Executive Board

Meet PACC911's Executive Board


Bari Mears

President and Founder

After 26 years in the broadcast industry, Bari followed her passion and went to the dogs (and all the animals). Envisioning a united pet rescue community where animal organizations could work together harmoniously with a spirit of cooperation, she created PACC911. This vision she knew would give a louder and more credible voice to the animals who could not speak for themselves. Starting with a few groups PACC911 slowly grew to be a major coalition in the valley and a role model for other cities to emulate. With 100 plus partnering groups, PACC911’s now well known Adoptathons have placed thousands of animals into new loving homes. The Emergency Medical Fund has saved countless lives, and in its inaugural year the new Lulu’s Angel Fund has taken twelve hard cases of cruelty and abandonment and brought these animals back to life and love. Mears has authored 7 books with all proceeds going to PACC911 for the animals (most are available in the PACC store online). Named as Hero of the Year by Friends of Maricopa County Animal Care and Control in 2006, and chosen by Arizona Foothills Magazine’s “Women Who Move the Valley” in 2012, Mears lives with her husband Jerry, their horses and 3 very old dogs.

Lou Murphy

Vice President of Partner Relations & Events

Lou is the president and founder of Arizona Poodle Rescue (APR) an active statewide rescue organization since 2003. Her love of the breed came from having three exceptional Standard Poodle boys loving referred to as the “Three Amigos” pictured in the PACC911 Simply Delicious Two cook book. Clancy, Isaac and Oscar have all since passed but they continue to be the inspiration behind Lou’s rescue work. The first several years Lou built up her volunteer base, developed relationships with shelters across the state and played the role of foster coordinator, intake manager, transporter and financier. Today APR is still an all-volunteer group, was incorporated and received 501c3 status in 2010 and has placed over 3500 dogs since inception. Lou shares her home with her loving and supportive husband Mike and five fur babies. Pictured here are her two rescue Standard Poodle girls Lacy Lu and Piper. She also has a silver Toy Poodle named Eli and a red Standard Poodle named Caasi and a “failed-foster” cockapoo named Jasper.  All are rescues.  Lou loves being part of the PACC911 team and has supported events in various capacities over the past years. A longtime advisory board member, she assumed the role of Event Manager in 2013.  In 2015, she added management responsibility for PACC911’s premier fundraiser Glimmer of Hope.  Lou is responsible for managing the 100 PACC911 Partners and is PACC911’s representative with the Maricopa County Alliance for Companion Animals and the Fix.Adopt.Save. initiative.

Penny McGinn


Penny McGinn has loved all animals all her life, and comes from a family in a small town, Bluffton, Ohio. “The more the merrier” was the families motto and dogs, cats, horses, chickens, guinea pigs, parrots, turtles, frogs, and fish were all a part of Penny’s happy life! All creatures big and small were loved and cherished. Penny smiles here with her current roomies, Gunner and Ramsay, both rescued from abusive situations and all enjoy the love and care they each deserve!

Advisory Board

Donna Barker

President & Founder of Chuck Waggin’ Pet Food Pantry

Donna has been with PACC911 since 2012 in the capacity of President/Founder of Chuck Waggin’ Pet Food Pantry, which is PACC’s Pet Food Division.  Donna is retired after 30 years in the mortgage lending industry.  She initially became involved in the animal rescue world in 2000 through Blessing of the Animals/Pet Adopt-a-thon at the Franciscan Renewal Center.  From there she co founded Empty Bowl Pet Food Pantry and transitioned over to PACC after Bari Mears welcomed the opportunity to add a pet food bank to the many functions of the organization. Chuck Waggin’ provides free pet food, low cost spay and neuter services as well as medical help to the under privileged population of Maricopa County.  Donna’s humanitarian efforts makes it possible for families to keep their beloved pets in their home. She lives with her partner, Marilyn, and 4 rescue fur kids – Darby, Samantha, Chance and Tazz.

Cathy Davila

Cathy Davila brought her lifelong love for all animals with her from Southern California. With a +20-year career in the human healthcare field, she decided to also share her passion for the human animal bond, and founded the Phoenix Dog Magazine in 2016. Animal non-profits now have a show case to reach the pet-loving community, and the magazine inspires readers to see animals in a different light. She shares her home with Boxer-Rottie dog, Roxie, Quarter Horse Jackie and Burro Norman.

Nancy Drake

Always a proponent of the underdog, while living in Illinois, Nancy worked for a nationally recognized equine humane society. Also a state licensed investigator through the Illinois department of agriculture for several years, she had the rewarding experience of rescuing and rehabilitating many animals. Drawn to the mission of PACC911, Nancy brings her heart and insights to the advisory board.

Cindy Gordon

Cindy devotes her spare time to animals in need. Other community service includes assisting with adoptions at the Foothills Animal Rescue and socializing animals at the Animals Benefit Club Sanctuary.

Debbie Grand

Executive Assistant

Debbie Grand comes to PACC911 with a diverse background from the financial security industry to work at Cablevision, Silverstone Luxury Senior Community and finally to the PV School District as the College and Career Coordinator. A native New Yorker, Debbie has enjoyed the warmer climates of the valley for the last 12 years and had been very aware of the workings of PACC911. Her love of her two cats, and the many ways PACC911 engaged in the community was the draw that inspired Debbie to join PACC911.  Her role as an Executive Assistant has grown to oversee such key programs as the PACC911 Critical Care Program and various other projects that Debbie has taken on allowing PACC911 to expand in reach into the community as well as in public awareness.  Debbie’s organizational skills are put to good use as our many programs continue to grow.  She is a perfect fit and a much needed addition to the PACC911 family.

Vikki Heddens

Vikki Heddens lives in Prescott, Arizona with her husband Mike and their tuxedo cat, Oreo. Oreo was adopted 17 years ago from the Yavapai Humane Society. Since childhood, Vikki has been an avid animal lover with pets that range from dogs, bunnies, rats, frogs, parrots, turtles, ducks, cats to lizards. She has worked in the telecommunications industry for over 20 years and holds a degree in Telecommunications Management and Broadband. In her spare time, Vikki has helped organize work volunteer events with various organizations in the community such as Stepping Stones and Habitat for Humanity.

Diane Kirkpatrick

Diane spent 25 years in the corporate world owning businesses in Illinois and Arizona.  She retired in 2016 and turned the businesses over to her children.  Diane has been rescuing animals on a small scale for as long as she can remember.  It was in the back of her mind that once she retired, she would pursue her passion on a larger scale and joining PACC911 helps her achieve that goal.  She currently serves on the Glimmer of Hope Fundraiser Committee. Diane and her husband Jim live with their three rescue dogs. All are different breeds, colors, and sizes, but they do have one thing in common.  They are all equally loved.

Cheri Moreno

Media Specialist 

Married with dog-children, Cheri has over 35 years in marketing, with an extensive background in media planning and buying. Having many long-term relationships in the industry opens up opportunities to support PACC911 events and fund raising efforts through low cost or no cost media exposure. Volunteering at the events provides a chance to see first-hand, and appreciate the 24/7 efforts of those involved in the animal rescue community. Involvement with PACC911 is an opportunity to give back to all the dogs I’ve loved and love all the dogs who have so much to give.

Eddie Nichols

Social Media Liaison 

Growing up in New York City, Eddie never had the privilege of owning a pet he could call his own. It wasn’t until adulthood that he experienced the joys that owning a pet could bring.  When he was working at a local animal shelter, he adopted “Elvis”, a stray Cattle Dog mix that was brought to his attention from a local animal clinic. That’s all it took for this late bloomer to start a new chapter in life of not just owning a pet, but understanding the homeless pet situation here in the Valley and wanting to make a difference.

Eddie’s background in non-profit management, specializing in health-related causes, led him to working at a local shelter managing volunteers, creating an adoption program, and naturally, placing homeless pets. Eddie was fortunate to learn many things from shelters and trainers and continues to support the placement of rescue pets through his involvement with PACC911 in addition to other local rescue groups he feels fortunate to volunteer with. The weather in Arizona is a dog lover’s dream with many places to hike, play, and swim.  When the opportunity arises, Eddie heads north to play in the snow. Elvis, along with Daisy, his Australian Shepherd mix (rescue from a local reservation) enjoy those precious times.

Laura Petersen

An active animal rescuer for over ten years, Laura’s passions include educating and advocating about the perils of breeder dogs in puppy mills and those involved in dog fighting. She is certified for Disaster Services (D.A.R.T.) for HSUS and Red Rover, a nonprofit organization that helps animals in need during times of chaos and disaster. Laura does PACC911’s tabling events introducing us to the community and volunteers at our adoptathons and fundraisers. She shares her home with husband Mike and their six rescue dogs, which includes two puppy mill survivors.  

Marcia Schafer

Cyber Manager

An active board member since 2005, over the years Schafer designed many of PACC911’s special program graphics to develop a branded image and spearheaded a website overhaul that marked a new phase of growth for the organization. She is now our managing web guru.

When she’s not working with PACC911, Marcia is an award-winning author and MBA business consultant mentoring humanitarian entrepreneurs around the world with an unusual approach. By blending her professional expertise and intuitive skills she helps people understand the hidden world around us, including what goes on within an animal’s consciousness. Her psychic animal communication ability has aided rescues in times of need and she has a striking record resolving difficult issues, helping challenged pets get adopted.

An animal advocacy division within her company Beyond Zebra® enlightens about pet awareness as she works to change society’s perception to bring about the international life rights and legal protection these beings deserve. Inventive and trendsetting, she is a devoted animal lover providing a home for rescued Persian cats. Her current companions are two catnip snorting girls named Sakkara and Truffles. Devoted to getting people to better understand the not-so-silent world animals live in, she brings all her creativity, passion and savvy to our advisory board.

Stephanie Stead

Volunteer Coordinator

An ardent animal lover, Stephanie brings all that devotion to our Advisory Board as Volunteer Coordinator, guiding our volunteers where they are needed to help us make each event a great success.

Dee Umpleby

Rescued Treasures Store Manager

Deanne was one of the original board members for PACC911 and is store manager for PACC911’s Rescued Treasures Charity Boutique. Dee’s creativity has been the perfect ingredient to make our boutique one of the best thrift stores in the valley. Her touch and sense of design make it a unique and fun place to stop and shop, all while supporting PACC911. Dee also creates decorative baskets for our many silent auctions affiliated with our fundraisers. A past member of Fast Dogs, Fast Friends, Dee was a foster for Many A Greyhound and now helps to foster Basset Hounds with AZ Basset Hound Rescue. She and her hubby Joe enjoy their 5 dog family.