Leadership

Advocating for Animals

The leadership staff of Heidi’s Village brings over 100 years of collective experience in animal welfare to serve our most vulnerable population.
Virginia Jontes

Virginia Jontes

Founder

Virginia (Ginny) Jontes has always believed in providing a helping hand to those in need. Her philanthropic interests include animal welfare, domestic violence, homelessness, adoption programs, and medical intervention for humans and companion animals. She created the Virginia B. Jontes Foundation whose mission is to strengthen communities by supporting social services for at-risk human and companion animal populations. She envisions a world where nonprofit organizations are empowered to end homelessness, prevent domestic violence, provide affordable medical intervention in human and companion animal populations. There is no better example of Ginny’s generosity than her support of Heidi’s Village.
Cindy Quenneville

Cindy Quenneville

Chief Executive Officer

Cindy Quenneville, MBA, has over 25 years’ experience serving as a nonprofit leader in the greater Phoenix area. During her years in leadership roles, Cindy has developed a distinct passion for serving the vulnerable. She spent 16 years as the Vice President/Executive Director of John C. Lincoln Health Network, overseeing all of the Desert Mission community service programs, serving 32,000 individuals each year. More recently Cindy spent two years as the CEO of Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS, the CEO for The New Foundation, Chief Program Officer for a New Leaf for two years and most recently as Executive Director for Sojourner Center.

Cindy is no stranger to the human-pet bond, having been a long-time foster parent for Arizona Border Collies and being a parent to four rescue dogs. This opportunity is a dream-come-true for Cindy. To be able to provide vital assistance to pets and to foster a community where all animals are treated with respect, dignity, and compassion is a win-win scenario for everyone in Cindy’s eyes.

Gordon Sims

Gordon Sims

Chief Development Officer

Gordon Sims brings 25 years of non-profit program development experience, leadership in building community engagement programs and a successful fund development and major gifts track record. Before coming to Heidi’s Village, he worked at Sojourner Center as the Director of Philanthropy and served as the Director of Major Gifts for the Franciscan Renewal Center’s capital campaign.

Gordon loves the mission of Heidi’s Village and sees it as more relevant today in our community than ever before. His focus is building a robust fund development/marketing plan with his team, which includes an increase in major gifts and individual support, broadening foundation and corporate relationships, developing well-attended fundraising events, legacy and planned giving and helping to make Heidi’s Village a household name in the valley.

Gordon serves on several boards in the valley and is a self-proclaimed social services geek. At a very young age, Gordon saw individuals being treated as if they should be invisible or disposable and decided to be a person to engage the community on behalf of those who either cannot or do not know how to use their voices. Gordon and his spouse have lived in Tempe for 15 years, spend a lot of time with family and of course that includes their geriatric rescue kitties Henri and Esther.

Dr. Leo Egar, VMD

Dr. Leo Egar, VMD

Chief Veterinary Officer

Dr. Leo Egar graduated from The University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 2002. While studying at Pennsylvania Dr. Egar developed a passion for shelter medicine and humanitarian work. Post graduation Dr. Egar completed a rotating internship in small animal medicine and surgery at a busy emergency and referral practice in Phoenix Arizona. Dr. Egar has participated in the veterinary medical response to major disasters including the 2004 Indian ocean tsunami and hurricane Katrina as well as many large-scale animal investigations. Dr. Egar has been an invited speaker at several national humane and disaster conferences as well as multiple veterinary schools. Dr. Egar has completed multiple training courses in shelter medicine, animal cruelty investigation and surgery.

Karen Anderson

Karen Anderson

Chief Operations officer

Karen has an extensive background in animal welfare dating back to 2002 when, through an employee volunteer program, she began volunteering at several animal welfare organizations. Since then has volunteered at MCACC, Arizona Humane Society, Arizona Animal Welfare League, Animal Defense League of Arizona, and through the FixAdoptSave initiative. She has volunteered in all facets of animal welfare. The bond between humans and animals and being able to provide much-needed services to both continues to drive her passion in this field.

Dan Rasmussen

Dan Rasmussen

Environmental Services Manager

Dan brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Heidi’s Village with over 28 years in facilities management. Dan’s team ensures that Heidi’s Village campus is in tip-top shape and operating efficiently and effectively. Dan is cat dad to a cat named Stormie, a recent rescue from Arizona Humane Society!
Sheridan Schilling, FFCP

Sheridan Schilling, FFCP

Animal Care Team Manager

A Phoenix native, Sheridan has always been  passionate about helping the animals in her community. She spent most of her career working in various roles at the 2nd largest open intake shelter in the US, which is where she gained her extensive knowledge and skillset in shelter, rescue, and behavior management. While Sheridan shares a home with multiple dogs, the love of her life is her “little old lady baby”, Jedi.

Paige Wood, CBCC-KA

Paige Wood, CBCC-KA

Animal Behavior Manager

Paige earned her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2018, where she double majored in molecular, cell, and developmental biology and anthropology. Although Paige found a wealth of satisfaction in science and research, she has always been passionate about shelter animals. With a decade of hands-on experience in various animal care facilities, Paige moved to Arizona post-graduation to continue her career in animal behavior. She attributes her shelter animal knowledge to her work on the behavior team at Maricopa County Animal Care and Control, one of the highest open-intake shelters in the nation, and in 2020 she received the advanced certification of Certified Behavior Consultant Canine – Knowledge Assessed (CBCC-KA) from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT). She shares her life with two dogs: Steve, a blind and deaf pit bull adopted in 2013, and Frieda Bones, a goofy mutt adopted in 2019. 

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