Led by advocates. Powered by compassion.
Shauna Sherick, CVT, Founder & President
Shauna earned her degree in animal science and veterinary technology in 1994 and since then has worked at a local veterinary hospital. She specializes in surgical procedure assisting, anesthesia, dentistry, and farm animal veterinary medicine nursing care. In 1996 she began volunteering as a veterinary technician at the Portland Audubon Society Wildlife Care Center and earned certification through the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council to become licensed in wildlife rehabilitation for the state of Oregon. In 2012, wanting to combine her love of veterinary medicine with her passion for helping farm animals, wildlife, and nature, she founded Wildwood Farm Sanctuary & Preserve. Shauna has worked on several Oregon animal welfare legislative initiatives, including SB 1019 which phases out the use of egg laying confinement battery cages, and SB 723 that sought to end coyote killing contests. Shauna works closely with the Yamhill County Soil & Water Conservation District and has received grants to restore and preserve the white oak prairie ecosystem at Wildwood Farm Sanctuary & Preserve.
Michelle Blake, Vice President
A writer and journalist who studied social change in graduate school, Michelle has always looked for ways to contribute her skills to animal causes. She serves as Executive Director of Fences For Fido and consults with several animal protection nonprofits on grant writing, development and campaigns. She previously served as board president of Willamette Humane Society, where she was instrumental in opening their low-cost spay/neuter clinic. As a board member of Fences For Fido, she established their fence-building crews in Salem and Marion County, freeing hundreds of formerly-chained dogs. She previously coordinated cougar protection efforts in 8 states on behalf of the Mountain Lion Foundation, served on the Oregon State Council of the Humane Society of the United States, and has worked to pass animal protection legislation in Oregon and beyond. At Wildwood, she loves to nerd out on the administrative end of nonprofit work, but also hauls her tools and trailer to the sanctuary for fence-building and light construction projects.
Chrissy Farias, Treasurer
As a healthcare professional, Chrissy has 15 years of experience interacting with and caring for the needs of the public. Today, she manages a team at a large pharmacy. In her spare time, she enjoys watching movies, playing board games, and traveling. With her husband, also an animal rights activist, they have four companion animals: Pax, a corgi/border collie mix, and Frank, Zo, and Reme, three cats they rescued from the streets. Chrissy has been volunteering regularly with Wildwood since September 2021, after a work party with Compassionate PDX, where she fell in love with the residents and just kept coming back. While she works hard to keep the sanctuary clean and care for the animals, her favorite activities are handing out treats and getting kisses from everyone, especially Lola and Ferd. Eager to hone her advocacy skills, she continues to participate in a variety of actions and has recently become our treasurer, enjoying learning all about her new role within the organization.
Natalie Mesa-Smith, Board Member
Board member Natalie Mesa-Smith is a lifelong advocate for animals of all kinds. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Maryland, and Oregon, her passion and dedication to animals started as she rescued dogs, cats, and iguanas in Puerto Rico. In Maryland, she volunteered at a wildlife sanctuary. In Oregon, she actively fosters animals for OTAT PDX and Stumptown Strays. She's pursuing her dream of becoming an animal behaviorist, with a specific focus on serving underserved communities.
Tanvi Varma, Board Member
A quote Tanvi looks at every day is, “May our daily choices be a reflection of our deepest values, and may we use our voices to speak for those who need us most, those who have no voice, those who have no choice,” by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. She tries to bring that approach to storytelling as a reporter for KATU, and a part-time law student. She graduated from the University of Southern California with a BA in Journalism. Part of what fills her soul, and gives her life is meaning, is giving love to animals who have never known it.
Beth Lily Redwood, Photographer
Vegan since 2005, Beth Lily Redwood is a photographer, graphic designer, writer, animal rights artivist, and vegan advocate with a master’s degree in arts administration. In everything she creates, Beth’s intention is to share the vision of a vegan world where every animal is respected, protected and loved. Her work seeks to awaken a deep appreciation for the sacred soul, beauty and sentience of nonhuman animals. Her specialty is photographing rescued animals living in sanctuaries. Beth collaborated with her husband, singer/songwriter Daniel Redwood, to create the video “Wildwood Days,” to honor Wildwood Farm Sanctuary. Beth is an artist member of the Art of Compassion Project, an international collective of vegan artists who hold group exhibitions and donate the proceeds from sales to animal rights organizations. Her photography and/or graphic design has been featured by The Dodo, Melanie Joy’s Beyond Carnism, several magazines including People, UPC’s Poultry Press, and Vegan Health and Fitness, and exhibited at The Animal Museum, Anderson Chase Gallery, Percolator Artspace and more, and in a solo show at La Vida Veggie. Beth’s animal images can be seen at bethlilyredwood.com and on Instagram.
Mekah Hall-Dominguez, Volunteer Coordinator
Mekah has been a long-time activist for social justice issues, sustainability, conservation, and caring for the planet. Her love for animals has been with her from the time she was a small child. Growing up with rescues naturally led to a lifelong passion for animal rights and their humane treatment. She has more than 20 years' experience in project management, safety training, and process improvement, the majority of which were spent in the renewable energy industry, including commercial wind farm construction. Her experience as an Authorized Outreach Trainer for OSHA makes her keenly aware of both improving processes and maintaining safety – especially important when working with animals and people! Mekah found Wildwood by attending a Sunday work party in 2019. It was the perfect opportunity to expand her knowledge and experience in caring for animals. In addition to her Volunteer Coordinator role, you can find her at the sanctuary multiple times a week as an Animal Care Team volunteer.
Scott Beckstead, Advisory Board Member
Before stepping into his current role as Director of Campaigns at Animal Wellness Action, Scott Beckstead held leadership roles with the Humane Society of the United States, owned and operated a law firm in the coastal town of Waldport, and served as Waldport’s mayor. In 2000, he and three coauthors published the first textbook on animal law. He has worked to pass a number of animal welfare bills in the Oregon legislature, including measures to regulate puppy mills and the tethering of dogs, shark finning, and the cruel practice of horse tripping. He also led successful statewide ballot measure campaigns to protect Oregon wildlife and ban the trafficking in endangered species. With a lifelong affinity for horses, he has worked extensively on protecting equines from cruelty and slaughter, working to pass the SAFE Act to ban the slaughter of American horses for human consumption. While successfully passing a number of animal welfare bills in the Oregon legislature, he has taught Animal Law, Wildlife Law, and Endangered Species Act classes at Willamette University College of Law since 2010. He lives in Sutherlin, Oregon with his wife, Jackie; they have four children, a grandson, and a colorful assortment of animals.
Courtney Dillard, Advisory Board Member
Courtney is the Social Change Researcher at Mercy For Animals where she works to support a wide variety of teams in the organization as they seek to influence decision makers to advance the interests of farmed animals. She also teaches an online grant writing capstone course at PSU. Previously, Courtney was a full-time instructor at Willamette University (Salem, OR) in the Civic Communication and Media Department, working there for more than 15 years. Her research and teaching focused on persuasion and social change, particularly as it pertains to the animal and environmental movements. During the past 15 years, Courtney has consulted on projects with a variety of national animal advocacy groups and served on boards/councils such as the HSUS’s OR State Council. In addition, she has worked with regional organizations such as the Animal Sheltering Alliance of Portland (ASAP), Multnomah County Animal Services (MCAS) and Fences for Fido (FFF). In her spare time she and her husband Matt organize a biennial spay and neuter clinic in Huanchaco, Peru.
Michelle Schwegmann, Advisory Board Member
Michelle and her husband, Josh, founded the Herbivore Clothing Company in 2002 in the spare bedroom of their SE Portland apartment. Building their following while working out of spare rooms around the city, loyal customers were soon able to flock to a tiny retail location to stock up on Herbivore’s popular mix of vegan messaging shirts and gear, cookbooks, and vegan belts and bags. Then, in 2007, they helped co-found Portland’s famed vegan mini-mall, teaming up with Scapegoat Tattoo, Food Fight! Vegan Grocery, and Sweetpea Vegan Bakery. With the new vegan haven at SE 12th & Stark Streets, Herbivore scored a larger storefront location and helped put Portland on the map of must-see vegan destinations. In 2015, Josh and Michelle published their popular cookbook, Eat Like You Give A Damn: Recipes for the New Ethical Vegan.
Seth Tibbott, Advisory Board Member
In 1980, Seth founded Turtle Island Foods, now “the Tofurky Company,” on $2,500 savings from his eight-year career as a teacher/naturalist. The company’s first product was a tasty fermented Indonesian soy product called Tempeh. In 1995, Seth introduced the first nationally marketed vegan holiday roast named “Tofurky.” The Tofurky brand now includes 43 different vegan products sold in 27,000 stores worldwide. Seth also works with vegan startups and serves on the boards of several nonprofits including the National Animal Rights Conference, The Raven Corps and Veganuary. Seth has a deep love for Wildwood’s approach that includes care and kindness towards both domesticated and wild animals. Seth is the author of In Search of the Wild Tofurky: How a Business Misfit Pioneered Plant-Based Foods Before They Were Cool.
Don Leffler, Farm Manager
Don was born and raised in Newberg, Oregon, and grew up living and breathing the farming lifestyle. His knowledge and expertise regarding the care of farm animals, as well as land management and preservation, makes Don an invaluable part of our sanctuary team. Don oversees the sanctuary’s structures, land development and growth. One of Don’s hobbies is restoring and showing vintage John Deere tractors, making him mighty handy with our tractors around the sanctuary. His green thumb makes him very popular with his family, friends and church, especially during the summer months.