Melanie Sadek, Executive Director
Melanie brings a wealth of experience to VHS including 11 years of corporate and small business management. Melanie managed the traffic safety department for the California State Automobile Association. In this capacity she worked to build volunteer coalitions and developed education and outreach programs. She was also instrumental in screening non-profit funding requests, governmental affairs activities and facilitating effective marketing outreach programs. Most recently Melanie started a small start-up where she has built strong brand recognition and great community support. Melanie’s excellent relationship building skills coupled with her marketing and public relations experience has allowed VHS to step out of the shadows and start to become a more visible animal rescue organization within the Tri-Valley region. Recognized as a visionary, a collaborative leader and a strong communicator, Melanie has begun the process of expanding VHS’ donor development to include corporate sponsors as well as private donors to help meet the current needs of the organization and take VHS into the future as a recognized leader in animal care and community participation.
Sandy St. Dennis, Medical Director
Sandy has been an active volunteer for VHS since 2001, serving as VHS’s Medical Director, providing veterinary medical care and supervision for all VHS pets. A graduate of UCD veterinary medical school, Sandy has previously practiced veterinary medicine in Fremont and Livermore as well as working as a spay/neuter surgeon for the Tri City Animal Shelter in Fremont. She is an advocate for the humane treatment of homeless animals as well as responsible pet ownership. She is a member of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians. Her family includes her husband, 2 children, 4 cats and 2 dogs.
Yayoi daCosta, Operations Manager
Yayoi started at VHS as a volunteer assistant vet tech in 2010. She has been in the animal medical field all of her life. She began by following a dairy cow veterinarian on his daily rounds by the time she started to walk. Her most recent involvement prior to joining VHS was volunteering at a SPCA in Southern California. On the business side, after graduating from UC Davis with a business degree, and being fluent in her native Japanese, Yayoi became an asset manager to the largest fee for service company and managed over 2 million square feet of commercial real estate all over the United States. Her family includes a husband of 20 plus years, boys 8 and 10 and faithful dog named Zoe.
Melissa Adkins, Marketing and Development Manager
Joining Valley Humane Society in February 2012, Melissa is in her second stint with VHS, having also worked for the organization from 2005-2008. In the interim, she worked as a marketing coordinator for Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation in Walnut Creek, where she honed her writing skills and learned to use social media. A San Diego native, Melissa has lived in the Tri-Valley for nearly thirty years. She shares a home with her husband, a toddler, and two black cats named Olive and Simone. Outside, she feeds a pair of black feral cats, dubbed Top-Notch and Sideswipe, and the occasional racoon.
Shoshannah Reed, Humane Education Manager
After leaving an eight year career at Nordstrom to raise her family, Shoshannah became an active volunteer in her children’s school. She began volunteering at Valley Humane Society in 2007 and considered the role a perfect fit, always having a house full of animals herself (including at one time four dogs, two cats, a chameleon, two fish tanks and a Koi pond). Shoshannah officially joined the VHS staff in 2010, and as Humane Education Manager she oversees programs such as Keeler’s Kids and Critter Camp, bringing her knowledge and love of animals to students throughout the Tri-Valley. Shoshannah is a passionate advocate of Valley Humane Society’s mission to educate the community about the importance of responsible pet ownership.
Lori Rice, Volunteer Program Manager
Well-known in the community from her prolific volunteer activities, Lori Rice brings a wealth of volunteer management, fundraising, and event planning experience to VHS. A member of the VHS Board of Directors since 2006, Lori guided the organization through a capital campaign and the building of our long-awaited adoption center. She served as Board Chair in 2010. Additionally, Lori has co-chaired numerous VHS fundraising events, including Paws in the Park, Jazzed About Pets, and Villa del Sole. Now she has stepped down from her Board role to assist as interim Volunteer Program Manager. Among her achievements Lori lists: first woman President of Amador Valley High School’s Athletic Boosters Club and 2008 recipient of the City of Pleasanton’s Juanita Haugen Community of Character Award, service on the PTSA board and School Site Councils for Amador Valley High and Vintage Elementary schools, and service on the Executive Board for the Pleasanton PTA Council. She is also a 1998 graduate of the Leadership Pleasanton program. Lori’s family includes her husband, Mike, daughter Catie, son Kevin (both of whom attend Chico State University), dogs Rocky and Izzy, cats Cricket, Groucho and Julia Roberts, and grand-kitty Vinnie, joined by occasional foster animals.