Adopt

The Goathouse Refuge has many incredible cats in need of loving homes.

Volunteer

A strong, reliable volunteer force plays a crucial role in our rescue organization.

Donate

Tax deductible donations and gifts of goods to help run the refuge are always welcome.

Goathouse Refuge Board

Current Members


Susan Brinkley-Clayton 
A North Carolina native and graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, Susan has been volunteering at the Goathouse Refuge since 2008. Her lifelong love of animals, especially cats, and the uniqueness of this tranquil, no-kill rescue, made the Goathouse the perfect place to volunteer her time and give back. Susan helps coordinate home visits for applicants interested in adopting a Refuge cat, and really enjoys meeting families and sharing information on caring for their new family member. She also helps with fundraising events, social media posts, press-releases, meet & greet, and community marketing. Cats have always been a part of her life since she was young and currently Susan has 2 very special kitties of her own.

Randall Inman is currently employed with a bank consulting company in Raleigh, Randall’s background includes working for over 20 years for Wachovia Corporation, where he was involved in many of their largest acquisitions. Randal holds an M.B.A degree from Wake Forest University, a B.A. degree in Honors Economics from Kenyon College, and a B.A. degree in English from Queens University of Charlotte. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst, a member of the CFA Institute, and a member of the North Carolina CFA Society. Randal helps maintain the I-Contact e-mail system, provides monthly financial reporting, volunteers weekly for meet-and-greet, and volunteers for special events for the Goathouse Refuge. Randal also volunteers as an overnight hiking guide with a Boy Scout and Girl Scout Troop, as a tutor for eighth grade math, and as a tutor for SAT math. Married with one child, Randal didn’t consider his family to be complete until adopting a cat from The Goathouse Refuge. Having hiked the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine, he enjoys hiking and sharing his knowledge of hiking with others.

Jeffrey T. LaRiche  served as chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Castle Worldwide, Inc. from October 2000 until June 2018, when he arranged the sale of Castle to a strategic buyer, Scantron Corporation, that would keep Castle “whole.” During his 18 years at the helm of Castle, Mr. LaRiche led the Morrisville, NC organization to become one of the leading companies in the development and administration of certification and licensure examinations for trade and professional organizations. His more than 40 years of management experience has included serving in public positions in Washington, D.C., and abroad, interacting with the highest levels of United States and foreign governments, Wall Street, and the media. His previous positions include associate director for finance and administration at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, president of the United States International Cultural and Trade Center Commission (a presidential commission appointed by President George H.W. Bush), and deputy assistant secretary for external affairs at the Smithsonian Institution. Active in the arts and a past board member of several nonprofit organizations, Mr. LaRiche was a founding trustee of the Asian Heritage Foundation (New Delhi, India) and is a past board member and chair of the board of directors of Counterpart International (Washington, DC), which supports community-based development in more than 25 countries. He currently serves on the board of directors of North Carolina Arts-in-Action (Chapel Hill, NC), of which he was chair for six years. NC Arts-in-Action works with at-risk children in local, disadvantaged schools. He also has served for more than ten years and continues to serve on the board of directors of the Goathouse Refuge (Pittsboro, NC), a no-kill animal sanctuary. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with degrees in History (BA) and Cultural
Anthropology (MA), Mr. LaRiche served as a Peace Corps volunteer teacher in Afghanistan from 1969 through 1971.

Elissa Mobarek is a photographer originally from Massachusetts.  She has been a life-long advocate for animals and has fostered cats for the Goathouse.  Retired from Raytheon, she currently lives in Cary, North Carolina, where she enjoys spending time with her son and visiting the Goathouse.

 

 

 

Larry Vellani is the Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of Smart Start of Forsyth County, Inc. (SSFC), an eight-million dollar, community-based, early education service and policy organization in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Vellani has an extensive career in organizational change, public policy formation, and higher education advancement, holding posts in the private, non-profit sector and in the judicial branch of state government in Ohio, Indiana, and North Carolina.

 

Whitney Beers Schmidt is a Pittsboro resident who works full time for ChargePoint implementing vehicle electrification infrastructure in the Southeast.  Her professional experience includes solar and sustainability project management, construction management, and electric vehicle project consulting.  She has served on a number of public Boards, including the Wareham Economic Development Board in Wareham, Massachusetts, and the Climate Change Advisory Board in Chatham County.   Whitney is an artist in her (very) spare time, and is a member of Chatham’s Bodacious Theatre Company.  Whitney was the Director of Safety and Manager of Search Operations for Urban Search and Rescue for Chesapeake Search Dogs in Maryland.  She has been a foster over two decades for various rescues, and lives with her family and menagerie on a farm near Silk Hope.

Robert Schmidt is an engineer and operations manager by trade, and carpenter and fix-it guy by calling.  He began his professional career as a hardhat diver for an engineered cofferdam firm in the northeast, and traveled the country diving and working under ice.   Later in his career he was an Operations Manager for United Rentals and Mabey Bridge and Shore, working in support of excavation and temporary bridging applications.  Bob currently manages a portfolio of rental and investment properties.   He is a resident of Pittsboro, where he lives on a fenceless farm with his family and animals that chose him.

Julie Williams first visited the refuge in 2013 with her sister and niece. She had been looking for a place where she could volunteer and knew immediately that our refuge was the place she wanted to be! Julie jumped right in and first began cleaning cages on Sundays and decided we needed a new kitchen sink which later led to organizing volunteers to paint inside the adoption building. Julie also began helping with fund raising by starting our annual yard sale. She has adopted 2 cats from Goathouse and still believes it is a magical place where she needs to be!

Jacqueline Marx‘ first published essay, “The Cantor’s Cat,” appeared in *Chicken Soup for the Cat & Dog Lover’s Soul* in 1998. The previous year, she was ordained a Cantor with a Master of Sacred Music at Hebrew-Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. “I have always resonated to cats. Caring for cats soothes the rough edges of my soul; which allows me to live, and give, my best. Besides, an animal has never hurt anyone’s feelings.” Cantor Marx has a small pulpit for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur in East Tennessee. She teaches voice lessons at Chapel Hill School of Musical Arts; specializes in Hebrew enrichment and Bar/ Bat Mitzvah tutorials at Judea Reform Congregation in Durham; and lives with her family in an enchanted forest in Carrboro. Two of her three felines are former GOATHOUSE kitties.

Meredith Fondahl has made a career of herding cats and occasionally people for 40 years. For the last thirteen years she has overseen the in-house real estate services as an Administrative Director for Stanford Health Care and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at her alma mater, Stanford University. Since her early career days at Oracle Corporation in its start-up mode, and later as a Vice President at Charles Schwab, Meredith took pleasure in developing multiple departments from scratch. She has personally negotiated hundreds of corporate real estate leases and service contracts nationally and internationally. When not at work, her hardest but most rewarding clients include a collection of 10-12 older rescue cats who live with her and her life partner, David, in Northern California. Many of their cats came from Goathouse Refuge or North Carolina shelters. Meredith travels to the Goathouse frequently to stay with Siglinda and volunteers remotely on administrative activities. She is proud of her small “Goathouse West” team of volunteers in California that help keep the Goathouse Refuge’s cat database updated. She has amassed a large personal collection of Siglinda’s best ceramic creations by making sure she is at the kiln when it is opened after firings whenever possible.

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