Erika Mathews has dedicated her career to animal welfare and the environment through fundraising and hands-on animal care and rescue. As Senior Fundraising Director she manages all fundraising for Paws PR’s nonprofit clients and consults with for-profit companies on best practices for corporate philanthropy.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in English/Journalism and German from Rutgers University and brings 20 years of experience working for animal protection organizations, including the St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center, Nonhuman Rights Project, Farm Sanctuary, the Animal Legal Defense Fund and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
She has served in all aspects of development, including direct mail, major gifts, planned giving, capital campaigns, foundation and corporate gifts, as well as events and publicity. Erika and her family volunteer with Chilis on Wheels, an organization dedicated to providing vegan meals and cruelty-free supplies to the needy. Past involvements include the Marine Mammal Stranding Center and Liberty Humane Society in New Jersey, and she served on the board of St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center, The Grey Muzzle Organization and the Animal Welfare Federation of New Jersey.
Karen Colangelo is Senior Director of Marketing at Paws PR. In this role, she provides business and marketing strategy and oversees all social media management on behalf of clients. Karen leads the development of integrated campaigns with social media influencers, pet bloggers and websites.
For the past 15 years, Karen has been actively involved with several rescue groups in the New York City tri-state area and provides foster homes for dogs. She has a strong affinity for senior and special needs dogs.
Karen served as Senior Director of PR and Advertising at the ASPCA where she worked closely with Patricia Jones. Prior to that, she was a Marketing Manager for the US Fund for UNICEF. She started her career in retail and was a buyer/product developer for Macy’s and New York & Company.
Courtney Dillard is Senior Communications Advisor for Paws PR. She has devoted her career to promoting best practices in strategic communication through classes, trainings/workshops and presentations. While she has worked with organizations committed to advancing a wide variety of issues, the majority of her mission focused efforts have concentrated on animal advocacy. Her research and writing towards her MA in Communication Studies from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill and her PhD from the University of Texas – Austin explored communication practices by animal protection organizations.
Over the last 20 years Courtney has guided both students and advocates to create effective communication in a number of different landscapes. Specifically, she teaches/trains in the areas of communication campaign planning, presentational speaking, persuasive writing and political communication. Her approach pairs extensive knowledge of the wide body of academic literature on effective social influence with a commitment to pragmatism and a passion for social justice.
Some of her recent projects include working with the Good Food Institute (GFI) to better understand consumer motivations/hesitations around cell-based meat and partnering with the Ethical Choices Program (ECP) to explore which messages are most effective in discussing the impact of food choices with students. In her civic life, Courtney and her husband run a social influence campaign, Ask for Vegan, which encourages vegans everywhere to intentionally ask for vegan goods and services in order to demonstrate market demand. They also founded and run a biennial spay and neuter clinic in Huanchaco, Peru.
Jennifer Lucas Townsend is a copywriter and editor with Paws PR. Jennifer honed her editing skills at Newsweek Magazine where she managed the Letters department and edited the weekly Letters column for nearly five years. She is also the second half of Green Fields Productions behind the Bachelor Farmers of Ireland calendar produced in 1999 with Patricia Jones. While living in London, England Jennifer completed her graduate coursework in Heritage Management and worked for English Heritage doing visitor outreach for Eltham Palace. Most recently, Jennifer finished the second draft of her memoir, an excerpt of which was published by Gravel magazine. Jennifer lives in Wisconsin with her family and their two rescue cats, Samantha and Winston.
Geoff Tischman Pets is one of the premiere photography studios in the New York Tri-State area. Geoff captures the true spirit of pets, as well as the special bond between them and their humans. He has photographed many celebrities with their beloved animals, including Georgina Bloomberg, Cheyenne Jackson, Bernadette Peters and Aida Turturro. His pet photographs have appeared in The Journal News, The New York Daily News, The New York Post and Westchester Magazine, among others.
Jason Putsche Photography specializes in animal, corporate and event photography and offers videography and video production services. Jason has over 15 years of experience as a professional photographer. His photographs have been featured in national advertising campaigns and a myriad of publications including USA Today, The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun and The Chicago Tribune. A true animal lover, his pet photography has been included in publications including Best Friends Magazine, Cat Fancy and Animal Wellness.