Our Team

Leslie Ann Weiss

Executive Director

Leslie has been a cat lover all of her life. Her dream as a little girl was to have a place where she could save animals… specifically cats. Leslie has been a vet tech assistant for a cats only veterinary hospital and a volunteer for several local cat rescues including Ventura County Animal Services. Leslie is a Certified Feline Behavior and Training Specialist skilled in assessing cat behavior, rehabilitation from stress induced behavioral problems, Tiny Lion kitten socialization and cat wrangling. On the rare occation Leslie is not at Surfcat you can find her with a feather wand on her Catio at home with her own clowder. Walking, kayaking and boating fill up the spaces.

Michelle Clark-Smith

President

Michelle has loved kitties since she was a little girl and was rarely without a feline companion in her life. A lover of all things living, she often found herself rescuing and rehabilitating all sorts of critters from birds to rabbits, possum, raccoons, dogs and cats. A compassionate person, she devoted her professional life to caring for the elderly and people with disabilities and special needs. She is now looking forward to helping build Surfcat, bringing her enthusiasm, organizational skills and creativity. It will be a natural transition for Michelle to focus her energy on our senior cats and cats with disabilities program, evaluating the special needs of cats and helping to find them forever homes where they can live in comfort and with love.

Debbie McKenzie

Vice President

Shana Mullin

Treasurer

Shana began fostering kittens for the Santa Clara Humane Society 16 years ago. As each kitten became old enough for adoption, she’d take another. After a dozen or so, one captured her heart and became a “foster fail” named Bear. He’s now 16 and has shared his home with at least 10 cats and kittens over the years. Shana now has 4 cats, 2 of them Surfcat rescues. She has a degree in Accounting, which helps her keep track of all your generous donations!

Roxanne Vettese

Board Member-At-Large

Roxanne (“Rox”) puts the “surf” in Surfcat Cafe & Adoptions. A diehard surfer and animal lover, Rox has been graced with the company of cats all of her life. When she is not shredding waves at the local breaks, Rox teaches U.S. History, World History, and physical education, at the middle school level. Rox got involved with cat rescue, fostering, and adoptions, through her BFF and roomie Leslie. Rox has sometimes been called the “cat whisperer”, as even the most frightened feline eventually warms up to her. Rox is also Surfcat Cafe & Adoption’s artist in residence, chief writer, and reality checker.

Joy Connell

With over twenty years in the accounting and finance industries, Joy brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Surfcat Café & Adoptions. During her career, Joy has provided accounting services to both public clients and private industry. From small start-ups to billion dollar corporations, Joy has always met and exceeded expectations.

Joy is a Southern California native who moved to Ventura County after growing up in the San Fernando Valley. Always a cat lover, Joy has owned cats her entire life.

When not working with Surfcat, Joy devotes her time as the President of JC Accounting & Tax Services, aka JCATS, providing accounting, business and tax services to small and medium businesses in the LA-Ventura-Santa Barbara county metro areas. As part of her business model, Joy made a decision to provide pro bono accounting services to a few nonprofit organizations; Surfcat Café & Adoptions is among them.

Joy has found that providing accounting services to Surfcat Café & Adoptions has been one of the most rewarding experiences of her career. This organization represents a cause that Joy truly believes in and provides the amazing benefit of being surrounded by the grateful and loving rescued kitties who help to participate in the board meetings.

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