BOARD OF DIRECTORS

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MANDY LAVELLE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Mandy was an outdoorsy tomboy growing up, who always tried to talk her parents into letting a random injured bird, salamander, or baby bunny into their home. She was often turned away, (which she now sort of understands why...) but her love for animals continued to grow. Mandy graduated with a BFA in Graphic Design from Fort Hays State University. After graduating, Mandy moved to the Kansas City area where she began fostering for several local organizations. It was through these organizations that she was able to help amputated, ill, and homeless dogs find their forever homes. Mandy married her husband Charles in 2015 and they moved from the city to Drexel, Missouri. Collectively, they have rescued four dogs and two cats to call their own. Once settled into the country, Mandy began to see a need for rural animal assistance and supplies. Together, Mandy and Charles founded Lucky 13 Rescue in August 2016. In 2017, they welcomed their daughter and future Lucky 13 vet, Lyza Jane, into the crazy world of rescue. Lyza Jane enjoys transporting foster dogs and playing with her own fur-brothers: Mister Hyde, Wiseguy, Yeti, and Ramone. Mandy is currently the executive director for Lucky 13 Rescue.

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LESLIE THOMAS-HOLT, PRESIDENT CO-CHAIR

From the time Leslie could talk, she spent each holiday making a wishlist of the pets she’d like as gifts from her parents (almost always a dog). At age 19, Leslie took matters into her own hands and made plans to bring home the love of her life, her first dog, Oakli, a Siberian Husky. A few years later, with the help of Oakli, Leslie began her journey as a foster for an animal rescue in Chicago and cared for two small puppies while interning in the city for the summer. Upon her graduation from Kansas State University in 2010, Leslie continued her foster journey and brought home another Siberian Husky, Owynn, from a Kansas City area rescue. Needless to say, Owynn never left and became a permanent family member. Leslie, Oakli and Owynn added a fourth member to their family in 2012, when Leslie married her husband, Brett. Together, the four fostered various puppies and adult dogs for local rescues and in 2013, another Siberian Husky joined the group when the family began fostering Mari, a young female that found herself at animal control. You know how the story goes, Mari quickly became a part of the family and was officially adopted a few weeks after the fostering began. The five continued to foster for several years in the Kansas City area and recently relocated to Colorado where they enjoy hiking, kayaking and other outdoor adventures. Leslie is a Senior Project Manager for a Healthcare Technology company and joins the board remotely. 

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LINDSAY SWITZER, PRESIDENT CO-CHAIR

Lindsay has been passionate about animal rescue since she adopted her first shelter dog at age five. She adopted the Colonel and Duchess when she moved to Kansas City in 2011, and has fostered more than 20 dogs with her husband, Aaron. When she's not volunteering for Lucky 13, you can find her hanging with her dogs, dreaming of her next adventure or enjoying a coffee or an IPA in her backyard.  Lindsay is a research analyst at a local Kansas City firm.

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JOSH FAUGHT, VICE PRESIDENT

Josh is a Kansas native who loves animals. His whole life he grew up around animals.  It wasn’t until his late 20s when Rogue, a Great Dane completely changed his world through her unconditional love and support. Josh earned his bachelor’s degree from Emporia State and works full-time in the software industry. Josh loves traveling, diving, and all things motorcycle. Josh is a dog dad to two Golden Retrievers and soon-to-be hooman dad to a little boy.  

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LARRY GRECIAN, SECRETARY

As a boy growing up in Topeka, Larry’s parents never allowed him and his siblings to have a pet. After adopting his first shelter dog at age twenty-five, he now knows what he missed the first quarter century of his life. Larry serves as secretary on the Lucky 13 Board of Directors to pay back a small portion of the love his dogs and cats have given him over the years. After he graduated from Emporia State University in 1976, Larry taught middle school students in Kansas and Missouri for thirty-four years. He retired in the summer of 2011 and moved to Lawrence to marry his wonderful wife Nancy, with whom he shares his home, in addition to four senior dogs and two young cats. 

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CRAIG BUCKLEY

Craig and his wife Anne Medley have been involved with animal rescue for many years in the KC area.  From wild animals including snakes, opossums and eagles to feral and domestic cats and dogs, they have been involved with various stages of the rescue process.  They are the penultimate foster failures, and currently have six dogs and six cats they call their own.  At times, their pet population is temporarily (?) increased by the occasional wayward litter of puppies or kittens.  Currently Anne concentrates her time working with the tiniest of orphaned kittens for the first few weeks of their lives until they are big and strong enough for neutering and adoption.  There are very few resources for these helpless creatures because of their need for constant attention.  Craig, a 35-year veteran of commercial banking in Kansas City, now stays behind the scenes, usually working with rescues on their processes and finances, and taking on the occasional odd-job to help out.

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JANESSA GILBERT

Janessa’s love for animals started as a child while growing up on a farm in Southwest KS. From bottle feeding baby calves to raising a litter of raccoons there was no animal she couldn’t find a place for in her heart.  She was introduced to the rescue world through a college friend and become hooked from her first outreach outing where she was able to free a pit bull from a chain. Janessa and her husband Bryon currently have three rescue dogs:  two Labs (Maya and Kiley) and a Husky (Morgan). She recently became a mother and decided to leave the financial world to stay home with her baby boy, Kade. Who she hopes to pass along the same passion and love for animals as she has.