Paws for a Moment by Bonny Corbeil

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ACC Board Members

This is a continuing piece on “Who are our St. John ACC Board Members” and what skills and expertise they bring to the board.

I am compelled as a board member to make a personal observation here on John Fuller who compiled information on each board member. The position of president of any non-profit community organization is both a time-consuming and difficult task. It requires well-honed leadership skills and the difficult ability to set a tone with all members that both motivate and acknowledge the best of each member. The role of president is likened to a captain of a ship. In reaching goals, many turbulent waters must be crossed. The “ship’s captain” is instrumental in the success of the voyage and course; however, without the cohesion of the “team” aboard, much energy can be “lost at sea.” John Fuller captains our “ACC Ship” ad-mirably.

Present Board Members:
John Fuller, a retired Naval Officer and resident since 1996, is active in many community organizations, and brings non-profit management expertise to the ACC. He is president of the ACC this year. He and his wife are household staff to three cats, Motley, Cruz and Zipper — all rescue cats.

B.J. Harris, vice president and chair of the membership committee of the ACC this year, was born in Germany; lived abroad and in the former Belgian Congo; and finished school in San Francisco. She learned how to sail, ultimately sailing an 82’ classic ocean racer to the Caribbean. A Virgin Islander since 1979, she formed St. John Properties in 1983 and enjoys matching people to properties. Her two best friends are golden retrievers.

Sheila Karcher, secretary of the ACC this year, has been an active volunteer with the shelter for a number of years since coming here from St Croix. She was co-chair of the fabulously successful Paws & Claws fundraiser last year. Holly Hardy is the treasurer of the ACC and is active in numerous civic organizations. She brings financial management expertise along with a love for animals to the organization.

Susanne Kirk has been a St. John resident since 1999. Growing up on a farm in Ohio, she raised puppies and kittens, and cared for horses, cattle, chickens and hogs. For 35 years, she has bred golden retrievers and participated in obedience competitions and classes. Susanne chairs the ACC fundraising committee, planning and hosting Christmas for the Animals and co-chairing the 2006 Wagapalooza. Her pets include two golden retrievers, Reef and Blaze.

Diana Ripley chairs the shelter operations committee and spends much of her free time directly involved with the ACC shelter animals. Diana’s grandmother was a founding member of the New York Humane Society. She has longtime experience with animals from race horses to iguanas, and has been involved in our ACC board for four consecutive years.

Bill Dove, chair of the building committee, brings management organization and a level head to the ACC board. He also serves on the finance committee and is responsible for developing a business plan to put the ACC on the road to fiscal health. He will be leading the capital campaign to raise funds for the addition of new dog runs and renovation of the old ones at the shelter.

Nancy Louis is our feral cat expert, writing grant proposals to get funds for the program and actively trapping cats for inoculation, spaying or neutering and returning to feeding stations around the island. She is a regular volunteer at the Wednesday Adoption Clinics we hold at The Marketplace.

Dr Elaine Campbell is a resident of St. John. She is a retired professor from MIT, is listed in numerous “Who’s Who in America” publications and has had her work published world-wide. She has been an ACC supporter since 1994, and has led the way in fundraising and the reorganization of the ACC in 2004. She maintains a “Trunk Bay” cat shelter on her property and has flown and placed 15 cats to homes in Massachusetts and New York City. Campbell has two grown daughters who are veterinarians and is a dedicated animal rights activist.

New to the board this year is Dean Baldwin of Frames of Mind. She has lived in the Virgin Islands since 1988 — first aboard a sailboat for 10 years, and now on land. She has 2 rescued “island Siamese” cats — Jumbie and Pirate. Dean has been active in fundraising and serves on the ACC Executive Committee.

Bonny Corbeil chairs the media and education committee. Many remember her from Luscious Licks. She has four cats and two rescued dogs, Miss Princess and China, who are shown in our photo. She assists them in teaching kindness classes, founded and funded by Anne Marie Porter with the mission goal of “opening up the hearts of children to animals.”

Bonny is a social worker by profession and deeply believes that people have a lot to learn from animals.

Also providing the benefit of their wisdom and counsel are board members Dr. Elizabeth Barot, Beth Knight, Mark Shekleton and Delrise Varlack.

These board members are all volunteers who make time in their otherwise busy lives for the betterment of the animals of St John.