About Us

OUR APPROACH

America for Animals is a new type of animal welfare organization – one that aspires to give everyone the power to help animals. We do this by developing modern tools for advocacy and community organizing. Our tools include apps that enable animal advocates to connect, groups to be more effective, and consumers to make humane choices more easily.

Everyone has the power to help animals. America for Animals helps us unleash it, together.

Meet the Team

Darina Bockman

Darina Bockman

Chief Operating Officer
Darina Bockman works in a leadership role (Sr. Director, Global Finance Transformation) at a major Fortune 500 company. She has an MBA from University of Illinois at Chicago, supplemented with the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) designation earned in 2006. As Chief Operating Office, Ms. Bockman strategizes and implements processes to ensure the health and efficiency of the organization. Ms. Bockman has had long-standing involvement with many key animal protection organizations. In 2014 she founded Vegan Leaders in Corporate Management, a global network to identify and activate vegans in the corporate world. The network currently has 800+ members across 50+ countries. Ms. Bockman was born in Slovakia and she speaks five languages.

Pradeep Chandra

Pradeep Chandra

Product Manager
While Pradeep is originally from India, he currently resides in Toronto with his beautiful wife. He has a passion for building things which would make people lead a more comfortable and fulfilling life. When he is not working, he enjoys spending time with my friends and family or watching movies (or sports). He also plays competitive poker.

Tim Drees

Tim Drees

Chief Technology Officer
Tim was previously the founder and CEO of Webmetrics Inc., a leader in advanced website monitoring and testing solutions, and remains active as an investor in emerging technologies related to mobile and social networking. As AFA’s Chief Technology Officer, Tim uses his extensive experience to advise and oversee mobile app development. He is also the creator and product manager of The Humane Eating Project. Tim’s philanthropy work is now centered around animal welfare; he formerly served on the national council of the Humane Society of the United States and prior to that volunteered with the American Red Cross to build an advanced web-based disaster response system. He is also a mentor at the Founders Institute – helping tech startups get off the ground.

Brooke Eastman

Brooke Eastman

Marketing Director
Brooke has been on the creative and business sides of Brand Management in her professional career for the past 15 years. She was looking to do more to advance awareness and success of the causes and people protecting animals – and found AFA. She works with the Hive marketing team to plan cross-channel strategy and go-to-market campaigns connecting members across the US with the best way to advance their passions. She holds an BA in Advertising from San Diego State University.

Bhavana Gupta

Bhavana Gupta

User Experience Designer
Bhavana is fascinated by the impact of design on behavior and is passionate about humanizing technology, and her role as UX Designer allows her to pursue this interest while supporting her belief in cruelty-free lifestyles. In her spare time, Bhavana enjoys reading, watching movies and meditating.

Brooke Guerrero

Brooke Guerrero

Market Research/User Research Manager
Brooke is a Product Manager by trade and had a desire to leverage her 10+ years of experience in the software industry for the greater good by volunteering with AFA. She is a part of the Hive Design team and works on market research and user research projects. She holds an MBA with an emphasis in Marketing from the University of San Diego and an MS in Human-Computer Interaction from DePaul University.

Nithya Jothi

Nithya Jothi

Volunteer Services Associate
Nithya holds her Master’s in Business Administration (Human Resource) from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, and brings close to ten years of experience in IT. As part of the AFA team, Nithya develops operational procedures to keep the volunteer process running smoothly. She also works to strengthen the AFA team through volunteer recognition and events. Nithya moved to the US in 2014 with her husband and three year old son, and was excited to find this opportunity to utilize her extensive HR experience to support the cause of animal welfare.

Erika Keaveney

Erika Keaveney

Board Director
Erika previously served as the Executive Director of Lotus Outreach International, a 501(c)3 non-profit that works to expand access to education and economic opportunity for tens of thousands of women and children in the developing world. She is currently pursuing her MA in International Comparative Education at Stanford University and has completed extensive coursework in grants writing. Erika has volunteered with several environmental and animal advocacy organizations throughout California.

Elena Kogan

Elena Kogan

Volunteer Services Associate
Helen holds a Master’s degree in Human Resource Management, and she uses this experience to seek top talent to advocate for animals in her role with AFA. Helen also provides operational support to ensure exceptional day-to-day operations for the organization. Helen volunteers in memory of her dog Malvina, who was a part of her life for almost 16 years. Helen enjoys traveling, cooking and walking along NYC streets in her free time.

Angelika Maryniak

Angelika Maryniak

Volunteer Coordinator
Angelika has a Masters in Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania, and she currently works as a Career Connections Team Lead for Southern New Hampshire University, where she helps students find employment. As AFA’s Volunteer Coordinator, Angelika helps people get involved by managing the HR team to recruit, on board, and support volunteers. Angelika loves spending her spare time outside with her rescue dog Bug, a black lab/hound mix.

Alex Metz

Alex Metz

Board Secretary
Alex has worked and volunteered in the nonprofit sector for several years, and is particularly interested in organizations that focus on animal welfare, reproductive health, and food justice. She is currently the Lead Membership Specialist with Girl Scouts San Diego and is also pursuing a Master’s degree in Public Administration at San Diego State University. Alex has been part of the AFA team since 2012 and has also planned our special events, assisted with fundraising efforts, and managed several special projects. Alex loves animals and spends her free time hanging out with Ben, her blind rescue cat.

Preetha Ramakrishnan

Preetha Ramakrishnan

Website Developer
Preetha is a front-end web and UI designer with a software engineering background. After working in the telecom industry for a decade, Preetha decided to switch careers to design and develop for a more purposeful and creative industry. She now pursues advanced web design as a part-time student and is also a freelance web designer. In her free time, she likes to work on her vegetable garden, hike, or volunteer with environmental protection groups.

Heather Skaljac

Heather Skaljac

Social Media Manager
Heather Skaljac is a Sales and Marketing professional from San Diego, CA who enjoys developing and implementing branding and marketing strategies.  Since adopting her dog Tater Tot in 2014, Heather has been looking for opportunities to help animals and joined AFA to bring together her love for animals and marketing.  Heather enjoys going to the beach, playing tennis, working out and taking Tater Tot for walks and runs.

Jonathan Wadley

Jonathan Wadley

Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Jonathan has been involved in grassroots animal advocacy for close to two decades. He founded America for Animals in 2012 with the goal of developing technologies to help animals, and today spends his time managing a multitude of projects and many of the day-to-day operations of the organization. A longtime advocate for marginalized groups, Jonathan earned a PhD in political science from the University of Florida for his research on the struggles of female migrant workers in Europe. He continues his academic work as a professor at the University of San Diego, where he teaches courses in Food Politics and International Relations. When he’s not working, Jonathan is enjoying San Diego’s endless supply of 72 degree days.

Marty Weiner

Marty Weiner

Treasurer
Marty is a semi-retired CPA who has worked with both non-profits and corporations. As AFA’s Treasurer, Marty keeps the books, prepares financial statements and tax filings, and implements internal controls to protect assets as AFA grows. A staunch supporter of animal welfare, Marty has also volunteered at the San Diego Humane Society. She spends much of her time with her five cats and her horse, and enjoys singing with the La Jolla Renaissance Singers.