OAA Leadership

Executive Director

Vicki Deisner, Esq.
vicki@ohioanimaladvocates.org

Vicki currently serves as the Government Affairs Representative in Ohio for the Animal Welfare Institute and is currently working to pass legislation requiring cross-reporting of animal/human violence as well as conducting regional workshops on the issue.  She was formerly the Midwest Legislative Director of the ASPCA, where she was primarily responsible for legislative and advocacy initiatives in the states of Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky.  Prior to that, she served as the Associate Director of the National Water Resources Campaigns for the National Wildlife Federation in Washington,  DC; Executive Director of the Ohio Environmental Council; and Ohio Assistant Attorney General, Environmental Enforcement Section, in Columbus, Ohio.  Vicki is a member of the Ohio State Bar Association’s Animal Law Committee, and she has developed a resource tool for the Animal Law Committee to assist advocates in working to repeal breed-specific regulations and pass breed-neutral ordinances.

Vicki received her J.D. from Salmon P. Chase Law School at Northern Kentucky University, her clinical degree in Respiratory Therapy from the University of Chicago, her M.S in Physiology from the University of Cincinnati Medical College, and her B.S. in Zoology from The Ohio State University.  Vicki resides in Columbus with a rescue dog, Halo, and a rescue cat, Casanova. 

Executive Committee

Dr. Mark Bamberger, Esq., President
mark@ohioanimaladvocates.org

Prior to his law career, Mark was a practicing and teaching environmental geologist, working for two state agencies, a government subdivision, and several major consulting firms.  Mark Bamberger began working as a geologist and environmental attorney in 2007 for David Altman Law, located in Cincinnati, Ohio.  He now runs a law firm based near Dayton, Ohio, focusing on divorces and dissolution, criminal defense, and civil litigation, though his passion is animal law. Mark’s work with animals has involved serving as the Chair and Vice Chair of the Ohio Bar Association’s Animal Law Committee, regularly speaking at OSBA Conferences on animal law topics, and volunteering as general legal counsel for several Ohio animal shelters and a wolf rescue and sanctuary in Indiana.  

Mark received his J.D. from Capital University Law School, his Ph.D. in environmental geology and political history from the Union Institute and University, his post-graduate work in geology from Binghampton University, his M.S. in geology from Wichita State, and his B.A. in geology from Miami University.  Mark regularly provides a home to rescue dogs and cats. As an officer in the Southern Cruisers Riding Club, he rides his beloved Honda Goldwing motorcycle and organizes charity rides year around for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, among other great causes. 

Michelle Lanham, Esq., Vice-President/Secretary
michelle@ohioanimaladvocates.org

Michelle started her solo law practice in 2017, concentrating on Plaintiff’s employment and civil rights litigation, and she also serves as Of Counsel to Spater & Davis Williams, LLC.  Michelle is a 2019 graduate of the Ohio State Bar Association’s Leadership Academy and a member of the Ohio Employment Lawyers Association.

Before becoming an attorney, Michelle worked in the mental health field, serving individuals in the community with severe/persistent mental illnesses and combat veterans diagnosed with substance dependence. She published her Master’s Thesis, “The Relationship Between Gratitude and Job Burnout in Mental Health Professionals” and completed legislative and policy internships. Today, she remains committed to mental health issues as a member of the Ohio Attorney General’s Task Force on Criminal Justice & Mental Illness. She is also a Board Member and volunteer for the Resurrecting Lives Foundation.

Michelle received her J.D. from Capital University Law School and her M.A., Clinical Psychology, from the University of Dayton. In law school, she was a two-time Judicial Extern for the Supreme Court of Ohio, a Legal Extern at the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. She also completed clerkships at well-respected litigation firms and worked as a legal research assistant.

Michelle has always loved all animals, but admittedly has a special place in her heart for cats, especially her two rescue tabbies.  She serves as the Secretary for the OSBA’s Animal Law Committee and is a volunteer and life member of Cat Welfare Association. Michelle is dedicated to statewide and local animal welfare issues.

Mark Finneran, Treasurer
markf@ohioanimaladvocates.org

Mark is employed as a staff consultant at BerryDunn, providing independent verification and validation services to the Ohio Department of Medicaid. Prior to his current role, Mark was a Legislative Aide at the Ohio House of Representatives and LSC Legislative Fellow in 2018. Mark’s career started in campaign politics, where he worked as a finance staff member for multiple statewide campaigns. Most recently, Mark served as treasurer for a successful Upper Arlington City Council campaign. 

Mark received his BA in Political Science from The Ohio State University in 2017. He lives in Columbus with his girlfriend and three pets, including Puck (pictured) and their cats, Cricket and Mimi. His interest in animal welfare is driven by his lifelong love of animals and the natural world. Mark believes all animals deserve effective representation in the policy-making process.

At Large

Krista Hyme

Krista Hyme – Krista has been
an elementary educator Central Ohio for the last 25 years. She created a therapy dog-reading program at Johnnycake Corners Elementary, previously served as the building facilitator for the See Kids Dream service-learning program, and works to promote humane and service-learning opportunities at her school. Krista has volunteered for decades as a dog walker at Franklin County Dog Shelter working with shy dogs; with Columbus Humane as the Girl Scout Program lead, dispatcher with the Cruelty Investigations Department, and cat volunteer; with the ASPCA as part of their Field Investigations and Response Team; with the Columbus Zoo teaching visitors about wildlife and conservation issues, as the North America region leader, as a member of the Wine for Wildlife and Zoofari Committees, and as a member of the Lights Out program that helps injured migratory songbirds. She has devoted the last twenty years to helping cats and dogs receive loving care on their journey to their forever homes.

Krista received a B.S. in Elementary Education, with a reading endorsement, from Ohio University. She completed Reading Recovery Training and a M.A. in Early Literacy at The Ohio State University. She also successfully completed her National Board Certification in the area of Early Childhood Generalist. She was previously honored as the elementary teacher of the year by Columbus Parent Magazine, named teacher of the year at Johnnycake Corners Elementary, and holds a certificate in Animal Shelter Management from University of the Pacific.  Krista is currently pursuing a certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University of Montana. She resides in Delaware, Ohio with her dog Channing and her cat Paisley. 

Jack Shaner

Jack is currently a business development consultant for EnviroScience Inc., and a veteran policy and government affairs professional with a deep experience building winning legislative and communications efforts for social causes.  Jack was the former Deputy Director and Senior Director of Legislative and Public Affairs at the Ohio Environmental Council, and Caucus Staff Policy Director to the Ohio Senate Minority Leadership in the Ohio General Assembly.  He has experience in all facets of government affairs and non-profit management, including strategizing and executing policy, communications and fundraising plans. 

Jack volunteered as a member of the Central Ohio Transit Authority – NextGen Project Advisory Group, the Ohio Statewide Transit Needs Study Advisory Committee, and Ohio’s 21st Century Transportation Priorities Task Force.

Jack received his B.A. from The Ohio State University, and successfully completed training with the League of Conservation Voters Environmental Leadership Institute.  He lives with his two rescue cats.

Steffanie Sanchez  – Steffanie is a lifetime animal lover, and dedicated her career to animals since 2012 when she left her corporate job to open the city’s first indoor dog park (by night) and only structured/enriched dog day camp (by day). As a small business owner, she worked with animal shelter nonprofit organizations to plan, direct or coordinate activities designed to create loyalty and advocacy for their organizations, and raise issue awareness as part of their program(s)/mission.

Before working in pet services, Steffanie’s professional background thrived in marketing and communications. She has spent nearly 20 years in various marketing roles for both corporate and small businesses, as an employee or independent consultant. Steffanie graduated from Ohio University with a Bachelors in Business Administration and marketing major. She received her MBA from the University of Massachusetts. Currently, she resides in Westerville and is a proud dog mom to an adorable 12-year-old rescue named Jake.

Alana Van GundyAlana is currently the CEO of Maximus Investments, LLC, an investment firm named after her beloved pit bull Maximus. Prior to her present position, Alana served as a tenured faculty member of Miami University, specialized in corrections and criminal behavior, and conducted behavior assessments and risk analysis in prisons throughout the nation. Her experiences with battered women, survivors of sexual, domestic, and workplace violence, and women who are incarcerated led her to leave her position to work on creating legislation focused on the link between human and animal cruelty, animal and human rights violations, and protecting human and animal survivors of abuse.  Alana is a member of the Ohio State Bar Association’s Animal Law Section, has published in the Animal Law Review, and works closely with animal rescue agencies to help place animal survivors of domestic violence.

Alana received her J.D., Ph.D. in Sociology, Master’s of Business Administration, and M.S in Criminal Justice from the University of Cincinnati, her bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and Psychology from the University of Dayton, and her Associate’s degree in Police Science from Sinclair Community College. Alana resides outside of Dayton, Ohio with her rescue animals. 

Human-Animal Bond Advisors

  • Dr. Janet Hoy-Gerlach, LISW-S, PhD, Associate Professor, Social Work Program, University of Toledo
  •  Dr. Aviva Vincent, LMSW, PhD, Adjunct Professor, Mandell School of Applied Social Sciences, Case Western Reserve University
  • Troy Gregorino, a doctoral candidate in Counselors Education and Supervision at the University of the Cumberlands.

Education Advisors

  • Cheri Brown, a retired teacher from Larry Larson Middle School, Columbus OH
  • Ellen Graham, a retired teacher from Jackson Middle School, Grove City OH
  • Michelle Kulewicz, a librarian at Steward Elementary School, Columbus, OH.

Legal Advisors

  • Pete Precario, Esq., nonprofit, environmental, and animal welfare law, Columbus OH
  • Kyle Silvers, Esq., medical malpractice and animal welfare, Toledo OH

Veterinary Advisor

  • Dr. Joanna Reen, Director of Licking County TNR, Inc.

Web and Social Media Advisor

  • Ms. Lyndsay Bamberger, Managing Partner of Scribble LLC, VP of Social Media and Design for the UC chapter of the American Marketing Association