If the cats could talk, they’d tell you it takes a group of dedicated, compassionate people to run a rescue organization. We’re very proud of our amazing group of staff and volunteers. From the folks on the front lines to our Board of Directors, here are the humans behind MEOW Foundation.
Director - Treasurer
David Quach is a Chartered Accountant and has volunteered with numerous organizations in Calgary and is looking forward to the challenges and fulfillment of volunteering with MEOW.
Supervising David at home are his three cats – Samurai, Ninja and Katana, along with their bodyguard Keeshond – Riot.
Director - Operations
Debbie Nelson is a founding member of MEOW Foundation and currently manages MEOW’s cat programs: Intake and Adoption, SNAP, and TNR. Her life is enriched by the feline companionship of Mort and Toe. Debbie spends her free time with her family and hiking on Alberta trails and beyond.
Dr. Terri Brannen
Veterinarian Dr. Terri Brannen is a former Iowa farm girl and continues to be one at heart. She obtained her Veterinary degree from Colorado State in 1986. Terri practiced in Homer, Alaska for three years and then moved to Calgary in 1989 to practice emergency and small animal medicine. She has been a valued MEOW team member since 2001, when she adopted her first two Canadian cats, Licorice and Blaze.
Emma is originally from the UK and relocated to Calgary in 2012. She works as a Senior Account Manager within the recruitment industry and also has a long background in Veterinary Nursing. Emma loves animals which stems from helping with her parents’ veterinary practice starting at an early age. She has two adorable rescue cats Boris and Merlin.
Indra Maharaj is a lawyer with over 25 years of broad-based legal, regulatory, management and leadership experience. She supports a variety of different community based charities, including the Duke of Edinburgh Award Program, Soup Sisters, and the Sunflower Spirit Project which creates hand-knitted hats and scarves for women’s shelters.
Indra, and her two elderly cats – Tazo Chai and Princess, are thrilled to be part of the MEOW Foundation Team.
“Time spent with cats is never wasted”. ~ Sigmund Freud
Adoption Specialist - Part-Time
Jodi grew up on a farm in rural Alberta, and despite having a lot of animals to choose from, was always drawn to trying to tame the barn cats. They started their position as an Adoption Specialist in 2020 and loves helping find all of the cats at MEOW their forever homes. Jodi spends most of their time (when they aren’t snuggling cats) learning new fibre art hobbies, and trying to prevent their cat, Korra, from snoozing on their latest project.
Full-time Intake Specialist (Level 2)
Lara Chisa is a lifelong animal lover and cat caretaker who moved to Calgary in 2004. She started at MEOW as a volunteer in 2017 before joining the Intake Department later that year. She has adopted five MEOW cats over the years and currently shares her home with two – Fern and The Dude.
Margaret Martini has been involved with MEOW as a foster home provider since 2002 and served as MEOW’s Information Administrator from 2007 until 2015. She currently provides administration of the Spay Neuter Assistance Program. Her first love is caring for bottle fed orphan rescue kittens with her supportive family of 6. Her 2 dogs and 3 cats also play an integral part in socializing the foster cats that pass through her home.
Meg joined MEOW in October 2019 as Volunteer Coordinator. She comes with 4 years experience in Volunteer Coordination. She currently has one dog Moki and no cats (don’t hold it against her). She has grown up around animals her whole life including cats, dogs, and fish.
Patty is a born and raised Calgarian. She works as a self-employed accountant, with a variety of clients including small businesses and non-profits. She serves and has served on several boards, including community and non-profit boards.
Patty has been a MEOW foster caregiver since 2018. She has also been a part of the sewing team, making masks for MEOW in recent months. She also keeps busy with her two kids, Emily (Grade 7 and name-giver to foster cats!) and Derek (Grade 6 and a bit of a cat-whisperer). They currently have two cats, Kole and Venom – both MEOW foster fails – and a beagle Rudy, who tries to befriend every foster kitty.
Patty is excited to join the MEOW board and brings with her a variety of expertise and experience, as well as a love of cats.
Communications and Social Media Specialist
Born and raised in Calgary, Rachel is a lifelong animal lover and passionate supporter of animal welfare. She began her career in corporate Calgary before transitioning to non-profit. Outside of work, you can find her running, reading, hiking or volunteering; she serves on the board of the Canadian Animal Task Force and the Weaselhead/Glenmore Park Preservation Society. She shares her life with two rescue dogs.
Sandra first came to MEOW as a volunteer at our Adoption Center in 2018 after retiring from a longstanding career in the insurance industry as an office manager and project coordinator. Prior to Insurance, Sandra held positions as a Customer Service Representative as well as retail and merchandising.
While volunteering at the Adoption Center, Sandra fell head over heels in love with Gomez. It was love at first sight between these two as Gomez was promptly whisked away to his fur-ever home. He now has a sister, Annie, who had been abandoned and found her way to Gomez’s house… the two are still working things out.
Shannon McDonald just graduated University of Calgary with a bachelor of science, major zoology. She loves all animals and is an advocate for wildlife conservation and animal welfare. She interned with a wildlife rehabilitation facility and is now very excited and honored to work as an Adoption Specialist for the MEOW Foundation. She is also the proud mother of a little black rambunctious kitty named Odin and two beta fish, Poseidon and Aurora.
Stephanie recently retired from Shell Canada with over 25 years’ experience providing leadership and mentorship for large project start-up and operations, governance, joint venture negotiations and relationships, risk management, business development, strategic planning, portfolio optimization and global/local organizational redesign and change management.
She joined the MEOW board in 2012 and has served as our secretary for two years. Stephanie has also given countless hours making crafts for sales events. She and her husband, Bob, add spice to their lives with their furry family member, Nutmeg – a MEOW rescue.
Val was born and raised in Calgary. After many years of working in the oil and gas sector Val is happy to be coming to MEOW Foundation where her skills can be utilized and her love of cats can be shared with her new furry friends. Val has always had a cat in the house up until a few months ago when Marcie passed away at the old age at 23. Now the struggle for Val is not to take all of our resident cats home; everyday it’s a new companion at the office. In her spare time, she likes to travel with her husband to amusement parks in Canada and the US to try out all of the new roller coasters, travelling to the East Coast, looks forward to Friday night date nights at the movie theatre, Stage West and Jubilations. There is also nothing like sitting around the camp fire and reading.