Photo Courtesy of Rob Wilson Photography
Heather J. Cammisa, CAWA
President & CEO
Recipient of the 2013 Unity Award from The Animal Welfare Federation of NJ
Heather – a New Jersey native - joined St. Hubert’s in June 2010. Prior to joining St. Hubert's, Heather worked for the Humane Society of the United States where she held several roles, most notably she was responsible for research, development and implementation of a spay & neuter campaign along with shelter outreach and targeted infrastructure investments in Louisiana and Mississippi, partnering with other national organizations and foundations. Prior to joining the HSUS, Ms. Cammisa was the Executive Director of the Jersey Shore Animal Center for five years and led the design, fundraising and completion of its new shelter and implemented cruelty investigations and programmatic initiatives.
Heather has achieved the signature designation of Certified Animal Welfare Administrator. She is a certified NJ Animal Control Officer and Cruelty Investigator. She teaches a portion of NJ's ACO certification course. She holds a Master’s Degree in Economics from Rutgers University. She has served on the boards of Jersey Shore Animal Center in Brick, New Jersey, the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine, New Jersey and the Animal Welfare Federation of New Jersey. She is currently serves as an advisory member of the Animal Welfare Federation of New Jersey. Her dog, "Sammy" (a foster failure) was the Honda dog at the 2009 International Auto Show in New York City, debuting the new Dog Friendly Honda Element. For that, Honda made a donation that enabled the creation of SpayNJ's customized advertisements in use to effectively message spay & neuter across the state.
Assistant Vice President
Nora was born in the area and grew up familiar with St. Hubert’s since its Woodland Avenue site opened. As an adopter and frequent visitor to the animals awaiting adoption, she often fantasized about what it would be like to grow up and have a real job at a place whose mission was helping animals. She joined the organization—much smaller back then--in 1977 to take responsibility for the front office reception, dispatch and recordkeeping and tend to the majority of St. Hubert’s clerical duties, while at the same time working to grow St. Hubert’s fledgling humane education program. She was also responsible for the creation and implementation of the organization’s pet therapy and pet loss support programs. Nora managed the transition team when the merger with Somerset Humane Society resulted in the creation of St. Hubert’s satellite shelter facility in North Branch in 1994. She represents St. Hubert's on the Animal Welfare Federation of New Jersey board. She feels fortunate to have had the opportunity to work on a myriad of projects and programs that have contributed to the organization’s growth and ability to be at the forefront of life-saving sheltering efforts and adoption initiatives. Nora shares her Morris Township home and heart with her husband Bob and the latest in a long succession of much-loved dogs and cats adopted from both the Madison and North Branch shelters.
Pia Silvani, CPDT-KA, CCBC-KA
Assistant Vice President and Behavior Specialist
Pia's love of teaching began over 30 years ago as a private trainer, dance instructor, and track, field and swimming coach for the Special Olympics. Her academic background was gained through the training of the world-renowned President, CEO and Founder of the famous Cooper Aerobics Center, Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper, M.D., M.P.H. She achieved the highest level of training by becoming a Regional Clinician for the first international aerobics corporation where she trained hundreds of new instructors in the field. She eventually combined her love of coaching and teaching people with her other fondness - - dogs. Pia is Vice President of Training and Behavior at St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center located in Madison, New Jersey. She has developed various courses focusing on positive, reward-based techniques, which are extremely effective in the enhancement of the bond and relationship of the dog and her human companion. The result of her efforts is an astounding 100+ classes per week, which includes 8 levels of pet training classes, specialty courses designed for dogs with extreme behavioral problems and much more.
Pia also developed a canine coach program where volunteers and apprentice trainers work with shelter dogs on a daily basis to help the dogs become more adoptable by achieving and maintaining good manners, as well as developing behavioral protocols for dogs that may not be ready for adoption and offering behavioral wellness while in the shelter. Through word of mouth and a good reputation about the behavior department, St. Hubert’s now has a very successful private consultation department for pet owners specializing in aggressive and anxiety-related problems for dogs and cats. Pia lectures internationally, has been written up in many magazines, appeared on television and is the author of “Raising Puppies and Kids Together – A Guide for Parents.” She has made contributions to many other books and routinely writes behavioral articles for various magazines around the world. She shares her home with her three Belgian Tervurens, Guinn, Lena and Gilly as well as the ruler of the house, Soldier, the cat. Pia competes in Obedience, Rally-O, Agility, and tinkers in tracking, K9 Noseworks, Disc Dog and Dock Diving. Her dogs have reached national rankings in a variety of sports.
Photo Courtesy of Kim Levin
Vice President of Development
Erika Mathews, St Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center’s Vice President of Development, began her fundraising career at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). She has worked in all aspects of development, including direct mail, major gifts, planned giving, capital campaigns, foundation and corporate gifts as well as events, publicity. Erika also spent time working at a small urban shelter, the Marine Mammal Stranding Center and served on the board of The Grey Muzzle Organization. Erika is most grateful for the friends she has made along the way, especially Zoë, a 15-year-old shepherd/chow mix from Queens, three audacious cats, a 30-year-old retired school horse, Chance and Gatsby, the greatest bunny of all time.
Colleen began her career in animal welfare in 1998 as an Animal Caretaker/Adoption Counselor. During her first decade in the field she garnered expertise in every aspect of shelter operations as an animal control officer, animal cruelty investigator, shelter manager and office manager. Colleen joined St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in 2007 in the position of Manager at the North Branch Shelter and after three years at the helm there she was named Director of Shelter Operations. She is responsible for setting protocol and providing oversight to both shelter facilities. In addition, she manages St. Hubert's lifesaving shelter outreach program, which includes intake from local New Jersey shelters as well as the center's emergency intake and disaster response assistance throughout the country. Colleen's understanding and practical knowledge in animal sheltering are put to use in both daily operations and in ensuring that the animal housing areas of our new shelter will provide the utmost in care and comfort. She shares her home with her understanding fiancée Jon and two St. Hubert’s alum dogs and three adopted/found cats.
Deb Edwards, Administrative Director of St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Training & Behavior Center, is a NJ Certified Animal Control Officer and a Certified Animal Cruelty Investigator. She has received numerous citations from non-profit organizations, municipal government and the legislature of the State of NJ for her work in animal welfare. Deb left a very successful retail career to follow her heart and work with animals several years ago and has not looked back since. She speaks frequently to professional and public audiences on various animal welfare topics, such as successful fostering and improving relations between non-profit and municipal shelters. Deb shares her home in New Jersey with one dog, two cats, one bird, a revolving door of foster animals and a very understanding partner – all of them rescues in one way or another.