Please leave this field empty
Sign up to receive ARF updates and inspiring stories.
Leadership
Elena Bicker
Executive Director

Prior to following her dream into animal welfare, Elena Bicker earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from St. Mary's College of California and spent 11 years with GE Capital.

More

Prior to following her dream into animal welfare, Elena Bicker earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from St. Mary's College of California and spent 11 years with GE Capital. She joined ARF as a volunteer in 1993 and became an employee in 1998. In her first year as a staff member she generated more than $1 million in funding, and her marketing and strategic planning skills quickly led to her promotion to Marketing Director. She was promoted to Executive Director in 2006.

Her accomplishments include increasing adoptions at ARF's shelter by 23 percent, retiring the $3.1 million capital debt, and establishing an endowment for the first time in the organization's history. She has streamlined efficiencies while growing programs, elevating ARF from two-stars to the highest four-star rating on Charity Navigator, the nation's premier independent charity evaluator. In 2020, she secured a four-star rating for ARF for the 13th consecutive year, an achievement obtained by only 1% of charities rated.

Elena is a prominent member of the animal welfare community, developing long-term collaborative shelter relationships with national and local agencies. In 2007, she received special Congressional Recognition for Outstanding & Invaluable Service to the Community as a graduate of Leadership Contra Costa. In 2010, she was recruited by the Walnut Creek Chamber of Commerce for board membership and served a two-year term. In 2016, she was inducted into the Contra Costa Commission for Women's Hall of Fame for Women Demonstrating Leadership. 

Elena resides in Danville, California with her husband and ARF rescue dogs, Mia and Jax.

Close

Stephanie Chew
Development Director

Stephanie joined ARF in 2018 and has 18 years of non-profit experience. She began her career in community development and volunteer recruitment, and has 15 years of experience in fundraising and marketing.

More

Stephanie joined ARF in 2018 and has 18 years of non-profit experience. She began her career in community development and volunteer recruitment, and has 15 years of experience in fundraising and marketing. Her development team coordinates all of ARF's marketing and fundraising campaigns, including our signature events and publications – Animals on Broadway, Wine & Whiskers, Stars to the Rescue, The Scoop, and Paws Press. Stephanie grew up in the Diablo Valley and earned her Bachelors of Arts in Photography from University of California, Santa Cruz.

For Development inquiries, contact Erin Jones ([email protected], (925) 296-3149) or Wendy Taylor-Tanielian ([email protected], (925) 296-3107).

Close

Stephanie Erickson
Operations Director

Stephanie Erickson's career began in the financial sector in key leadership and strategic business management positions, while volunteering extensively with local animal groups.

More

Stephanie Erickson's career began in the financial sector in key leadership and strategic business management positions, while volunteering extensively with local animal groups. Inspired, she began her animal welfare career in 2007 and held roles as Director of Operations and Interim Executive Director at the Berkeley Humane Society and Wildlife Rehabilitation Director at Lindsay Wildlife Museum before joining ARF in 2014. Stephanie holds a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of California, Berkeley where she acts as an Academic Advisor, and is currently pursuing a master's degree in International Animal Welfare through the University of Edinburgh.

Close

Erin Jones
Leadership and Legacy Giving Manager

Erin Jones brings more than 20 years of experience in advancement, fundraising, and communications to ARF serving in leadership roles at UCSF, De La Salle, Athenian, and other independent schools.

More

Erin Jones brings more than 20 years of experience in advancement, fundraising, and communications to ARF serving in leadership roles at UCSF, De La Salle, Athenian, and other independent schools. She's helped organize and successfully implement numerous fundraising campaigns ranging from $10M to $530M, and launched her early career working in an East Coast fundraising consulting firm advising independent schools and social service clients.

When not at work, Erin enjoys cheering on local Bay Area sports teams, keeping up with her two children, and her ARF cat, Snuggles, and ARF lab mix, Maisy.

For Development inquiries, contact Erin Jones at [email protected] or (925) 296-3149.

Close

Cheryl McKenna
Chief Administrative Officer

Cheryl joined ARF in 2019, bringing with her 20 years of accounting experience. She spent 15 of those years as a CFO in the non-profit arena, cultivating strong financial, human resource, and information technology systems within her organizations.

More

Cheryl joined ARF in 2019, bringing with her 20 years of accounting experience. She spent 15 of those years as a CFO in the non-profit arena, cultivating strong financial, human resource, and information technology systems within her organizations. She thoroughly enjoys providing leadership and has served on local, state, and national committees. Cheryl lives in Bethel Island, California with her partner, Jim, and their growing clan of canine kiddos.

Close

Wendy Taylor-Tanielian
Corporate and Foundation Relations Manager

Wendy's background as a marketing and communication strategist includes creative engagement work for brands such as AT&T, DIRECTV, Tenet Healthcare, and a roster of political clients.

More

Wendy's background as a marketing and communication strategist includes creative engagement work for brands such as AT&T, DIRECTV, Tenet Healthcare, and a roster of political clients. She currently constructs innovative partnership opportunities as ARF's corporate and foundation relationship manager. A born storyteller, aka a Texan, she also leads ARF's grant writing efforts, capturing both our achievements and animal welfare vision.

When her nose isn't in a pile of market research or animal statistics, she's often puzzling her teammates with obscure lyric references. Wendy and her husband share their Bay Area home with ARF rescue dog, Max, and rescue cats Bella and Vougie.

To learn more about corporate and foundation partnership opportunities, contact Wendy Taylor-Tanielian at [email protected] or (925) 296-3107.

Close

Follow Us on Instagram @tlrarf