GlobalAnimal.org is run by a team of animal lovers. Each person volunteers time and skills to make this daily news magazine and social community possible for other animal lovers and advocates worldwide. Here’s more about the individuals who make up the Global Animal team:
Leah Lessard Jeon, Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief
Leah Lessard Jeon holds a Bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Science and a Master’s degree in Professional Writing from the University of Southern California. She is a partner in the TV production company Om Base Productions. Her biggest accomplishment to date is teaching yoga to her dog, Stanley. Stanley’s practice includes ‘namaste,’ where he sits tall with paws together at his chest. Ms. Lessard began her career in journalism as a book reviewer for CNN.com. She later worked at CNN’s Los Angeles bureau on the Showbiz Today show and as a research producer on Larry King Live.
Leah has been wild about animals since an early age and decided as a kid that animals would always be part of her family. Leah lives with a dog and a cat and loves to spend afternoons with the residents at Animal Acres Farm Sanctuary, where she is a supporting member. Leah’s other interests include yoga, traveling, toodling in her urban garden, and being swept away by the latest Bollywood film. (More about Leah Lessard Jeon’s professional credits.)
Arthur Jeon, Co-Founder & Publisher
Arthur Jeon holds a Bachelor’s degree in Humanities from Harvard University and a Master’s degree from the USC Film School. He is a partner in the television production company Om Base Productions, and the author of two books published by Random House: City Dharma: Keeping Your Cool in the Chaos, and Sex, Love and Dharma. But what he really likes to do is walk with his dog, Stanley, or play ‘crazy ribbon’ with his tabby cat, Omar.
A long-time animal lover, Arthur is a co-founder of the homeless and abused dog charity ‘Walk for the Underdog.’ This experience led him to want to start Global Animal and bring attention to the needs of all animals. A yoga practitioner for 15 years and teacher for eight, Arthur still occasionally flops around on his yoga mat. (More about Arthur Jeon’s professional credits.)
Amir Khan, Director of IT
Amir Khan has been active in the Information Technology field for over 15 years, though he pursued a different direction in education. Amir holds a Degree in History and Political Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Aside from his passion for animals, Amir is actively involved with supporting and promoting The Painted Turtle Camp (Hole in the Wall Gang) and Doctors Without Borders. His mission is simple – give those in need a voice.
Some of his hobbies include philosophy, poetry, hiking, cooking, drumming and playing hockey.
Interns Global Animal’s founders collaborate with several U.S. universities to offer journalism and IT internships and training to exceptional students. Global Animal’s interns share a dedication to animal welfare as well as to learning. They are the people who make connecting readers to the animal world on a daily basis a reality.
Alisa Manzelli, Managing Editor
After earning her Bachelor of Arts degree in Literature/Writing from the University of California, San Diego, Alisa now attends Loyola Marymount University where she plans to receive her MA in English with an emphasis in creative writing.
In her free time, Alisa enjoys traveling, reading, playing guitar, snowboarding, and discovering new live music. A self-proclaimed cat lady, Alisa has grown up with cats throughout her entire life and currently cares for a rescued kitten, a feisty calico named Penny Lane. But she does not discriminate against dogs one bit as she grew up with a chubby Chihuahua named Roxy. Alisa also hopes to one-day volunteer abroad to help conserve threatened species throughout Africa and Asia.
Stephanie Henkel, Editorial Intern
Stephanie received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from California State University Northridge. She loves and cares for her two adorable dogs, Kiley and Kody. This dynamic duo enjoys hiking, tennis balls, and belly rubs.
Spending most of her childhood in Florida, Stephanie developed a love for the ocean and marine wildlife. She enjoys snorkeling and has even swum with dolphins, sharks and stingrays. She hopes to visit Australia one day to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef and to observe the island’s unique wildlife.
Sonia Horon, Editorial Intern
Sonia attends California State University of Los Angeles, where she is currently pursuing a degree in English. She is originally from Poland which is where she picked up her love of animals at her Grandparents farm. She enjoys reading, black and white photography, hiking, watching foreign films, listening to music, learning how to cook, and goofing around with her spoiled to death puppy, Jake.
From a young age Sonia realized that animals are not our property, but instead, they are living beings with whom we share this Earth. Her life dream would be to open an animal sanctuary or a doggie day care with a large outdoor play area, which are desperately lacking from many of the L.A. day cares.
Lauren Melella, Editorial Intern
Lauren received her undergraduate degree from University of California, Irvine in Film and Media Studies. Born and raised in central California, she decided to permanently reside in southern California after college and she now calls Los Angeles her home away from home. As a writer and a fan of popular culture, she plans to pursue her Masters Degree in Arts Journalism within the next year.
Her love of animals stems from an interest in all living beings and her duty to protect and be the voice of creatures who cannot speak for themselves. Her mischievous but fun-loving Australian Shepherd pup, Stryker, keeps her heart happy and never fails to make her laugh. In her spare time, she enjoys movie-going, creative writing, tea, walking her dog, searching for good music, and reading up on the latest box office hit.
Anthony Armentano, Editorial Intern
After graduating from the University of California, Irvine, with a Bachelor of Arts in Film and Media Studies, Anthony settled down in Los Angeles. When he’s not writing, Anthony spends his spare time playing guitar and listening to music. He hopes to one-day make a living doing what he loves, writing and making movies.
Anthony has been a proud companion to Sammy, a black and white American Shorthair, for almost 13 years. He believes that animals represent what’s left of Earth’s pure innocence, bringing joy to our lives on a daily basis. Through his writing, Anthony hopes to represent those who can’t necessarily defend themselves.
Joseph Turner, Editorial Intern
Joey attends Emory University, where he plans on applying to the undergraduate business program. A Los Angeles native and sports enthusiast, he enjoys cheering for the Lakers, researching baseball statistics, and attending hockey games.
Also an avid reader, Joey devours some of the most prominent literary works in his ever-dwindling spare time. When not reading or shooting hoops, Joey, while home from school, can usually be found playing with his childhood dog, Maddie, in the backyard.
Elizabeth Neville, Contributor
Pro Bono Professionals Global Animal is further fortified by several professionals who contribute their immense talents to Global Animal’s animal advocacy efforts. This includes creative director, Kallie Hinson, who created the gorgeous new logos and look of GlobalAnimal.org and Global Animal Foundation you see throughout the site. The generosity of these pros makes so much possible.
Nola Beard, Canadian Correspondent
Nola claims many passions in life including travel, writing, animals and culinary sampling (so much more refined than eating). She lives in Vancouver BC, Canada and while extraordinarily itchy feet send her exploring often her love of the city takes her back. A cat lover, Nola has attempted to redefine life with a cat: her rescue named Fussen is toilet trained (no litter box required!) and a road-trip veteran having visited five US states.
By day, Nola is a management consultant with a Bachelor of Commerce in Entrepreneurial Management and a diploma in Human Resources Management. For twelve years her primary clients have been Canadian hospitals and she spent two years working with health care providers in Trinidad and Tobago. The balance of her professional time is spent assisting entrepreneurs with business strategy.
Patricia Jones, PR Director
Patricia Jones is founder and President of P Jones Communications Inc. a media relations consultancy specializing in the promotion of animal welfare organizations and pet product companies.
Patricia is a former producer for NBC News and former Vice President of Media Relations and Advertising at the ASPCA. Patricia resides in New York City.
Stanley, Head of Security
Stanley Jeon holds a Master’s degree in Self-Esteem and is the (self-appointed) head of security at Global Animal. Stanley hails from South Central Los Angeles. Inexplicably, Stanley served time at the county pound until he was ‘discovered’ by the scouts of Much Love Animal Rescue.
The best guess is that Stanley is a Lhasa Apso/Poodle mix. He is very identified with the noble lineage of Lhasa Apsos acting as sentinels to protect monks in Tibetan monasteries. For this reason, when Stanley looks in the mirror, he sees a lion. He ensures the safety of our staff and multiple potted plants by patrolling the long hallways of Global Animal. Off-duty, he’s an avid hiker and foodie.
Tazi Phillips, Director of Communications
Tazi graduated from Boston University with a degree in Cultural Anthropology. A new addition to California, she was born and raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She is an avid world traveler and animal lover, and has been all over from Argentina to Zanzibar. She has also been fortunate enough to work with elephants in Thailand, dogs and cats in Bali, and kiwi birds in New Zealand. At home in Cambridge, when she is not snuggling with her goofy Vizsla, Colby, she volunteers with dogs at the MSPCA and has also worked at a dog boutique hotel in Boston.
In her spare time you can usually find Tazi snowboarding, reading, surrounding herself with music and film, or off on one of her adventures. She also likes to boast about her skills in Scrabble, although it usually ends in her own defeat. In the future Tazi hopes to become a travel writer, combining her knowledge of near and far off places with her background in anthropology. Her present goal is to help educate the world’s population about wild animals and the efforts needed to sustain their habitats, hence her presence at Global Animal.
Samantha Ellis, Writer, Editor, & Office Manager
Samantha graduated from Pepperdine University with a degree in English: Writing and Rhetoric. Hailing from Salem, Oregon, she loves the sunny California weather, and never wants to see rain again. Her unrealistic life goal is to become a Polynesian fire dancer at a resort in Maui. She also enjoys things like reading anything she can get her hands on, buying more shoes than she has room for, and going to Disneyland whenever possible.
When she isn’t at work, out shopping, or practicing her hula skills, Samantha can often be found protecting her food from her sister’s cat Emma while watching Say Yes To The Dress or Big Bang Theory. Samantha eventually hopes to travel the world, edit books for a living, and live with a cat named Mr. Spock.
Molly-Marie Canales, Director of Communications
Molly-Marie is a journalist at the University of Southern California. Originally from San Jose, CA, she enjoys exploring lesser-known parts of big cities like San Francisco and LA. When she’s not finding hidden gems in the city, you can find her cooped up writing food and film reviews, blogging, reading articles, cooking and knitting—probably all at once.
Molly-Marie ultimately hopes to host a television show on a cooking or travel channel that encompasses all of her loves including writing, learning, and teaching. She enjoys spending time with her dog, Sadie and cats, Baby and Xena.
Madison Rootenberg, Editorial Intern
Madison graduated from Emerson College with a BA in Writing, Literature & Publishing. Having been born and raised in Los Angeles, Madison has seen first hand the increasing numbers of homeless animals in the city, and from an early age her family has been committed to rescuing and placing dogs in homes. Recently turned vegan, Madison wants to travel and change the world.
When she is not reading or writing, you can usually find Madison with her two sisters, ages 14 and 18, who are also vegans. Together, they adventure and cook, bake and laugh, and even when physically apart, they do their best to always feel close by.
Candice Chandler, Editorial Intern
Candice is a student at Golden West Community College currently majoring in Journalism. She hopes to transfer to either Berkeley or Santa Cruz within the next year to further her studies and receive her degree. Always an avid ocean conservationist, Candice has an extensive background in anything dealing with the sea, from surfing to scuba diving.
A native of Southern California all her life, Candice has developed a keen interest in sharks which she facilitates with her own personal library at home. She has two great danes, Spencer and Harley, who act more like kids then dogs. An animal lover since birth, Candice hopes to educate the public on the importance of protecting the natural world. Aside from hanging around the ocean, Candice enjoys studying physics, horseback riding, diving, surfing, music, and relaxing with her pooches.
Anne Van Gorp, Editorial Intern
Anne is currently pursuing a double major in Anthropology and History at the University of Southern California. Raised in Marietta, Georgia, Anne returned to her west-coast roots and now happily calls Los Angeles home. She has been quite the adventurer and traveler from a young age, exploring the world around her hoping to capture its excitement and beauty. Anne actively participates in community service projects, from tutoring and teaching dance to underprivileged kids to volunteering with Atlanta Pet Rescue when she is home. She believes her love for animals and philanthropic heart led her to support and write for Global Animal.
In her free time, Anne enjoys reading, dance, eating, music, and going to the beach. She often fills her time exploring the city and finding new restaurants to enjoy. She misses her cat and dog back home dearly, but hopes to adopt a pet of her own in the near future.
Elisabeth Torres, Editorial Intern
Elisabeth graduated from the University of Miami with a degree in English/Literature and Psychology. She is currently pursuing her masters at UCLA in Film and Television writing. During her time in Miami, Elisabeth was on the swim team and marine mammal stranding team, and got to help with many water rescue and stranding situations.
She currently resides in Santa Monica with her son, six-month-old English bulldog, Ernie. In her spare time she enjoys reading, going to the beach, running, and yoga.
Carmen Iben, Editorial Intern
Carmen currently attends Loyola Marymount University, where she is majoring in English and double minoring in Journalism and Chinese. Originally from San Francisco, she moved to Los Angeles when she was eight and decided to stick around the area to pursue her passion for sports journalism. More recently, she has rediscovered her love for helping abused animals and the homeless find their way.
Carmen has two, rather elderly, blind pugs who will sadly be taken away from her when her parents move to Florida. In her spare time, Carmen enjoys taking road trips, watching NBA basketball, eating excessively, and playing the guitar and piano. Although she has been bucked off a horse three times, she still enjoys returning to her uncle’s ranch and taking the gentle giants for a ride.
Megan Cross, Editorial Intern
Megan Cross, a writer and vegan chef from Bakersfield, CA., has been writing about the world around her since her very first Princess Jasmine diary. As a chef she has prepared meals for celebrities, friends and fellow chefs and is now proud writer of Global Animal’s very own “Meatless Mondays.” Megan is also working on a cookbook and studies Photography at Santa Monica College.
While traveling through Europe, she was dared to stop eating animals. That was seven years ago and since then has been a devout animal-loving vegetarian. She hopes to combine her love of animals, cooking and writing to help others adopt meatless lifestyles. She now shares her life with her rambunctious Boston Terrier, Church. Church is a terrible soux-chef, but keeps the floors clean. He is most successful at providing Megan with love and happiness…always.
Dorian Edwards, Editorial Intern
Dorian Edwards is a UCLA sophomore working towards a major in communications and minor in cultural anthropology. Her passion for animals and writing led her to the doorstep of Global Animal and she has become forever addicted to reporting the latest animal news. When she isn’t studying, publishing articles, exercising, looking up travel deals, drinking coffee with friends and family, practicing yoga, reading, singing along to her music or thinking of the best new play on words, she splits her affection between her French Bulldog Sofie (short for SoFierce), Bullmastiff Rubeus and rent-a-pup Luna, an English Bulldog.
Her dedication to helping all living creatures, including humans, inspires her dream to become a non-fiction author of inspirational novels. Dori also hopes to become a world traveller and help revolutionize global animal welfare.
J. Whitney Read, Contributor
Whitney graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in African studies. Her future plans include working towards a masters in animals and public policy. In the meantime, she is pursuing her dream career of promoting better animal welfare through volunteerism, direct animal rescue, and advocacy.
Whitney has loved animals from a very young age and became a vegetarian at the age of ten. She loves to read historical non-fiction, travel to Europe and Africa, and research. In her free time, she cares for her two French bulldogs, D’Artagnan and Montague, nicknamed “the Snuffleupagus twins.”
Adrianne Gallatin, Editorial Intern
Adrianne graduated from Texas Tech University with a degree in Art History and Architecture and later from St. Edward’s University in Texas with a degree in English Writing and Rhetoric. She relocated to California in early 2012 and is now working on her portfolio in journalism and screenwriting.
She has been an animal lover since age three when she was deemed the guardian of her first pet, Snowball the parakeet. Over the past two decades she has been inspired by Snowball to rescue and foster over twenty different birds, but she is also a definite crazy cat lady. Her two cats rescues, Cosmo and Max, have been her best friends for almost fifteen years.
Leanne Hall, Editorial Intern
Leanne is a Rhetoric and Composition English major at California State University, Long Beach. She is also a barista at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf as well as a freelance makeup artist. Born and raised in the Los Angeles area, Leanne looks forward to graduating and finding a new place to call home. With a love of learning, desire for change, passion for writing, and a knack for editing, Leanne hopes to incorporate all of these things as the editor of a magazine someday.
Niles Jeran, Editorial Intern
Niles is a Creative Writing and Political Science major at Pepperdine University. When Niles isn’t in class or working, he is snapping photos, writing, or retreating to the beautiful mountains and ocean of Southern California. Originally from Kansas City, Missouri, Niles has grown up traveling.
From skiing all around the Western United States to backpacking through South America, it is plain Niles has a passion for adventure. One day, Niles hopes to be a travel journalist who is able to unearth the profound relationship between people and nature, and what better place to start than Global Animal.
Hannah Foster, Editorial Intern
Hannah attended college in both St. Louis, MO, and Northern California for sciences before a change of heart led her to an effort to incorporate creative arts into her education. Possessing a passion for animals and the environment since her early years, she has worked as a veterinary assistant, raptor exhibitioner, and cat groomer.
At this stage in her life, Hannah’s learning a way to combine both art and nature into one. Her underlying mission is to teach others to embrace the advantageous relationship between people and nature. Her hobbies include painting and photography, traveling around the west and beyond, practicing yoga, and laughing at her own dirty sense of humor.
Danielle LeVee, Editorial Intern
Danielle received her degree in Psychology and Education at UC Santa Cruz. During her time at Santa Cruz, Danielle loved exploring the redwoods and watching the sunsets at the cliffs. A Los Angeles native, Danielle has decided to return home and pursue her passion with animals.
In her free time, Danielle enjoys playing tennis, hiking, doing yoga and reading. She loves to listen to and discover new music and go out dancing with her friends. She is sad that she no longer has an animal but is excited to one day fill her house with other living creatures.
Tyrone Hinderson, IT Intern
Ty studies Computer Science at Columbia University in Manhattan. Though he enjoys his time on the east coast, Ty spends his summers in beautiful Los Angeles. When he’s not busy making Global Animal’s web development dreams come true, he’s probably skateboarding around Culver City with his friends, crushing said friends in various video games or explaining to them how best to avoid the ambushes of his excitable cat Max.
Having made full use of his grandparents’ subscription to Animal Fact File in his early years, Ty has always held exceptional regard for the nonhuman beings at home and away. Over the past 19 years Ty has enjoyed the intermittent company of many pets: awesome dog, several cats, a lizard, countless fish, an overgrown cockroach, and a katydid with which he dazzled his preschool peers on “K-day.” He knows no greater feeling of fulfillment than that which accompanies a cat’s grateful purr, and doesn’t mind that his friends have dubbed him “Cat lady.”
Bianca Caraza, Contributor
Bianca is a Media, Culture, and the Arts major at The King’s College in Manhattan. She is currently editor-in-chief of The Minstrel literary magazine. She is intrigued with writing everything from novels to research papers and participates annually in National Novel Writing Month.
Bianca’s goals in life are to write for a living, own a fabulous hat for every day of the year, be nominated for sainthood, become the world’s most prominent Oscar Wilde aficionado, and start a foundation to save the Oxford comma.
Kaitlin Flynn, Editorial Intern
Kaitlin, a Louisiana native, graduated from Pepperdine Univ. in April with a dual degree in journalism and Spanish. She enjoys simple days spent soaking up the California sunshine, painting, and of course, writing (check out her blog). Her adventurous spirit has led her to travel around the world, everywhere from Argentina to Greece!
In addition to her work at Global Animal, she is the Director of Events and Public Relations at the One for One Foundation. She is dedicated to speaking out for the voiceless, people and animals alike. She plans on returning to Argentina after graduation.
Elizabeth Rivera, Contributor
Elizabeth is a freelance journalist, screenwriter and novelist. She enjoys traveling, visiting libraries and reading too many magazines. She lives in Los Angeles, CA with a grumpy yet adorable cat named Hobo who patiently watches TV with her and occasionally catches a mouse. Elizabeth’s great loves are reading, writing and television which have led to a house full of books and a perpetually full DVR.
Sadly this has not resulted in a very full brain. You can often find Elizabeth searching for her keys, which are usually in her pocket, purse, or in between that annoying crack in the couch, but never in the first place she looks. She is currently working on a screenplay and a half-dozen other writing projects. She has hopes of finding her keys soon.