Meet Compassion Over Killing – Staff
ERICA MEIER: Executive Director
Erica has served as COK’s Executive Director since 2005, after having been actively involved as a volunteer since 2000. Since taking the helm, Erica has 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 working with BOCA foods to stop using eggs.
Vegan for nearly 20 years, Erica has been working in the animal protection field since college. Before working at COK, 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.
JAYA BHUMITRA: Campaigns Director
As Campaigns Director, Jaya develops COK’s national outreach efforts such as our We Love Subway campaign, while also expanding our reach in other cities around the U.S. Previously, she acted as our LA Outreach Director for nearly a year, and led the LA Volunteer Chapter the year before that.
Jaya has an academic background in marketing and psychology, and a professional background in public affairs. She’s also a Fellow and Co-Director of the LA chapter of the New Leaders Council, a national association that develops emerging leaders. Jaya shares her home with dogs Lacey, Tin Tin, and Midge and Cupcake the cat.
SEAN CONNER: Director of Operations
A native of the National Capital Region, Sean serves as COK’s Director of Operations, coordinating our development efforts, overseeing volunteers and interns at our DC office, managing office operations, and assisting with a variety of outreach events. Sean became vegan while studying at the College of William and Mary, thanks to members of the campus’ vegetarian organization who first unveiled for him the horrors of the dairy and egg industries.
Before joining the COK team, Sean worked in anti-vivisection and media campaigns for an animal advocacy organization and development and communications for an at-risk youth center.
ELENA JOHNSON: Special Projects Manager
As Special Projects Manager, Elena is in charge of planning a variety of events—from fundraisers to volunteer trainings. She also assists with our national campaigns, including We Love Subway. Elena volunteered for the Baltimore chapter of COK for two years prior to becoming a staff member.
Before joining COK, Elena worked on events and educational programs for a national cat protection nonprofit and for a retail corporation. She is also a vegan chef and caterer who uses her knowledge of vegan ingredients to offer cooking demonstrations to the public. She shares her home with 3 black cats: Azrael, Buster, and Lucy.
CHERYL LEAHY: General Counsel
Since 2006, Cheryl has served as COK’s General Counsel targeting large-scale abuse of farmed animals through proactive litigation and undercover investigations. 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 COK’s Los Angeles office accompanied by her dog Hermione.
LISA WINEBARGER: Counsel
After getting her start in Animal Law as a Litigation Intern for COK in 2010, Lisa joined COK’s Legal Department in 2013. She now works to challenge the widespread abuse of farmed animals and egregious agricultural practices through litigation and other legal avenues.
Lisa received her B.A. from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, and her J.D. with honors from the American University Washington College of Law. She is a member of the California bar, and works out of COK’s Los Angeles office accompanied by her very cute mutt, Puna.
CHRISTINA TACORONTI: Outreach Manager
As Outreach Manager, Christina assists with many of COK’s national and regional outreach efforts, such as the DC VegFest, We Love Subway, and our VegWeek campaign. During her time with COK, she’s successfully worked with nearly a dozen local and chain restaurants to add vegan options to the menu. Her active involvement in animal protection issues was sparked by Prop 2 in California in 2008. Shortly after becoming vegan, she started volunteering for this statewide effort to ban the most intensive confinement practices on factory farms. After Prop 2 passed, she continued campaigning for animals and eventually moved to the east coast to work at COK. Christina is joined at work by her four-legged companion, Doba.
KATIE VANN: Communications Coordinator
As Communications Coordinator, Katie focuses on delivering COK’s message of compassion to a large-scale audience as well as garnering attention to our live-saving work on behalf of farmed animals. A lifetime animal protector, Katie became vegan at the age of 11 after reading an online animal rights newsletter and has been involved with animal protection campaigns ever since.
Katie received a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin in Journalism and Mass Communications. Before joining the COK team, Katie led the communications and development efforts for an animal shelter and assisted with health programs at a raw vegan health institute. Katie shares her home and heart with two rescue animals: Jezy and Bella.
DREW WILSON: Director of Technology
As Directory of Technology, Drew implements COK’s web projects and coordinates IT affairs. With a background in computer science research, web development, and office IT management, Drew enthusiastically applies technical skills to farmed animal advocacy. A vegetarian since 12 years old, Drew founded a local vegetarian group in Worcester, Massachusetts, which launched its annual Worcester VegFest in 2010.
Before joining COK, Drew managed IT projects for an NGO that resettles and provides social services to international refugees and victims of human trafficking. He is a youth mentor and staff person at YEA camp.
Compassion Over Killing’s Offices
Washington, DC – Headquarters:
6930 Carroll Ave Ste 910
Takoma Park, MD 20912
301-891-2458 | email@example.com
Los Angeles, California
19401 S Vermont Ave Ste J105
Torrance, CA 90502
310-516-0311 | firstname.lastname@example.org