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Our Team

Meet our senior leadership staff

Our staff is full of dedicated, caring people who go above and beyond every single day to help the pets and people in our community. We are thrilled to introduce you to our Senior Leadership team!

 

The Humane Society of Southern Arizona values and champions diversity and inclusion. These values are part of who we are.

Together, we will continue to build an inclusive culture that encourages, supports, and celebrates the diverse voices of our HSSA team  and the communities we serve. 

Steve Farley, Chief Executive Officer

Steve is a proven leader who served Tucson for twelve years at the Arizona State Legislator and as the longtime owner of Stephen Farley Design.  During his time at the Capital, Steve was named Humane Legislator of the Year several times, including for his successful effort to ban the cruelty of greyhound racing in Arizona.  Steve also spent three years as a volunteer animal behaviorist at the San Francisco SPCA where he worked gentling hard-case shelter dogs to make them more adoptable and worked their national behavior hotline to help foster parents solve their animals’ behavior problems.

Diana Cannon, Chief Development Officer

Diana Cannon has never spent a day of her life without a dog. A Michigan native, she grew up in a family that loved and valued their pets as members of the family. Beagles were her father’s dog of choice until one day Diana asked if she could have a dog of her very own.  Her parents took her to the humane society and there she found and adopted her childhood friend “Penny.” For 14 years, until Diana left for college, Penny was her constant companion.

Diana is a longtime resident of Tucson and deeply involved in the affairs of the Tucson community through her career and volunteer involvement. She has extensive experience in business development in both corporate and nonprofit.  She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Western Michigan University and numerous accreditations in sales management and leadership. Diana has a strong sense of volunteerism and has been involved in a variety of Tucson nonprofit organizations over the past 25 years.

Diana believes that pets teach us humanity: “They give us their absolute all and we owe them love, faith, and trust.”

Diana and her husband have three miniature dachshunds – Daphne, Dottie, and Dixie – and have since adopted Dory, DD, and Darby from the Humane Society of Southern Arizona.

Lisa Gagnon, Human Resources Director

Lisa Gagnon is the HSSA Human Resources Director. Since she was little, all Lisa Gagnon wanted to do was work around animals. She was the one who brought home strays and begged her parents to keep them! She went to junior college for a couple of years but could never find anything she wanted to commit to. She was working at a martial arts school in 1986 when the opportunity for a part-time, temporary position came from a student’s mother to work at the Humane Society of Tucson. Yes, back then the name was a little different.

She started in a position in the bookkeeping department, which after three months turned into a full-time
permanent position in the shelter. Over the next 11 years, Lisa worked in many capacities including Shelter Technician, Clinic Technician, and Assistant Shelter Manager. In 1997, she became the first Training Coordinator for the HSSA. In 2001, Lisa was offered the position of Director of Human Resources. She runs the maze of employment law, employee benefits and training to keep all our employees safe and happy!

Lisa’s home is filled with four dogs - all from the Humane Society of Southern Arizona.

Christian Gonzalez, Director of Operations

Christian Gonzalez is HSSA’s Director of Operations, dedicated to the sheltering and placement of the thousands of pets that enter HSSA’s facility each year. In his 12 years of service, which started as a kennel technician, he has been an advocate for implementing new programs and creating a holistic approach to animal care.

Growing up on the Arizona/Mexico border, Christian knows all too well the number of stray and unwanted pets in our Southern Arizona communities. As a young boy, he would sneak injured and homeless pets into his bedroom and nurse them back to health. In his current role as Animal Services Director, he has been a driving force over the past 16 months to help find better ways to care for the pets needing temporary shelter. His tireless efforts have helped 95 percent of the animals entering our facility find new homes or alternative placement.

In his spare time, Christian displays great talent in the kitchen. However, his other true passion is spending his time caring for and rescuing reptiles. He has been involved in the rescue and placement of hundreds of reptiles nationwide.

Kathryn Beers Halstead DVM, CVA, Medical Director

Dr. Halstead graduated from Colorado State University’s Professional Veterinary Medicine program in 2004. Dr. Halstead joined our team in 2015 as lead spay/neuter surgeon and now serves as Medical Director. Dr. Halstead has eight years of large animal ambulatory experience, eight years of small animal medical/surgical/integrative experience & obtained the Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist degree from the Chi Institute in 2010. Volunteerism is particularly important to Dr. Halstead & she has participated with local groups such as Woofs Without Roofs & the international veterinary outreach organization Visiting Veterinarians International.

Jennifer Hubbard, Director of IT and Facilities Operations

Jennifer Hubbard started working at HSSA while attending the U of A earning a degree in English.  Though she anticipated the job being a temporary position until she graduated, she grew to embrace the mission and vision and has been with the organization since 1994.

She only had a few pets as a child because of family allergies but she loved horseback riding with her friends and chasing lizards in the desert with her brother.  She made up for the lack of family pets by fostering many dogs and cats and has been a foster failure to several of them.  Currently she has two dogs and a cat, leaving her heart and home open for many more fosters.

Inge Koopman-Leyva, Director of Education and Outreach

Inge Koopman-Leyva is recognized throughout the region as an innovative, creative and organized leader in Humane Education serving Tucson, Arizona for almost two decades in Humane Education. She is an active member of the Association of Professional Humane Educators and the Animal Cruelty Taskforce of Southern Arizona.

Inge moved to Tucson in 2003 from her birth state of New York where she lived in Brooklyn while working in New York City for many years as a Veterinary Technician and Membership Associate for the American Museum of Natural History. She has her B.A. in Anthropology, with a minor in Sustainable Development, from Hunter College in NYC.

Randy Peterson, Director of Development, Marketing and Communications

Randy Peterson joined our team in February of 2015 as the Director of Development. He brings two decades of non-profit fundraising and management experience to the position, all with organizations here in Southern Arizona.

Contact Randy at rpeterson@hssaz.org with questions on planned giving, the Guardian Angel program, the auto donation program, and other ways to support HSSA.