Center for Innovation Entrepreneurship and Regional Higher Learning Consortium.
Allan Kornberg, M.D.
Dr. Kornberg is Board Certified by the American Board of Pediatrics. He earned his undergraduate degree from MIT and his Doctorate of Medicine at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, NY. He then completed his Pediatric Residency, as Chief Resident, at Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo in Buffalo, New York. He later received his Masters of Business Administration at University of Rochester’s Simon Graduate School of Business Administration Executive Development Program in Rochester, New York.
Kathy O'Byrne, Ph.D.
KATHY O'BYRNE, CENTER DIRECTOR, has been actively involved with non-profit community organizations since 1973. A psychologist by training, she earned tenure at Cal State Fullerton before coming to UCLA in 2001. Dr. O’Byrne graduated from Vassar College, earned a Masters degree at Arizona State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California. In 2004, she received the California Campus Compact Richard E. Cone Award for Excellence and Leadership in Cultivating Community Partnerships in Higher Education. Dr. O’Byrne has also published numerous journal articles and book chapters on service learning and civic engagement in higher education.
Stephanie Darling received her B.S. in Biochemistry and her M.S. in geology with an emphasis on environmental hydrogeology. She has been teaching and mentoring at-risk youth for almost 20 years. In 2012 she began her work at John R. Wooden High School, a continuation school working with at-risk youth in Los Angeles. She is vegan and has a passion for animals and showing kids how to live healthier lives.