We are forever grateful for the dedication of our volunteers and community in ensuring the pets of Vashon Island are cared for. Below are some of the program leaders as well as the board of directors.
NO HUNGRY PETS Program. Chris took over the management of the No Hungry Pets program in January 2023. This program supplies free pet food to our island community. Distribution is the first Wednesday of every month at the Vashon Food Bank. Email, Petfood@vipp.org for more info.
DOG PROGRAM LEADER & LOST & FOUND. Kerri Grace oversees the VIPP dog program. This includes coordinating with fosters homes, assisting other team leaders with adoptions or any area when they need support. Along with that huge job, she handles all calls from our community regarding lost and found dogs, quickly and safely reuniting pets with their owners.
The cat shelter is run by a group of volunteers called the shelter gang who handle everything from figuring out the best roommates for a new cat to ordering pet food and pee pads, medicine and everything in between.
They make sure that all cats have lots of TLC time keep the shelter running like a top.
Experience: My professional life has been spent in the legal field. I was self-employed as a court reporter for 17 years, gradually transitioning to work in law firms. I am currently a paralegal with a personal injury firm specializing in representing people with asbestos-related disease. My previous volunteer work includes co-chairing a major annual fundraising campaign, coordinating community blood drives, grant writing, serving on the Vashon Relay for Life committee, and work on various social justice issues.
VIPP volunteer since: 2012
Programs: Board of directors, various Fur Ball tasks over the years
How I came to VIPP: In 2012, the chair for the Fur Ball recruited me to learn and implement the new auction software. I have been involved in one way or another ever since and joined the board in 2015.
Experience: I have been self-employed musician, songwriter and mosaic artist most of my adult life. In the 1980’s I worked as a Publicity Manager and Marketing assistant for Chrysalis Records.
VIPP volunteer since 2002
Programs: Serving on the board of directors, past and present. Manager of VIPP’s social media, and website. Newsletter and PawPrints Contributor, Coordinator for the Fur Ball Auction. Member of the shelter cleaning team the FurBusters.
How I came to VIPP: I am a long-time animal lover and became a fan of VIPP when I adopted two adorable flame point siamese kittens in 2001.
Experience: I have a master's degree from Seattle University's Nonprofit Leadership Program and also hold a Graduate Certificate in Fundraising Leadership. I am currently pursuing my CFRE Certification.
Volunteer Since: 2018
Programs: Board of Directors and Fur Ball Committee. I also have experience fostering for both the cat and dog programs.
How you came to VIPP: I started out volunteering at the cat shelter which quickly transitioned to serving as treasurer for almost two years.
Experience: I have been a life-long educator with experience at the K-12 and university levels as well as serving in a state department of education and editor of two technology and education magazines. In the not-for-profit world, I have been assistant executive director and board member of a national technology and education organization and an executive director of a similar statewide organization. On the island, I have served on the board of Vashon Allied Arts and the Voice of Vashon.
VIPP volunteer since: 2001
Programs: I have assisted with the feral cat program and help with calls for relinquishment and lost and found and we foster cats. I have been part of the Fur Ball team since its inception. I currently serve as treasurer on the board and was president for 8 years.
How I came to VIPP: Barbara Drinkwater volunteered me after hearing I worked with a pet rescue group in Austin.
When I moved to Vashon Island in 1990 I was a computer programmer/analyst. About seven years later I was managing a used bookstore that doubled as a foster home for VIPP cats. The bookstore is long gone but that was when I got my start as VIPP volunteer interviewing potential cat adopters. The cat in the store would often get the customers chatting about their pets and their experiences with cats and dogs. Those conversations were important to me in forming my views on how important an organization like VIPP is to the people in a community as well as for the dogs and cats. VIPP’s founding mother, Barbara Drinkwater, would often say that she took phone calls every day and there was never a dog or a cat on the other end of the line.
I am still on the cat adoption team plus I am on the cat intake team and a member of the group that manages the cat shelter and I am currently the secretary of Vashon Island Pet Protectors.
Experience: I have had both cats and dogs in my life for many years. I have loved them all. I currently have six cats sharing my home. They don’t all get along, but we make it work. I have learned so much from the cats and dogs that have been in my life, and am continuing my education with the dogs in VIPP’s care. I am also an artist, and a longtime member of Quartermaster Press. For many years I was a professional graphic designer.
VIPP volunteer since: About 2005
Programs: I am currently coordinating VIPP dog adoptions. I have volunteered at the cat shelter, been involved in cat adoptions, coordinated FurBall decorations, have been involved in coordinating the Strawberry Festival VIPP booth, wreath maker at the annual VIPP Wreath Sale and volunteered my graphic design skills for various materials.
How I came to VIPP: At the time of my second move to Vashon, I stopped at the Strawberry Festival VIPP booth and talked to someone about volunteering.
George is a long-time VIPP volunteer and supporter. He holds a regular shift at the VIPP cat shelter twice a week where he routinely spoils the cats. He is also a valuable volunteer with VIPP's No Hungry Pet's Program. George's cat shelter shift mates will tell you that he is well-known for his impeccable sense of humor, his gregarious laughter, his exceptional generosity, and his loyal friendship.
Experience: Kristi is a Territory Manager for Rhythm Pharmaceuticals. She works with patients with rare diseases. She has served as secretary and treasurer for Delta Delta Delta Alumni board and Girl Scouts. She has served as a volunteer for Pony Club, Muscular Dystrophy Association, 4-H, Equine Aid Horse and Donkey rescue and the Food Bank (Seattle).
VIPP Volunteer since: 2021
Programs: Board member, Team leader of the Lost & Found Dog program - helping to re-unite lost dogs with their owners.
How I came to VIPP: I believe there is something very special about a relationship with a rescue pet. I have rescued a cat and dog. I wanted to get involved in the community, meet new people and give my time to an organization I believe in.
Experience: I have been a cat lover all my life and I am a fan of dogs too. I first became involved with pet rescue in Austin, Texas in 1994. When I am not VIPPing, I work as an artist in my studio making art with fabric, paper and wood.
VIPP Volunteer since: 2001
Programs: I have worked with the feral cat program and have done shelter shifts. Currently, I take calls and emails for adoption and relinquishment as well as calls and emails for lost and found cats and coordinate the follow-up of these efforts with our cat shelter volunteers. I also act as the foster home coordinator for VIPP cats. I have been part of the Fur Ball Auction team since its inception.
How I came to VIPP: Having worked with a pet rescue group in Austin, I wanted to continue that kind of volunteer work on Vashon.