The Arizona Humane Society’s executive team consists of some of the most dedicated and talented individuals in the animal welfare community.
Through their combined efforts to further the organization’s mission, we are creating more groundbreaking programs and saving more pet’s lives than ever before.
Dr. Steven R. Hansen, DVM, President and CEO
Dr. Steven R. Hansen oversees AHS’ organizational operations and leads the implementation and execution of its strategic plan as AHS and its partners strive to transform Maricopa County into the “animal welfare community of the future.” AHS, by leveraging innovation, compassion and excellence has collaboratively led transformational change within its own shelter, leading to a dramatic reduction in euthanasia and a renewed focus on treating the sick and injured animals who need AHS’ help the most.
Prior to joining AHS, Dr. Hansen spent 16 years with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), most recently as the organization’s Chief Operating Officer. Dr. Hansen also served as Director of Veterinary Research and Support for Wellmark International and practiced clinical veterinary medicine in Houston and Chicago. He serves on a variety of mission-critical boards, including the Morris Animal Foundation’s Animal Welfare Advisory Board, the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Legislative Advisory Committee, the American College of Animal Welfare and Arizona State University’s Community Advisory Council. He received his BS and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degrees from Iowa State University and received an MS and MBA from the University of Illinois. Dr. Hansen is board certified by the American College of Animal Welfare and the American Board of Veterinary Toxicology.
Elizabeth Claxton, Vice President of Business Operations
Elizabeth Claxton oversees retail, thrift and animal service operations. Elizabeth has a strong background in both retail and non-profit management, allowing for a well-balanced approach to the business operations at AHS. Most recently, she served the Arizona Humane Society by expanding our adoptions and retail operations, as well as by enhancing the impact of our humane education programs. With an eye towards the customer experience, Elizabeth applies business analytics and acumen in an effort to implement creative strategies and constantly improve operations. Elizabeth is passionate about non-profit work, and is particularly thrilled to be contributing to the state’s leading animal welfare organization. A Phoenix native, she enjoys spending time with her family which includes dogs Murray, Winston and Lulu, and Deuce the cat.
Michelle L. Giesen, CPA, Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer
Michelle Giesen oversees accounting & finance, purchasing, facilities, information technology and data management at the Arizona Humane Society, and has 20 years of combined experience in public and private accounting. Michelle spent six years as the Chief Financial Officer for Wespac Construction, Inc., and oversaw the accounting department for the $175 million construction firm. Michelle also supervised accounting for the McDowell Mountain Music Festival, LLC, a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization, served as Controller for DMB Realty and spent four years in public accounting at Arthur Andersen. Michelle has acted as a consultant for various firms including local real estate and construction companies and a San Diego-based retailer. As former President of the Construction Financial Management Association’s local chapter — the largest chapter in the nation — Michelle continues to be an active member of the CPA community.
Kelsea Patton, Vice President of External Affairs
Kelsea Patton oversees all marketing, community relations, development, advocacy and education efforts for the organization. Kelsea has 15 years of experience in non-profit leadership and is charged with introducing creative strategies that allow AHS to serve as the state’s leading animal welfare organization. Kelsea works to build mutually beneficial relationships with the community, develop effective multi-media campaigns that inspire action and launch innovative solutions that raise awareness of the pet overpopulation epidemic. Prior to her role at AHS, Kelsea served as the Director of Community Relations at DMB/Marley Park. Kelsea earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing from Baylor University and a Master of Arts degree in Innovative Leadership from Western International University.
Scott Pisani, Vice President of Field and Medical Operations
Scott Pisani oversees behavior, field and medical operations. Most recently Scott served AHS in our animal services area by implementing key improvement initiatives including feline programs and admissions by appointment. Scott works to increase the quality and breadth of services AHS provides to our community through innovation and creative solutions. Scott has more than 20 years of experience in financial services and business consulting in the areas of change management, process improvement, benefits and compensation. Scott has a BS in Applied Mathematics from Harvey Mudd College and is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR).
Jill Santa, Vice President of Human Resources
Jill Santa oversees human resources and volunteer engagement for the organization. Jill recently served as a consultant in the areas of coaching, leadership development and HR for several businesses in the Phoenix area. Prior to that, Jill spent 12 years in the People Services Team at Booz Allen Hamilton. A native of North Carolina, Jill has a BS in Business from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is a certified Professional in Human Resources (PHR), Project Management Professional (PMP) and Professional Coach (CPC).
The Arizona Humane Society’s medical team consists of some of the most dedicated and talented individuals in the field of animal medicine. From wellness checks to lifesaving emergency surgeries, our veterinarians are revolutionizing the care of Maricopa County’s pets.
Bruce Bean, DVM
Dr. Bruce Bean has been with the Arizona Humane Society for 24 years, specializing in shelter spay/neuter surgery. He also performs orthopedic and soft tissue surgeries in our Second Chance Animal Hospital™ when needed. A seasoned veterinarian, he spent time working at private practices in both Phoenix and Detroit, Mich., before coming to AHS. Dr. Bean graduated from Michigan State University in 1974 and performed his surgical residency at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University. Over the years, Dr. Bean estimates that he has performed around 75,000 spay/neuter surgeries — the majority of which were for dogs and cats, but also a few rabbits, pot-bellied pigs and ferrets. When he’s not busy doing his part to reduce pet over-population, he enjoys doting on his two Brittany Spaniels, Rusty and Casey.
Kathleen Croteau, DVM
Dr. Kathleen Croteau has been with the Arizona Humane Society since 1995 and serves as the lead veterinarian for our Second Chance Animal Hospital™. She has worked on a diverse caseload during her career, ranging from kennel cough to skin disease to more severe injuries stemming from animal cruelty. Having earned her veterinary degree from Colorado State University in 1995, Dr. Croteau has worked primarily in shelter medicine with a few short periods in private practice. An avid animal lover, Dr. Croteau has 2 dogs, Tennessee – a Chihuahua mix from AHS, and Georgia – an English Bulldog. She also has one desert tortoise named Crush.
Katherine Daigle, DVM
Dr. Katherine Daigle is Lead Veterinarian at our Margaret McAllister Brock Veterinary Clinic. She is a 2001 graduate of the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine, and previously worked in private practices in both Arizona and Michigan. Dr. Daigle has a special interest in ophthalmology and dermatology. Dr. Daigle has a Labrador Retriever named Boomer that she rescued, and when she isn’t leading our compassionate team of vets, she enjoys traveling and camping with her family.
Leo Egar, VMD
Dr. Leo Egar has served the animals at the Arizona Humane Society since 2007. In addition to helping reduce pet overpopulation through spay and neuter services, he also assists with investigations of animal cruelty. Before coming to AHS, he worked in veterinary emergency medicine and with the Rural Area Veterinary Services program of the Humane Society of the United States to lead spay/neuter service trips to remote areas of the county. Dr. Egar did his undergraduate studies at Haverford College and was selected for early admission into the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. He has traveled to Native American reservations to provide free veterinary care to animals and participated in the veterinary medical response to major disasters including the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and Hurricane Katrina. When not working in the shelter or with animal and wildlife rescue groups, Dr. Egar enjoys spending time outdoors in the Arizona landscape with his German Shepherds, Zeiss and Charlie.
Gregory Lewis, DVM
Dr. Gregory Lewis brings 36 years of veterinary excellence to the Arizona Humane Society, where he heads the spay/neuter efforts of the Marge Wright Veterinary Clinic. Having earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Illinois, he has dedicated his life to caring for animals. Dr. Lewis has a vast wealth of varied experience, having worked at five humane societies, a private practice, relief work and emergency care. He estimates having spayed or neutered approximately 300,000 animals and is still counting. When he is not busy doing his part to reduce pet overpopulation, Dr. Lewis enjoys hitting the links, swimming and working out at the gym. Currently he has no pets, but lives vicariously through the animals he cares for day to day.
Valerie Moser, DVM
Dr. Moser received her Bachelor’s in Veterinary Science & Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Washington State University. Dr. Moser previously worked at Maricopa County Care & Animal Control as well as in private practice in Arizona, Kansas, & Missouri. She recently moved back to Arizona from the Midwest and joined the staff AHS in November 2013. An Arizona native, Dr. Moser grew up watching Marge Wright on Pets on Parade every Saturday and is now one of the staff veterinarians at the Marge Wright Veterinary Clinic. Dr. Moser has a passion for reducing pet overpopulation and shelter medicine and is a member of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians. Dr. Moser shares her home with her family which includes the two-legged human variety and the furry four-legged members. When not at work, she enjoys her animals, hiking, travel, baking, and relaxing.
Swaneth Portalatin, DVM
Dr. Swaneth Portalatin has been a part of the Arizona Humane Society’s Second Chance Animal Hospital™ since 2009. She earned her veterinary degree from Ross University in 2006 and has developed a keen interest in reptiles, as well as veterinary surgery. Before coming to our shelter, she worked at a corporate veterinary hospital and also a small private practice. Working at a private practice, she saw a few dogs from AHS and was impressed by the great care noted on their medical records. Dr. Portalatin is passionate about spay/neuter and the need to reduce overpopulation for companion animals, as she understands too many are euthanized because of a lack of responsible owners. At home, she tends to the needs of her own pets – four cats and one green iguana. She also has an aquarium with a few cichlids and a pleco — both types of tropical fish.
Lisa Lannen, DVM
Dr. Lisa Lannen joined the Arizona Humane Society in January 2014, and specializes in performing spay/neuter surgeries at the Margaret McAllister Brock Veterinary Clinic. Dr. Lannen graduated from the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2001. She has completed several avian and exotic externships and spent time in private practice. Dr. Lannen has a strong desire to help curb pet overpopulation, while also assisting pet owners in need. Dr. Lannen spends her free time hiking, reading and keeping up with her children.
Jason Elliott Stanhill, DVM
Dr. Jason Elliott Stanhill joined the Arizona Humane Society in September of 2015 as a Staff Veterinarian at our Margaret McAllister Brock Veterinary Clinic. He grew up on the west side of Phoenix and completed his undergraduate degrees at The University of Arizona before graduating with his veterinary degree from Colorado State University in 2013. He previously worked in private practice in the Seattle area before returning to Arizona to work as a shelter veterinarian at Maricopa County Animal Care and Control, but he’s happy to have finally found a home at AHS. Dr. Stanhill is passionate about community outreach, preventative medicine and increasing quality of life whenever possible. When he’s not in the office, he loves being outdoors, cooking, reading and the Green Bay Packers.
Melissa Thompson, DVM
Dr. Melissa Thompson’s interest in shelter and rescue work began at a very early age, and in October of 2011 she joined the Arizona Humane Society after three years in the private veterinary sector. In 2000, she received her Bachelor of Science degree from Arizona State University and went on to complete her Veterinary degree at Western University of Health Sciences in 2008. Dr. Thompson’s interests include trauma medicine and reducing the number of homeless pets in our community. When she’s not busy saving lives in our Second Chance Animal Hospital™, Dr. Thompson likes to hike, ride horses and train for triathlons. That is, if she can fit it into her very active foster schedule, which includes caring for ill and injured homeless dogs within her home until they are ready for adoption. In addition to fostering, Dr. Thompson shares her home with five dogs, four cats, two horses and a tortoise.