Our team is made up of staff and volunteers focused on our vision and mission.

CCHS Staff

SUZANNE COWHERD, Animal Programs Manager

Suzanne is extremely passionate about animal rescue and spay/neuter services to decrease the homeless animal population in our community. As the Animal Programs Manager, she is responsible for anything animal related from intake through adoption, while also serving a key role in our partnership with CCAS and supporting all foster programs. Suzanne is incredibly compassionate about the animals in our programs, ensuring they all receive the care they deserve, and have the best possible adoption outcomes. Suzanne earned her Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communication Studies from California State University, Sacramento. She has been with CCHS since 2018 and has been serving the nonprofit sector since 2008.

KATRINA DAW, Office Manager

Katrina joined CCHS in 2019 and serves a variety of roles that keep our organization thriving, from marketing and development to office management. Katrina is a Concord native and brings a background in customer service and sales to our team, as well as many years of volunteer and board experience with local PTA and swim teams. Her family still resides in Concord, along with their furbaby Penny — a CCHS alum and foster fail.

SUANNE PENNEY, Animal Programs Assistant

Suanne is responsible for the care and wellbeing of our animals, primarily on the weekends. She is our medical team lead ensuring our animals receive appropriate medical attention when needed. Suanne also assists with the foster program to ensure the foster animal and foster parent receive the support needed for the best possible experience.

Suanne joined the CCHS organization first as a volunteer and later as a staff member in 2021. After retiring from an extensive career in the financial services industry, Suanne decided to focus on opportunities that nurtured her love of animals. She volunteered at various local rescue organizations including CCHS. Suanne worked at JoyBound (formery ARF) as a Foster Specialist before joining the CCHS team. Suanne holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.  A native Californian, Suanne resides in Walnut Creek with her husband and three rescue cats (Bella, Fin and Oli) – two of which are CCHS alumni.

ALLISON COLARICH, Animal Programs Assistant

Allison is Concord born-and-raised and started her animal care career by volunteering at a rescue when she was in high school. Since then, she has worked caring for animals in various settings – non-profit rescues, pet supply stores, and even worked with wild birds including owls and ravens. She joined the CCHS team in 2022. The best part of her week is helping an animal find their forever family. 

When Allison is not hanging out with the cats and kittens at Kitty Corner, she enjoys pursuing her creative hobbies like art and writing, and going on outdoor outings with her family. She has two rescue cats and a young daughter who keep her busy around the house.

ALEXA HAMILL, Animal Programs Assistant, Foster Kitten Program Coordinator

Alexa joined our team in 2024 to provide support to our kitten foster program and partnership with Contra Costa Animal Services. The day she learned of the immense need for bottle baby fosters (for kittens), she picked up 5 that very night! Alexa is a Biology student at Diablo Valley College pursuing certification as a veterinary technician and also works at Pet Food Express. Her life has always been filled with animals and her home is currently shared with 9 cats, 4 dogs, a rabbit, a turtle! 

ALYSSA MONTANY, Animal Programs Assistant, Foster Kitten Program Coordinator

Alyssa joined the CCHS team in 2024, bringing a passion for kitten fostering, animal welfare and commitment to helping the most at-risk animal populations in our community. Her prior experience as a kitten foster coordinator has led her to this role for the second time. Alyssa is a Bay Area native with three cats of her own and a dog. 


Hiroko has been with CCHS since 2018, overseeing the day-to-day financial activities for our organization and preparing our monthly financial statements. A graduate from Cal State East Bay with a degree in economics, Hiroko has worked in the accounting field in various industries. She grew up with dogs and puppies; her childhood pictures always include her holding a dog. Hiroko loves animals and nature and she feels it is wonderful to be with cute furry animals at work and is delighted when those animals find a happy forever home. Now she has a very spoiled cat. 

CHRIS BONO, AniMeals Team Leader | Pantry Management

Chris is a compassionate pet lover and enthusiastic all-purpose volunteer who joined CCHS in 2014. Today he oversees our pantry, accepting food and pet supply donations and working with our key suppliers to receive donations.  He organizes and supports teams to bag donated supplies as well as teams to distribute those supplies to pet families in need in our community through local food pantries.

Chris has operated his own dog walking and pet sitting business since 2007.  He has worked with dogs in our community to provide basic manners training and is a certified Canine Good Citizen evaluator.  In retirement, he plans to continue his extensive support of CCHS, play more golf and support the First Tee program. Chris was recognized as a CCHS Hero of the Year in 2018 with his wife Jan. They live in Martinez where they pay rent to a rescued bully breed dog named Mo Buckets (Buckets), and seven rescued cats.

Board of Directors

JAN BONO, President

Jan is a passionate and enthusiastic member of our team since 2014 when she supported the board as Secretary until 2021, before taking on the role of President in 2023. She wears many hats including volunteer coordinator and sponsoring our Cat & Kitten Program, AniMeals Programs and SNAP program; PLUS being an active Kitty Corner volunteer. Jan supports our current team of nearly 100 active volunteers, and responds to every volunteer application we receive, onboarding and training new volunteers as they join our CCHS team.

Jan earned a degree in BS Business Administration, Organizational Development Emphasis at California State University, Fresno; and holds professional certifications in both project management and information systems. Before retirement, Jan was a Global Coordinating Service Partner for Ernst & Young, LLP where she focused on risk management and consulting services and served clients across the world for over 20 years.

Jan is also the Advisory Board Chair for the Pleasant Hill YMCA and also serves on the East Bay YMCA Board of Directors Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. Jan was recognized as a CCHS Hero of the Year in 2018 with her husband Chris. They live in Martinez and are owned by seven rescued kitties and one rescued dog named Mo Buckets (Buckets).

STEVE AMOS, Treasurer      

Steve joined CCHS in 2014, bringing a wealth of corporate financial and nonprofit audit sector experience, as well as extensive experience in companion animal welfare and professional leadership for nonprofits. He earned a BA in accounting from Portland State University and has over ten years of volunteerism with with Contra Costa Animal Services (CCAS) where he started the Running Dog program in 2015. This program involves a team of approximately 20 runners who schedule structured runs with the dogs on local trails providing them with much needed exercise and temporary freedom from confinement. Steve has served as Treasure of CCHS since 2023 and recently joined CCAS as the Community Outreach Coordinator.


Nicole joined the CCHS Board in 2015 and her main focus has been supporting both our Dog Program, including Sunday School, and our Re-homing Assistance Program. Nicole is passionate about the welfare of all animals and practices a vegan/cruelty free lifestyle. She and her family volunteer in many capacities: from fostering animals to organizing Scout volunteer projects.

Nicole is a CPDT-KA certified dog trainer and offers her support to many different programs and projects in the community. Born and raised in Pleasant Hill, she earned her Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Philosophy from SFSU and enjoys a successful career in the insurance industry.


Christine graduated from the University of San Diego with a Bachelor’s Degree in business administration and holds an MBA in finance from California State University East Bay.  She has spent more than 20 years working in a variety of finance and accounting positions with Longs Drug Stores, Central Garden and Pet, CSAA Insurance Group and most recently with Arcticom Group.  Christine joined the CCHS board in 2009 and served as its Treasurer from 2012 to 2022.


Karen Collins joined CCHS in 2021 as an experienced kitten foster, skilled in supporting neonatal kittens and is an active foster supporting kittens 0 days and older, as well as serving as a foster coach.  Karen joined the board, focused on development and marketing to increase awareness of our organization with our local community. Karen’s career involves building partnerships across various avenues to move nonprofit missions and focus’ forward. Over the last 9 years, Karen has focused on food industry donor cultivation at the Food Bank of Contra Costa & Solano, a Feeding America food bank, soliciting over 20M pounds (over 15M meals!) annually for the two counties, as well as partner food banks across Northern California. Previously Karen worked at the UC Davis Cal Aggie Alumni Association, her alma mater, to solicit revenue generating partnerships. Go AGS! Karen and her husband, Matthew, are extremely passionate and committed to supporting animal welfare and increasing awareness and focus on the needs of animals in our community. They reside in Martinez with their furbabies – dogs Sadie and Kubota and cat foster fails, Pepper, Sazz and CCHS alum Peanut; and any number of fosters that may be with them at any given time. Karen is also an active volunteer with Meals on Wheels Mt. Diablo and a 10 gallon blood donor with Vitalant.


Katherine Gandy is a Northern California native and has lived in Contra Costa County for 20 years. She holds two bachelor’s degrees from UC Santa Barbara as well as an MBA from the University of Southern California and has extensive sales, marketing, event planning and customer service experience in both the corporate and non-profit worlds. She is currently the Assistant Director of Professional Development and External Relations at Saint Mary’s College School of Economics and Business Administration as well as a real estate agent at Coldwell Banker. Katherine has always been passionate about animal welfare issues and joined the CCHS Board in 2023 to support its mission and make an impact on the lives of cats and dogs in our community. She is a key member of the Development & Marketing committee, and avid Kitty Corner volunteer. She lives with her husband and her teenaged son and daughter, along with their amazing rescue cat, Tootsie.


Myrna Schultz joined the CCHS Board in 2018 and serves on the Development & Marketing committee lending her extensive marketing and advertising experience to promote the CCHS mission. She is a passionate and life-long advocate for animals and is involved with many animal rescue organizations in various positions across the country.  Myrna has had a varied and progressive 30-year career in marketing, advertising, real estate and construction management working most recently in the food service industry as a restaurant owner/operator and consultant.  She earned her Masters of Arts degree from Michigan State University in Marketing and is a member of the Women’s Foodservice Forum and the Investor Consultant Leadership team.

Interesting in joining our Board?
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