Myra Rasnick, Executive Director
Ms. Rasnick has 12 years of experience in crisis intervention, victim service delivery and program development. She received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology at James Madison University with a concentration in Women’s Studies. While completing her degree, she began volunteering on the crisis line at Citizens Against Sexual Assault (The Collins Center), where she was later employed as the Program Assistant. Upon graduation she relocated to the metro Atlanta area, where she worked as the Advocacy Coordinator for the Gwinnett Sexual Assault & Children’s Advocacy Center. Ms. Rasnick is dedicated to ending violence against women and is an avid animal lover. Marrying these passions, Ms. Rasnick joined Ahimsa House as the Program Services Coordinator in 2007 at which time she developed and implemented Ahimsa House’s Direct Services Program. She contacted service providers throughout the state and presented on Ahimsa House Services, growing referrals to the agency by more than 100%. Ms. Rasnick also developed and grew the foster home network and reached out to veterinarians and boarding facilities to establish partnerships throughout Georgia. In 2014, she accepted the position of Executive Director.
Shannon Oxford, Program Services Coordinator
Shannon has been working in the victim services field for 2 years. She graduated from Valdosta State University with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. After graduation, she volunteered with the Douglas County Task Force on Family Violence before accepting a job in Florida. There, she was the Lead Shelter Advocate at Micah’s Place, a domestic violence shelter in Fernandina Beach. Shannon relocated to Atlanta where she could combine her passion in ending domestic violence with her love of animals. At Ahimsa House, Shannon coordinates the Direct Services program, helping find and organize shelter and care for the animals that come into the program. Shannon was hired as the Victim Services Advocate in 2013 and accepted the Program Services Coordinator position in 2014.
Sally Terrell, Victim Services Advocate
Sally earned her bachelor’s degree in Media Arts & Design and Corporate Communication from James Madison University and began her career at a global public relations firm in Washington, D.C. During this time, Sally grew increasingly interested in combining her skills with her passion to combat domestic and sexual violence. She returned to school to pursue a Master of Social Work degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and worked as an intern at Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance. This experience introduced the link between domestic violence and animal cruelty, and provided Sally opportunities to gain experience in victim services and crisis intervention. Upon graduating, she relocated to the Atlanta area and was pleased to accept the Victim Services Advocate position in June 2014.
Salimah Charania, Outreach Coordinator
Salimah graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies from Mercer University in 2006 and took a position as a post-graduate teaching assistant teaching Psychology of the Victim, Multicultural Issues, and Social Welfare Policy. Focusing her attention on the underreporting of domestic violence within particular minority groups, Salimah took a position with a women’s halfway house. Later Salimah moved from facility based treatment to in-home services where she served as a Clinical Liaison to victims and families affected by domestic violence and substance abuse issues. In 2010 Salimah transitioned to the court system where she served as a Legal Advocate while completing her Master’s Degree in Forensic Psychology at Argosy University. At Ahimsa House, where she joined in July 2014, Salimah utilizes public forums as a platform to assist human and animal victims and coordinates outreach efforts to increase an awareness of the services that Ahimsa House offers.
Meet Our Board of Directors
Carrie Montagna-Ward (President)
Marketing Manager, McKesson
Kendra Westphal (Secretary)
Executive Recruiter, AquantUs, LLC
Heather Siler (Treasurer)
Director, Business Analysis, Guidant Group
Sales Consultant, Vera Bradley
Vice President, Engineering, UPS
Partner, Alston and Bird
Director, Financial Solutions, Guidant Group
General Counsel, Council of Superior Court Judges
Mary Ann Downey
HR Metrics Coach, Shoot the Moon Services, LLC
Meet Our Advisory Council
David Bressman, DVM
Associate Veterinarian, Crabapple Animal Hospital
Animal Cruelty Investigator, Gwinnett County
Director of Training, Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Founder, Ahimsa House
Christine Cox, Esq.
Field Supervisor, Fulton County Animal Services
Hon. Shawn Ellen LaGrua
Superior Court Judge, Fulton County
Melinda Merck, DVM
Owner, Forensics Consulting, LLC
Merrie Rennard, LMSW
Ph.D. Fellow, Veterinary Social Work, University of Tennessee
Kelly Trogdon, DVM
Owner, Faithful Friend Mobile Veterinary Clinic
Owner, S. R. Walker Designs