Board of Directors

UAF owes an enormous debt of gratitude to its highly committed Board of Directors. These individuals, who give so generously of their time and money, also share their invaluable resources, skills and talents with UAF.

Joellyn Nusbaum, President

Joellyn has had a connection with animals her entire life and has always had multiple dogs in her home. Growing up in Phoenix, stray dogs were naturally drawn to her and she did everything she could to ensure their safety and well-being. Her dedication to animal rescue work has continued since those early days. After living in the Prescott area from the mid 90’s as a part-time resident and full time since 2002, she began volunteering with UAF in 2005. Working in all aspects of the organization, she has helped UAF grow into one of the largest rescues in Yavapai County while extending its lifesaving efforts into New Mexico. Joellyn served on the board as Treasurer from 2008 to 2011, Vice President from 2011 to 2017, President from 2017 to 2020, and is now serving again as President. She works hands on with all aspects of the organization, including evaluating intake animals, facilitating adoptions, organizing fundraising events, directing social media efforts, property development and mentoring volunteers and fosters. She and her very supportive husband, Roger, share their home with five dogs, all of whom are UAF rescues.
Woman Embracing Dogs

Jennifer Casey, Vice President

Jennifer discovered United Animal Friends in 2009 while she and her husband were searching for a rescue dog to adopt. Impressed by the positive difference foster parents make in the lives of adoptable dogs, she soon became a volunteer. The more she got to know about the organization and the many ways in which it helps animals and people, the more deeply involved she became, including adopting three more foster dogs. Jennifer served as Treasurer from 2011 to 2015, Director in 2016, Vice President in 2017 and Secretary in 2018. Upon reaching her term limit, she stepped down from the Board in 2019 and has now returned to serve as Vice President.
Woman with Mixed Breed Dogs Posing for Photo

Marjorie Geist, Secretary

Marjorie is a long-time stray dog rescuer and foster, adopting many of those who could not find homes. Since 2018, she has been fostering United Animal Friends dogs and volunteering at adoption events. Before her retirement, she worked as a registered nurse and in health care administration. She currently has a terrier mix who serves as a welcoming committee for her UAF fosters.
Couple Posing for Photo with Dog

Debbie Oberle, Treasurer

Debbie first started in rescue by fostering in Michigan in 1989. Since then she has been in many roles, including volunteer President of the Humane Society of Livingston County and the Director of the Livingston County Animal Control and Shelter, both in Michigan. After a corporate career in sales, marketing and management, she and her husband semi-retired and moved to Prescott in 2015. Their home had always been full of dogs and cats – foster pets awaiting adoption and, of course, those fosters that became permanent family members. They currently have one dog and two cats.
Woman Posing for Photo with Dog in Deep Snow

Judy Merante, Board Member

Judy was an executive in financial services for 35 years before retiring in 2016. She has lived in Prescott since 2012 and has since been involved with multiple rescue programs and facilities. Judy joined the United Animal Friends Board in 2019, bringing her knowledge and experience in planning, executing and monitoring goals. She currently serves on the Fundraising Committee and is active in fundraising activities.
Blonde Woman in her 60's Posing for Photo

Kitty Shankwitz, Board Member

Kitty was born and raised in Phoenix, growing up with animals. Her mother began cat rescue in the early 70’s, where Kitty saw firsthand the passion, heartbreak and joy in the rescue world. She began a career with the Arizona Department of Public Safety (Highway Patrol) when she was 17 and retired in 2016. Her husband retired from the same agency and they moved to Prescott. Wanting to help in the animal world, she began volunteering for NOAH Thrift Store, becoming a board member and president. Kitty joined the United Animal Friends Board of Directors in 2019. She is the proud mother of one son and grandmother of three granddaughters, who already have great love and compassion for animals.
Woman in Her 60's Smiling for Photo

Marsha Waterman, Board Member

Marsha retired from her position as a director in the clinical laboratory arm of an integrated hospital delivery system in 2014. She and her husband moved to Prescott at that time to be closer to their daughter, who lives in Phoenix, and also to escape a lifetime of the harsh winters of Montana and Maine. Marsha has been a volunteer with UAF since 2017, and is active in fundraising events and in the daily operations of Kitty City, where she adopted Bella, the Best Cat Ever.

Board Member Position Description

Board members have the following governance responsibilities:

  • Duty of Care – take reasonable care when making decisions
  • Duty of Loyalty – act in the best interest of the organization
  • Duty of Obedience – act in the accordance with the organization’s mission


1. Annually review the organization’s mission and vision.
2. Oversee and monitor operation of the organization.
3. Create, document, and review policies and procedures.
4. Ensure effective planning.
     a. Review results compared with the organization’s annual and long-range goals.
5. Ensure adequate financial resources.
     a. Approve an annual budget.
6. Protect assets and provide proper financial oversight.
7. Ensure legal and ethical integrity.
     a. Complete and abide by conflicts of interest and disclosure policies.
8. Support the organization in terms of time, talents and finances.
9. Build a competent board by:
     a. Actively participate in board meetings, committees, retreats/training, events and fundraisers.
     b. Establish annual goals and objectives for the board.
     c. Participate in the review of board performance and assist in determining steps to improve.
     d. Propose prospective directors to members so vacancies can be filled as needed.
     e. Provide candid and constructive criticism advice and comments.
10. Enhance the organization’s public standing.
11. Review and approve all major contracts and grant proposals.

 If you are interested in applying for a board position, please CONTACT US.

UAF Coordinators

Name Position Email Phone
Joellyn Nusbaum
Dog Coordinator
Kris Gruda
Cat Coordinator
Joellyn Nusbaum
Shelter Liaison
Kris Gruda
Transportation Coordinator
Eva Taber
New Volunteer Coordinator
Jann Kemp
Pet Food Bank Coordinator
Carla Mantick
Adoption Events Coordinator
Gabi Vaughn
Foster Coordinator - Dogs
Janet Sims
Courtesy Listing Coordinator - Dogs
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