board of directors
Gary Catalano | president
Gary is a native of San Jose with over 39 years experience in the computer manufacturing industry. He has always been an animal lover and he and his wife, Bonnie, volunteered for SVACA before joining the board of Friends. Their dog, Sammy, is a SVACA graduate.
Eva Schimtz | co-treasurer
Eva was born and raised in the Bay Area and has always had a deep commitment to her community. In addition to her role on the board of Friends, she socializes dogs at SVACA as a volunteer. Eva is an accounting manager at All Metals Inc and runs a collectibles business at The Willow Glen Collective. Eva has two dogs and two birds.
Alex Leung | co-treasurer
As a child, Alex had pets, but dogs always had a special place in his heart. When he lost a beloved cocker spaniel after 13 years, he came to SVACA looking to fall in love again. A two pound ball of fur named Maia opened his heart again and now keeps him very busy. Alex has been a SVACA volunteer committed to helping animals find new homes ever since.
Sayaka Nethercutt | secretary
Sayaka volunteers with SVACA in addition to acting as the Friends board Secretary. She finds taking animals to offsite events to interact with the public particularly rewarding. Although she works in high tech now, her dream is to one day leverage her animal communication and Reiki skills to team up with an animal to provide therapy-related services to others. Sayaka and her husband have one cat, their beloved Maggie.
Bonnie Silva | director
Bonnie is a retired account manager who has been volunteering at animal shelters, including SVACA, for over a decade. She loves all animals, although her favorites are dogs and horses. Bonnie has logged the most volunteer hours at SVACA for many years in a row, in addition to serving on the Friends board. She and her husband, Gary, take their dog Sammy with them everywhere.
Lisa Bourgault | director
Lisa works as a technical writer for high tech clients when she is not volunteering as a photographer and social-media content creator for SVACA. She loves all animals, furry, feathery, or leathery, and would love to work full time photographing them. Lisa brings her writing, technology, graphic design, and camera skills to Friends of SVACA. She and her husband have three cats, all SVACA rescues.
Janine Chew | director
After retiring from teaching in Santa Clara Unified for over a decade, Janine was excited to jump deeper into the world of volunteering. Fostering, socializing, attending events, and reaching out to the community for donations for SVACA brings her great joy. Janine also volunteers with IRC to help support refugees. And should you need tomato seeds, Janine harvests new seeds every year.
Jennifer Mathers | director
Jennifer was born and raised in the Bay Area and comes from a family of animal lovers and advocates. She began working with animals at a local shelter as soon as she was old enough, and her passion for people and animals led her to a 20-year career dedicated to the animal welfare industry, including 15 years at SVACA. In December 2021, she made the difficult decision to leave her role as SVACA’s Shelter Manager, but she couldn’t turn her back on the animals and the community she loves so much— Jennifer now contributes her unique and valuable perspective, and decades of experience, to Friends of SVACA.