Board of Directors



Helene van Beuren

Helene van Beuren became chairman of the Pennsylvania SPCA in 2011 after serving on the board since 2009. Helene serves on the development, finance and legislative committees.

She is extensively involved in philanthropic work and has served with numerous civic, animal welfare, social, land preservation and cultural organizations including the Philadelphia Art Museum, the Academy of Music, Philadelphia, the Robert Potter League of Middletown, Rhode Island and the Preservation Society of Newport Rhode Island.

Helene is former owner and operator of Glass Options, a regional stained and etched glass company serving the Northeastern United States. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Temple University.

Maggie, a Dane-Lab mix, and Sweet Pea, a deerhound mix, are part of the van Beuren household.

Shauna Binswanger

Shauna Binswanger is a former investment banker at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Securities, Inc. She is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization, global network of 18,000 executives in more than 100 countries. Shauna has been involved with the Children’s Literacy Initiative for 20 years, and is a past board chair.

A member of the board since 2007, Shauna is chair of the governance committee and she has served as Secretary since 2012.

Shauna earned her bachelor’s degree in international relations from Stanford University, and her M.B.A. degree from Columbia University. Shauna has two dogs, Sam and Bogie.

John Buck

John Buck has over 20 years of business experience in corporate finance, business development and operations. He is currently a Director of Versa Capital Management’s portfolio company, Civitas Media.

Prior to joining Versa, John was Vice President at Cerberus Capital Management, where he led middle-market deal origination efforts and supported the underwriting of numerous investments in a diverse set of industries. Previously, John was a co-founder of TenX Capital, a partnership that focused on control investments in underperforming technology, telecommunications, and business services companies.

John is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned a B.S. in Engineering, and Temple University, where he received an M.B.A with Distinguished Honors, Beta Gamma Sigma. John joined the Board in 2013.

Dr. Claudia Cassavecchia, D.V.M.,

Dr. Claudia Cassavecchia, D.V.M., owns and operates Society Hill Veterinary Hospital in Philadelphia.Claudia joined the board in 2004 and serves on the finance and strategic planning committees.

Claudia is a member of the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), the American Veterinarian Hospital Medical Association (AVHMA), and the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medicine Association (PVMA). She previously served on the board of The People Pet Partnership. In 2005, she was recognized with the PVMA Public Service Award of Merit. She earned both her bachelor’s degree in animal science and her doctor in veterinary medicine degree from Cornell University.

She has a Bichon Frise, Millie; two Maine Coon cats, Wendell and Chester; and a domestic shorthair cat, Jupiter.

Jerry Dowd

Jerry Dowd is an Account Executive with Workday, a provider of enterprise cloud applications for human resources and finance. Prior to joining Workday, Jerry guided clients on large-scale IT decisions as an Account Executive with SAP America.

Jerry holds a B.A. in Accounting from Mount Saint Mary’s College and an M.B.A. in Strategy and Management from the University of Baltimore. He joined the Board in 2013.

Penny Ellison, Esq.

Penny Ellison is an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and has taught Animal Law and Ethics and supervised pro bono projects involving animal protection since 2006.

She is a frequent speaker at seminars on Animal Law offered by the Pennsylvania Bar Institute. She also serves as Executive Director of Hand2Paw, a nonprofit organization that connects homeless youth and shelter animals through volunteering and internships. Penny also serves as Circuit Mediator for the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit where she mediates all types of civil cases on appeal.

She received her bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Penn State University and received her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Penny joined the board in 2012. Penny has a cat named Roo, a St. Bernard named Shaq and and a bulldog/pit mix named Dorset.

Kathleen Graham-Kelly

Kathleen Graham-Kelly is an executive with Vanguard, one of the world’s largest investment management companies, headquartered in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. She currently serves as principal in Vanguard’s Retail Investor Group, overseeing the organizational transition of a major technology initiative aimed at simplifying the way Vanguard interacts with its clients

Kathleen is a board member at Wings for Success, a Chester County non-profit organization helping disadvantaged women enter the workforce, and volunteers her time with Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Philadelphia and the Chester County Women’s Professional Network.

She earned a bachelor of science degree in accounting from Cabrini College and an M.B.A from St. Joseph’s University. Kathleen joined the board in 2012 and serves on the development committee.

Her family includes Mr. Dutch Kelly, an English Labrador Retriever.

Jeff Griffiths

Jeff Griffiths is a business consultant in the Philadelphia area. He previously spent five years as the CEO of Lumber Liquidators, North America’s largest specialty retailer of hardwood flooring. He retired in 2012. Before that, he had been CEO of Electronics Boutique.

Jeff is on the board of directors at Dealer Tire, LLC; THQ, Inc.; and Philadelphia Academies, Inc.; and on the Board of Trustees at Albright College. He is also an Eagle Scout.

Jeff earned his bachelor’s degree in history from Albright College, and his M.B.A. degree from Temple University.

He joined the board in 2012 and serves on the finance and governance committees.

Jeff’s pets include a Miniature Dachshund, three horses, a rabbit, a turtle, and a frog.

Rose Hamilton

Rose Hamilton is the executive vice president, chief marketing officer for, the ultimate online destination for pet parents.

Prior to joining Pet360, she held the position of Vice President of E-commerce for Ann Taylor and LOFT brands, where she oversaw the online marketing, analytics and creative strategy, resulting in increased digital reach, enhanced multi-channel customer engagement, new customer acquisition and significant business growth.

She holds a master of business administration degree from the University of St. Thomas, Graduate School of Business. Rose joined the board in 2012 and serves on the development committee.

The Hamilton household was home to Pepper, a 17 year-old rescue dog who recently passed away and also includes Fishy the Beta Fish


Philip G. Kircher, Esq.

Philip G. Kircher, Esq., is an attorney with Cozen O’Connor, an international law firm headquartered in Philadelphia. He handles a wide variety of complex commercial litigation in state and federal courts including securities, antitrust, shareholders’ rights, business and real estate joint ventures, corporate governance, breach of fiduciary duties and general breach of contract matters.

He is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and he serves as a judge pro tempore in state court in Philadelphia. He was selected a Pennsylvania “Super Lawyer” by his peers, appearing in Philadelphia magazine and Pennsylvania Super Lawyers. He is an animal welfare advocate and has provided pro bono services to numerous agencies.

Phil graduated from Drexel University and from Villanova University School of Law, where he was managing editor of the Law Review.

Phil joined the board in 2012 and serves on the development committee.

He shares his home with five rescued dogs, including Duke, Millie, Gus, Spock and Rebecca, and one rescued black cat, Baxter.

Dave Maturo

Dave Maturo is Director of Business Development for Grant Thornton LLP, a global professional services network of independent accounting and consulting firms. Previously, he was a partner with Attolon Partners and Vice President of Finance and Operations for Xlibris Corporation.

Dave is the author of the book, “Experiments in Reinventing Government: A Study of Privatization Efforts in Philadelphia, Pa.” He has also written several articles for the Pennsylvania Institute of CPAs. He served on the board of the Anti-Violence Partnership of Philadelphia for several years.

Dave earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and finance from LaSalle University, and his master’s degree in public administration in finance from the University of Delaware.

Dave joined the board in 2012, and he serves on the development and strategic planning committees.

His family includes two rescued dogs: Buddy, a Toy Fox Terrier, and Buster, a Jack Russell Terrier.

Sherryann Plesse

Sherryann Plesse is a Principal and Chief Learning Officer with Vanguard, an investment management company. She oversees Vanguard University, an initiative that uses leadership development and education experts to develop and support Vanguard employees. She also heads Vanguard’s Women’s Initiative for Leadership Success. Since joining Vanguard in 1997, her leadership roles have also included Senior Counsel. Sherryann volunteers with the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania’s annual Day of Caring event.

Sherryann earned her bachelor’s degree in political science from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and her J.D. degree from Villanova University School of Law. She also graduated from the Advanced Management Program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.

She joined the board in 2011, is chair of the strategic planning committee and a member of the development committee. The Plesse family pets include Maxwell, a Bulldog, and Oliver, a domestic rabbit.

Lindy Snider

Lindy Snider is a partner at Artists & Instigators and founder and CEO of LindiSkin, a skincare product line developed specifically for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiation.

Before founding LindiSkin in 2003, she served in multiple senior level roles at Comcast-Spectacor in sales, marketing, operations and strategic planning.  Additionally, Lindy has served as vice president of sales and marketing for the Philadelphia Flyers organization.

She serves on the boards of CancerForward and Fox Chase Cancer Center and the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education.

Lindy attended Ithaca College and the University of Pennsylvania. Lindy has been a  member of the board since 2012.

Her pets include Taj and Maggie, Border Collies, Remy and Springer Spaniel, cats Jo-Jo and CC  along with three lizards and 25 Koi.

Jennifer Utley

Jen Utley leads The Utley Foundation, which she and her husband, Chase, established to bring awareness to the increasing epidemic of animal cruelty. The Utley Foundation strives to educate the community in the proper treatment of animals, and to raise funds for the fight against animal neglect, pain, and suffering.

Jen earned her bachelor’s degree in letters and science from the University of California, Los Angeles. Her work in animal welfare has earned her many honors, notably The Kennel Club of Philadelphia’s Dogs’ Best Friend in 2011.

Jen volunteered with the Pennsylvania SPCA for several years before joining the board in 2007. She is a member of the development and legislative committees.

The Utley pets include, Jack, a Pit Bull adopted from the Pennsylvania SPCA, and two rescued cats, Sebastian and Sugar.