Listee Features — Nonprofit Services

Laurian Rauen

LAURIAN RAUEN

Always wanting to be a veterinarian, Laurian Rauen applied to veterinarian school twice and was accepted both times, but her mother told her that if she chose that path, she would be on her own from there. She decided to listen to her mother’s warnings and never pursued veterinarian school again. However, she had been involved with animals in some capacity throughout her entire life. Working with animals had always been her passion. Ms. Rauen got her first parrot between 30 and 40 years ago, and continued to rescue them for years to come. Unfortunately, her sanctuary was robbed for expensive parrots like macaws and cockatoos. She was then contacted by several people in the industry and learned “the plight

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Beth Thorp

BETH A. THORP

A leading influencer in her field, Beth A. Thorp co-founded and serves as executive director of the Mitchell Thorp Foundation in memory of her son Mitchell, who passed away in 2008 of an undiagnosed illness, and they are now going on their 11th year. Prior to his passing, it was a very hard journey of taking him in and out of hospitals looking for answers, and people from all of the United States heard about their story. The community came out for them when they heard about their situation and did a walkathon for them, and they were able to raise $75,000 to help pay off a $100,000 medical bill. It truly changed her and her husband’s lives tremendously. When

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Gwyn Picerne

GWYN R. PICERNE

Encouraged by her mother, Gwyn R. Picerne really wanted to effect change in the eyes of an adoptive family. She wanted to focus on children 12 and older. It is the most unwanted group in the world to adopt, and she wanted to change that. Ms. Picerne began her professional career as the owner of Ultimate Swimwear in 1995, where she remained for a decade before co-founding and serving as president of another company, Embraced by Grace, in 2006. Since then, she has been the owner of P&P Hospitality and Sterling Trade Services, as well as the chief executive officer of Diversitas Enterprises LLC. The company helps and trains athletes not to lose money. Prior to the start of her

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Mercedes Walters

MERCEDES B. WALTERS

Committed to helping people in need, both locally and globally, Mercedes B. Walters is an overachiever. Growing up, her father always challenged her. When she was in high school, she was third in her class and her father asked her, “Why can’t she be number one?” She took that as a challenge and the following year, she became second, eventually going on to graduate as the first in her class. Her father always made her feel that if others can do it, she can do it better. Ms. Walters reads about things that she wants information about, and she prepares herself whenever she is tasked with something. While Ms. Walters had been practicing as a registered nurse for a decade,

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Sarah Gallardo

SARAH GALLARDO

Sarah Gallardo’s story goes beyond being a survivor. Her message is about overcoming adversity, defying the odds and staying positive when the world feels like it’s crashing down around you. Her charity, Sarah Speaks Up, supports women, children, men and families living free of every kind of abuse since 2015. In a society where discussions of domestic violence, intimate partner violence and spousal abuse are not supposed to be openly reviewed, she speaks up. After surviving 10 years of domestic violence at the hands of her ex-husband, Ms. Gallardo managed to get back on her feet and become a certified domestic violence counselor at the Prudence Crandall Center in New Britain, Connecticut. A single mother to her daughter Avalese, she

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Amity Buxton

AMITY P. BUXTON

The original executive director from 1991 to 2007, Amity P. Buxton, PhD, founded the Straight Spouse Network in in 1991, a worldwide organization that provides peer support and research-based information for persons whose husbands or wives reveal their identity of LGBTQ+ and, most often, leave their marriages. The network reaches out to this invisible group and helps them heal, while also educating the larger community about this issue and working with other organizations to change negative cultural attitudes toward the LGBT community. As in her previous work in public education, Dr. Buxton wanted to raise public awareness of deeper social issues, being underlying problems the organization addressed. Throughout her career, the highlight that stood out is the fact that the

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June Crow

JUNE CROW

June Crow has served as the chief financial officer of Boys & Girls Clubs of the Mississippi Delta (BGCMSD) since 2014, previously serving the organization as the director of finance and the 21st Century Community Learning Center program from 2005 to 2014. In her current role, she is responsible for the financial management of the organization. Her area of expertise and length of service positions her to see the holistic picture of the club’s mission “to enable all young people of the Mississippi Delta, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, and responsible citizens” and the activities required to bring this mission to fruition. She diligently maintains her unique prospective and ensures the

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LAURIE ZALESKI

Growing up with many animals in her house, Laurie Zaleski’s mother rented a home for 28 years while working for an animal control service. After her mother’s passing, she founded Funny Farm Rescue in her honor, serving as its CEO since 2000. The longest-running animal rescue in the northeastern U.S., the animal sanctuary has created a home for unwanted farm animals, domesticated animals and animals with created a home for unwanted farm animals, domesticated animals and animals with special needs to live out their natural lives. Another part of their mission is to prevent the cruelty to animals by increasing the awareness of animal abuse through education. Their knowledge, expertise and facilities make them truly unique in southern New Jersey

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G. Valerie Egan

G. VALERIE EGAN

Although G. Valerie Egan started her career as a programmer and project manager at Merrill Lynch, she quickly realized that her true passions lay with human resources and recruiting. She worked her way up the ladder, and was eventually able to advance within the organization to the human resources department. There, she combined her skills and interests to recruit for information technology positions. Ms. Egan spent 18 years with the investment management company before deciding it was time to move on. She loved the work, but wanted more room for growth. That led her to AT&T, where she served as the assistant vice president for staffing and college relations, and to Aon Human Capital Services, where she served as the

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KATHERINE JEAN HUBBELL DOMNING

A service-driven professional, Katherine Jean Hubbell Domning spent the majority of her career with nonprofit organizations. She started out as an information system engineer at the Mitre Corporation and a design engineer at General Electric, but transferred to the American Red Cross National Headquarters after five years. It was at the American Red Cross that Ms. Hubbell Domning discovered her passion for budgeting work; she had a gift for looking at a budget and figuring out the numbers and the plan behind it. She eventually left to join the Dominion Group as a marketing consultant and the National Foundation of Women Business Owners on a part-time basis. She retired in 2002 so that she could focus entirely on volunteer activities.

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