Governing Body

Meet PACC911's Governing Body


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  PACC91. She knew this vision  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 140 plus partnering groups, PACC911’s now well-known adoptathons have placed thousands of animals into new loving homes. The Critical Care Program has saved countless lives, saving has the  hard cases of cruelty and abandonment and brought these animals back to life and love. Mears has authored seven books with all proceeds going to PACC911 for the animals

Named as Hero of the Year by the Arizona Pet Project (formerly 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.

Tina Lopez

Vice President

Tina has been involved in animal welfare as a volunteer for many of our local organizations since 2003. Alongside serving our PACC911 Advisory Board, She is also the Board Vice President for Chuck Waggin’ Pet Food Pantry, a division of PACC911. 

Tina has built a career as a nonprofit fundraiser and holds her Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) designation. She’s worked for the Arizona Humane Society, Arizona Animal Welfare League and was Executive Director of the Arizona Pet Project (formerly Friends of Animal Care & Control). A founding board member of Lost Our Home Pet Foundation, she has served as their Board Vice President. Tina was also a Chief Development Officer for Save the Family Foundation, an organization serving homeless, veteran and working poor families in Maricopa County. 

Extremely passionate about the cause of animal welfare and those without a voice, Tina typically fosters senior and special needs chihuahuas. Her home includes eight  chihuahuas, three cats and one boyfriend.

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!

Erin McClean Becker


A life-long lover of all animals, Erin has served as a Humane Policy Volunteer Leader for the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) since 2014. In addition to legislation advocacy, tabling, ballot initiatives and outreach, her volunteer activities include trips to Puerto Rico for HSUS’ Spay-a-thon, assistance with pack and companion animal veterinary care, rural area veterinary clinics and puppy mill/pet store protests.

A retired physical therapist, Erin has fostered dogs and cats since 2000. She gets deep satisfaction rehabilitating animals and dreams of finding a way to end animal suffering. Erin lives with her rescued Staffordshire Terrier (“Pit bull,”) Echo and her two human children.

pacc911 board secretary Erin and her dog

 Meet Our Animal Champions Council

Helping Operations From Behind the Scenes

Robin Smith

Event Coordinator, Partner Management Team Leader, Mercy Care Program Administrator

Robin became involved with animal rescue way back in 2006 when she found a stray dog on her lunch hour.  After taking him to the local animal control shelter she cried for days, then went back to bring him home so she could find him his forever family. Searching for a proper home opened her eyes to the world of rescue and all the sad, displaced animals needing help. He was adopted by a nice couple, which spurred Robin to get involved helping the dog breed closest to her heart, the Brittany Spaniel.

She became a volunteer state coordinator for a national rescue organization and attended our PACC911 adoptathons to find families for her homeless pets. Robin and husband Mark created Brittany Rescue AZ in 2012, which they operate today. Robin has a Bachelor’s Degree in Accountancy and finds this far more rewarding than when she worked in the corporate world of finance.

pacc911 stand in

Marcia Schafer

Branding and 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 our managing web and marketing 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.

Debbie Grand

Critical Care Program Administrator

A native New Yorker, Debbie Grand comes to  PACC911with 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.

Her love for her two cats and the many ways PACC911 engaged in the community was the draw that inspired Debbie to join us. Her role as an Executive Assistant has grown to oversee such key programs as our Critical Care Program and other projects, allowing PACC911 to expand our public awareness and reach into the community.  Debbie’s organizational skills are greatly valued within our PACC911 family.

Dee Umpleby

Rescued Treasures Store Manager

Deanne was one of the original board members for PACC911 and is store manager for our 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.

Valerie Schulte

 Chuck Waggin Pet Food Pantry Administrator

Valerie “Val” Schulte administers the daily needs of PACC911’s pet food operation, after the passing of legacy founder Donna Barker. Chuck Waggin provides free pet food, low cost spay and neuter services, as well as medical help to the underprivileged population of Maricopa County, making it possible for families to keep their beloved pets in their home.

Originally from Iowa, Val grew up on a farm where her love for all animals began. After retiring from the US Postal Service , she volunteered for Lost Our Home Pet Foundation and other pet rescues before finding Chuck Waggin Pet Food Pantry.  She brings her expertise of organization and streamlining operations, along with her desire for fundraising, to better assist with the medical needs of the animals Chuck Waggin serves.  She shares her home with two beautiful fur kids Tiggy and Pawz. 

Val Schulte with pets, PACC911's Chuck Waggin

below list MISSING Robbie Mccoy, Sara Rowley

Kim Sasso

Critical Care Program Assistant, Program Management Team

Kim has been involved with helping homeless pets for as long as she can remember. Over the years she’s volunteered at Southwest Wildlife, the Phoenix Rescue Mission and other local rescues. Kim also serves on the board of the FETCH Foundation, where she assists with Fido bags and other needs. During Houston’s deadly Hurricane Harvey, Kim traveled there to aid and bring comfort to the overwhelming number of tragically displaced dogs. A Homesmart Realtor, she donates a portion of her commissions back to the community. Kim shares her life with her husband of 36 years, two children and one very happy Labrador Retriever.

labrador retriever wearing bandana with woman

Meagan Gipson

Onsite Adoptathon Volunteer Coordinator 

A fifth-generation Arizonan, Meagan grew up loving her Cocker Spaniel, Bo, and dozens of pet fish. In 2006, she adopted her boy, Scruffy, from Maricopa County Animal Care and Control. Their bond placed her on a long path of rescue awareness, desiring to make a difference in the lives of the many voiceless pets in need.

Meagan is a former foster care social worker, retired singer-songwriter, and graphic designer. She once owned a multimedia business and co-authored a children’s book based on Scruffy. Her love for animals inspired her to create live TV segments covering vegan recipes, pet ownership and animal rescue, where she highlighted adoptable pets. Meagan serves as PACC911’s on-site adoptathon volunteer coordinator and is a member of the partner management team. Her commitment to making a difference in the world of animal rescue continues to drive her efforts and contribute to the well-being of countless pets.

Diane Kirkpatrick

Glimmer Committee

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.

Mary & John Garbaciak

Glimmer Committee

We get double the talent with this dynamic couple. Mary, a former dental hygienist and John, a semi-retired physician, have brought their help to many charity boards and organizations, both here and across the country. Appreciative of all creatures great and small, they bring all their gala fundraising expertise to us.

Cathy Davila

Partner Management Team

Cathy Davila brought her lifelong love for all animals with her from Southern California. With over twenty years in a 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 showcase 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.

Stephanie Stead

Glimmer Committee

Our prior volunteer coordinator, Stephanie brings all her devotion behind the scenes as a modern day gal Friday, always ready to lend a helping hand.

Maria Brunner

Marketing and Publicity

Maria Brunner, President and Founder of Insight Management, has spent over 40 years in the entertainment industry. Her company provides strategic marketing, tour promotion and artist management services to legendary celebrities the likes of Eric Clapton, The Moody Blues, George Thorogood, Chick Corea, Pat Metheny, Clint Black, Donna Summer… the impressive list goes on.

Maria helped found the entertainment business program at the University of Montana and previously held an advisory role at California State University’s Entertainment Business Program, where she was a past visiting instructor. She’s served on numerous charitable boards that provide aid to both people and animals; her commitment to improving the lives of others extends to helping homeless pets in need of rescue. With many years of expertise in the entertainment industry, she brings us precious invaluable counsel.

Cheri Moreno

Media Buyer

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 fundraising 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.

Bette Read

Offsite Adoptathon Volunteer Coordinator

Bette has been an animal lover all her life. As a youngster she brought home abandoned baby squirrels, bunnies, and mice, as well as the more typical lost pets. Since retiring from a graphic design background she’s volunteered with Ruby Ranch Pet Rescue and Sanctuary and a nationwide pet transport organization.

Bette and her hubby Jim share their home with three dogs: twelve year old blind Maltese mix Ms. Charlee, (affectionately referred to as Charlee with two e’s and no eyes.); ten year old toy poodle diva Nikki Rose, who was a street dog from animal care and control, and Mr. Oliver Stubbs, a dachshund rescued from a small town in Colorado. They have been known to foster and pets-sit additional pups in the fifth wheel camper where they live.

PACC911 Bette Read, Advisory Board

Nancy Drake

Glimmer Committee

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.

Robby McCoy



Sara Rowley