SPCA of Texas Board of Directors

Jocelyn White, Chair

Jocelyn White arrived in the Metroplex from Little Rock, Arkansas, in the early 1980's to be the area's first AMS Seal of Approval weather woman on television. Since that time, the award-winning television and radio personality has created, written and hosted a slate of TV and radio shows including her current project, "Designing DFW" on WFAA-TV Channel 8.

While Jocelyn enjoys books and movies, music and motorcycles, fly-fishing and gardening, her passion is animals. Raised on a farm in the Piney Woods of South Arkansas, she was brought up to care about preservation and conservation of our natural resources including animals.

"Being on the Board of SPCA of Texas is one of the most rewarding opportunities I have ever been given. It is wonderful to be part of a dedicated group that gives back to the community in this way and in the process stands up for all Fur Babies. We are in the vanguard of rescuing and making sure all animals find their forever homes. As the rescue mom of three pugs, I know what joy you can give them--and how much more joy they give you."

Jocelyn holds high the adage and motto: A House is Not a Home Without a Dog in It! (Cats too!).

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William Driscoll, Vice Chair

Bill joined the SPCA of Texas Board of Directors in 2006. A native of Dallas , he graduated from UNT with a BBA in accounting in 1982 and works as a CPA specializing in taxation. Since childhood, animals have brought great joy and love to his life. Volunteering with the SPCA of Texas is the best ways to say thank you for these gifts. His Dachshunds Buddy and Irving think they rule the house. The cats, Grace and Wylie do not agree.

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Judy Davis, Treasurer

Judy is a native Dallasite and currently resides in East Dallas with her husband, who is a retired avid golfer, and their adopted 2-year-old Golden Retriever named Bogey. She attended the University of Dallas, where she received a BA and MBA. Judy currently works as an Executive Director in J.P. Morgan's Private Bank. She joined the SPCA of Texas' Board of Directors in 2011, and served as the Chair of the Audit Committee before becoming the Treasurer.

Judy enjoys cooking, gardening, playing the piano, reading and voluteering at her local retirement home by singing and playing the piano. She grew up in Irving in a home where there was always a pet who was treasured as a family member.

"While I have served on several boards in the past, I have never felt as passionate and engaged about a cause as I do about doing whatever I can to help the animals who so helplessly depend on us for their care and love," said Judy. "The SPCA of Texas has no other mission than that, and I am proud to be a part of it."

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James Bias, President

James Bias is a native of Arizona but a Texas resident for over forty years, and has been in the animal care and control industry for the past three decades. James holds an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Animal Health Technology; is a former reserve Texas Peace Office, Certified Animal Cruelty Investigator; holds a certificate in Non-Profit Leadership from SMU and the Center for Nonprofit Management; and is a Certified Animal Welfare Administrator (CAWA).

Prior to becoming President of the SPCA of Texas in 2004, James was Executive Director of the Humane Society SPCA of Bexar County in San Antonio. While in San Antonio, James successfully spearheaded a fundraising campaign to build a 21,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art Humane Society Adoption and Education Center, completed in November 2002. James also started the preliminary work for the Bexar County Maddie’s® Fund Shelter Data Grant benefiting many community animal shelters throughout the U.S.

James has also served as Regional Coordinator for the Humane Society of the United States Southwest Regional office, Animal Services Manager for the City of Albuquerque Animal Services, Executive Director for the Humane Society of North Texas in Fort Worth and Operations Director for Citizens for Animal Protection in Houston. James is a current Board member and Past Board Chair of the Society of Animal Welfare Administrators. He was elected to the Board of Directors of the National Council on Pet Population and has joined the Board of the Lone Star Business Park Association. 

Under James’ leadership, the SPCA of Texas serves as Lead Agency and a partner in the No More Homeless Pets of Dallas Coalition. Conceived in 2007, the Coalition is comprised of Dallas-based animal control and traditional adoption guarantee organizations whose mission is to reduce the number of homeless pets in Dallas and work with others to transition Dallas to a no-kill community. James oversees the Coalition’s transparent and consistent shelter statistics reporting made possible through a series of Maddie’s® Fund Starter Grants for shelters. Maddie’s® Fund publishes the Coalition’s statistics and others throughout the nation on its website for easy public access and measurable results. James was Named Non-Profit CEO of the Year in 2011 by the Center for Nonprofit Management. In 2014, James was honored with the 2014 "Humane-itarian" award in recognition of his lifetime of helping animals at the Texas Humane Legislation Network's sixth annual Animal Advocacy Conference.

Bias and his wife, Natalie, have several children, as well as four dogs, eight cats, one horse and several aquariums full of tropical fish.

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Gail Cooksey

Gail Cooksey, owner and president of Cooksey Communications, Inc., is a veteran Dallas/Fort Worth public relations professional with a long history of commitment to the SPCA of Texas. Before starting her own agency in 1994, she worked in the banking industry for 15 years in marketing and public relations.

Gail’s commitment and passion for animals is somewhat legendary, as witnessed by the household in Colleyville she shares with husband Robert, who works at Merrill Lynch in Las Colinas. Shadow, a black cocker spaniel, and Gracie and Burnsey, black brother and sister cats, all came home together one night in 1993 from a mobile adoption event. Sami, a blonde Papillion-Pomeranian mix, was adopted from the SPCA of Texas at a McKinney bank opening event that Gail was managing for Chase Bank (Sami was the “photo opp”). Charlotte, the newest member of the household, was a spur-of-the-moment adoption from the SPCA of Texas when a fellow board member e-mailed Charlotte’s photo to Gail.

Gail is also involved with the Public Relations Society of America, the 35W Coalition and the Dallas and Fort Worth Chambers of Commerce. She received a bachelor of journalism degree with honors from the University of Texas at Austin.

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Jody Dean

Jody Dean (born 1959) is an American broadcaster, journalist and author and a member of the Texas Radio Hall of Fame.

Born in Fort Worth, Texas, Dean attended Abilene Christian University and chose broadcast radio as a major after listening to Ron Chapman on KVIL-FM. He soon afterwards found a job at the campus radio station, and later at another station across town. After working at three otherstations, he joined with KLIF-FM in Dallas. He later became a full-time deejay at KVIL, and eventually became the producer for Chapman’s morning show.

Beginning in 1991, Dean was the executive producer for the Dallas Cowboys Radio Network, and in 1994, moved to KRLD, where he served for eight years as the morning news anchor. Some of his most memorable broadcasts have concerned the Oklahoma City bombing, and a destructive tornado that hit Wichita Falls. He then began his tenure at KTVT in Fort Worth.

He has received several awards, including an Emmy, and was named “Best Talk Show Host” by the Dallas Business Journal.

Dean is currently the host of the “Jody Dean & The Morning Team” show at KLUV-FM in Dallas/Fort Worth.

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Cassie Evans

Cassie was born and raised in Dallas and attended The Hockaday School; Union College in Schenectady, NY and Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law. She currently works as an attorney for Hexter-Fair Title Company. Cassie lives in Preston Hollow with their two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Pollyanna and Rusty, and their fish, Sam. Rusty was rescued from atrocious conditions in a puppy mill in 2010, but has adjusted well to his new, pampered life.

Cassie joined the board of the SPCA of Texas in 2011, and is thrilled to be a part of such a wonderful organization devoted to helping animals in need. Having grown up with many dogs, a cat, fish and a pet duck, Cassie is an animal lover at heart who believes all animals should be treated with kindness and respect. On a trip to India, Cassie enjoyed feeding the incredibly intelligent street dogs of New Delhi, and while in Cuernavaca, Mexico during college, she volunteered at the local animal shelter. While homeless animals and animal abuse is a global problem, Cassie is actively working in her community to reduce pet overpopulation through the SPCA of Texas’ Paws Cause group.

When she's not picking up a stray, fostering dogs or tending to her own furry "children," Cassie can be found volunteering with the Junior League of Dallas.

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Becky Fisher

Becky Fisher is the Vice President of Talent Management for PepsiCo. In this role, Becky plays a transformational leadership role in building strong succession plans, accelerating organizational capability and forging strong partnerships.

Over her 10+-year career at PepsiCo, Becky has a stellar track record of delivering breakthrough organizational designs and talent accelerator programs in several Fortune 50 corporations. Becky’s impact extends globally as she has developed strong network across a multitude of businesses.

Becky moved to Texas to attend Texas Christian University and graduated with a BS in Journalism and has continued to reside in the Dallas Metroplex area for most of her career. Becky is married to Greg Fisher and they have two children (Jena and John) and three Labrador Retreivers (Baylee, Cade and Jack) and has had horses, cats and many other pets. Her love for animals extends back to her youth, and she has been known to adopt, provide medical care for and secure forever homes for animals she finds or hears about. Becky considers being on the SPCA of Texas Board a true honor and privilege,and sees this as an opportunity to put her personal passion to work. Since joining the board in early 2015, she has joined the Development Committee with an aim towards building a strong campaign for the SPCA of Texas in the North Dallas Corridor.

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Teresa Henderson

With more than three decades of communications experience, Teresa instinctively knows how to tell a good story. She hammered out her first newsletter at the age of 10 on her mother’s manual Remington typewriter and remains fascinated by the persuasive power of written words. 

Early in her career, she worked as a copywriter for Runner’s World, worked in internal communications for leading corporations and held senior leadership positions with two of the largest international public relations firms before joining Saxum, an integrated communications agency with offices in Texas and Oklahoma, as senior vice president of client development.

A lifelong Dallas area resident and active volunteer who joined the SPCA of Texas board in 2015, she and her husband enjoy traveling and spending time with their two children, three grandchildren and Duncan, an Australian Labradoodle and notorious counter surfer.

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Stacey Kivowitz

Stacey brings a diverse background of educational and entrepreneurial pursuits to her commitment to and involvement in animal welfare. After earning a B.A. in International Relations at Johns Hopkins University and completing additional graduate work at Yale School of Management, Stacey followed the arc of her interest in political processes to Capitol Hill, the seeds of which were sown during her time as a foreign exchange student in France.

From there, she moved to acquire expertise in retail development and fashion, which culminated with the creation of her own successful business concept, one she owned and operated for 16 years. Continued experience, coupled with a passion for making a difference, led her in 2008 to repurpose her energies toward social entrepreneurism. She was the Learning Chair for YEO in the Dallas chapter, the first Chapter President of THLN for North Texas (Texas Humane Legislation Network), is currently on the National Council of HSUS and has lent her resources to many other local and national animal welfare and animal rights initiatives.

Stacey focuses her time on several other interests as well: she continues to work on her advanced instrument certification of her pilot's license; refines her fluency in French while acquiring Spanish; and manages a busy household, including her husband, Don, two (grown) daughters and a new grandson out in California and their rescue "children" at home.

Stacey's four-legged family includes two dogs, Remy and Émile (both adopted from Dallas Animal Services) and two cats, Tinkie (adopted from the SPCA of Texas) and Izzy (adopted from the Victoria Animal Shelter), that serve as personal inspiration to her lifelong commitment to this worthy cause. Stacey also has two other cats, Mirabelle (adopted from the SPCA of Texas) and Jake (who adopted Stacey), who now live with her mother (who just happened to steal them from Stacey!).

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Katy Murray

Katy has more than 20 years of financial and accounting experience and is currently the Chief Financial Officer for A.H. Belo Corporation (NYSE: AHC). Prior to this role,  Katy served as Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President for several multi-national public and private software and service companies. Katy grew up in Louisiana and attended Louisiana State University where she received both her Bachelor and Master’s of Accounting. Katy joined the SPCA of Texas’ Board of Directors in March, 2014. Katy also sits on the boards of directors for Downtown Dallas, Inc.; DMV, Inc.; and Homesnap.

While Katy enjoys traveling, being outdoors and sports, her passion is to help with the protection of all animals and working to create sustainable environments that we share with them. Katy shares her Dallas home with Mack and Stella her French Bulldogs and her 3 cats – Frank, Popeye and Mo.

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Larry M. Putnam, DVM

Larry M. Putnam, DVM, graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University 1968 with a B.S. degree in chemistry and biology. He was accepted to the College of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M in 1968 and graduated with B.S. in Veterinary Science in 1969 and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1971. Dr. Putnam practiced Veterinary medicine in Pensacola, Florida for one year, in San Antonio, Texas for one year, in Corpus Christi, Texas for 11 years and in Dallas, practicing veterinary medicine and surgery, for the past 28 years.

Dr. Putnam served as president of the Coastal Bend Veterinary Medical Association and also on the board of directors of the Texas Veterinary Medical Association for a number of years. His hospitals have always worked closely with various rescue groups and he has seen many happy families adopt rescued pets. Dr. Putnam enjoys veterinary medicine, and especially orthopedic, neurosurgery, and soft tissue surgery.

His pets include a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, MoneyPenny, and a Havana Brown cat, D'Vita. His daughter is an animal veterinary technician and an avid cat lover with her two cats, but MoneyPenny has won her heart.

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Pam Ragon


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Kirk Thor

Kirk Thor is the Vice President of Talent Management & Organization Development at Flowserve. Kirk came from JCPenney where he served as VP of Talent Management. In previous roles, Kirk was VP of Talent Management at Centex Corporation and also led the Organization Development team at Walt Disney World. Kirk has spent the last 13 years consulting to the NFL where he assesses draft picks and predicts delinquent behavior in professional athletes. Kirk’s began his career at the Pentagon profiling candidates for selection and performance in Special Forces and covert operations. 

Kirk has spent 6 years sitting on the Board of Directors for the SPCA of Texas. Kirk has a M.A. in Organization Effectiveness and a Ph.D. in Industrial Psychology from George Mason University. Kirk spends his free time riding Harley-Davidsons and saving turtles. He’s married to Alessandra and has six rescued cats as family.

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Karen Urie

Originally from Massachusetts, Karen Urie moved to Dallas in 1990.  After 30 plus years in the financial services industry, 19 of which were with UBS, Karen now currently serves as the marketing and business development directory for Dave Perry-Miller and his team. It was her volunteer effort in 2007 when she was on the Paws Cause committee that first introduced her to the SPCA of Texas and since then she has been actively involved with a myriad of SPCA of Texas activities and events.

“My involvement with the SPCA has not only provided me with a wonderful way to help all the animals that can not help themselves but has also introduced me to a wonderful group of people that have become true friends.  The important work and services that the SPCA of Texas provides is not only a benefit to the animals but an important asset for the entire Dallas community. I can not think of a volunteer experience that I enjoy more.”

When not devoting her time to her two beloved dogs Rosie, a 14 year old PBGV (Petit Bassett Griffon Vendeen) and 12 year old Frazier, a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier who was rescued from a puppy mill, Karen is actively involved with the USA Film Festival and the Andover Association of North Texas.

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John Vandermeer, DVM

Dr. John Vandermeer is a native of Highland Park and graduated from Highland Park High School in 1983. He received his undergraduate education in Biomedical Science at Texas A&M University and his Veterinary degree from Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine. After graduation in 1990, Dr. Vandermeer returned to Dallas and joined Highland Park Animal Hospital. Dr. Vandermeer's professional interests include orthopedic surgery and endoscopy.

In 2001, he founded the Hard Luck Hound and Kitty Society, which works to provide medical services to seriously ill or injured homeless animals. He has served on the Texas Veterinary Medical Association Board of Directors, as president of Dallas County Veterinary Medical Association Board in 2008 and as president of the Dallas Emergency Animal Clinic. He currently serves on the board of directors for the SPCA of Texas and the board of directors for Southwestern Diabetic Foundation (which runs Camp Sweeney, a summer camp for diabetic children).

He and his wife, Dr. Wendy Dearixon, live in University Park with their three children Emily, Marshall and Hannah. In his spare time, Dr. Vandermeer enjoys playing basketball, fishing and spending time at his country retreat with his family. They have two dogs and two cats – Rosie, Pedro, Ed and Harley.

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Cruelty Prevention

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SPCA of Texas Voices

I believe Kendall is right where she needs to be.

Joseph Klein

Pet Owner