LET US INTRODUCE OURSELVES
Animal Hero Kids is an all volunteer organization.
Susan Hargreaves – Executive Director and Founder
Susan Hargreaves, the Founder of Animal Hero Kids, is a 36-year veteran of the Humane and Environmental movement and has been featured extensively in national and international media. Susan is our volunteer Executive Director and has created humane education programs around North America that conclude with cruelty-free vegan fare.
Susan also founded EarthKind, a non-profit humane education organization, and served as Chairperson for EarthSave International’s Miami Chapter.
Susan co-coordinated ARK-II, the Canadian Animal Rights network in Toronto, Canada. She hosted and piloted the first radio series in Toronto dedicated to animal protection,
Animal Voices, as well as hosting radio programs in South Florida on the subject. Susan has written a children’s coloring/activity/story book, The Hare-Raising Adventures of Rabbitta the III & Animal Hero Tips and Animal Hero Kids, Voices for the Voiceless is available now.
Susan is the recipient of the Distinguished Educator Award presented by Share the World, an international humane education organization. She was awarded the Eco-Hero Humane and Environmental Education Award by NALITH, Inc.
Susan also received the Compassionate Educator Award, the Pegasus Foundation’s Wings Award for advancing unique partnerships for the good of all animals, and recently named in the Best Environmentalists List Broward / Palm Beach New Times 2016.
You can contact Susan at SusanH@AnimalHeroKids.org
“Humane Education is long term life insurance for the animals and the planet” -Susan Hargreaves
Sangeeta Kumar – Animal Hero Kids Canada Director
Sangeeta has been a humane educator ever since her first encounter with Susan Hargreaves. She was 16 years old when the Animal Hero Kids founder presented a program in her high school. Sangeeta asked Susan’s organization to help her with a class project to learn more about the plight of animals. Sangeeta presented her presentation to her entire school. Susan inspired her to become vegan and an activist in her own high school.
She has her undergraduate degree in Environmental Leadership and her M. Ed. specializing in Humane Education. For 5 years she worked as the Education Coordinate for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals where she helped to create the first ever social justice curriculum which included animal rights.
Having spoken to thousands of youth in inner city schools to Ivy League schools such at Princeton and Stanford she is both eloquent and inspiring. Professors have this to say about her:
“Her confidence, connection with students, and ability to field students’ questions was remarkable, no mean feat.”
Robert C. Jones, Ph. D, Department of Philosophy, Stanford University
“…what distinguishes her from most is that she infects her audience with her enthusiasm, vision and compassion”
Prad Basu, adjunct faculty, Union University
Currently she runs her own photography company and is busy launching Animal Hero Kids in Canada.
Robert Ruderman – Wildlife Coexistence Director
Robert has been working for the protection of animals since 2008 in various capacities including Humane Educator, Wildlife Rescuer, Captive Wildlife Specialist, and Undercover Cruelty Investigator. His goal as AHK’s Wildlife Coexistence Director is to educate kids of all ages and adults how to peacefully coexist with wildlife and to provide humane solutions for all human-wildlife conflicts.
Robert has responded to thousands of wildlife emergencies and conflicts in Florida. In his words: “Rescuing a sick, injured, or orphaned animal in the field is always a profound and emotional experience for me. It is also, of course, profound and emotional experience for the animal. It is very clear to me in these moments just how innocent, vulnerable, and helpless these animals are. These moments fuel and fortify my courage, my sense of urgency, and my commitment to protect and defend all animals.”
AHK’s wildlife presentations and workshops are designed and customized for schools, camps, residential communities, homeowners associations, facilities/maintenance/golf course management & staff, governmental agencies, police, firefighters, nonprofits, businesses, and many other groups. Robert also offers safe wild animal handling workshops. We use engaging, interactive, multimedia programs (including costumed characters for the young ones) to demonstrate the key components to wildlife coexistence, rescue, and protection.
If you are interested in a complimentary wildlife presentation or workshop, please contact us at SusanH@AnimalHeroKids.org. Because Animal Hero Kids is an all-volunteer 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, we request a donation which allows us to continue to reach approximately 30,000 students and adults each year with our humane education programs.
Erin Fontes – Board Member & Project Development Director
Erin Fontes is the newest member of the Animal Hero Kids Team as Project Development Director. She brings with her technical, business and creative acumen from other projects such as her most recent role as Managing Director with the Broward County Film Society, as well as Volunteer and Special Events Coordinator with the Humane Society for Greater Savannah and others.
Erin is a writer currently working on her first novel; a comedic and heart-felt approach to helping children and young adults understand how to live with cancer, spoken through the voices of animals. She believe in the creative voice, especially those that embody personalities of animals and integrates its importance in all aspects of her life.
When she’s not working, you will find her advocating and volunteering to help the homeless, with hospice, and re-homing lost and found animals. Erin began volunteering at a very early age, values volunteerism as a way of life and is passionate about her newest endeavor with Animal Hero Kids and plant-based living.
Sean Russell – Marketing and Communications Director
Sean Russell is a seasoned media producer, marketing professional and educator who believes in living cruelty-free. He currently serves as the District Webmaster for Broward County Public Schools and volunteers at Silver Ridge Elementary where he teaches children how to produce digital content.
After a chance encounter with Susan Hargreaves at a vegan expo, Sean agreed to play the role of Ronnie V. Cow. He would later jump at the opportunity to volunteer with Animal Hero Kids, allowing him to combine his passions for being an advocate for children, compassionate vegan and media producer.
Mikaela Barnes – Board Member
Mikaela is a 20-something year old living and working in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She works as a vegan pastry chef by day, but is also a recipe developer, micro blogger and lover of ALL animals. Just a few years ago Mikaela was unhappily pushing papers at a law firm. In 2012, she decided to quit her job and pursue her passion for food. Mikaela attended the Living Cuisine Academy and received her Raw Food Chef Certification. It was there that Mikaela learned the importance of using wholesome, responsibly farmed, organic ingredients. Mikaela has been working as the Pastry Chef for Greenbar and Kitchen, a strictly plant-based restaurant located in Fort Lauderdale since September 2015. Mikaela’s intention is to make plant-based food as mind blowing as possible. She believes that “all beings will benefit from humans incorporating more plants into their diets.”She is known as the “Non-dairy Fairy”. After being asked to participate in the 2016 Vegan Cookie Challenge, hosted by Animal Hero Kids, Mikaela knew she wanted to be a part of this charity. Hearing stories of children showing such compassion toward all living beings was such an inspiration to her.
Catherine Craig – Board Member & Director of Strategic Planning and Compliance
Catherine’s professional background includes decades in Finance and Marketing as well as serving on numerous boards of not-for-profit organizations. Since childhood, her number one passion has always been about helping animals and protecting the environment. After becoming a Vegan years ago, she has immersed herself in Plant-Based and Animal Rights education. Catherine’s philosophy is that teaching children compassion for animals at an early age is one of the best ways to protect the future of animals and the planet. Her hobbies include writing, fitness, cooking and activism.
Korin Sutton – Vegan Fitness Advisor
I believe in the saying,”You are what you eat.” I truly believe this too the core. I have been vegan for about 4 year and I love how I feel, think, look, and how I am giving back not just to the animals but to the planet. Living and eating with compassion has changed my life completely. I was in the military for about 8 years and have served in OIF III AND IV. With that said I have seen a lot of death, poverty, hate, destruction, captivity, and many horrible things and the dark side of war.I believe that it is time to shine a light of peace and upon this country and let us be aware of what’s important in this world. Peace, love, compassion, connection, and life. As Mahatma Gandi says,” Violence begins with the fork.”
“I volunteer with Animal Hero Kids to support young hearts and minds. Seeing compassion and love at such an early age is the most beautiful thing! I love to help Animal hero Kids, Inc to continue to influence others to see love can conquer hate no matter what age!”
Kasey Minnis – Board Member
Kasey Minnis is a nonprofit professional with a passion for compassion. In her career,
she serves as the Director of Operations and Communications for the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation (MSF) –
a national service organization assisting people affected by MS and their families, where she has worked since 1993.
In 2010, Kasey launched The Humble Stitch Project, a community effort to assist the homeless of South Florida.
After reading the United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization’s 2006 report Livestock’s Long Shadow – Environmental Issues and Options, Kasey realized that she could support this UN effort to protect the environment and reduce world hunger by promoting decreased meat consumption. She was awarded the 2012 United Nations Association Advocacy Award in Broward County, Florida for her efforts. She is a featured writer for the eco-vegan news site, This Dish is Veg, and shares her own plant-based recipes and eco-friendly lifestyle tips at veggiemightee.blogspot.com.
Kasey practices “baketivism” – providing healthy plant-based meals for Animal Hero Kids events and helping others
learn that cruelty-free eating can be easy and delicious. She serves as the Secretary and Treasurer of Animal Hero Kids’ Board of Directors. “I began my journey to a cruelty-free life when I first went vegetarian at age eight,” Kasey recalls. “I’m excited that my role in Animal Hero Kids gives me the ability to support children who want to express their love for animals through their actions and efforts.”
Nicole Amon – Board Member
Dr. Nicole Amon is an Emergency Veterinarian in Broward County, Florida. She aims in her professional life to treat every life with respect.
Throughout her undergraduate work and in veterinary school she sought alternatives to harmful animal use for educational purposes. She now works to provide compassionate medical care for her patients and their families.
Nicole is a long-time animal advocate in her personal life as well. In addition to striving to live a cruelty-free life from a young age, she shares her home with three rescued fur-kids, and has volunteered with a number of animal organizations including the AR 2006 conference in Washington, DC.
Additionally, Nicole loves working with children and young adults, and spent her summers at veterinary school working as a counsellor at her school’s Vet Camp, teaching children with an interest in veterinary medicine the basics of the field. She welcomes the opportunity with Animal Hero Kids to work with, support, and be inspired by young people with a passion for animals.
Brian Haynes Copeland – Advisory Committee
Brian Haynes Copeland is the Principal at CONNAISSEUR Creative Services and partners with Warp LLC in Los Angeles. His expertise within the creative, corporate and non-profit arenas have afforded him the opportunities to hone his craft, within some of the leading fortune five hundred companies. During his fifteen years of experience, Brian has established note worthy associations in the fashion, beauty, film & entertainment industries and special event planning.
The beauty consultant for Chanel, NYC Brian established an exceptional rapport with individuals at all levels and advised a high network of clients with Chanel’s diversed products from cosmetics, apparel & accessories.
As the Director of Development, Marketing and Events at one of NYC premier event company Brian coordinated the Essence Communicaton’s beauty tribute to ‘American Women Through the Ages’ at Time Warner Center,TIAA Cref corporate events at NYC Natural History Museum,
and The NYC Ballet Gala at Lincoln Center.