HUMANE ACTION Pittsburgh would be nothing without our amazing members.
As a thank you, we highlight a member once a month to celebrate their work for animals and give them a spotlight to speak out about the causes that matter most to them.
May 2021: Sam Ahwesh
Sam is our Treasurer, Board Member and husband of Executive Director Natalie. He is an attorney with a background in property use, evaluation and negotiation. He has a bachelor’s and JD from the University of Pittsburgh and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University. Sam and Natalie live with their dog (Grover), cats (Blanche and Sid) as well as foster cats. Sam provides strategic direction, financial controls, and ordinance editing for HAP. Thank you for all you do, Sam!
April 2021: Akanksha Satyarthy
Akanksha is a digital marketing strategist with over 9 years of experience in social media, advertising, graphic, and website designing, we are excited Akanksha has joined our team as our Social Media Manager. She loves creating content for HAP and No Plastic Please social media networks. It gives her the power to reach out to more people and spread the message. We are so thankful for her contributions thus far!
March 2021: Ashton Caldwell
Ashton Caldwell has recently joined our Social Media Team as our Assistant Social Media Manager. Ashton is a recent Penn State Communications graduate. He has a deep passion for communicating with people, social media, and making a difference in people and animals lives. He loves the Pittsburgh community, it’s people, and is proud to be a part of a team that is making a difference. Thank you for all of your work, Ashton!
December 2020: Janice Bahary
As our Director of Grant Writing, Janice Bahary leads our fundraising team in raising funds to support HAP’s initiatives. She is a nonprofit management professional with a background in fundraising, grant writing, policy, and advocacy. She has a bachelor’s from Binghamton University in New York and a Master of Public Policy and Management from the University of Pittsburgh. Janice and her family foster dogs from local animal shelters to help them rehabilitate and become adoptable. We are so thankful for all of Janice’s hard work with HAP, and we feel very lucky to have her as part of the team!
November 2020: Hankrietta the chicken
Hankrietta the chicken joined HAP as an Animal Ambassador and Assistant Marketing Director (since she lives with Shannon, our Director of Marketing) in July of this year. She’s very passionate about farmed animal rights, particularly poultry species. With Thanksgiving coming up, Hankrietta reminds you that turkeys are a cousin of hers and she would prefer you leave them off your plate. When Hankrietta isn’t busy repping regal fowl, she’s starring in tiktok videos to show a broader audience just how sweet and personable chickens can be. In her free time, Hankrietta enjoys honking gently as a request for treats, getting physical therapy on her injured leg, and snuggling with her 7 silkie companions. You can check out the girls on their mom’s social media @crazysilkielady and support all of these precious, sentient beings by choosing plant based foods.
October 2020: Emma Powis
Emma Powis is fresh to the HAP team and assists leadership with research, communication, and education as our new Administrative Assistant. She turned vegetarian at age 11 and then vegan at 19 due to her love and compassion for animals. She is originally from England and currently living in Melbourne, where she regularly fosters cats from local animal shelters. Her hobbies include roller skating and learning Spanish. Thank you so much for all of your good work, Emma!
September 2020: Jason Hinkledire
Born and raised in Claysburg, PA, Jason Hinkledire has loved popular music since he was a kid. After DJing in high school and throughout his 20s, Jason entered the world of trivia hosting in 2010, and in 2014, he broke the Guiness World Record for Longest Marathon as a Quiz Master with 33 hours and 8 minutes of nonstop trivia action! Because of COVID, Jason’s trivia business, Hinkledire Entertainment, has taken a real hit, but he still does private parties both online and in person. For inquiries, he asks that you contact him directly at [email protected] He lives in Virginia with his wife, Janice, and four “very fun, very beautiful, and very funny” dachshunds. Jason has dabbled in internet radio a few times in the past decade, and we are so thankful he has agreed to help us get Humane Action Radio off the ground! Jason plans to host a trivia podcast on the station, and he will add quite a lot of trivia throughout the regularly scheduled radio experience, as well. Thank you, Jason! We cannot wait to see what you do with Humane Action Radio!
August 2020: Bob McGrogan
Bob McGrogan joined HAP as part of the “no plastic please” campaign in March of 2020 just as the pandemic was becoming a reality. In Bob’s words, NPP’s challenge has become how to reimagine take out during and after the COVID crisis. Bob brings years of experience in food service and non-profit fundraising to the group. He is thrilled to be part of such an important organization. Thank you for all of your important work, Bob!
July 2020: Walter Orange
Walter Orange is a retired professor of mathematics and statistics who taught at Pitt-Greensburg for 25 years. He lives in Shadyside with his wife Anna and their schnoodle Sasha. He has been a vegetarian (then vegan) and an animal advocate for many years. He has been a proud member of HAP for several years. Thank you for all you do, Walter!
June 2020: Rachel Sekine-Tenny
Rachel Sekine-Tenny is our Director of Communications and has been an active HAP member since July 2016. She is a passionate animal advocate who has been vegetarian (now vegan) for almost twenty years. An attorney with a Certificate in Animal Law, Rachel lives in Point Breeze with her husband, son, and two cats.
May 2020: Carolyn Fletcher
Carolyn Fletcher joined our “no plastic please” campaign with a true passion for the restaurant industry. She is helping our campaign tremendously by finding new ways to help restaurants reduce single-use plastics for both delivery and takeout while also helping consumers learn more about recycling and ways to reduce non-compostables. We are so grateful for Carolyn’s work with HAP!
April 2020: Aimee Douglass
Aimee Douglass has been a member of HAP for over two years, starting as a member at large and becoming more and more involved in activities. She is passionate about doing all she can to help end suffering for animals and believes that all actions, no matter how small, can only lead to a more compassionate world. Aimee is involved in our Compassionate Living campaign and currently writes the HAP blog. She lives in Penn Hills with her husband and three dogs. Thank you for all you do, Aimee!
May 2019: Kate Porigow
You may recognize Kate Porigow from speaking at our gala, or from our Compassionate Events campaign, but Kate has been involved in animal protection for quite some time! Kate has been vegan for over seven years and is the Senior Director of Programs at NutritionFacts.org. Her past volunteer work includes work with Vegan Pittsburgh, Animal Rescue League, Hope Haven Farm Sanctuary, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and RIF Pittsburgh. She lives in Penn Hills with her husband and three rescued furry family members. Thanks for your work on behalf of ALL animals, Kate!
March 2019: Sean Moundas
Sean Moundas grew up on the beautiful island of New York City, enjoys helping people and animals, and eats plant based. Not only a HAP member, Sean is the Director of our Compassionate Events campaign, and a member of the “no plastic please” team! Thanks for all you do Sean!
January 2019: Christin Bummer
Christin Bummer has been a HAP member since 2015! Though she worked in the pet care industry for 23 years, she went vegan in 2011 when she finally made the connection between her passion for animals and her food choices. She became involved in humane legislation in 2012 volunteering for HumanePA and HSUS. Christin is HAP’s Director of Compassionate Living, which involves steering people away from consuming animal products and moving toward a plant-centric diet. She is currently working on a HAP project that will help up to 10,000 Pittsburghers go vegan! (More on that to come!) Christin published a quick-start guide to going plant-based in 2018 and in her spare time she offers plant-based education and coaching via her blog: www.TheNourishingLife.net.
October 2018: Emily Skopov
Emily Skopov is the only HAP member to run for office and is currently running to represent the 28th legislative district of PA. Emily grew up in a working-class community where her mother was a public-school teacher and her father a small business owner. It was a tight-knit, family-focused community where Emily learned to think on her feet and look out for her friends and neighbors. She received her bachelor’s degree from Columbia University and her master’s degree from UCLA. In 2011, Emily founded her non-profit, No Crayon Left Behind, to collect crayons from partner organizations. They work with the disabled, elderly, veterans, folks with special needs, social workers, and law enforcement. In less than 10 years, they’ve gifted of one and a half million crayons and other supplies to schools and organizations in the Pittsburgh area and around the world! Emily and her husband raise their children, both human and animal, in Marshall Township. They live with six rescue animals, including three cats, two dogs, and a snake! Emily has been rescuing dogs her whole life, even driving overnight to New York to pick up a dog from a shelter who was set to be euthanized the next morning. Emily has also helped HAP with some of our projects, including helping to educate local law enforcement about Libre’s Law. Emily is thrilled to be our Member of the Month and looks forward to continued collaboration. Please visit Emily’s campaign site to learn more about her stances on issues and her campaign for State Representative.
September 2018: Katie Thorne
Katie Thorne is a dental hygienist who has been involved with animal legislation for four years. She chose to become more involved in advocacy after the passing of her dog, Mr. Bojangles, a puppy mill rescue. Katie is an HSUS District Leader and was a huge help in planning HAP’s recent Vegan Tailgate with the Riverhounds. Katie also hosted HAP’s gala in 2017. Katie enjoys spending time with her boyfriend, Nick, and his cat, Jack.
August 2018: Kayla Seifert
Kayla Seifert has been a member of HAP since January 2018. Already during her time at HAP, she has been soaking up information on getting legislation passed for animals and has been an integral part of the newly-formed Compassionate Events team, even taking the lead on creating a vegan resource guide for organizations to reference! Kayla has a rescue beagle named Stanley adopted from Forever Home Beagle Rescue, where she is an active volunteer assisting with transports, adoptions, special events, and fostering! A Pittsburgh native, Kayla works in the nonprofit sector during the day and loves everything to do with the outdoors and Harry Potter!
July 2018: Zach Sekine-Tenny
Zach Sekine-Tenny has been an active HAP member since July 2016. During his time at HAP, he has volunteered with tabling and assisting with many campaigns, including enforcing Pittsburgh’s puppy mill advertising law, creating an animal resource sheet for judges and police officers, and working with HAP’s “no plastic please” campaign. A passionate vegan and animal lover, Zach loves traveling, cooking, and spending time with his wife and two cats. Originally from the south suburbs of Chicago, Zach is a math teacher and Indiana University grad.
June 2018: Susan Smith
Susan Smith has been passionate about animals and the environment from age 6, when her grandfather started taking her to clean up the beach and watch birds. At the same time, her father took the family to photo galleries on the Cape and along with him while he took photos of the nature-human relationship. In high school, she became passionate about banning fur and started following animal rights groups. Susan has a Masters in Socio-Cultural Anthropology, but her work life has focused on non-profits. She has worked as a veterinary assistant, rescued many animals and currently lives with four special adopted alley cats. Susan’s words to live by: “See something, Say something. You can always do something to help some other being!” Susan will be directing a new Humane Action campaign that will be sure to help thousands of animals!
May 2018: David Pinski
David Pinski has been involved in HAP since September 2016, helping advocate for a state bill protecting circus animals and becoming a leader with our Compassionate Living team! A Master’s student at Carnegie Mellon University, he studies public policy and data analytics. David is originally from Florida – he studied economics and applied math at New College of Florida, graduating in 2017. He has been actively helping animals since 2014, completing internships at organizations like Mercy for Animals and the Humane Society of the United States. In his free time, David enjoys playing and watching soccer, reading, and exploring new places with friends.
April 2018: Norma Clouse
Norma Clouse is one of the greeters at the HAP meetings and always has a smile on her face when she gives members their paperwork upon arrival. In addition to her greeting duties, Norma has visited 9 Allegheny County police stations to educate our local departments on PA’s new animal cruelty code! Norma is retired and lives with her husband Keith and four cats in O’Hara Township. She has volunteered with FosterCat for the past eight years and with Homeless Cat Management Team. To raise money for animal rescue, Norma makes cat beds and catnip toys to donate to local rescue organizations for their rescued cats. She also makes jewelry, crocheted scarves and wall quilts to donate for animal fundraisers. You can currently buy her items for cats at the Beaver County Humane Society Gift Shop, where 100% of the sale goes to BCHS. Norma’s support of animal rescue is driven by her saying that she never saw a cat she didn’t love at first sight!