Founder & Chief Lifesaving Officer
Rowena “Weng” Horak is our founder and CEO, and she’s an animal lover at heart! Weng was born in the Philippines and moved to St. Louis in 2008 after marrying her long-time fiancé, David Horak. She has nearly two decades of business and financial management experience in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors, with a focus on developing policies and procedures to improve performance, provide strategic direction, and develop fundraising strategies and marketing. She’s a member of several financial executive groups and nonprofit networks. Weng loves traveling and happily enjoys life outside of work with her husband, four lovely daughters, and six furry babies.
Vice President of Operations
Valerie is our VP of Operations. She’s an avid animal lover with a background in psychology. She's always had a passion for helping people and animals, and she can do both through her work at CARE. Valerie ensures the shelter and shelter programs are running smoothly, all while building community outreach programs and partnerships. She spearheaded our animal-assisted therapy programs! She also helps with financial and business development by writing grants and assisting the CEO in maintaining a strong relationship with CARE's donor base. Outside of work, Valerie enjoys spending time with her husband, son, and their three dogs.
Cate Redfern, CFRE
Vice President of Development and Special Projects
Cate is a South African-born American with 20+ years of experience as a nonprofit board member, volunteer, development director and executive management team member in South Africa, Botswana, the Cayman Islands, and the U.S. She’s a nonprofit social impact strategist with a passion for community-focused organizational development, change management, strategic planning, and stakeholder engagement. Cate is a reiki practitioner and is committed to making the world a better place through love, compassion, and kindness. She has lived in St. Louis, MO, since 2008 and loves spending time outdoors on one of her bikes, a kayak, or in her hiking boots.
Dr. Jay King, DVM
Dr. King graduated from the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine in 1987. He also holds educational certificates in Biology, Endangered Species Management, Conservation/Captive Breeding Endangered Species, and Animal Behavior. Since graduating from vet school, he has worked at a number of animal hospitals in St. Louis. He’s worked at Watson Road since 1999. He’s been selected for various awards, scholarships, and grants, like The Gerald Durrell Memorial Fund Grant. His writing has been published in over 30 scientific publications. Dr. King is passionate about working with exotic animals, and he enjoys spending time with his wife, traveling, and studying martial arts.
Clinic Manager, Veterinary Technician
Kerrie first received her BA in Mass Communication from SIUE, then continued schooling at Hickey College to earn her Veterinary Technician degree. She began working at CARE in May 2019. She enjoys the free time that she finds with her husband, daughter, and two fur babies: Banjo and Gemma, who, according to Kerrie, are both great siblings to their little sister! She always knew she would work in animal rescue, and says, “It’s heartbreaking, but always rewarding to have a hand in finding once unwanted and forgotten dogs their forever homes. My patients are pretty much always grateful for the care I provide. I've learned that animals are far more forgiving than human beings."
Kelsey is our shelter manager. She makes sure our Clark shelter is running smoothly and proper care is taken with each animal. She’s also the direct correspondent to the City of St. Louis Department of Health regarding bite cases involving citizens’ animals. She’s been in the animal rescue world since November 2014, working her way up from caregiver to certified trainer. She specializes in rehabilitating feral dogs and managing aggressive behavior in the home and in shelter. Her favorite part about working in the shelter is the sense of family she gets from her co-workers and volunteers.
Lead Animal Care Specialist
Conyea Williams is our Lead Animal CARE Specialist. His daily routine includes taking care of the physical needs of all the dogs: making sure they are walked three or four times a day, feeding and medicating them as needed, and making sure they have a clean kennel with fresh blankets to sleep on. He started working with animals 18 years ago in Clovis, New Mexico, cleaning horse stables and taking care of a pack of 50 rodeo corgis. Had he not landed at CARE STL in 2016, he would still be working with animals in some capacity. What Conyea most loves about his work is the turn-around stories and happy-ever-afters that he helps create.
Administration and Shelterluv Manager
Senna started working in animal rescue in 2015 as a caregiver. She learned to take care of neglected and abused animals, helping come out of their shells and learn how to trust people again. She's spent all her life with pets, between growing up with them and working in the rescue world. Her whole family is passionate about animal welfare! She says, "With my experience in the rescue world, I realized that all these animals need is love and a second chance at life."
Feline Operations Manager
Liz is the person we point you to when you are ready for your new best friend! She also runs both cat adoption programs with our partners at Petsmart and Pet Supplies Plus. She started off working in veterinary care in 2008, and when people would bring in stray dogs, she would try to find their owners or take them home to foster so they wouldn't have to be dropped off at the pound. She says this is where she learned about animal rescue and why it’s so important. Since then, she has managed doggy daycares, did pet sitting, worked at grooming and boarding facilities, and worked as an adoption and foster manager at another shelter before coming to CARE STL in October 2020.