Our Team

Tamara Lackey, Executive Director, Beautiful Together Animal Sanctuary, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Nikon Z9, Nikon Ambassador

Tamara Lackey

Founder & Executive Director

Tamara has been the Executive Director of Beautiful Together since co-founding it in 2014. An advocate for children waiting for families, she saw the extraordinary connection between children and animals through years of tangible project work in Ethiopia and the United States. She envisioned the Beautiful Together Animal Sanctuary as a bridge between these worlds, linking two vulnerable populations to benefit the other in a naturally therapeutic way. Finding land, creating partnerships, building a passionate team of like-minded advocates, and witnessing thousands of heartwarming outcomes all affirmed this decision.

Tamara is also a professional photographer, Nikon Ambassador and previous show host for PBS NC Chasing Frames. She has delivered presentations at Google, Disney, Harvard Law School and more, speaking on the power of photography and storytelling to affect real change. Her business background includes a career in management consulting with Accenture, focused on organizational design and development, and founding an executive recruiting startup in Silicon Valley that connected executive and development talent with venture capital firms focused in the technology space.

She and her husband, Steve, also own Coco Bistro & Bar, a plant-based restaurant in Chapel Hill partnered with Beautiful Together. They, their children, and their many pets are excited for the continued growth of this sanctuary – and all the hope it represents.

Julie Paddison

Director of Animal Rescue Operations

Julie’s first cat as a young girl was named Socks. It was love at first sight, and she has loved all animals since then. She has been active in animal rescue for over 20 years, engaging in many roles such as president, board chair, fundraising lead, clinic team lead and event and marketing planning. Julie believes that no animal should live in pain or fear and deserves protection and care to prevent that. She is excited to be part of the mission and programs of Beautiful Together Animal Sanctuary.

Julie has a strong business background which includes almost two decades of management consulting with Deloitte Consulting and strategic management experience at Cerner (now Oracle), with a strong focus in the healthcare industry. She has co-owned and managed both a restaurant and bottle shop in Chapel Hill and is currently the co-owner of a wine bar in RTP.

Julie is also an avid cyclist and competitive triathlete, which includes finishing multiple Ironman Competitions. Julie currently lives in Durham with her four beloved resident cats and an ongoing rotation of foster pets.

Julie Paddison and Maku

Steve Lackey

Director of Sanctuary Build Operations & Data Strategy Manager

Steve is the co-founder of Beautiful Together, and he has been working on related non-profit projects and funds since 2014. As a long-time animal rescue advocate, he often finds himself surrounded by a number of foster pets on a day-to-day basis, whether he actually knows they are in his house or not!

Steve is responsible for helping to realize the on-the-ground vision of the animal sanctuary. He oversees development and coordination with all general and subcontractors, managing communication with builders and fielding county requirements. His efforts include ensuring compliance with all permitting requirements and overseeing and participating in the build-out of all infrastructure across the property.

Steve is also focused on data strategy management and reporting for Beautiful Together. His background includes magazine publishing and race events production for Endurance Productions, a company he founded that built a portfolio of road races and triathlons that he has since sold. Previous experience includes a career in IT management consulting at Accenture and managing e-commerce projects for Cambridge Technology Partners. He and his wife, Tamara, also own Coco Bistro & Bar, a plant-based restaurant in Chapel Hill that is partnered with Beautiful Together. They and their family live in Chapel Hill and love to run their dogs on the sanctuary property as much as possible. Both pups rate all 83 acres a 10 out of 10.

Steve Lackey, Beautiful Together Animal Sanctuary, Chapel Hill, NC, Photo Tamara lackey Nikon Ambassador
Beautiful Together Animal Sanctuary

Leslie Davis

Director of Youth Programming

Leslie has spent the last twenty years in a variety of youth counseling and advocacy roles. A long-time supporter of UNC Athletics, her background also includes mentoring a number of college athletes over the years, as well.

Leslie is a passionate volunteer and advocate for the Hargraves Community Center in Chapel Hill, and she understands the challenges children in our community face as it relates to an inequity of opportunities. She is excited to help build out and lead this major part of The Beautiful Together Animal Sanctuary as its Director of Youth Programming.

Leslie lives in Chapel Hill with her husband and their family, which includes three teenagers, two chickens, three dogs, and a myriad of basketball hoops.

Dr. Eve Boggs

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Eve grew up in the foothills of South Carolina and graduated from the University of Georgia College of Vet Med in 2003. After vet school, she moved to Ohio with her vet school sweetheart for his internship and residency where she began in small animal private practice. She was inspired by her mentor there to become certified in Veterinary Acupuncture in 2006. In 2007 they moved to North Carolina and, aside from a short time as a mobile holistic practitioner, she has been in general small practice since. Eve has always been passionate about client education and providing individualized patient care:

"When people understand why we make certain recommendations for their pets, compliance improves, trust is gained and this results in better long term outcomes for patients. There are many ways to care for pets and this often means thinking outside the box which takes time, intention, compassion and empathy. While incredibly rewarding, practicing this way has also been my downfall because this is not how medicine in general is structured. Giving people the information, tools, and understanding of what they need to best care for their pet takes time, energy - it doesn’t end when the day is over. After 20 years practicing the only way that felt rewarding to me, it also eventually became exhausting, and I lost the joy of being a veterinarian to some degree. Our profession has very high burn out rate, and I was not immune."

For Eve, the shift to working with Beautiful Together has renewed her joy in her profession as it gives her an opportunity to learn new ways of doing things, solving problems that have not been a part of her daily practice, and giving back to a population of animals and people that she hasn't worked closely with before. She is re-energized to learn new things again, getting to work with an amazing group of humans who are all passionate about what we can all do for animals, our youth and our community - together.

Eve eventually married her vet school sweetheart, Jamie, and they have two human boys, Kenan and Rowan, as well as three cats (Cloud, Perry, and Anais), three leopard geckos (Nelly, Ming and Fatty) and a fish (Patches). They have no dogs currently - but maybe one day. She aspires to meditate but has found she is most mindful when crocheting or baking sourdough bread.

Dr Eve Boggs, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Beautiful Together Animal Sanctuary, Animal Rescue, North Carolina, Veterinarian
Kim Pollar with Beautiful Together Animal Sanctuary

Kim Pollard

Operations Manager

Originally from upstate New York, Kim and her family have lived in North Carolina for the last nine years. Her background is a combination of business and operations management and production. She opened Chatham Home, an antiques and gift shop in Pittsboro that she owned and managed, while also working on restoration projects.

As the Line Producer of The Chasing Frames Show with Tamara Lackey, a PBS NC show focused on showcasing those who are transforming lives, protecting our planet and rescuing those in need, Kim managed all the details that went into managing an episodic series in addition to a busy photography studio. She was also the Business Manager for Endurance Productions.

Kim loved her two rescue greyounds and enjoys time with her three rescue cats while continuing to fall in love quickly with each of her foster pets. She, her husband and their two daughters live in Cary, North Carolina.

Jane-Howard Crutchfield

Dog Recue Operations Intake & Foster Care Coordinator

Jane-Howard joined Beautiful Together to help implement and run the animal rescue project. Her role includes overseeing the dog adoption program and foster caregiver operations, field services, as well as the animal behavior and rehabilitation program.

Jane-Howard has worked in all areas of animal rescue since 2015: fostering, transporting, training, and volunteering at local animal shelters. As a Certified Dog Trainer, she has a passion for helping animals live their best lives. To her, rescue is more than just saving a life— it’s also making sure that the animal has a happy life. She will be directing training classes at the sanctuary (for kids and adults) as well as working with animals who may need behavioral modification before finding their forever homes.

kristen mcduffee

Kristen McDuffee

Timbernook Youth Programs & Sanctuary Operations Manager, Pet Foster Coordinator

When not assisting with fostercaregiver support for animal rescue operations, Kristen plans the growth of Beautiful Together's Timbernook programs: nature-based, child-led play experiences at the sanctuary. In addition, she manages day-to-day sanctuary efforts, assisting with Beautiful Together's operations' move to the sanctuary property. Kristen's background includes a career in child and family therapy.

Angela Edwards

Cat Rescue Communications Coordinator & Clinic Team Member

Angela joined Beautiful Together after an early retirement from a career in medical laboratory equipment sales and then as a director of a clinical hospital lab, where she focused on strategic long-term planning and overseeing operational policies and  procedures, procurement, and personnel training and development. She moved to Chapel Hill in late 2020 and knew immediately that this was her home.

Angela's role and passion for animal rescue began several years ago while residing in Virginia. She has found fulfillment in her lifelong love for cats and dogs, becoming a transporter, cat team member and clinic assistant before becoming the Cat Rescue Team Lead for Beautiful Together. She is honored to be part of this incredibly talented and dedicated group and is grateful to contribute to an organization where love, care, education and advocacy converge for the welfare of animals in need. Other than her commitment to the well-being of animals, Angela finds joy in her daughter, her "grandcat", and her hobbies, which include playing mandolin, biking, hiking, yoga and Latin dance.

Angela Edwards
Kat Spitzer with Beautiful Together Animal Sanctuary

Kat Spitzer

Dog Rescue Communications & Cat Foster Coordinator

Kat joined our team after moving from Fairfax, Virginia where she served as a volunteer with the Fairfax County Animal Shelter for over 7 years until she moved to our beloved North Carolina. Seeking to continue helping rescued animals, Kat joined Beautiful Together Animal Sanctuary ready and eager to help where she could.

Kat’s love of service is also reflected by her 20 years career as a medical service corps officer in the United States Air Force, retiring with honors. In her post-retirement life she worked in the DoD contract world managing healthcare-related information technology contracts as a project and program manager. But her love of animals kept calling to her so she decided to leave the corporate world behind and devote her time to supporting animal rescue. Since joining Beautiful Together, Kat has served as an animal transporter, clinic assistant, helped grounds cleaning for camp area, events volunteer, helps to coordinate communications on the dog team, and serves on the cat team helping process and matching incoming cats with the right fosters.

Melissa Weil

Dog Rescue Medical Coordinator

Melissa's lifelong love of animals led her to start fostering in 2016, and she quickly discovered her purpose in the world. Rescue has become a huge part of her life and she has made the most wonderful friendships over the years meeting so many like-minded people. She has fostered many dogs and has a soft spot for the shy, nervous ones and the moms with puppies! Over the years, she has gotten more involved with the behind the scenes aspects of rescue.

Her love of detail and spreadsheets works well for her current role managing dog rescue operations for Beautiful Together. She handles record management and medical care coordination for dogs, as well as supporting fosters in any way she can. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with friends, family, and her pack of rescue dogs!

Melissa Weill, Dog Rescue, Beautiful Together, Animal Sanctuary, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

C.D. Mock

Dog Adoptions Manager

C.D. joined Beautiful Together with the intent to help with onsite operations after hearing about the sanctuary. In the meantime, though, he began to implement the vetting process for dog adoptions, connecting approved applicants to fosters and the pet they desire to meet.

C.D. has been involved in dog adoptions and dog socialization since 2015, through local shelters, and he enjoys working with dogs in all areas of care and rehabilitation.  C.D. has also worked with a national dogfighting prevention group and remains active in that area,  identifying prospective suspects and helping to expose their operations.

Being a part of Beautiful Together is a lifelong dream come true, and he is thankful and anxious to see it evolve.

Sandra Stover von Dohlen

Community Partnerships & Youth Programs Manager

Prior to joining Beautiful Together, Sandra taught First Grade Dual Language Immersion. She remembers assigning a research paper where her students had to state their preferences of why they would want a kitten or puppy and why. Their responses were genuine and heartfelt and resulted in 50 papers' worth of a deep understanding of the mutual benefits of loving and caring for pets.

Teaching was a lateral move for Sandra, as she graduated from UNC Chapel Hill with a BA in Psychology in 2022. For several years prior to that, she coordinated eleven after-school programs for the YWCA in South Carolina and taught Pre-K for the UNC Child Development Center while pursuing her bachelor's degree.

Sandra's first pet was her dog, RunJoe. Although she had a special relationship with him, his own importance, love, and contributions were never discussed. She reflects on how growing up in poverty can change the conversations in so many ways. It can become far less important to appreciate and teach the mutual benefits of simply holding your animal - and Sandra believes that that is the inspiration and challenge of this work.

Sandra's role with Beautiful Together remains focused on caring for children's enrichment and emotional well-being while also expanding her passion for connecting with a broader community to not only widen Beautiful Together's ability to care for more vulnerable animals and children - but to also create rich and rewarding relationships for all.

Sandra Stover von Dohlen Beautiful Together Animal Sanctuary
Rachel Gutterman Beautiful Together

Rachel Gutterman

Dog Team Adopter Liason & Co-Coordinator of Events

Inspired by her rescue dog, Ruby, Rachel joined Beautiful Together to help other dogs in need to find the loving homes they deserve. She began volunteering at events and fostering dogs with Beautiful Together, but because she couldn't get enough, she joined the Dog Team as the post-adoption liaison! She has also expanded her role to include coordinating adoption events and developing graphics. Rachel still fosters as much as she can and can always be found with a dog in her lap during the work day. She has two dogs and two cats of her own, but she maintains a full house with at least one or two fosters at a time.

Rachel moved to North Carolina from the frozen tundra of Chicago a few years ago and is loving the weather and all the Triangle has to offer. When Rachel is not helping to save lives at Beautiful Together, she works for a medical specialty association where she collaborates with physicians and researchers to develop continuing medical education conferences for an international audience. She loves traveling to new countries for work, including Thailand, Canada, and various countries in Europe! Outside of the time she spends at adoption events, Rachel also loves to read, enjoy the outdoors with her dogs Ruby and Gloria, and spend time with her family.


Angela Myers

International Youth Programs Manager

Angela has been a supporter of Beautiful Together since its inception and joined officially to run the International division of our Youth Programming. Angela works directly with the young men in our Ethiopian transitional housing program, guiding them as they grow and mature personally, as well as mentoring them in their support of Kidane Mehret Children’s Home. With six children of her own, this position is a natural fit for Angela. She is passionate about children without traditional families, and recognizes the importance for kids of all ages to have consistent love and support as they grow and find their way in this sometimes unfair world.

Angela grew up in eastern North Carolina and completed pharmacy school at UNC-Chapel Hill in 2000. She lives in Chapel Hill with her husband, Clint, and their children. They have one daughter and five sons - the youngest two are twins adopted from Ethiopia. The family has two dogs (one adopted through Beautiful Together) and a cat, and they enjoy fostering puppies for Beautiful Together Animal Sanctuary.

Angela Myers

Michele Melet

Co-Coordinator of Events

Michele joined Beautiful Together after 18 years in account management, sales, and sales management. For most of her career, she worked in the incentive industry helping Fortunate 5000 clients design, promote, and operate group travel and sports events. For years she worked as the PTA Cultural Arts Representative, bringing shows and artists in residence to a Chapel Hill elementary and middle school. Within the community, Michele and her two children volunteered at HomeStart for 7 years, a non-profit that provides housing and services for families experiencing homelessness. They began a weekly afterschool recreation program for children called "Make Your Mark!" and found a Mother's Day Fundraiser that generated over $25,000 in revenue.

A long-time animal lover and a vegetarian since age 7, Michele feels at home coordinating events for Beautiful Together and finding forever homes for dogs and cats. During her free time, Michele enjoys hiking with her adopted dog, road and Peloton bike riding, and working out.

Liza Vinson

Social Media & Marketing Coordinator

Liza grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina surrounded by animals of all shapes and sizes. Not only did she grow up with her own cat, but she spent her childhood riding horses and volunteering at local farms, so she fell in love with pretty much every animal you can think of. Upon arriving to UNC Chapel Hill for Undergrad, Liza decide to pursue a career in Biology because of this love for animals and the outdoors. However, after completing her entrepreneurship minor, she discovered a passion for marketing, so she began taking marketing classes at Duke University and gaining experience through various internships.

At the same time, Liza started fostering kittens from Beautiful Together and absolutely fell in love with their mission (and their kitties)! She dreamed of combining her love for animals with her love for marketing, and was thrilled with the chance to join our team and do just that.

In her free time Liza likes to crochet, hike, go camping, garden, and foster kitties. She hopes to adopt her very own animals soon, and until then is dedicated to helping each and every animal at Beautiful Together find their forever home!

Liza Vinson with Beautiful Together Animal Sanctuary
Stefanie Losavio

Stefanie Losavio

Co-Coordinator of Events

Stefanie is delighted to be working with the Beautiful Together Events Team where she gets to meet so many wonderful animals and see them find them the loving homes they deserve. When she's not cuddling cats and dogs, Stefanie can be found conducting clinical research and training therapists to treat posttraumatic stress disorder. Stefanie looks forward to continuing to work with Beautiful Together as the animal sanctuary grows!

Stefanie is delighted to be working with the Beautiful Together Events Team where she gets to meet so many wonderful animals and see them find them the loving homes they deserve. When she's not cuddling cats and dogs, Stefanie can be found conducting clinical research and training therapists to treat posttraumatic stress disorder. Stefanie looks forward to continuing to work with Beautiful Together as the animal sanctuary grows!

Lisa Montone

Dog Adoption Alumnae Coordinator

Lisa is originally from upstate New York where, in spite of weekly shots for allergies to animals and the outdoors, she convinced her parents to bring a dog into their family, send her to horse camp, and spend a summer doing wildlife rehabilitation. Her passion for animal rescue began when she adopted retired racing greyhounds in early adulthood and has been an "adopt don't shop" advocate ever since.

She moved south in search of more sunshine, far less snow, and the ability to spend more time outdoors. She's been working for an RTP tech company for 24 years. In her "free" time, she enjoys running outdoors, watching college sports and, of course, spending time with her three rescue pups.

Beautiful Together Animal Sanctuary
Beautiful Together Animal Sanctuary, animal rescue, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Carol Bouchner

Legal Consultant & Policy Advocate

Carol became passionate about animal rescue after she and her husband adopted their first-ever foster, Maya Angelou Saunders Bouchner (full name only used under exceptional circumstances) almost seven years ago. She joined the team at Beautiful Together when she learned that she could contribute not "just" as a foster but also as a lawyer, policy advocate, and government relations professional, skills she honed over the course of many years since she graduated from law school.

Carol's focus at Beautiful Together is on building out a framework that ensures that we build relationshops with animals we rescue AND with our amazing fosters and adopters. Carol will also lead Beautiful Together's adovacacy efforts at the local and national levels - working to implement laws and regulations that further our mission.

Tommy Parker

Sanctuary Build & Clinic Team

Tommy joined Beautiful Together as a foster in 2019. Since then, he has expanded his participation to many aspects of this loving organization. As part of the build team, he has had the opportunity to participate in some of the initial projects at the 83-acre sanctuary site. Tommy has also collected and transported donations and supplies, rescued animals from animal control, represented Beautiful Together at adoption events, escorted animals during wellness days at various schools, helped with instruction during youth programming, and starting in 2023 has been a part of the clinic team.

As a child, Tommy grew up around many animals that his family rescued to include cats, dogs, snakes, rabbits, horses, pigs, goats, and turkeys, just to name a few. Tommy retired from the United States Marine Corps with a strong desire to give back to the country and community that he loves. Along with teaching middle school, Beautiful Together continues to fill that desire to serve and give back and has been a blessing to Tommy and his family.

Tommy Parker and Gracie Beautiul Together

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