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Meet Our Team

 

Tracy Goldfine, Executive Director

Tracy grew up in the Mad River Valley town of Waitsfield, Vermont. After graduating from the University of Vermont with a degree in Business, she moved West where she worked in public relations and publishing in Utah and Wyoming. Upon returning to Vermont, Tracy worked as a freelance grant writer, helping local nonprofits strengthen their development efforts. She has served as executive director for Hope Grows Community Farm in Hyde Park and River Arts in Morrisville. She earned her Nonprofit Management Graduate Certificate from Marlboro College and pursued graduate work in grant writing. Tracy joined NCAL as executive director in July 2016.

Growing up with many animals including dogs, cats, horses, rabbits and birds, Tracy developed a passion for rescue at an early age. Her early efforts included rescuing barn kittens, mending injured birds and squirrels, and even once helping a raccoon. She began assisting the local veterinarian at the age of ten with farm calls and surgeries. Today at NCAL, she is committed to furthering the mission dedicated to promoting responsible and compassionate relationships between humans and animals.

She lives in Stowe with her husband and two children and in her “off time” enjoys playing guitar, mountain biking, skiing, and hiking with her dogs.

 

Jamie Dutil, Director of Operations & Medical Care

Jamie has been working with animals in a professional capacity for over a decade, ever since graduating from the University of Vermont with a degree in Animal Science in 2009. While working in a veterinary clinic, she realized her passion for helping to combat pet homelessness through the nonprofit sector, and went on to obtain a Master’s degree in Nonprofit Management from Walden University and a certification in humane education. She carries a wide diversity of experience in the animal welfare field, including private practice veterinary clinics, high-volume/high-quality spay/neuter clinics, other animal shelters and humane societies, and volunteering as a first responder and Board member for the Central Vermont Disaster Animal Response Team. She also spent two and a half years living in deep South Texas, fundraising and working to implement life-saving programs in a severely under-served city with an overwhelming pet overpopulation crisis.

 
Jamie lives in Woodbury with her husband on their small hobby farm of chickens and goats. Their family also includes four dogs, four cats, fish tanks, and a few reptiles (some of which were abandoned at shelters Jamie worked at!). Aside from advocating for animal rescue and always striving to learn about new advances in veterinary medicine and animal sheltering best practices, Jamie enjoys horseback riding, kayaking, gardening, snowshoeing, and hiking.
 

Lusana Masrur, Development & Communications Manager

Lusana’s earliest memories include farm animals, cats, dogs, rabbits and a crane, all of whom helped her become an animal lover. After college, she worked as the E-Coordinator for the SPCA of Erie County, in Buffalo, New York. She was also the Communications Coordinator for Obhoyaronno – Bangladesh Animal Welfare Foundation and continues to be invested in her home country’s animal welfare movement. In addition, she has worked in youth development in Buffalo, NY and brings that experience to NCAL’s Humane Education Program. Additionally, she has work experience in disaster management and climate change mitigation in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Work and education have also taken her to Malaysia, Singapore, the UAE, Tanzania, Sierra Leone and Thailand, but she now calls Vermont her home. Lusana’s love for animals inspires her to follow a plant-based lifestyle. She takes pride in contributing to NCAL’s mission with her non-profit background in animal welfare, communication, development and special education.

Emily Peterson, Customer Care & Adoptions Manager

Emily has had animals her whole life, from dogs and cats, to lizards, birds and fishes! She majored in Wellness and Alternative Medicine at the Northern Vermont University in Johnson. She has worked with an animal shelter in the past and wanted to continue in the field when she moved back to Vermont. Her favorite part about this job is playing matchmaker and helping people find their four-legged family members. Emily is also very interested in exploring how to apply her learning from wellness and alternative medicine to the world of animals.

 

Becky Wheeler-Percy, Equine Care & Facilities Manager

Becky grew up in Connecticut, but spent a lot of time at her family’s cabin in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. Beginning at a young age being inspired by avid equestrians in her family, riding is truly in Becky’s blood. Throughout high school she spent her days as a working student for a local A-level Pony Clubber, where she eventually assumed the role of assistant trainer. During this time, Becky had the privilege of spending weekends volunteering at the most prestigious 3-day events in New England. Following this period, Becky embraced a series of opportunities all over the US working for renowned trainers such as Mark Weissbecker and Frank Conway, spending time in Washington State, Kentucky, and Florida, among others. She moved back home to be with her family in Vermont in 2009, and has been living with her husband, stepdaughter and four boxers in Wolcott since 2011. The highlight of Becky’s equestrian accomplishments is Dior – her most prized accomplishment, whom she brought fresh off the track to a Novice Level event horse. Becky’s goal is to impart the knowledge she has gained from her experiences throughout the years with the younger generation. And her philosophy is that exceptional horsemanship is the root of building healthy bonds with horses, which reflects NCAL’s core mission of promoting compassionate relationships among all beings, and she looks forward to sharing this vision with the community we serve.

 

Nina Matt, Equine Programs & Communications Manager

Nina graduated from UVM in fall 2021 with a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science with Equine focus and a minor in English, after going to an agricultural high school where she got her vet tech certificate. She has been riding since she was four and got her first horse when she was 10. Nina spent her younger years as a “barn rat”, riding whoever she could in exchange for mucking stalls and helping out. Nina has had a focus in eventing in the equestrian field and was an avid Pony Clubber and got her C2 before deciding to focus on eventing. She spent a summer as a working student with Denny Emerson when she was 16 and also did a 6-month internship for international event riders, Kylie Lyman and Alexandra Knowles in Florida, Kentucky and Vermont. In addition, Nina has extensive experience in dog training and has even done some training for movies and commercials.

 

Rini Mayer, Administrative & Development Coordinator

Originally from Connecticut, Rini graduated from UVM with a degree in Recreation Management. While at UVM she fell in love with the Green Mountain State and decided to call it home. Rini’s love of winter led her to work for a ski resort for several years before entering into the world of finance. Rini has always had a great affinity for animals big and small and is excited to have the opportunity to help animals in need. Rini lives in Stowe with her husband, daughter and their dog Watson.

 

Jess McLeon, Animal Care & Adoptions Associate

Jess began working at NCAL in 2012. From a very young age, she has had a love for animals and has always hoped to find a career that would allow her to work with them. At NCAL, she enjoys and takes pride in caring for the dogs and cats and playing a part in their second chance at life. Jess also serves as NCAL’s staff photographer, capturing the beauty in every animal and helping market each one which improves their chances at finding forever homes.

 

Schae Wolff, Animal Care & Adoptions Associate

Schae has had a passion for animals her whole life. Working with cats and dogs in need is very important to her and gives purpose to her life. Her two spoiled cats, Sylvester and Wilbur, are both adoptees from NCAL and according to her, are the greatest of all cats! Schae also has an artistic side which she gets to apply to run her family business where she partners with her dad to create custom products.

 

Mindy Hinsdale, Riding Instructor

Mindy Hinsdale just joined the NCAL team and is excited to share her love of teaching with the community lesson program. Her teaching experience spans 35 years, from young riders and pony camps to riders competing at regional and national levels.  As a junior rider, Mindy trained under such greats as Gunnar Ostergaard, Denny Emerson and Fran and Joe Dotoli. Under this tutelage she rose to the National level competing in equitation finals, including Madison Square Garden. Mindy is a founding member of the Vermont Hunter Jumper Association where she served as President for many years. She has also served on the board of the New England Horsemen’s Council, USEF Zone 1 Committee, and the Vermont Farm Bureau. Mindy looks forward to seeing you at the barn and helping you reach your horsemanship goals!

 

Sadie Rock, Equine Care Associate

Sadie began her journey at NCAL starting as a volunteer at the Equine Center in July of 2021. She has always been drawn to horses and has always felt a deep connection with them since she was young. Sadie has been competing for the past 19 years, starting off at her local 4-H horsemanship club at the age of 6 and making her way up to NPHA , Marshall and Sterling competitions, as well as equitation, pleasures and hunter jumpers. She also has experience with western riding, trail, barrel racing and team penning. When not competing she enjoys hopping on a horse bareback and riding outside in nature. She has experience working with green horses, training and riding with cowboy Stuart Rybak, training green horses to be well rounded and confident. She worked as an assistant barn manager caring for 35 horses. She believes that any time spent in the saddle is time well spent.

Sadie is from Pennsylvania and moved to Vermont with her husband in January 2021. They spent many years traveling and fell in love with the Green Mountains. They have two cats, Kitty and Buddy, and their dog, Bear. When not at the barn she likes to spend time practicing yoga, reading, listening to music and making art. She is also an outdoor enthusiast and loves to go hiking, mountain biking, trail running, swimming, gardening or just spending time out in nature. She is also a certified Yoga Alliance instructor and loves to incorporate yoga into her everyday life and activities.

 

Sophia Kourkoulis, Animal Care Associate

Working with animals has always been a passion for Sophia… whether working with sheep, goats, horses, dogs or cats, she loves them all. She was surrounded by animals from a young age and has always enjoyed the process of taking care of them and training them. Sophia has experience working with many different kinds of livestock as well – sheep, goats, chickens, horses and rabbits. But after working consistently with dogs for a a few years now, she loves dogs most of all, especially her own beautiful German Shepherd Cyrus.

 

Marisa Collins, Animal Care Associate

Marisa is a passionate animal lover and has grown up around them her whole life. Ever since she was a little girl, she has always wanted to pursue a career in animal welfare. Also an artist, Marisa works with lots of different mediums when she is not caring for animals at NCAL. Her cat Lucy is a rescue, and one of her two family dogs, Mabel, was adopted from NCAL.

 

Kaitlyn Cole, Animal Care Associate

Kaitlyn was born and raised in Vermont and has grown up around animals her whole life: dogs, cats, horses, goats, and more! She knew from a very young age that she would do all that she could to help animals in her life and has always wanted to work in an animal shelter. Kaitlyn spends most of her free time reading and hanging out with her cat, Earl (who is literally the ‘purrfect‘ cat). Her favorite part about working at NCAL is seeing the animals get their second chances at finding forever homes. She loves how the whole NCAL team works together to make the shelter a welcoming place for the animals while they wait to be matched with loving families.