Meet The Team - Gulf Coast Humane Society

Meet The Team

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Darcy Andrade

Executive Director

Darcy Andrade

Executive Director

Darcy Andrade’s 30-year career has been focused on animal protection and welfare. Most recently, she has served on the Board of Directors for the Florida Animal Control Association and as the Executive Director for the Florida Animal Protection and Advocacy Association and the Florida Animal Protection Foundation. She is also actively involved in a leadership capacity for the Florida Animal Friend and the Florida Leaders in Lifesaving. Mrs. Andrade has worked at Lee County Domestic Animal Services and Collier County Domestic Animal Services; receiving the Walter Turken Award by the Naples Humane Society for her animal welfare and lifesaving achievements.

Gloria Letendre

Clinic Manager

Gloria Letendre

Clinic Manager

​After a successful career in real estate, Gloria decided to use her college degree in animal science and switch fields to animal welfare. She went to work at Lee County Domestic Animal Services and became a state certified Animal Control Officer and worked in the neighborhoods throughout Lee County. She was then promoted to kennel supervisor and worked with various fosters and rescue groups to increase adoptions of the many homeless pets. After several years she was recruited to join the Gulf Coast Humane Society as Clinic Manager to help expand and grow the affordable clinic which is open to the public. Recently GCHS was donated a former medical office building and the clinic operations moved to the off-site location and is now able to accommodate more clients and their pets. ​She resides in Cape Coral with her three rescue dogs-Kelsey Lee, Parker Jack (her foster failure), and the newly adopted Paxton Blue. She wishes everyone would…Adopt, Not Shop when looking to add a pet to the family. Contact Gloria at [email protected]

Kristin Sampson

Operations Manager

Kristin Sampson

Operations Manager

Gulf Coast Humane Society’s Operations Manager, Kristin Sampson, is originally from Kansas City, Missouri, where she started working with animals at a young age through her family’s grooming and boarding business. She quickly realized she wanted to make a career out of helping animals, so she started fostering with a rescue before accepting a position at her local Humane Society. Since then, she has worked at several shelters, in a variety of roles, throughout Missouri and Kansas. She moved to Florida in 2015 to work at the Humane Society Naples, first as the Volunteer and Foster Manager, then moving into the role of Shelter Manager. In her 20 years of animal welfare work, Kristin has also helped on a national level with large-scale disasters, hoarding, puppy mills, and implementing no-kill strategies in underserved shelters. In her free time, she enjoys yoga, hiking, gardening, and spending time with her three cats: Jack, Little Bit, and Teddy, along with her two dogs Maggie and Juju. Kristin has been the GCHS Shelter Manager since August, 2022. Contact Kristin at [email protected]

Brian Wierima

Community Relations Coordinator

Brian Wierima

Community Relations Coordinator

Brian Wierima and his beloved DJ, who passed away in July of 2019. Brian Wierima is a Minnesota native, living in the land of 10,000 frozen lakes for four decades, before seeking the Florida sunshine in August of 2014. Wierima was the Sports Editor at the Detroit Lakes Newspapers for 18 years, before departing (with his family, wife Chrisy and son Brody) for Fort Myers, Fla. He worked for the Breeze Newspapers as Editor for the News Reporter on Sanibel for 1.5 years. There, he wrote several articles about the GCHS, including the Sunset – Bait Dog series, which literally captured his heart. Wierima has three passions in life – besides family – including animals, rock music and football. He has four dogs, including Sota (GCHS adoptee wire-hair Jack Russell mix), ZaZa (border collie and GCHS Foster Failure), Goochie (Maltese, GCHS foster fail) and an English/French Bulldog named Lemmy, who was another GCHS adoptee. Nash, who was his 16-year-old yellow lab in Minnesota, and beloved DJ (pictured) each have crossed the Rainbow Bridge, but are still deep in the family’s heart. The Wierima family currently resides in Cape Coral, Fla.

Jessica Purdy

Volunteer Coordinator

Jessica Purdy

Volunteer Coordinator

Jessica Purdy, Volunteer Coordinator ​Jessica originally joined Gulf Coast Humane Society in 2015 as Event Coordinator, rejoining GCHS as Volunteer Coordinator in 2017. Coming from a retail management position of 12 years at Aqua Beachwear, Jessica works closely with the staff and volunteers. Previously, she was a Compassionate Pug Rescue volunteer and held a successful live & silent auction for the rescue. Jessica is from Monticello, Minnesota and currently lives with her husband, Dirk, in Fort Myers helping run Your K9’s Come 1st doggie daycare & boarding. They have a Purdy Pack of 12 dogs: Mercury, Pinky, Lamb, Sage, Cashew, Cleo, Thomas, Poe, Grace, Ceena, Ellie, and Lucky. Contact Jess at [email protected]

Tricia Boone

Outreach & Foster Coordinator

Tricia Boone

Outreach & Foster Coordinator

Tricia joined Gulf Coast Humane Society in December of 2018 to grow the Senior to Senior Foster Program funded by United Way. “This program is limitless and delivers much love and companionship to both the older pets and senior residents.” She received her BSW from North Carolina State University and worked as a social worker for Hope Hospice. Tricia attended her first event for Caloosa Humane Society in 2009 and knew she wanted to be involved with animal rescue and do what she could to benefit homeless pets. Tricia joined the Board of Directors and worked as the Events Chairman, organizing all of the fundraising efforts for the shelter. She also brought strong social media skills increasing the visibility of CHS. Tricia served as Vice President and President of the Board, which was a boots on the ground organization. In 2013 Tricia received the Jim Dellas & Cheryl Deering Animalitarian Award from Humane Society Naples for her efforts in animal rescue. In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering with her therapy dog Oliver, photography, and spending time at home with her furry family. Tricia is grateful for the opportunity to work for the senior pets at GCHS. Tricia shares her life with four dogs, Shoney & Oliver, adopted from Caloosa Humane Society. And Sammy & Penny adopted from Gulf Coast Humane Society. She recently added 2 cats to her pack, Theo & Polly, both adopted from GCHS. Contact Tricia at [email protected]

Tammy Rhoades

Controller

Tammy Rhoades

Controller

Tammy Rhoades is originally from New Jersey, but moved to FLorida from Pennsylvania 10 years ago. Tammy recently adopted Belle from GCHS, and she has had dogs and cats her entire life (adopted or rescued), most recently two retired racing greyhounds. Her work experience includes working in the accounting field her entire career. She has worked in Non-profit accounting for the last 10 years at The Salvation Army and Area Agency on Aging prior to GCHS. Working at GCHS is a perfect fit, combining her love of animals, working for a non-profit and her accounting experience…all of which benefits the shelter animals!

Lori Burke

Development Director

Lori Burke

Development Director

Lori Burke, a committed advocate for animals and people, has lived in Southwest Florida for 14 years with her husband, two daughters, two dogs, and four cats. Originally, from Massachusetts, she and her family have lived in Atlanta, Georgia; Shanghai, China; and Fort Myers. She firmly believes that the only way to feel part of a community is through nonprofits. While in Atlanta, she volunteered and provided leadership training at Hands on Atlanta, she was the Executive Director for Shanghai Sunrise, one of the first nonprofit programs of the Shanghai Charity Foundation, supporting the education of Shanghai’s under-resourced youth. In Southwest Florida, Lori worked at Mothers Against Drunk Driving; fundraising and building its programs in the community to include advocating for victims impacted by impaired driving, and providing prevention programs at schools, nonprofits, and various organizations. Most recently, Lori raised funds and managed the membership program at the Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples. In addition to her charitable employment in Southwest Florida, Lori has held leadership roles on the ArtFest Fort Myers Steering Committee, the Guardian ad Litem Foundation Board of Directors, and the Florida Youth Shine SWFL Chapter, among others. Lori’s furry family members are all rescue animals. She is passionate about adopting and not shopping and grateful to be able to be part of GCHS’ legacy in Southwest Florida. (Lori is pictured with GCHS shelter dog, Dolly Parton.)