ESRA Board of Directors Candidates: Q & A

Thank you for taking time to review the questions and answers prepared by these 5 candidates for the upcoming election for 2 seats on the board of directors of ESRA.
  • Ballots will be distributed beginning on August 11, 2017.
  • If you have not signed electronic consent, your ballot will be mailed.
  • Voting closes September 2, 2017.

    Meet-the-Candidates Webinar -
    August 10, 2017 at 8 pm EST/7 p.m. CST/6 p.m. MST/5 pm PST

    Recording-1 (108 MB)

    Audio Only-1 (28 MB)
  • Click on each name to review their responses.
    Presented in alphabetical order by first name.

    How long have you been an ESRA member?

    Gail and I adopted Molly our first Springer 1991. After the May 1999 tornado, I transported many dogs including Springers to different rescue sites. This is where I learned of ESRA in Texas. In 2003, we moved from Harrah OK to St Louis MO. During 2004 Molly crossed the rainbow bridge so Gail and I sought out the local ESRA coordinators in the St. Louis area and adopted Savannah and Max. In 2006, we relocated back to Harrah OK. We adopted Teddy in 2015 and after Savannah passed away adopted Tanner in March of 2017 from the Kansas City ESRA coordinator.

    What volunteering have you done for ESRA?

    As stated previously, I volunteered to transport many dogs including Springers after the May 1999 tornado. Over the past few years I’ve done home visits, pulled and rescued Springers from unhealthy homes, transported and fostered numerous Springers. I feel we have to be proactive in finding good and caring homes. I’m not against driving 10-12 hours to ensure the Springers gets a chance to find a good home.

    I am very active with ESRA fundraisers in donating items and monetarily supporting the purchase of items. I also donate money directly in honor or memory of various Springers.

    Where do you see opportunities for continued growth in ESRA, and in what ways can you help bring about this growth?

    There is a whole world of prospective families and coordinators we haven’t reached out to yet. Expanding ESRA presence on multiple social media platforms as well professional websites will open new avenues. Having been in recruiting I have contacts in many states that would be willing to help spread the message about ESRAs mission. I can help drive the message to ensure it’s truthful and positive. Also, I will make myself available to assist any member or coordinator with the knowledge or tools needed to support rescue activities, support fundraising, and promote ESRA to the public

    What would your top three goals as a board member?

    1. Reach out to families, coordinators, and rescue shelters and help them provide continued contact with ESRA support so we can quickly identify and start rescue activities if needed.

    2. Teach every family and coordinator to utilize multiple platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram Linked In, etc... to spread the mission of ESRA, thus increasing the membership role and getting more people involved in rescuing Springers.

    3. Look to open up or expand communication lines between local coordinators with other rescue organizations where we can share rescue resources and improve our efficiency in rescue operations.

    Barry Breckle


    How long have you been an ESRA member?

    I joined ESRA in 2014 after making a donation for Clayton. I followed ESRA on Facebook for a few years, have had Springers all my life but hadn’t ever realized that you could be a member. I’m very glad I did!

    What volunteering have you done for ESRA?

    So far I’ve been involved in a transport for ESRA here in Washington state. It was a great feeling to know that I helped get a deserving and needy Springer to her foster home where she would be safe and cared for. I also have enjoyed meeting other Springer lovers at the ESRA picnic the last few years.

    I’ve also emailed with Sue Schroer regarding joining a financial team and pitching in where my bookkeeping and accounting skills can be used in their best way.

    Where do you see opportunities for continued growth in ESRA, and in what ways can you help bring about this growth?

    I feel there’s always room for improvement inside organizations; with efficiency, best practices, and internal/external communication. Transparency in all dealings goes a long way in ensuring trust in an organization, as well as things being handled properly. The Google Group is a great start to this.

    I can help bring about this growth as my twenty years in the accounting field have taught me not only best practices relating to accounting but business in general. I’ve learned how to speak to employees as well as clients, and try to be a “serving leader” in all my dealings.

    What would be your top three goals as a board member?

    My first goal would be to ensure the stability of the organization and ensure all assets are protected. Getting the word out to shelters/potential fosters and adopters would be next, and of course fundraising so we can continue our good work! Social media can really help an organization fundraise and spread news about its works.

    Currently I serve in a volunteer board capacity for the Emergency Food Network, which is a non-profit organization working to end hunger in the county where I live. Our goals are to fundraise and spread the word about the organization, and we have been very successful. We recently put on a local Casino Night and raised $16,000 for the organization. I’d like to expand on this work with ESRA. Thank you for your time!

    Jessica Muenter


    How long have you been an ESRA member?

    I started volunteering and joined ESRA in 1999, after I adopted my first ESRA rescue Springer, Micah, from the Carolinas.

    What volunteering have you done for ESRA?

    Over the years I put together several fund raising events and booths for rescue fairs here in the Carolinas. I was a foster mom for over 80 Springer's and I failed fostering twice. Worked for ESRA Southeast in the coordination of adoption applications and foster home applications and still assist with adoption application processing when needed for them. Currently I am the Carolina's ESRA adoption applications and foster home applications coordinator.

    I have transported, interviewed, done home visits, pulled dogs from shelters and held Springer functions at my home over the years. Also sewed many doggie collar scarves and donated them as a fundraiser to be sold in our booths in years past. I am sure that I've done other volunteering but those are the bigger ones. I tell people that ESRA is my second career because I was working as a teacher for a salary for most of those years but now I am retired and I have more time to devote to ESRA.

    Where do you see opportunities for continued growth in ESRA, and in what ways can you help bring about this growth?

    Since our volunteers are ESRA, I would like to see more adopters joining our ranks. We need to reach out to them and convince them how important it is that they join us and volunteer. I also would like to see an email newsletter committee be formed to go out to all of our members and adopters about our previous and future events and adoptions along with statistics and useful information on the health and training of dogs. This newsletter should include all territories of ESRA.

    Making all members feel as one with ESRA is needed. I belong to many nature organizations and see how they promote their causes with newsletters so it is very important to me that we create this. There are many ways to promote ESRA and dog rescue and we need to start working on that.

    What would be your top three goals as a board member?

    1. Start a committee to work on contacting as many animal shelters and veterinarians as possible through a colorful postcard mailing (fundraising for cost would be included in the committee duties) or a copy of a newsletter. We need to let them all know of our organization if they should ever need to contact us.

    2. Create and produce the monthly newsletter showcasing our work and email it to every adopter and member. Drawing from all corners of ESRA is needed to make this newsletter successful. I would like to increase our active members and get everyone involved somehow. Our members should feel like they have ownership in ESRA. Putting out information about ESRA and dogs is important to me.

    3. Once the board decides to move forward with re-establishing the ESRA Gift Shop, I would like to see a committee created to work on finding new and updated items to sell. We could be making more money if we had an exciting place to shop for Springer goods.

    Linda Parker

    South Carolina

    How long have you been an ESRA member?

    I've been a member of ESRA for ten years or so

    What volunteering have you done for ESRA?

    I have served as transportation coordinator for our district for three years and have participated in several rescue meet and greets with the public at rescue events. We've also fostered about six or so dogs.

    Where do you see opportunities for continued growth in ESRA, and in what ways can you help bring about this growth?

    I think an opportunity for ESRA to grow is to make the public more aware how many Springers are in shelters.

    What would be your top three goals as a board member?

    Top three goals for ESRA would be: Fiscal responsibility, create awareness in public about ESRA, and save as many dogs as possible.

    Tom Kennedy


    How long have you been an ESRA member?

    11 years as a member, however we started fostering 13 years ago in 2004.

    What volunteering have you done for ESRA?

    Manning a booth at various veterinary open houses in Katy Texas.
    Manning a booth at the Houston Dog Show.
    Countless transports and emergency runs.
    Hospice care for terminal dogs.

    Where do you see opportunities for continued growth in ESRA, and in what ways can you help bring about this growth?

    Extending an invitation to coordinate efforts with other organizations that have connections or contacts with breeders, shelters, and or trainers.

    What would be your top three goals as a board member?

    Expand the foster network, recruiting more fosters homes.
    Obtain corporate sponsorship.
    Restore members trust.

    Tom Sabath