Board of Directors

Board members serve a three-year term. Each is eligible to serve two consecutive terms, and then a one- year hiatus is required before each can be eligible to run again for a term. Directors serve without compensation.

David Zeemont

President (2nd Term expires 2018)

Retired insurance company owner from New Jersey. Has served on five non-profit boards over the years. Currently volunteers for Safe Haven and also for the VA as a van driver. Has a lifelong love of animals and has rescued many over the years.

Sharon Hartford

Vice President (1st Term expires 2018)

Associate Real Estate Broker and Accountant in Las Cruces. Property Manager for 30 properties and active real estate broker for residential property. Owner of Hartford Enterprises, overseeing condominium management, accounting, consulting and office management. Has worked as an in-house accountant for many businesses in the Las Cruces and El Paso area. Graduate of Oakland, California Community College with an associate degree in Business Administration/Accounting. Member American Society of Women Accountants. Provides foster care to the animals of Safe Haven and has adopted two dogs from our sanctuary.

Michelle Shawala

Secretary (1st Term expires 2020)

From Chicago and retired to Las Cruces 5 years ago after working 23 years at a school district. She has had all types of animals through the years. Michelle has owned and trained large breed dogs for the past 40 years. She has fostered and trained several dogs for Safe Haven in the past as a volunteer and looks forward doing more fostering for Safe Haven. She believes that there are no bad dogs, just bad training.

Beth Royalty

Treasurer (1st Term expires 2019)

Small business owner and animal-lover. Worked over 30 years in the Accounting field, holds Bachelor of Science degrees in Accounting & Finance from Miami University in Ohio, and a MBA from University of San Diego. Before settling down in Las Cruces, spent 8 years full-time RVing with her husband, traveling throughout the USA. Been volunteering at the Thrift Store since 2014, and known there as one of the “Book Ladies.”

Robin Hutchins

Director (1st Term expires 2018)

Retired art gallery owner of 25 years in Maplewood, New Jersey. Worked at AT&T for eleven years as manager in Human Resources and Marketing. Served on the fundraising committee for the Jersey Animal Coalition where she helped raise enough money to build a state-of-the-art no kill shelter. Fostered many animals as a result of that affiliation. B.A. in Fine Arts and a Master’s in Behavioral Science.

Kathy Scholljegerdes

Director (1st Term expires 2019)

Holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Park and Recreation Administration from University of Minnesota. Worked at a law firm for 31 years before retiring. Was a member of City Park Board and Animal Control Board. Currently is a volunteer with SHAS. Has two rescue dogs, a cat and a turtle. EVERY ANIMAL MATTERS.

Natalie Bitting

Director (1st Term expires 2019)

Marketing Associate for a local business is Las Cruces. Graduated from UNM with a bachelors in University Studies with focuses in History, English, Communication, and Family Studies. Moved to Las Cruces after graduation to help with college outreach at NMSU and continues to be involved in working with millennials. Has a strong background in Media, IT, and Graphic Design. She also shares her home with her dog Jaz, who always makes sure to help with the laundry and her human’s exercise regimen (usually by “borrowing” a sock.)

Candis Stern

Director (1st Term expires 2020)

Retired part time to Las Cruces in 2009 and full time in 2013. Work experience was in development for Planned Parenthood and the University of Michigan, and as editor of a University of Michigan alumni publication. Served in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on the boards of the Humane Society of Huron Valley, Soundings (women’s organization), the Washtenaw Community College Foundation (Ann Arbor, MI) and on committees for the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation. At present is the guardian of one canine (Sollie), and three felines: Zorra, Navarre, and ScoBlo.

Lynn Ellins

Director (1st Term expires 2020)

Former Dona Aña County Clerk and now Chief Deputy County Clerk, Lynn is serving his third three year term as a Safe Haven Director. Raised in New York City, where he received his Bachelor and Law Degrees from Columbia University. He retired from the JCPenney Company Legal Department after 22 years of service, and after living in Colorado for 30 years he moved to Las Cruces in 2002. He is the proud owner of 3 miniature schnauzers.

Monica Arvin

Director (1st Term expires 2020)

Monica spent a large portion of her career as a Continuing Medical Education Coordinator for a Community Hospital in Monterey, CA. Where she also volunteered in the hospital’s pet therapy program along with her dog, Bee. Together they visited hospice patients in private homes and skilled nursing facilities providing comfort and emotional support. More recently, Monica has served as a volunteer dog walker with SHAS since 2016, inspired by the unique work done in a no-kill shelter as well as the organization’s communication on the reality of being a responsible pet owner. Her role within the organization expanded when she was named the newest director of the Board in June 2017. Monica and her husband reside in Mesilla with their dog, Taz, a SHAS alumni.