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The Shepherd Center Foundation team and therapy dog, smiling and wearing Pursuing Possible branded hard hats.

Our Team

The Shepherd Center Foundation is the major fundraising entity for Shepherd Center. Our tireless leaders make it their mission to support Shepherd Center’s life-renewing work.

Shepherd Center Foundation Team

Sarah Batts

Executive Director

Tracy Womack

Project Coordinator

Dr. David Apple

Medical Director Emeritus

Dr. Donald P. Leslie

Medical Director Emeritus

Julie Shepherd

Director of Founding Family Relations & Canine Therapy Program Lead

Lanza II

Facility Dog


Cara Roxland

Engagement Manager

Jennifer Heffron

Donor Engagement Coordinator

Donor Relations

Dean Melcher

Senior Director of Development Operations

Liza Vega-Smart

Associate Director of Sustained Giving

Lauren Tucker

Grateful Patient & Grants Senior Manager

Melissa Pierce

Prospect Development Manager

Allison Hunn

Prospect Research Developer

Jessica Ayres-Williams

Donor Services Manager

Matt Darian

Gift Processing Specialist

Erica Spurling

Special Event Associate

Shanna Thorpe

Cause & Community Engagement Manager

Lisa Ruger

Cause & Community Relations Associate

Derek II

Facility Dog

Kaitlyn Long

Annual Giving Officer

Mary Beth Hellmann

Annual Giving Officer, Grateful Patient

Global & Regional Initiatives

Penny Morrison-Ross

Director of Global Initiatives

Marie Landis

Global Senior Philanthropy Officer

Geneen Johnson

Global Philanthropy Associate


Jon Roxland

Senior Director of Philanthropy & Partnerships

Linda Levy

Senior Philanthropy Officer

Courtney Harris

Senior Philanthropy Officer

John Ross

Philanthropy Officer

Ali Prickett

Philanthropy Officer

Volunteer Services

Alex Seblatnigg, CAVS, CPXP

Director of Volunteer Services & Internal Engagement

Gale Eckstein

Family Support Services Coordinator

Stephany Sance

Volunteer Coordinator

Board of Trustees


Andrew Alias, Chair
Sherry Abney
Elizabeth Allen
Stephanie Anderson
David F. Apple, Jr., M.D.
Eric Bernath
Angela Blank
Eric Busko
John Carlos, Emeriti

Greg Dunavant
Kari Carlos Dunn

Millard Choate
Brad Courts
David Dabbiere
Paul Donahue

Meredith Forrester
Fred Henritze

Debbie Howard

Larry Kelly

Michael Keough

Candace Klein
Amy Kreisler

Donald P. Leslie, M.D.

Adam Malone
Billi Marcus, Emeriti

Elizabeth Morris

Shane O’Kelly

Kelly Regal

Kellie Schönberg
Sheryl Sellaway

John W. Stephenson, Jr.

Ron Stewart

Mark West

Buck Woodruff