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 six years of project work. She envisioned the Beautiful Together Animal Sanctuary as a natural bridge between these two worlds, linking two vulnerable populations to benefit the other. Finding land, creating partnerships, and experiencing the sheer delight of walking an animal out of a shelter affirmed this decision, as did the joy of building a team of like-minded advocates.
Tamara is also a professional photographer, Nikon Ambassador, and 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.
She and her husband, Steve, also own Coco, a plant-based bistro & bar in Chapel Hill that also supports the work of Beautiful Together. They, their three children, and their many pets are excited for the continued growth of this sanctuary – and all the hope it represents.
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.
Jenn has been a middle school science teacher for the last 22 years, and she loves watching the joy of discovery in her students. Being home with virtual teaching, she got the pleasure of sharing the world of animal fostering with her students - and they got to watch puppies and kittens grow. But the best part of her life, by far, is her son. He was adopted when he was one year old from Ethiopia, and it was then that she realized how much more love can grow each day. She discovered how healing and calming the pets in their house were to him, and in the midst of the COVID pandemic, they decided together to foster for Beautiful Together. During the process of finding foster pets homes, she saw such a healing transformation in her son - he had come full circle to helping another living creature that needed to be adopted find a forever home. The wisdom that came from his mouth with each adoption proved how important the mission of Beautiful Together is for this world. They went on to foster two pregnant mom cats, helping them deliver kittens, and Jenn became a key part of the team.
Jenn helps to find forever homes for all the cats and kittens in foster care, while also getting to spend time caring for the people who are entrusted to foster these sweet, amazing animals.
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 utility infrastructure onto the property. He also manages new sanctuary development roles and volunteer coordination efforts. And he now finds himself driving a tractor, something he'd never expected to do.
He and his wife, Tamara, love to run their dogs on the property as much as possible while building everything from the ground up (and both pups rate the sanctuary land a 10 out of 10).
As a physician who was trained and board-certified in gastroenterology, Michelle is a perfect fit for the management of the medical journey of all the rescued animals in foster care - and of those who have been newly adopted. She also coordinates medical care with veterinarian clinics and coordinates communication with foster caregivers as needed.
Michelle has worked in various areas of animal rescue, including transporting, volunteering at local shelters, and most recently, fostering. She is a lifelong lover of animals and has never met a dog on Facebook that she doesn't want to adopt. She lives in Charlotte with her very patient husband, three teenagers, three rescue dogs, and a variety of foster pets in need.
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.
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.
Kristan joined Beautiful Together to help develop the Foster Support Program. For the past six years, Kristan has been training and supporting volunteers with Girls Scouts North Carolina Coastal Pines. In addition, she coordinates community outreach programming throughout the Triangle and has a knack for problem-solving with volunteers and finding positive solutions to challenging situations.
After earning a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction, Kristan co-developed an academic support skills curriculum at the Duke Child and Family Study Center. In 2016, she published a book about teaching problem-solving skills to girls. Her most recent publication was a memoir about her dog Smooch and her life with the family. Kristan is also very excited about the Youth Programming aspect of The Beautiful Together Animal Sanctuary and hopes to use her background in Curriculum and Instruction to help create programming that is meaningful for youth coming to the sanctuary. Kristan lives with her husband, two teenagers, and a lot of animals in the woods outside of Chapel Hill.
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 23 years. In her "free" time, she enjoys running outdoors, watching college sports and, of course, spending time with her three rescue pups.
Tammie's background is in business development in the Pharmaceutical industry, for some 25 years. After that, she was the PTSA treasurer for six years, a CHHS Career Information Center volunteer, coordinated and provided support for several SPARCS (Structured Psychotherapy for Adolescences Responding to Chronic Stress) groups for the high counseling group as well as other support for high school events She's been a coach for Girls on the Run, ski coach and fundraiser coordinator for Special Olympics and has been very involved with a local Pony Club as camp coordinator, sponsorship fund raiser coordinator and also as treasurer. She started volunteering working the front desks at SECU Family House for the last 1 1/2 years.
Tammie live on a small horse farm in Chapel Hill with her husband, their daughter who goes to Elon University, their 5 horses, 2 mini donkeys, 2 cats and 4 dogs!
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.
Ferrell grew up in the country outside of Chapel Hill, running free in the woods with six big dogs and all the attending wildlife. Thus began the passion that has led to a lifetime of fostering/adopting/picking up homeless dogs all around the world. Having volunteered at shelters and therapeutic horse riding centers from childhood, Ferrell possesses a passion for how much people can gain from the interaction with animals and vice versa. With more than 25 years of experience in psychology, political campaigning, non-profit organizations and real estate, Ferrell’s experiences have naturally evolved to include dedicated animal sanctuary work. Ferrell lives with her incredibly sweet and patient partner, Patrick, their three giant dogs and a revolving menagerie of foster guests.
Brenda joined Beautiful Together after a long career in chemistry research and corporate management. She has been rehabilitating neonatal kittens for over a decade and regularly trains others how to do so, as well.
Specializing in advising on rescue cat-specific medical issues, Brenda also strategizes purchasing and inventory management for Beautiful Together's animal wellness clinic.
Ever since Tamra moved to Chapel Hill in 2010, she has been involved in giving back to her local community. She enjoys volunteering her time planning local charity events for SECU Family House, UNC Lineberger Cancer Center as well as being Executive Director of The FINN Foundation, a medical nonprofit that she and her husband, Dr. Charlie Finn founded to serve the medical needs of those less fortunate both here and abroad. An animal lover and dog mom to Enzo, Cookie and Teddy…3 lovable Blue Merle Aussies. Tamra became familiar with BTAS while donating the belongings of her beloved dog Pumpkin, who passed after a sudden and tragic illness. Being the consummate planner and a detailed organizer was a perfect fit for Tamra to oversee our supplies area. She helps keep us stocked and organized with all the supplies we need to help our fosters care for our rescues.
Patty joined Beautiful Together after retiring from her 20-year career as a communications professional in the health sciences industry. In her role at Beautiful Together she worked to expand our foster network and build relationships with partners big and small interested in supporting animal rescue. Patty has always been passionate about saving and caring for those at-risk. She and her husband have been licensed foster parents for children in Orange County since 2018 – she fully understands the difference a safe and loving space can make in a child’s life and how fulfilling it is to be a foster Mom. And as an animal lover, Patty’s passion spills over into saving as many animal lives as possible and making a difference in all aspects of animal rescue. Patty lives with her husband, teenage stepson, their three rescue dogs, four rescue cats, and a variety of animals that she fosters.