Board Of Directors

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BOARD OF DIRECTORS

STEVE KAUFMAN
President
Board Member Bio
Steve grew up in Sarasota, Florida where his family always had dogs and horses. He graduated with his bachelor’s degree in agriculture from the University of Florida in 1990. His first job after graduation landed him in Ft. Myers working for an agricultural chemical manufacturer. For the past twenty years he has managed the Helena Chemical location in Immokalee, while residing in Alva with his wife Karla. The couple have adopted numerous animals over the years from dogs to cats, horses, cows and a donkey. Steve always says that if an animal crosses their cattle guard, then it has probably found it’s forever home.

Steve Kaufman’s email for inquiries: steve@caloosahumanesociety.org

Toni Peck
Secretary
Board Member Bio
Toni is a trial attorney who carefully evaluates a matter to find individualized resolutions to each client’s unique case. She prides herself on keeping her clients well informed, and maintains the integrity to give a prospective client an honest assessment to the strengths and weaknesses of their position, and providing a low-cost or free alternative to litigation if available.

Currently a solo general practice lawyer at Peck Law Office, P.A., Toni’s mission is to meet the legal needs of the community.  She is committed to public service through acceptance of pro bono cases, self-represented litigant assistance and presentations in area schools.  Prior to her election to the CHS Board of Directors in 2017, Toni served as pro bono counsel to CHS.  Toni received her bachelor’s degree from the University of North Dakota and her law degree from the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, MN, and she is licensed to practice law in both Florida and Minnesota.

When not practicing law, Toni is playing the oboe or flute with various community bands, training for her next triathlon, or out on an adventure with her husband and three children.  If you don’t see her there, you might inquire after her with the family master, Sir Fred the basset hound.

Rebecca Crum
Executive Director
Board Member Bio
Rebecca Crum is a born and raised 4th generation Hendry County resident and graduate of LaBelle High School.

With a lifelong love of animals, as a child her mother had no limits as to how many animals she could foster as they shared an equal love of animals and saving their lives. While she had no limits, though maybe she should have, as this included dogs, cats, hogs, calves, birds, hamsters, gerbils, and even an opossum.

In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family and her 3 girls at home. Her 3 girls being Jack Russell’s are named Happy, Deetdeet, and Mavis with Happy being the oldest at 17 years old.

She also comes with a love for her community serving on the Swamp Cabbage Board as the Secretary and previously serving as the LaBelle Cattlewomen’s Vice President.

TIM HALEY
Honorary Director
Board Member Bio
Tim Haley has been a LaBelle resident for the last 30 years. A long time Humane Society supporter, served as a past President and a current Board Member. Tim and his partner are the parents of three adopted dogs.
KARLA KAUFMAN
Director
Board Member Bio
Karla is a native of Ft. Myers, also having lived in Gainesville, FL, Reno, NV and San Antonio, TX. She has been a registered nurse for 32 yrs. A lifelong animal lover, she has always had multiple rescue animals at any given time. Her first encounter with CHS was going to one of their monthly garage sales several years ago, where she bought tickets for the Peace, Love and Paws Gala. This led to volunteering and ultimately joining the board in December 2016. Karla and her husband, Steve, reside in Alva. They share their home with 6 dogs, 5 cats, 3 cows, 2 mustangs and 1 burro, all rescues of course. Steve loves animals just as much as she does.
Tom Parrish
Vice President
Board Member Bio
Tom is an original Floridian, being born in Fort Myers and residing in LaBelle since 1988. He and his wife, Becky, raised their three sons here in LaBelle. He has four grandchildren who are his pride and joy. He has one handsome boxer, named Andrew Tucker. He has owned several boxers and beagles throughout the years. Tom has worked at Family Eye Care for the past 30 years. He also has a background as a Registered Nurse. Tom loves animals of all kinds but is especially fond of dogs.
Toddy Kean
Director
Board Member Bio
Toddy grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, and moved to Florida 13 years ago. As a child, she was often bringing stray animals home. As an adult, not much has changed.

Toddy attended John Carroll University, where she earned her Bachelor and Master’s Degrees in English literature.
Her first career was in fundraising and grant writing; before she transitioned to her true calling – training dogs.
Toddy owns a dog training business. She loves working with shelter dogs to find them a forever home. Under her guidance, many of these dogs go on to do therapy work in our community.

Toddy is married to her high school sweetheart, Brian. They have 3 adopted dogs who are their pride and joy.

Toddy began volunteering for CHS in 2017; and was instantly hooked. She is very proud to be a member of the Board of Directors.

DEIRDRE PURVIS
Director
Board Member Bio
Deirdre Purvis recently became a board member of Caloosa Humane Society.  She is a teacher, wife, and mother.

Deirdre has been married for 20 years to Douglas Purvis and has two wonderful children; Jaxon, who is 18 and attends the University of Florida, and Jaelyn, who is  just finishing her freshman year at LaBelle High School.
She also has two fur babies, Zoey and Twiggy.

Although Deirdre is an accountant by trade, she  traded in her calculator to pursue her passion as an educator. She has been teaching for 17 years with the last two years being a sixth grade ELA teacher at LaBelle Middle School.

Lara Conley
Treasurer
Board Member Bio
Lara is a native of LaBelle where she raised her son and worked for the Ford dealership for 28 years. She is married to Bill Murray and they have four grandchildren, a horse, a pony, and an Australian Shepherd named Smooch.

Lara has had a lifelong love of animals especially horses. Her involvement with Caloosa Humane Society began with fostering which was a very rewarding experience. She has also participated with CHS in the Swamp Cabbage parade, has been involved with the Peace, Love and Paws gala and the Swamp Stomp and has attended many fundraisers benefitting CHS.

When not attending community events, Lara enjoys trail riding and being near the water especially kayaking and snorkeling.

Sue Gonser
Director
Board Member Bio
I was born in Elkhart, Indiana, earned my Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Taylor University, and my Master’s degree in Education from Ball State University. Teaching young students has been a lifetime passion of mine. I’ve worked and lived in LaBelle since 1986, raising two sons, Luke and Joel Gonser, as a single Mom. After a long and fulfilling teaching career, I retired from the Hendry County Schools in June, 2011.
In 2010, I was voted “Teacher of the Year” by LaBelle’s Staff at Country Oaks Elementary. My love of helping children also spills over to my love for animals.
I am very pleased to be a board member of the Caloosa Humane Society, and hope to assist our Caloosa Veterinary Clinic and our no-kill animal shelter in every way possible to help both be their very best, all towards benefiting the animals of Hendry County.
I have a young Australian Shepherd dog named Toby who is in training to become a Therapy dog. We have made numerous visits to the schools and nursing homes. I also have a senior cat named Miss Lilly whose greatest pleasure is sleeping all day.
My hobbies include hiking and kayaking with my fellow club members from the Fisheating Creek Chapter of the Florida Trails Association, taking Tai Chi classes through our local Senior Citizens Center, enjoying Audubon Club programs, being a member of the LeHigh Stargazers Club, visiting LaBelle’s Dog Park almost every day with Toby, helping out by being a dog walker at our town’s Caloosa Humane Society, and spending as much time as possible with my four wonderful grandchildren who live in LeHigh Acres. I attend LaBelle’s First Baptist Church where I help co-teach an adult Sunday School class.
In January, 2011, I married Edward Teeters, a Vietnam Veteran, and became his caregiver for the next 7 years. Because his health needs are many, he now resides at the Douglas T. Jacobson State Veterans’ Nursing Home in Port Charlotte since January of 2018.
MELISSA MUSIC
Director
Board Member Bio
Melissa Music is a life-long resident of Hendry County, graduating from LaBelle High School and attending Edison State College. She is currently the Programs Manager at the Hendry County Economic Development Council, previously working for the Hendry County School Board and Hendry County Sheriff’s Office.

She has devoted her private life to being a wife to her husband Robby, and mother (to teenagers and animals alike), but loves to volunteer for local organizations in her free time. She has volunteered for Relay for Life of LaBelle, held many positions for the Swamp Cabbage Festival, arranged entertainment for the 4th of July Red, White & Tunes in LaBelle, and she is excited to be the newest Director on the Board of Directors here at the Caloosa Humane Society.

Melissa has adopted from the Caloosa Humane Society in the past, and she’s proud to say that she is still the human of her 15 year old Maltese Penny. She has two other dogs, Hank and Toby, along with two cats, Conway and Loretta.