Election of Officers - 2016/2017

Election of Happy Tails Officers Information

The 2016-2017 Happy Tails Officer elections will be conducted by electronic ballot throughout the month prior to the Annual Member Meeting. All members are encouraged to participate in the election. You will receive an email invitation with your unique link from the website ElectionBuddy.com. Please check your spam or junk email in case the invitation gets filtered.

Location: St. Joseph's Hospital Auditorium

Date and Time: January 29th, 1:30pm-3:30pm  

Meet the Candidates for Officers


Tim Webb


I have been a member of Happy Tails for several years, serving as Vice President this past year; Team Leader, Team member, assisting with Pet-Handler evaluations, and helping with recruiting and fund raising.  Valor, our Siberian Husky; has been visiting regularly on teams at Peachford Hospital, Kates Club, Berts Big Adventure, and several special visits and helping me recruit new members. 


My vision for Happy Tails is to see the organization grow our membership, strengthen relationships with our clients, strengthen our financials, and most importantly, be in a position to fulfill our mission; with enough members and pets, to serve any and all organizations that request our services.    


As Vice President, I understand the challenge.  I facilitated the development of a strategic plan for Happy Tails with the Board, assessing where we are, and where we want to go.  The plan has been shared on the website and in summary form in the newsletters, and I welcome any questions or feedback.    


We have a great organization, and we all are doing important work in the Atlanta community; but we can and need to do more.  Our challenge is to find a way to serve the 100+ organizations on our wait-list that we have not been able to help.     


I believe, with your help, we can grow the organization to meet the needs of the community, and strengthen the Happy Tails organization.  As President, I will work to involve more members in more aspects of the organization.  I have great faith that if we work together, there is no goal we cannot achieve.  

Vice President:

Robyn Bernstein 

My dog Lylah and I have been a member of Happy Tails since August 24, 2013. I have been familiar with the organization through a friend, Ellen Levine. Ellen and Molly delighted children at CHOA and I knew that I too wanted to be a part of this organization. 


I was eager to get involved when I received Lylah at 14months of age. After several obedience classes including Canine Good Citizen, I was ready to explore becoming a team member. This organization so impressed me with its volunteers that I couldn’t wait to get started. And so in August, terrified that we wouldn’t pass we took the leap. I was so thrilled when Lylah was presented to me with her bandana that I cried. Again it was the volunteers that made that experience less stressful. From there I had supervised visits and finally join a team. I cannot express how each step of the way it has been the volunteers of this organization that have made me feel welcomed and valued.


When I was able, I took Team Leader Training and Lylah and I now head two visits at Northside Hospital.   Being that I am a retired educator, I was excited to learn about the READ program offered through Happy Tails. I completed the training and again was so impressed with the volunteer leaders. Lylah and I were fortunate to take over the visit at Sope Creek Elementary School when Linda and Boogie retired.


Lylah and are starting our 4th year with Happy Tails. We continue to have our scheduled monthly visits along with special visits when we can. I have another young pup that I hope will be ready sometime next year. 


Now is the time that I would like to help Happy Tails continue to grow as a premier volunteer organization. As an educator, it is important to educate people about what we do and the service that we provide. It is important for our volunteers to know that they represent something special and that their time spent in service is valued. I have worked in building leadership in both educational and volunteer organizations. Bringing together people of various backgrounds who share a common goal and who enthusiastically work together to inspire, and achieve the vision of the organization.


It is with gratitude for those leaders that have come before me that I respectfully submit my name for nomination as your vice president.


Donna Scowden


I started with Happy Tails on/around 1999 with my two dogs Kelsey and Tuggle. During their 8 year tenure we participated on and/or started teams with the Gwinnett Children’s Shelter, Partnership Against Domestic Violence Women’s and Children’s Shelter and various assisted living and nursing home facilities.


I have enjoyed the opportunity to be a Team leader for 15 years (give or take- the memory goes as you get older!). In the early 2000’s I served on the board as Special Visits Liaison. This was an exciting opportunity to see all kinds of different visits and facilities and was such a great opportunity for people to get a “taste” of a Happy Tails Visit.


After Kelsey and Tuggle went on to the Rainbow Bridge I had about a year as a non-visiting member waiting for my current partner Max to be born and readied to be a Happy Tails dog. Max and I have had the pleasure of participating on teams like Peachford, special visits like the CHoA Christmas parade and the Center for Visually Impaired summer camp and starting our present team at Skyland Trail. For most of my Happy Tails career I have volunteered beyond our visits- everything from stuffing baskets for the fundraising Galas to working the 5K race in the rain at 6am.


This organization is so important to me and I would like to carry my tradition of service to a board position. I feel it is vitally important for us to be involved in OUR organization and to recognize that this organization is comprised of volunteers who are so vital, and to show an appreciation for the volunteers and facilities that have historically made us the premier pet assisted volunteer organization in Atlanta.


Joan Macdonald

I think most of us can relate to being thrilled and relieved upon passing our Happy Tails Pet/Handler Evaluation! I know I will never forget how happy I was when learning Max and I had successfully completed the assessment in June, 2012. Moving forward from that time, there have been facility visits that have stayed with me. Similar to my experiences, I think we have all been privileged to see our beloved companion encounter someone during a Happy Tails visit and witness the transformation from the interaction. 

Accompanying the joy of these experiences, was a feeling of gratitude that an organization like Happy Tails exists. Like all non-profit organizations, financial health is one indicator of long term sustainability. Based on the current available tax returns, the organization has lost over 30% of its assets since 2010. It is my objective to reverse this trend and ensure Happy Tails continues to exist and has the financial resources to continue to fulfill its important mission.

I have been employed as a corporate officer in public and private for-profit organizations since 1996 and served as a Trustee on a non-profit board for 22 years. I would like to leverage these experiences to work for Happy Tails in a more direct capacity and ask for your support in my objective to serve as Treasurer.