Natalie Ahwesh, M. Ed.
Executive Director, Founding Member
Shannon Dickerson, MA
Director of Operations
Shannon started with HAP in 2018 and moved from enthusiastic tabler, to Director of Marketing, to Vice President , and now is the organization’s first full-time paid employee in her Director of Operations role. Shannon is extremely proud of not only the work HAP does, but the way they get it done. She believes in resolving conflicts and coming together to solve animal and environmental issues humanely. She also founded Pittsburgh Ploggers in 2018 and is proud to now have the fitness/litter clean-up program under the HAP umbrella. Shannon is a Pitt alum and holds a Master’s Degree from the University of Colorado in communication and rhetoric. She has worked as a marketing strategist for the past 13 years and is an adjunct instructor at Chatham University. She lives in Pittsburgh with her husband, Ryan, two cats, and seven fluffy chickens.
Director of Development
Kayla oversees all fundraising activities for Humane Action Pittsburgh. She has been passionate about being kind to animals since childhood and is proud to have adopted a fully vegan lifestyle thanks to everything she’s learned from HAP. Kayla holds dual bachelor’s degrees in Business Management and Hospitality & Tourism Management, as well as a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Robert Morris University. She’s been a fundraising professional since graduating, having worked for the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, and Animal Friends in previous roles. She’s also been a volunteer with Forever Home Beagle Rescue. Kayla lives in Westmoreland County with her partner, Oleg, and two rambunctious rescue cats, Fin and Ash.
Janice Bahary, MPPM
Director of Grant Writing
Janice works with our grant writing team, 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 NY 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.
Caitlin Alyse Baiduc, MS
Humane Action Pennsylvania, Eastern PA Coordinator
Caitlin joined HAP in 2023 as the Humane Action Pennsylvania, Eastern PA Coordinator. A lifelong animal lover, she has a small farm in Chester County, PA where she resides with her husband, three horses, two dogs, and six cats. Caitlin has a background in project management and clinical trial operations; she completed her BA in Anthropology and Microbiology from The Ohio State University and her MS in Genetics and Gene Regulation from the University of Pennsylvania. Since 2017, she has volunteered with the Communication Alliance to Network Thoroughbred Ex-Racehorses (CANTER, Delaware chapter), and her love of horses also led her to start a small MagnaWave business in 2022, with a focus on treating equines. She also currently works at the University of Delaware supporting the Northeast Innovation-Corps Hub.
Compassionate Living Strategist
Rene is passionate about education, health and wellness, and advocating for animals. She has been working in higher education since 2005 and is dedicated to promoting education and life-long learning. Rene has an EdD in Education and Leadership in Healthcare, MA in Curriculum and Instruction, MS in Health Education, and a BS in Health and Wellness. She has been involved with animal rescue for several years, volunteering at a local animal shelter and fostering dogs to provide them with a safe and loving home until they are adopted. Rene also enjoys gardening, which has created a strong commitment to supporting efforts to promote awareness about the benefits of growing and eating healthy foods, an appreciation of bees’ impact on the ecosystem, and utilizing this hobby to connect with nature and promote overall well-being.
Director of Reimagine Takeout
Sabrina is HAP’s Habitat Regeneration Educational Resource Designer. She is motivated by a vision of Pittsburghers and Pennsylvanians that see themselves as empowered, responsible, and caring stewards of their local environment and the world-at-large. She also operates Recycle This Pittsburgh as a resource for city residents to find out more about the practical realities of recycling specific items in the Pittsburgh area. Sabrina is a professional game designer and runs her own boutique game design and consulting studio, Ludoliminal. She lives in Highland Park.
Bec Deutsch, MS
Bec is a healthy lifestyle advocate with a BS in K-12 Health and Physical Education and a MS in Exercise Science and Health Promotion. She’s a fitness fanatic and especially loves cycling, lifting, and hiking. Bec also enjoys traveling, writing, public speaking, and is passionate about empowering others to be their best self. She lives in Shaler with three dogs, Lewie, Sneaker, and Raleigh, and they all enjoy eating healthy vegan food.
Aimee Douglass, MA
Director of Compassionate Events
Aimee authors the HAP blog and has been a volunteer with HAP since 2018. She is an active participant in the Compassionate Living campaign and in 2019 tabled at her first event for HAP. Aimee works in the healthcare industry and has a bachelors degree in Creative Writing from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown and a masters degree in Communications with a health care focus from Southern New Hampshire University. She lives in Penn Hills with her husband and their three dogs.
Dominique Green, MS
Dominique is happy to manage the HAP website while working as an Associate Research Analyst in research marketing. She has received her Master’s in Human-Computer Interaction at DePaul University. She has received her bachelor’s in Psychology and Cognitive Science from Marquette University.
Jessica Hadley, MBA
Director of No Plastic Please
Jessica has always had a passion for the environment and has been involved with environmental stewardship for many years. She joined HAP in March, 2022 and will oversee the strategy and implementation of the Habitat Regeneration campaigns. She has an undergraduate in Human Resource Management and a Masters of Business Administration from Clarion University. She is a Senior Human Resources Professional and is employed with a national company as the Director of Human Resources. She lives in the North Hills of Pittsburgh and enjoys spending time with her family and pets.
Humane Action Pittsburgh Podcast Host
Born and raised in Claysburg, PA, Jason 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! Jason has dabbled in internet radio a few times in the past decade and is now hosting the Humane Action Pittsburgh Podcast. He lives in Virginia with his wife, Janice, and four very fun, very beautiful, and very funny dachshunds.
Jessica is a student at Penn State specializing in Macroeconomics. She is bilingual in English and Chinese and also identifies French, German, and Japanese. She loves animals and technology and has had pets such as rabbits. She looks forward to reducing animal suffering by using her research skills.
Morgan has her BA in English and writing from Westminster College and MA in Professional Writing and Web Content Development from Chatham University. She enjoys reading historical fiction, watching Studio Ghibli movies, and being outdoors. She’s looking to make a difference in animal and environmental welfare. She often browses animal rescue sites, wishing to adopt them all.
Morgan redesigned web pages for HAP during her graduate program at Chatham and enjoyed the experience so much that she joined the team. She hopes to implement design strategies she learned in her coursework.
Hannah Lewis, MA, M.Ed.
Grant Writer and Blogger
Hannah has been working with HAP since July of 2020. By day, she works as a literacy educator. She is an avid hiker, but also loves to spend time indoors curled up with a book and her long-haired cat, Frejya.
Hanna is originally from Germany and came to the US in 2014 to pursue her degree in Graphic Design at Mercyhurst University. After graduating in 2017 she worked as a Graphic and Website Designer for USA as well as German based marketing agencies and deepened her understanding and passion for functional, aesthetic and user centric website design. After living and working in Germany she moved to Oklahoma in 2022 to be with her husband, whom she is soon moving back to Pittsburgh with. Hanna loves animals and is excited to be volunteering for HAP and advocating for all animals to preserve and protect their place in the world.
Compassionate Living Strategist
Ashley joined HAP in November 2022 as a strategic analyst volunteer for the Compassionate Living team. She works as a communications manager in the electric utility industry and is a certified holistic nutritionist. She’s also in the process of becoming a certified health and wellness coach. Ashley has a deep desire to support animal welfare, promote environmental stewardship and help people adopt a healthier diet centered around whole plant-based foods. In her free time, she enjoys being outdoors, cooking hearty vegan meals and catching up on an endless list of shows.
Kathleen graduated from Kent State University in 2018 with a BFA in Visual Communication Design. She uses design to tell stories, evoke feelings, and inspire action. She has been an animal lover since before she can remember and is excited to be a part of the animal and environment rights movement in Pittsburgh. Her dream is to one day foster animals and help them find their forever homes. She currently lives in McCandless with her partner and rescue ball python, Blake.
Abhi is a student at the University of Pittsburgh pursuing a degree in molecular biology. She currently works as a blogger for HAP and is part of the Action Team. She joined HAP due to her love of animals, which she cultivated after working at an animal shelter for the past five years. Abhi is excited to join the HAP team and help prevent animal abuse while empowering individuals to take care of their environment. In her free time, she enjoys watching movies and spending time with her friends.
Walter Orange, Ph.D.
Candidate Outreach Liaison
Walter is a retired mathematics professor, having taught for 25 years at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg. He holds B.S. and M.Ed. degrees in mathematics from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and an M.A. degree in Statistics and a Ph.D. in Mathematics Education from the University of Pittsburgh.
Currently, he teaches in the Pittsburgh area as an adjunct professor of mathematics. He has a longstanding interest in animal rights and animal welfare issues. Walter lives in the Shadyside section of Pittsburgh with his wife Anna and their schnoodle Sasha.
Paige Ottaviano, Intern
Paige joins HAP as an intern for the 2022-2023 school year from the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work. She believes that using social work values to educate individuals about the well-being of all creatures is a great way to spread awareness of HAP’s mission. Paige is excited to see where she can help implement these social work values through her time at HAP. In her spare time Paige enjoys running in Pittsburgh’s city parks and cooking seasonal meals.
Maddy Rice (they/them) is a designer and multidisciplinary artist with a professional background ranging from theater to Big Tech to bartending.
They can make a sweet Google Slides presentation.
Maddy graduated from Georgetown University in DC with a degree in Justice and Peace Studies and the puzzle of how to align an ideological worldview with the gritty reality of being an early career professional. Still working on it tbh, but working with Humane Action Pittsburgh is an excellent option if you’re thinking about volunteering 🙂
Jessica is a passionate graphic designer whose works have been seen by the Pittsburgh Steelers, Saint Vincent College campus, and surrounding community. A Western PA native, Jessica obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Digital Art and Media from Saint Vincent College. She currently works as an Administrative Coordinator for the University of Pittsburgh and has recently moved to the Southside Slopes. Jessica loves all animals, but has a sweet spot for her orange tabby cat, Whiskers and one-eyed tuxedo cat, Mitsie. She also enjoys taking in nature while camping and hiking with her partner, Calvin.
Elizabeth Ringler-Jayanthan, LCSW
Intern Field Instructor
Elizabeth is an LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) and trauma therapist and enjoys integrating nature into her work with clients. Elizabeth has volunteered with animal related causes for many years including previously volunteering with the South Florida SPCA Horse Rescue in Miami, Fl. Elizabeth believes deeply that caring for animals and the environment intersects with the well-being of people. As the social work intern field instructor, Elizabeth hopes to work with students to help to engender a positive connection between people, animals and the environment.
Natalia Rosario Zapata, M. Ed.
Assistant Communication Manager
Natalia joins HAP as Assistant Communications Manager. She has a B.S. in Business Administration and a M. Ed. in Innovative Instruction from Seton Hill University. She has been in the banking industry for over six years and most currently as a Mortgage Compliance Specialist for Dollar Bank. She joined HAP due to her great love and passion for animals and the environment. She lives in Lower Burrell with her partner, dog, and four cats. Natalia and her partner foster animals from local shelters to help them until they find their forever families. Natalia is excited to join the HAP team to use her skills to help educate and empower people to effect positive change in our environment and all animal beings.
Social Media Manager
Akanksha is a digital marketing strategist with over 9 years of experience in social media, advertising, graphic, and website designing. 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. Akanksha is a fitness enthusiast and lives in Pittsburgh.
Irina Zambrano, MA
Irina joins HAP as a Website Developer volunteer. She graduated from Chatham University in 2021 with a Masters of Arts in Interdisciplinary Design. Irina is originally from Ecuador and moved to Pittsburgh in 2013. She is a Web Developer/UX Designer and also has a certificate in Computer Information Systems. She cares deeply about animal welfare and is hoping to fight for them using her skills to innovate, redesign, and maintain the HAP websites.