behind the scenes


The People Who Make It All Happen


Micki Simeone

Executive Director

Micki has worked in sales, marketing and business development roles for different organizations for the last 25 years. She began volunteering with WCGHS in February of 2013, after going to the shelter to meet an adoptable dog. Over the course of two years, she held many volunteer roles and gained tremendous insight into the organization. In December 2015, she joined the Board of Directors, eventually becoming president. In 2020, WCGHS experienced many challenges with the effects of the pandemic. It was at this time Micki was given the opportunity to transition into the executive director role and take the helm. She gladly accepted and hasn’t looked back. Her passion for pets, people, and community lends itself well into her work for WCGHS. She loves helping animals and connecting with people. Micki shares her home and love for animals with her husband and two daughters. The family has three beloved adopted pets: Bert, LuLu and Fred.

Peggy DiPrima

Director of Advancement, Development, Fundraising and Events

Peggy joined WCGHS in 2016 to curate our signature event, A Tail to Remember Dinner & Auction. She brought with her seven years of nonprofit event experience, as well as, seven years of corporate event planning.  She moved from Atlanta, GA to Ridgefield, WA in 2008 with her husband, Frank, and her son, Joseph. Her family shares their home with their dog, Biscotti, a WCGHS alumni. Peggy enjoys spending time with her family, playing games, visiting her family in Louisiana and wine tasting at the PNW’s many wineries.

April Nicholas

Director of Operations

April began volunteering for West Columbia Gorge Humane Society in 2011, and fell in love with the work and decided to make it a career. She trained with numerous canine behaviorists and trainers to better understand canine psychology. After purchasing a home in Washougal, she continued to pursue her passion for working with animals by joining the WCGHS team in 2016. Her professional background is in financial institution management and small business ownership. April shares her home with four rescued fur children and enjoys spending her free time exploring the outdoors with her dogs.

Key Staff

Mikhaila Worle

Shelter Manager

Mikhaila comes to us with a background in dog training with an emphasis on behavior. She has over 15 years working with problem behaviors and reactivity. Mikhaila came to us with hopes of helping adopters and the community better understand dogs and how to help them thrive, and reduce surrender/returns to shelter.

Lynnette Barnwell

Surgery Clinic Manager

Lynnette grew up on a farm with a variety of animals. Naturally, she developed a passion for them and their welfare.  While she had a burning desire to work with animals, she didn’t actually start her career working with them until later in life when an opportunity presented itself to work with VCA as a surgery technician.  She accelerated in the role and fell in love with the work.

As part of her commitment to animals and their welfare, Lynnette became a Level 2 Fear Free certified professional and proudly practices putting the “treat back into treatment” for the animals!  She feels this is one of the most important aspects of working with animals.        

Over the years, Lynnette expanded her work with animals by volunteering at local spay/neuter clinics throughout Washington and Oregon.  She now firmly believes that this procedure is the foundation for controlling animal populations, maintaining health and finding loving homes for homeless animals.

What Lynnette is most proud of is her work with Vet Treks.  Every year she travels with this non profit group to Africa to do high volume spay/neuter/rabies clinics to help third world countries manage their population of cats and dogs and stop the spread of rabies.  Lynnette loves the teaching aspect of this work and giving the local veterinary professionals the tools, techniques and equipment they need to carry on after the group leaves.      

It is this volunteer work that led Lynnette to decide to leave private practice veterinary medicine and join a local nonprofit here at home.  She realized that this was truly her passion and her efforts are needed here full time to help animals in need.  She feels her role as Surgery Clinic Manager at WCGHS is absolutely the perfect fit and she’s excited to make a difference here locally.  

Lynnette shares her home with her husband and four cats.  In addition to her full time job, she has an eBay business where she dabbles in selling vintage items.  She loves going to garage sales and hunting for treasures.  She also enjoys sturgeon fishing and watching football!  

Jen Martin

Animal Care & Surgery Coordinator

Jennifer was raised in a family of animal lovers who always seemed to be rescuing stray cats and dogs to rehome or add to their own menagerie of pets. She joined WCGHS in 2017, working in the cat shelter, and left in 2019 to focus on TNR (trap, neuter, return) for feral and community cats in Washougal and Camas. She returned to WCGHS in 2023 with a renewed passion for animal welfare, and a special interest in the expansion of WCGHS’s surgical program and community outreach. When she isn’t working you’ll most likely find her chilling with her nine cats, rockhounding, kayaking, or mushroom hunting.

Laura Kelly

Volunteer Coordinator

Laura is passionate about pets, people, and building community.  After first volunteering with WCGHS in 2010, she jumped at the opportunity to join the team in 2020 and brings over 20 years of professional non-profit development and volunteer experience. If you can’t find Laura at work, she will probably be at the mountain with her family skiing, hiking or camping. Boston sports and enjoying live music are her other loves! Currently, Laura, her son, daughter, and husband share their home with one big lug of an American Bulldog mutt, Calypso, a WCGHS alumni.  

Mary Jadid

Shelter Assistant & Adoption/Foster Coordinator

Mary started volunteering in December of 2020 with the WCGHS team, fostering kittens. She discovered her love for animal rescue once she initiated a Trap-Neuter-Return event in her own neighborhood a year prior.  That led her on a journey of fostering as a hobby!  She’s experienced in bottle feeding kittens, assisting feral mother cats, and a few medical skills with all that it entails.  After that year, a foster friend of hers recommended she reach out to WCGHS, and the rest is history!  When Mary’s not immersed in her passion for helping animals, or home with her four beloved cats and family, she enjoys visiting Portland Oregon to explore the city, singing karaoke with friends, and attending live music shows as much as she can.

Felicity Dawson

Shelter Assistant

I have worked with dogs for many years. I started my career with dogs as a doggie daycare handler and worked my way up to assistant manager.  I have worked at five different daycares and learned so much!  I decided to pursue a career in animal welfare because my heart truly goes to the animals that are less fortunate. I am currently going to school to become a certified positive reinforcement trainer.  This way, I can further help the dogs that land at WCGHS and provide post adoption support to those who need it. 

Jaiden Vasquez

Shelter Assistant

Jaiden became an official member of the WCGHS team in July of 2022. Her family has been fostering animals for WCGHS since January 2021. She developed a passion for animals at an early age, and has looked forward to a career working with animals. Her background in the equestrian and dog worlds have given her the skills to make an impact on animal welfare. Jaiden desires to go to school to be a vet tech. She spends her free time riding her horses and helping out on the family farm. Her lifelong passion and commitment to animals makes her a key member of our staff. 

Baleigh Hampton

Shelter Assistant

Baleigh was raised around animals, and grew up with a family who loved large dogs!  She became more involved in the community in 2017, when she and her family started fostering animals in need for several different rescue organizations, including WCGHS.  She has worked extensively in the equestrian community as well, and volunteered at many barns.  She has been competing and riding horses for over ten years.  Baleigh plans to study horse chiropractic medicine, and receive her certification.

Our Board

Board of Directors

Brendan Greenen


Deanna Rusch


Delaney Edison

Board Director

Tiffany Fogg

Board Director

Shawn High

Board Director

Denise Barr

Temp Board Secretary

Members Not Pictured:

Chris Foster


Katie Linton

Board Director

Jaime Ross

Board Director