Farm Animal Care Conference Speakers


Susie Coston
Susie Coston, Farm Sanctuary’s National Shelter Director, joined us in March 2000, following six years working for a veterinarian and at a sanctuary in West Virginia. Susie has been a mentor to many of her peers (some of whom have started their own sanctuaries throughout the United States) and is known for bringing the animals’ stories of love, loss, and life to the public. She ensures that the hundreds of farm animals sheltered at Farm Sanctuary each year receive the best possible care at every stage of their lives.

Holly McNulty
Holly McNulty has been with Farm Sanctuary for more than 20 years, working in an array of positions within the growing organization. After starting as an intern in 1992, she subsequently worked as a shelter caregiver, education coordinator, administrative director and director of human resources. In addition, Holly also served on the board of directors from 1993 to 2006. During her tenure, Holly has managed an extensive range of responsibilities including volunteers, visitor programs, financial management, IT, human resources, corporate filings, donor database, member relations, event coordination, mailings, and merchandise programs. For the majority of her employment, she served as administrative director, supporting the growth of the organization from an annual budget of $850,000 to $5.8 million and from one sanctuary with less than ten employees to three sanctuaries and telecommuting positions nationwide. In her current role as Director of Human Resources & Volunteer Programs, Holly manages and executes all human resource functions for over 75 employees and leads a team of staff in managing and growing our volunteer program opportunities.

Tara Hess
Tara Hess, Senior Shelter Manager at our New York shelter, got her start at Farm Sanctuary in 2008 as a shelter intern. Shortly after her internship, she joined our caregiver staff and became our New York Shelter Manager by 2010. Tara also spent two years as our Shelter Director in Orland, CA. She is currently with us in New York and is excited to share her years of experience. Tara holds a Master’s degree in Inclusive Education and a Bachelor’s degree in English. Tara resides in the area with her husband, daughter, and many furry little friends.

Jill Tedeschi
Jill Tedeschi first joined the Farm Sanctuary team as a shelter intern at our New York shelter in 2011. An Emerson College graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, Jill came to Farm Sanctuary with hopes of starting a sanctuary of her own. That dream quickly shifted once falling in love with the New York shelter and its nonhuman residents. After her internship, Jill immediately joined the caregiver staff and grew to become the NY Shelter Manager in 2013. Jill recently relocated to Colts Neck, NJ to help establish and manage the animal care operations at the Stewart Farm which will be a joint partnership between Tracey and Jon Stewart and Farm Sanctuary. Jill is excited to be sharing her years of farm animal care knowledge with everyone.

Michelle Waffner
Natalia Veinott has served as Visitor Experience Manager for the Watkins Glen sanctuary since September 2015. She earned her BA in History and Politics and her MST at SUNY Potsdam. She began a career in higher education as a coordinator for large enrollment hybrid courses, but, as her real love was animal protection, she was delighted to accept her current position at Watkins Glen where she could share that compassion with others. Natalia manages the Visitor Program tour guide staff, oversees the Bed and Breakfast Program, and works on planning Farm Sanctuary events throughout the year.

Erika Matthews
Erika Mathews works closely with Farm Sanctuary donors in the New York region in crafting their philanthropic gifts for animals. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English and Journalism from Rutgers University. Erika brings 20 years of experience working for animal protection organizations. Prior to her work at Farm Sanctuary Erika worked for the Animal Legal Defense Fund and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. She has worked 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 was also vice president of development and communications at St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center. Erika worked for Liberty Humane Society and the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in New Jersey, and she served on the board of The Grey Muzzle Organization and the Animal Welfare Federation of New Jersey.

Erika oversees the humane goose management program at several lakes in New Jersey. She is a passionate advocate for a ban on New York’s horse-drawn carriage industry and for providing hospice care for homeless dogs and cats. Erika is most grateful for the friends she has made along the way, especially her dogs Potter, Fern and Trixie and three audacious cats, daughter Willow, and a very patient husband who puts up with it all.