Compassion Over Killing’s Powerhouse Team!

Compassion Over Killing’s Powerhouse Team!

Erica Meier
President

Erica has served as President for Animal Outlook (formerly Compassion Over Killing) since 2005, after being an active volunteer starting in 2000. Since taking the helm, she’s taken the organization to new heights with continued growth and accomplishments for animals that include ending the egg industry’s use of the misleading claim “Animal Care Certified” and successfully persuading BOCA foods to stop using eggs.

Vegan for 20 years, Erica has been working in the animal protection field since college. In 2013, she was honored with the prestigious Animal Rights Hall of Fame award.

Before working at Animal Outlook, Erica spent several years as an animal control officer in Washington, DC where she rescued sick, stray, and homeless animals as well as enforced anti-cruelty laws.
More about Erica!
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Cheryl Leahy
Executive Vice President
Cheryl is the Executive Vice President of Compassion Over Killing. From 2006-2019, Cheryl served as COK’s General Counsel. She works on the strategic direction of the organization as a whole, especially focusing on the use of undercover investigations as a mechanism for high-impact advocacy, and on targeting large-scale abuse of farmed animals through proactive litigation. Her work includes challenging cruel, yet standard, practices forced upon farmed animals as well as the misleading marketing of meat, milk, and eggs often found in grocery stores. Cheryl received a J.D. from UCLA School of Law and a B.A. from the University of Chicago in Environmental Studies.
She is a member of the District of Columbia, Maryland, and California bars and currently works in Animal Outlook’s Los Angeles office accompanied by her dog Hermione.
More about Cheryl!
Irina Anta
General Counsel Operations & Compliance

Irina works to protect farm animals through litigation and undercover investigations. A lifetime lover of animals, she became particularly passionate about farm animal issues in law school after watching documentaries about industrial agriculture. She interned at Animal Outlook (formerly Compassion Over Killing) the summer after her first year and joined the Animal Outlook legal team in 2016.

She has a J.D. from Yale Law School and a B.A. from Yale University in Political Science and International Studies.

Irina is always on the lookout for a good pair of vegan shoes.
More about Irina!
Tina Lopez, CFRE
National Director of Development

Tina Lopez joins Animal Outlook as our first National Director of Development. Tina brings with her a depth of knowledge and experience in all things development and is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE). She has been professionally and personally involved in animal advocacy for many years, including working on one of the first-ever confinement bans, Arizona's proposition 204 back in 2006. Tina is a Vegan and aside from her responsibilities at Animal Outlook she sits on the board of directors for two animal welfare organizations and fosters senior and disabled Chihuahuas.

More about Tina: In addition to taking care of her multiple Chihuahuas and her beloved cats, Tina and her boyfriend like to travel and follow Dead & Company to different cities when they are on tour. They also had the exciting opportunity to go to China for 10-days in 2018.
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Laura Cascada
Senior Director of Campaigns & Outreach

Laura joined Animal Outlook (formerly Compassion Over Killing) in 2017, working to increase the availability of vegan options nationwide and bring about positive changes for animals in the meat, dairy, and egg industries. She has overseen major campaign victories like Subway's new vegan meatball sub and Nestlé ditching its ice cream business & churning out vegan Nesquik.

A vegan and activist since 2008, Laura has previously led successful campaigns for PETA and the Sierra Club. She published her debut novel, Dellie's Run, in 2019, and has also written for publications like One Green Planet and The Dodo. She is the founder of Plight of the Hermies, a program fighting the wild hermit crab souvenir trade. Laura has a Master of Science in Environmental Policy from the Johns Hopkins University and lives in Virginia with her pitbull mix, cichlids, and potbellied pig.

Laura spends her free time advocating for sea life through her mermaid persona, the Vegan Mermaid Warrior on Instagram, where you'll find her at demonstrations and even swimming in mermaid gear, including as a Betta fish and a lobster.
More about Laura!
Mike Wolf
Director of Investigations

Mike became vegan in 2006 after the loss of his dog Curly, and then spent almost 4 years working as an Undercover Investigator with a focus on animal agriculture. His investigations include hog farm suppliers to Smithfield and Hormel, which have resulted in dozens of criminal cruelty charges. His cases have been featured in several national media outlets as well as multiple books written on the topic.

Mike joined Animal Outlook (formerly Compassion Over Killing) in 2014, where he leads investigative efforts into meat, dairy, and egg facilities. Since then, he has overseen multiple viral investigations, including investigations into Quality Pork Processors in 2015 as well as Tyson Foods in 2016.

Mike also has a strong passion for vegan fitness and hopes to help show how easy it is to gain vegan muscle as a member of PlantBuilt's Powerlifting team.
More about Mike!
Chris Lasala
Senior Director of IT/Marketing

Chris manages all of Animal Outlook’s websites and IT needs as well as providing support to the entire Animal Outlook team. Chris holds multiple certifications in IT and has worked web development since the late 90s.

Prior to joining us, Chris spent the last 6 years working for an NGO documenting the human rights abuse happening in Iran. He was responsible for building and managing the website for the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran.

Chris is a lover of all animals — however his favorite are cats. He lives with his wife Amie, and sadly at this time they have no cats — although they are looking to change that as soon as possible by adopting a cat and possibly naming him George!
More about Chris!
Eric Lindstrom
Director of Marketing
Eric C Lindstrom started as the Marketing Director for Animal Outlook (formerly Compassion Over Killing) in January 2018, transitioning from his role as Program Manager and Marketing Director at Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM). In his role with the Animal Outlook team, Eric markets and manages the four outreach programs, including the tours, online views, vegan support, and grassroots. Eric also assists in guiding Animal Outlook's overall marketing goals with more than two decades of professional experience.
Eric is the author of "The Skeptical Vegan" (Skyhorse Publishing 2017) and "The Smart Parent's Guide to Raising Vegan Kids" (Skyhorse Publishing 2018) he also hosts and produces a vegan YouTube series based on "The Skeptical Vegan."
More about Eric!
Jonathan Rosenberry
Video Production Manager

As Animal Outlook’s Video Production Manager, Jonathan creates videos promoting the organization’s mission, including investigation and other campaign-related videos. His love for video started at a young age when filming extreme sports such as skateboarding and snowboarding.

While working on the video team at The Humane Society of the United States as an omnivore, he was inspired to fully embrace a vegan lifestyle in early 2014. After years of professional video production experience, he is very grateful to combine his passion for video with his love for animals and the environment.

In addition to his passion for animals rights, he also enjoys pursuing athletic challenges. His most notable accomplishments are running a 50 mile ultra marathon and riding his bicycle more than 2000 miles from Seattle to San Diego
More about Jonathan!
Scott David
Investigations Associate

Scott began cutting animal products out of his diet in 2010. After getting his master’s degree in Applied Ecology, he joined an afterschool education program where he taught students about animals and the environment. He then worked for two years as an undercover investigator for Animal Outlook (formerly Compassion Over Killing).

Now retired from the field, he spends his time offering support to the current investigators.

In his spare time, Scott likes to play sports and read comic books. He is a great lover of reptiles and enjoys running into snakes while hiking.
More about Scott!
Ryan O'Connor
Web Design

Since 2017, Ryan has been our lead web designer and developer. Working closely with our IT Lead, Ryan builds and manages Animal Outlook web properties with a strong emphasis on UX and strategy. He has built and managed websites for hundreds of global clients including celebrities, educational resources, financial institutions, and of course, nonprofits.

Aside from a long list of responsibilities at Animal Outlook, Ryan is a partner with two boutique record labels who specialize in licensing. He's released the vinyl single "Built To Last" for activist/animal rights artist Rise Against, as well as a 2011 vinyl release for Syracuse vegan activist group, Earth Crisis.

After spending many years only ordering the vegetarian options on menus, Ryan officially gave up meat in 2012. In his spare time he enjoys working on new releases for his record labels, as well as traveling, kayaking, running, skateboarding, vinyl records, and yelling at his TV during football season. He also cooks a mean vegan burrito.
More about Ryan!
Elena Carter-Vodnik
Data Strategist

Originally hailing from Moscow, Elena came to the US to attend FARM's Animal Rights National Conference and pursue her dream of working to promote animal rights. Elena started as the Data Analyst for Animal Outlook (formerly Compassion Over Killing) in January 2018, transitioning from her role as Program Associate at Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM).

Prior to moving to the US (with her two cats!), Elena worked in the auto industry as a business/data analyst.

A lifetime lover of animals and vegan for the past 6 years she has volunteered in companion animal protection since 2006.

In Elena's free time, she enjoys traveling and has visited 15 countries.
More about Elena!
Radish XVX (Pronouns: They/Them/Their)
PROGRAM MANAGER, BEYOND THE LIES

Radish XVX joined Animal Outlook (formerly Compassion Over Killing) in 2018 as our Beyond The Lies Program Manager. They join us in this capacity after touring with various animal rights organizations since 2012 and managing FARM’s 10 Billion Lives and Have We Been Lied To? programs in 2017.

These tours have taken Radish all over the United States and allowed them to speak with tens of thousands of people about the issues of animal agriculture. After spending years on the road, they've transitioned into a support and logistics role.

Passionate about animal rights, Radish became vegan at 17, and has been doing human and animal liberation grassroots activism since 2008. Rad likes to spend their free time hanging out with friends, eating all the vegan food, playing video games, and spending time out in nature.
More about Radish!
LaKia Roberts
Office Manager

LaKia Roberts joined Animal Outlook (formerly Compassion Over Killing) in January 2018 as Office Manager.

Prior to joining Animal Outlook, LaKia worked with FARM for 3 years as their Member Communications Manager.

LaKia adopted a vegan diet in 2011, after viewing several documentaries on animal abuse at factory farms.

LaKia lives in the DC area and enjoys spending quality time with her son, as well as patronizing the many DC area vegan restaurants.
More about LaKia!
Stuart McDonald
Communications Manager

Stuart joined Animal Outlook (formerly Compassion Over Killing) in 2018 as a Creative Writer. She holds a B.A. in Social Justice from George Mason University and is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Social Justice and Human Rights. Stuart became interested in Animal Rights through her human rights work when she realized that animal issues are interwoven with other social justice topics such as racial justice and environmental sustainability. Plus, she loves animals - especially her cat, Josie.

Prior to joining Animal Outlook, Stuart worked as a domestic violence advocate for DC SAFE, as executive assistant to consumer advocate Ralph Nader, and a teaching assistant for animal rights, service-learning and social justice courses at GMU.
More about Stuart!
Rachel Pawelski
Senior Campaigns Coordinator

Rachel holds a Master's Degree in Anthrozoology from Canisius College, where she conducted her thesis research determining the effectiveness of a farm sanctuary's vegan advocacy program. She also holds a Bachelor's Degree in Animal Behavior, Ecology and Conservation from Canisius and is a member of Alpha Sigma Nu Jesuit Honor Society. During her undergraduate studies, she founded and led a Veg Club on campus which played an integral role in the launch of Pitchforks, the college's groundbreaking and fully vegan dining station.

Rachel is also the Exhibits Manager for the Animal Rights National Conference and is highly involved with WNY Vegfest - Buffalo, New York's first and only vegan festival. She previously spent two summers touring with FARM's 10 Billion Lives and Have We Been Lied To? programs, educating others on the plight of farmed animals and advocating for a vegan lifestyle.

Rachel shares her home (and garden) with her human partner, two rescue hounds, cat, and rabbit.
More about Rachel!
Will Lowrey
Counsel

Will joined Animal Outlook (formerly Compassion Over Killing) in 2019 as legal counsel for litigation and undercover investigations. Prior to law school, Will spent almost two decades in the corporate world, but left that career to pursue an interest in animal law after many years of volunteering for animal causes. Prior to joining us, Will clerked for a judge in the Superior Court in New Jersey and interned with an Attorney General’s animal law unit and a non-profit conducting civil litigation on behalf of animals. Will received a J.D. from Vermont Law School and a B.S. in criminal justice from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Will’s volunteer activities include assisting animals in disasters, community outreach for low income pet owners in areas ranging from urban neighborhoods to Native American reservations, assisting with the closure of roadside zoos, and caring for the victims of animal fighting cases. In his free time, Will enjoys writing fiction and spending time with his dog Ripley, a dog fighting rescue.
More about Will!
Raquela Karamson
Events Manager

Raquela joined Animal Outlook in 2019 as the Events Manager after years of actively volunteering with various non-profits to end animal cruelty and promote a plant-based diet.

Vegetarian since childhood and vegan for 8 years, Raquela grew up in Israel and through her work in events and PR has visited over 20 countries. Raquela also continues her volunteer work as the co-chair of the DC Chapter of Jewish Veg, where she co-leads a team of advocates organizing innovative events, conduct advocacy campaigns, and build community partnerships to promote compassionate, plant based living.

Raquela lives in the DC area with her 7 years old daughter, Eden and 2 adopted baby bunnies, Grayson and Madison.
More about Raquela!
Diego Rivera
Director of Operations
Diego is the Director of Operations at Animal Outlook. He has an extensive background in nonprofit finance, human resources and administration, including previously working as Operations Manager at the Equal Rights Center for over five years and volunteering with two national nonprofits: BCAUSEICAN & Haiti-Now. Diego earned his Master’s degree in Public Administration with emphasis in HR Management, Nonprofit Finance, and Nonprofit Management from George Mason University in Arlington, Virginia. He earned his B.A. degree in Sociology from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C..
In his spare time, Diego enjoys watching scary movies & working out. He is currently studying for the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification exam.
More about Diego!

 

Compassion Over Killing’s Offices


Washington, DC – Headquarters:

301-891-2458 | info@cok.net

Los Angeles, California:

info@cok.net