Meet the Staff

Laura Merrick
President and CEO
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Honored to serve as the President and CEO, Laura joined the team at DRHS in February 2018. Laura’s progressive career in nonprofit leadership over the last decade, supported by a BS in Business from Colorado State, a BFA from Clarke University and the pursuit of an MPA from the University of Colorado Denver, demonstrates a dedication to achieving mission excellence, faithful advocacy for vulnerable populations (human and animal alike), and an ardent belief in creating greater good through collective service. Laura feels blessed to be part of an organization and community that prioritizes pathways to effectuate positive changes in animal welfare and education. As a believer that every pet should have a home Laura shares her home with a rather opinionated and highly camera shy dog named Beauregard.

Molly Van Gorden, DVM
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Dr. Van Gorden joined the DRHS in 2018 as the shelter veterinarian. Dr. Van Gorden joined the DRHS team in 2018 as the shelter veterinarian. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science from Iowa State University in 2002, and graduated from the ISU College of Veterinary Medicine in 2006. Dr. Van Gorden spent 12 years in a small animal private practice before becoming the veterinarian for the DRHS. She is passionate about adopting and caring for animals with special medical needs, and currently shares her home with three dogs and cat.

Amanda Shaffer
Shelter Manager
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Amanda joined the DRHS team in 2015. She studied Animal Science at Iowa State University and has over 7 years of experience in animal welfare. She has worked in a variety of positions at the DRHS and has the ability to assist and help where is needed. She has been an animal advocate since she was a young girl and has a soft spot for elderly and animals with special needs.

Angie Herting
Director of Development
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Angie joined the DRHS team as our Development Officer in November 2016. She has over 17 years of experience in the Sales and Business Development and a Bachelor's degree in Psychology with a Minor in Spanish from Loras College. Angie loves animals and rescued her Boxer, Jaxon, in 2014.

Kelsey Schmidt
Outreach Coordinator
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Kelsey became the DRHS' Outreach Coordinator in February 2018. She has had a life-long passion for both animals and children, which makes her uniquely qualified in the undertaking of enlarging the community's knowledge of the DRHS' mission. Kelsey has rescued many loved ones including a chinchilla, corn snake, three kittens, and a rat terrier mix named Khloe.
Mariah Mariah Licht
Bookkeeper & HR Administrator
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Mariah joined the DRHS team as the Bookkeeping and Human Resources Administrator in October 2018 but has been affiliated with the organization since 2015. She earned a BS in Business Management and an MBA with a concentration in Human Resources from the University of Phoenix. Mariah has over 12 years of management experience and provides support for the DRHS in a variety of administrative functions. Mariah is an animal lover and has two Mastiffs, one of which she adopted from the DRHS in 2016.
Vet Technicians
Briana Eickhoff
Kelly Bode
Rehoming Consultant
Jennifer Sheldon
Dick Hess
Customer Care Supervisor
Andrea Mansker
Animal Care Supervisor
Molly Melssen
Customer Care Representatives
Carla Holloway
Morgan Schromen
Animal Care Technicians
Lisa Brimeyer
Holly Steil
Rachel Sell
Hannah Salow
Jalyn Streif
Emilee Anderson
Dylan Wegrzyn
Josie Brannon