WHS Shelter Leadership

Willamette Humane Society is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization governed by a volunteer board of directors. The Board of Directors has the legal responsibility and authority to manage the affairs of Willamette Humane Society, including:

  • Setting the direction and making policies for the organization.
  • Overseeing the finances, including adopting the budget, ensuring that financial safeguards are in place, taxes are paid, and more.
  • Adopting personnel policies for staff.
  • Appointing and overseeing the Executive Director.
  • Linking the organization to the community by helping form relationships.

Board Members as of summer 2020:

Tracy Crandall, President
Mel Monroe, Past President
Shannon Kammerman, Vice-President
Shannon Priem, Secretary
Kate Hager, Treasurer
Jenny Hudson

Terri Jackson, DVM
Paula Fordham
Don Judson, DVM
Erin Pascual
Terri Ellen
Shayna Rogers

BJ Andersen, CAWA
Executive Director

BJ Andersen has been a member of the Willamette Humane Society Team since 2005, and became Executive Director in 2014. In her time with the organization, BJ has worked across multiple departments as Adoptions and Intake Lead, Kennel Manager, and Volunteer Manager.  As Executive Director, she has led the organization to grow from a 65% combined live release rate to a +95% live release rate.

She is a Certified Animal Welfare Administrator (CAWA), a national certification that distinguishes the top-level executives and managers in the animal welfare industry. In 2017, BJ was nominated to serve on the national CAWA Council, which oversees the certification process for the Association for Animal Welfare Advancement. She serves on the Board of Directors for Cascade Employers Association, and is a member of the conference committee responsible for coordinating the annual AAWA Fall  conference.

BJ holds a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies from Marylhurst University, studied Buddhist philosophy for two years in England and attained a degree in Equestrian Studies. Previously, she worked with YMCA, Americorps Northwest Service Academy, as a stable attendant for the San Francisco Mounted Police, and an ordained Buddhist nun. BJ resides in Scio with her partner and their menagerie of dogs, cats, sheep, goats, horses, and more.

When it comes to working at WHS, BJ says, “When I started at WHS, I never dreamed I would one day be leading the organization. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be of benefit to so many beings, both human and animal, and to help transform the lives of pets and the people who love them. What happens between humans and animals is pure magic, and what I have learned over the years is that through that bond, they save us, perhaps more often than the other way around!”

Lynn Chriestenson
Finance and Business Operations Director

Lynn Chriestenson joined the Willamette Humane Society team in 2013. In her role, Lynn keeps things around the shelter running smoothly, from the WHS Thrift Store to the full shelter campus on Turner Road. She graduated from William Woods University in Fulton, MO with a B.A. in Business & Accounting. Previous to moving to Salem and joining the WHS team, Lynn was the General Manager of the Fort Collins Food Cooperative. 

Married to her husband since 1977, Lynn’s family consists of five sons, five daughters-in-law, and seven grandchildren. When not working, Lynn’s favorite pastimes include gardening, hiking, cooking, sewing and taking care of her grandchildren.

Lynn says, “I love the mission and the people at WHS and feel privileged to be able to keep the business side of things running so that everyone else can do their job to support our mission.” 

Paul Marksbury, CAWA
Operations Director

Paul Marksbury joined the Willamette Humane Society team as Operations Director in the spring of 2020. In his role, Paul oversees and leads shelter operations, including animal welfare, customer care, medical, adoptions and foster programs. Immediately after joining the WHS team, he led the organization through the COVID-19 pandemic as the shelter pivoted to appointment-only services, adapted to changing needs, and ensured the highest level of safety for our staff and the public so that we may continue to serve animals in need. 

Paul is a Certified Animal Welfare Administrator (CAWA), a national certification that distinguishes the top-level executives and managers in the animal welfare industry. He brings more than 12 years of nonprofit experience to the role, most recently working as the Director of Operations for Lawrence Humane Society in Lawrence, Kanas. He is a graduate of Kansas State University and moved to Salem in 2020 along with his wife and two children.

About his job, Paul says, “I love animal sheltering because it’s so much more than saving lives. These pets use their second chances to complete families and heal souls. This is life-changing work in so many ways, and it’s an honor to do it in this incredible community.”

Erin Weldon
Development and Community Engagement Director

Erin joined Willamette Humane Society in 2017, and held a variety of roles before becoming Development and Community Engagement Director in spring of 2020. In her role, Erin drives strategy for the organization’s development, fundraising, and sustainability efforts, as well as guide community relations, events and outreach, and volunteer management. 

Over the past decade, Erin has championed nonprofit missions across a variety of industries throughout the country, including animal welfare, human services, and education, working in fundraising, program development, and as an independent consultant. She is an Oregon native and graduated from Lewis and Clark College with a double major in English and mathematics. Erin resides in Salem with her dog, an alumni of the Hawaii Island Humane Society, and her cat, a WHS “foster fail.”

Erin says, “Working for Willamette Humane Society has all the pieces of the pie—a cause I am passionate about; an amazing community; and a dedicated, expert staff who provide the best possible outcomes for animals. I’m continually inspired by the amazing community of adopters, volunteers, donors, and community members who support WHS.”