StubbyDog was founded by Landon Pollack, serial entrepreneur, and Michael Mountain, one of the founders and past president of Best Friends Animal Society (which took in the most troubled dogs from the Michael Vick kennels). Best Friends is the largest sanctuary for companion animals in the nation, and flagship of the campaign to bring an end to the killing of millions of homeless pets in shelters every year.
The StubbyDog team is made up of people from many walks of life who love dogs and share a concern for what is happening to pit bulls. We were all brought together out of seeing, from our different perspectives, that existing approaches were missing the key element to making life better for these dogs: changing public perceptions.
Landon Pollack: Co-founder and Executive Director – Managing partner of Ignite Venture Partners. Landon is an entrepreneur of 25 years, and has been a founder of, or founding investor in, more than two dozen companies. Before turning 20, he had started four businesses, earning his first million dollars at age 13 selling sports memorabilia by mail order. StubbyDog brings together his business skills with his passion for pit bulls.
Melanie Jansen: Website and Social Media Manager – A graduate of the University of Chicago, Melanie has an extensive background in academic and financial administration, travel and event planning, and freelance writing/editing. She has also studied web and graphic design at the School of the Art Institute. She is on the Board of Directors of the not-for-profit social service organization Pets Are Like Family, and is a dog care trainer, foster parent, and petographer at The Anti-Cruelty Society in Chicago.
Tim Donovan: VP of Business Development (Consulting) – As a creative visionary and nationally recognized youth media expert, Tim provides strategic guidance to kids media executives. He specifically focuses on: market analysis, product development, strategic partnerships, subscriber acquisition and revenue strategies.
Tracey Kleber: VP of Fundraising (Consulting) – Former director of Major Gifts and Regional Giving at UCLA Anderson School of Management. Tracey has 25 years of experience in the marketing, advertising and fundraising fields. Her non-profit experience includes higher education (Drexel University and University of Pennsylvania) and international environmental conservation (The Nature Conservancy, Latin America).
Editorial, Programs, and Social Media
Courtney Beckerink: Program Manager – A practicing Interior Designer for commercial spaces in northern Virginia, Courtney attended Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pennsylvania, where she earned a degree in Interior Design. During her last year there, she adopted a black pit bull named Remus from a local shelter. Remus inspired her to be more involved in animal rescue and the move against breed-discriminatory legislation. Her passion for pit bull type dogs and design have coupled to fuel her efforts with StubbyDog and animal rescue transport organizations.
Kirstyn Northrop Cobb: Writer/Editor – Coming from a strong background in animal welfare, Kirstyn currently works in animal sheltering, with a focus on pit bull-related issues. In her free time, Kirstyn enjoys horseback riding, kayaking, and spending time with her family, which consists of her husband, daughter, five dogs (including two pit bulls), a horse, and a tortoise.
Briana Fugitt: Writer/Editor – Briana began volunteering for the SPCA of Monterey County the semester before graduating from Cal State-Monterey Bay. She moved to Los Angeles after graduation and began working at a local rescue, where she is now a supervisor. Her work in rescue enabled her to help some of the many homeless pit bull type dogs in the area; her desire to help promote pit bulls in a positive light and educate against misconceptions led her to StubbyDog, where she is able to combine her passion for animals with her background in writing.
Kaycie Goddard: Writer/Editor – A graduate of Salisbury University in Maryland, Kaycie currently works as a Web and Social Media Coordinator, specializing in professional sports sponsorships. In her spare time she volunteers at the SPCA of Anne Arundel County. She lives with a rabbit, a guinea pig, and a painted turtle – all rescues.
Jill Stafford: Community Manager – Jill works in higher education at the State University of New York College at Oneonta, where she has used her knowledge of social media to successfully create and run several websites for the university. Jill became involved with pit bull type dog advocacy when she rescued her first pit bull mix from a bad home. Her dog, Mia, inspired her to get more involved in the animal advocacy world and has led to her involvement with rescues, advocacy, and working for StubbyDog.
Jennifer White: Community Manager – A graduate from the University of Central Florida and New York University School of Continuing and Professional Studies, Jennifer currently works as a Marketing Manager for Macys.com. She has a strong passion for digital marketing/media, and in her spare time she volunteers with Dress for Success-Greater Orlando, Second Harvest Food Bank, and StubbyDog. Her love for pit bulls originated when she met her husband, who is an avid pit bull lover himself. She lives with two pit bulls (Damani and Shelby) one boxer (Cassius), three spotted geckos, and one bearded dragon.
Laura Allen: Pit Bull Issues Liaison – Founder and director of the Animal Law Coalition, which works to stop animal cruelty and suffering through legislation, administrative agency action and litigation. She also worked as an attorney for Best Friends Animal Society.
Karen Overall: Veterinarian Issues Liaison – World-renowned veterinary behaviorist. Former head of the Behavior Clinic at the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and faculty member of the Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania.
Jane Hoffman: Animal Issues Liaison – President and chair of the board of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC Animals and a founding member of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York’s Committee on Legal Issues.
We are deeply grateful for the ongoing assistance from scores of people critical to the success of StubbyDog. There are too many to list here completely, but some include:
Art Aron: Professor of psychology at Stony Brook University, specializing in social influence, prejudice and stereotyping.
Gary Bonilla: Former SVP of creative strategy, Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids and Family Group.
Harold Burson: Founder and chairman of Burson-Marsteller, the largest public relations agency in the world. Named by PRWeek as “the century’s most influential PR figure.”
Jean Donaldson: Author, “The Culture Clash” and “Dogs are from Neptune”; director of The Academy for Dog Trainers.
Ian Dunbar: Veterinarian with a Ph.D. in animal behavior. Researcher with U.C. Berkeley on olfactory communication, social behavior and aggression in domestic dogs.
Jocelyn Elders: Former surgeon general of the United States. Professor of pediatrics at the University of Arkansas.
Alan Goodman: MTV Networks consultant for 30 years. Launched MTV, Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Comedy Central; and advised Neopets, Shockwave and Nicktoons Network.
Anthony Greenwald: Professor of psychology at University of Washington. Inventor of the Implicit Association Test (IAT; published in 1998, now having over 1,000 scholarly citations).
Craig Kanarick: Co-founder of Razorfish.
Frank Luntz: Political consultant, pollster, and president of The Word Doctors. Considered the go-to person for politicians and companies looking to reframe issues and influence public opinion through the use of language.
Bill Lynn: Visiting assistant professor in environmental studies at Williams College, and ethicist in human animal relations.
Allan Mayer: Principal partner at 42West, LLC. Former publisher of Buzz Magazine; senior editor, Newsweek.
Dawn McCall: Former president, Discovery Networks International.
Brigitte McCray: Former programming executive, BET. Former SVP of programming and scheduling, Oxygen Media.
Russ Mead: Attorney and interim executive director and general counsel for Farm Sanctuary; developed programs to fight breed discrimination laws for Best Friends Animal Society.
Ty Montague: Former chief creative officer and co-president of JWT New York. Former co-creative director of Wieden + Kennedy New York.
Mary Beth Oliver: Specialist in media and psychology, focusing on both the psychological effects of media and on viewers’ attraction to media content.
Linda Ong: President of Truth Consulting, which specializes in brand strategy, with clients ranging from Animal Planet to Bravo to NPR. Former SVP of marketing for Oxygen.
Betsy Saul: Founder of Petfinder, the largest online adoption, foster and assistance service for shelters and pet guardians.
James Serpell: Professor of humane ethics and animal welfare; director, Center for the Interaction of Animals & Society, Department of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania.
Chris Shipley: Former executive producer of the DEMO Conferences for IDG Executive Forums, helped technology companies bring more than a 1,000 new products to market since 1996. Placed on Fortune Small Business Magazine’s ”Top 10 Minds in Small Business.”
Bruce Stein: Former CEO of Mandalay Media. Former COO of Mattel. Former CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment.
Tia Maria Torres: Founder, Villa Lobos Rescue Center, featured on Animal Planet’s “Pit Bulls & Parolees.”
Dave Tutin: Former executive creative director of darkGrey (Grey Worldwide) and global creative director/technology. Former executive creative director McCann San Francisco.
Chase and Jennifer Utley: Chase plays for the Philadelphia Phillies and is one of the most popular players in baseball today. Jennifer is a board member of the Pennsylvania SPCA board. Together, they started The Utley Foundation to bring awareness to the increasing epidemic of animal cruelty. Mostly, they speak up for pit bulls, or, more correctly, pit bulls and pit bull mixes. Jen Utley calls them “my pits.”
Bob Vetere: President of American Pet Products Association, the largest pet products related association in the U.S.
Larry Winokur: The “W” in BWR Public Relations with 25 years matchmaking stars and causes. His Beverly Hills-based firm represents numerous A-listers (e.g., Brad Pitt, Adam Sandler, Reese Witherspoon) and has helped garner attention for issues from breast cancer to global warming.
Lester Wunderman: Advertising executive widely considered the creator of modern day direct marketing. His innovations include the magazine subscription card, the toll-free 1-800 number and loyalty rewards programs. Named one of 20 “Advertising Legends and Leaders” by AdWeek in 1998. Currently serves as chairman emeritus of Wunderman.