Board of Directors
Holly Adams, President and Founder
Holly Adams founded MustLuvBoxers Rescue in 2013 when she decided to transform an internet forum dedicated to her favorite dog breed into a non-profit rescue that could serve Boxer dogs all along the West Coast. Under her leadership, the rescue saved 58 dogs in 2014, 66 in 2015, and now consistently saves more than 100 dogs each year.
Holly serves as the rescue’s president, leading its 250+ volunteers and managing its day-to-day operations. She organizes and assists in all aspects of animal intake such as working with shelters or citizens surrendering dogs, arranging transportation for incoming dogs, and matching dogs with safe and loving foster homes. She also is actively involved in the adoption process, reviewing adoption applications, interviewing applicants, and helping to arrange home-checks prior to approved adoptions.
When Holly isn’t helping Boxer dogs get back on their feet and into loving homes, she’s working as a physical therapy assistant helping patients literally get back on their feet. She also loves taking her dogs, Piper and Stevie, to go running at the beach.
Chris Zanassi, Vice President & Social Media Coordinator
Chris Zanassi first got involved in Boxer rescue in 2013 when she volunteered for another Washington rescue. In 2015, Chris joined the MustLuvBoxers Rescue family as the social media coordinator. In 2018, Chris was offered the position of vice president and was honored to accept the position working side-by-side with the rescue’s founder and president, Holly Adams.
Chris brings with her 30+ years of office administration experience, including great organizational skills, impressive writing, and a keen attention to detail, all of which are invaluable to managing social media and assisting in the day-to-day operations of the rescue.
When Chris isn’t busy at the computer coming up with engaging and interesting items to post on MLBR’s social media, writing dog bios, or doing pretty much anything else that’s needed, she works full time for King County in the Department of Natural Resources and Parks. In her spare time, Chris enjoys spending time with her husband, adult son, and two Boxers, MLBR alumni Ricki and Vito.
Bridget Conner, Secretary
Bridget adopted her first Boxer in 2007, which is when her love affair with the breed began. She met Holly through the original MustLuvBoxers online forum board, which morphed into the rescue we know today as MustLuvBoxers Rescue. Bridget already had five years of rescue and shelter volunteer experience under her belt when she began volunteering for MLBR in 2015. This experience was pivotal to her work to expand MLBR’s impact by establishing partnerships with shelters and rescues local to her in California. In 2016, she became the Area Coordinator for California.
Bridget became the rescue’s secretary in early 2020 when the current secretary transitioned into the vacated treasurer position. In her many years working for local government jurisdictions, Bridget has developed excellent attention to detail, great organizational skills, and impressive writing abilities, all of which have made her an invaluable board secretary.
Bridget’s love of dogs started at a very early age. Since that time, she’s had the joy of adopting/rescuing six Boxers. In her spare time, she enjoys taking her two current Boxers, Kelly Catherine and Dozer, on fun road trips and to the beach.
Carmen Shepherd, Treasurer
Carmen Shepherd has been part of the MustLuvBoxers Rescue family since 2017, when she adopted one of our rescue dogs. In 2019, Carmen joined the board as secretary and transitioned to her current role as treasurer the following year.
Carmen is a CPA with a Seattle firm and enjoys being able to lend her accounting skills to ensure the rescue can operate at the highest level. Her experience with non-profits has provided additional tracking of grants and expenses, allowing the Board to make informed decisions that help meet the rescue's mission.
Carmen and her husband, an active-duty member of the Air Force, recently moved to Savannah, Georgia where she continues to provide support to our lovable boxer pups. Carmen enjoys going on fun adventures with her husband and her boxer-boy, Howie.
Sandra Waller, Fundraising Coordinator, Board Officer
Sandra first got involved in Boxer rescue in 2017, after having Boxers in her life for over 13 years. She began volunteering with MustLuvBoxers in the summer of 2020 and was asked to join the board as fundraising coordinator in January 2021.
Sandra started rescuing Boxers of her own to honor the memory of her first pup, who passed away. Her 26 years working as a nurse has helped her develop an extraordinary compassion that is much needed in dog rescue. Sandra also brings with her several years of fundraising experience from volunteering for another Boxer rescue. Sandra has always been an animal lover and her dedication to saving any animal makes her an important asset to the MLBR team. Caring for animals is not just what she does, it’s who she is.
When Sandra isn’t busy helping animals in need, she enjoys spending time with her retired husband and their Boxers Rajah and Zeela; going on walks, exercising, doing yard work, and making memories with their grandchildren.
Kerri Butts, Events Coordinator, Board Officer
Kerri Butts is the events coordinator and has been with MustLuvBoxers Rescue since December 2017. She started out as a foster volunteer but quickly wanted to do more when she realized how much she liked the structure and mission of MLBR.
Kerri oversees reaching out to businesses, coordinates events, and organizes volunteers to table at events. Kerri received the Volunteer of the Year Award for MLBR and was nominated to win the Volunteer of Excellence Award at the 2018 Mud Bay FUTY (From Us To You) Festival. Kerri graduated from Mississippi State University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. She has worked with many kinds of animal rescue organizations, including farm animal rescues and manatee rescues.
Kerri enjoys going boating and having fun adventures with her husband and her Boxer, Sawyer.
Laurie Harmon, Board Officer
Laurie served as treasurer for MustLuvBoxers Rescue from its inception in 2013 through mid-year 2020. She remains as a board officer whose main duty is to manage purchasing of supplies and food for the rescue’s foster families. Laurie also supports the rescue by sharing events and dogs via her personal social media accounts.
Laurie lives in Arizona and enjoys spending time with her young daughter, hiking with her two dogs, Seven and Sage, and basking in the warmth of the desert southwest.
Elizabeth Bearden, Board Officer
Elizabeth (Beth) Bearden has been a board member since MustLuvBoxers Rescue was founded. Beth monitors the MLBR PayPal site and gives a yearly report to the treasurer on monies taken in or going out for transports, vet bills, adoptions, donations, and fundraising. She also donates to MLBR monthly and assists monetarily in fundraisers.
Beth has owned 4 Boxers, 3 being rescues, and is totally committed to helping MLBR accomplish the goal of rehoming Boxers to their forever homes. She lives in Rosharon, Texas with her current rescue, Blossom.
Averyl Dietering, Grant Writer, Board Officer
Averyl Dietering has been a board officer and grant writer at MLBR since 2020. Together with Chris and Holly, Averyl helped to advance MustLuvBoxers Rescue’s GuideStar status from a Silver Seal of Transparency to a Platinum Seal of Transparency. She is earning a PhD in English from University of California Davis and has completed the grant writing course series at Santa Monica College.
Averyl believes in the power of writing, rhetoric, and communication to improve the lives of humans and animals alike, and is excited to use her skills in these areas to assist in MustLuvBoxers Rescue’s mission. Boxers are especially close to her heart because her first dog, Suzy Q, was a Boxer mix.
Averyl lives in California with her wife and their rescue dog, Ellie, who loves nothing more than to eat all of the kitchen scraps from the cooking and baking that her moms do together.