Michel Meunier: Founder/Executive Director
Michel works for the Center for Countermeasures at the WSMR, NM, post as a civilian Department of Defense employee in the field of technical writing/editing. Michel grew up in the border region and attended the University of Texas at El Paso. She has a bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in Criminal Justice and a master of fine arts’ degree in English/Creative Writing.
Michel has been a lifelong animal welfare and rights advocate and has rescued animals personally since she was a child and then later as a volunteer at many animal organizations in El Paso and Las Cruces. Because of her love and respect of animals, she became a vegetarian at age 19 and now follows a mostly plant-based diet.
Michel founded ACTion Programs for Animals in Las Cruces in 2009 to fill gaps in No Kill programming and services she felt were important and sorely lacking in the area. She still serves as a member of the board and as the organization’s volunteer director as well as a foster caretaker and overall volunteer.
Rebecca Corran: Co-Vice Chair
Becky is an Assistant Professor of Public Health at Dona Ana Community College and has been befriending animals of all kinds since her first love, a beagle named Tessy. She loves to travel, and can sometimes be found sharing her lunch with strays in parks in Mexico or Peru.
Becky loves Las Cruces and the compassionate people and delightful animals that make their homes there, including her house full of rescues, fosters and “foster failures.” Becky and her partner, Vicki, have been fosters for APA since 2012, and joined the board in 2014.
Andrea Sparkevicius: Co-Vice Chair
Andrea is a military brat raised in Las Cruces and a proud Mayfield HS & NMSU alumni currently employed as a pharmaceutical sales representative. Her love of animals was evident from an early age according to her family and friends, i.e., rescuing wounded animals, asking Santa for help with discarded animals, etc.
She has a special fondness for felines which began with her family’s Seal Point Siamese, Cocoa, and her own feline she had as an adult, Marsh”Mellow”. Now she shares her home with an APA rescued feline, Beckham the Cruces Cat, who is quite the personality and has his own Facebook page. He is a complete joy but has convinced Andrea that senior animals might be the way to go in the future!
Andrea became a board member in 2014 and looks forward to assisting APA achieve its mission to help Dona Ana reach its No Kill goal.
Nora is new to our board in 2016, so her picture and bio are pending…
Amanda López Askin: Secretary
Amanda López Askin, a native Las Crucen, currently works for the State of New Mexico in behavioral health advocacy. Amanda is a 3X Aggie, as she earned her Bachelor’s, Master’s, and a PhD from NMSU. Amanda serves on various boards, coalitions, and advocacy groups in Dona Ana County, in addition to being a former member of the Board of Regents at New Mexico State University.
Amanda’s interest and concern for animals began early in college after reading animal advocate Jane Goodall’s book on the chimpanzees of Gombe as required course work. Jane’s detailed writing of her experience with their emotions, connection to each other, and pain had a profound effect on her. This, combined with owning her first dog during this time, encouraged her to become more in-tune with the challenges in our local community and active in local efforts.
Amanda’s passion includes promoting responsible pet ownership, spaying and/or neutering, chain-free ordinances, and encouraging animals as family members, instead of property. Amanda is excited and inspired about ACTion Program’s for Animal’s goals and hopes to be a part of their comprehensive plans; she joined the board in 2014. Amanda is married and she and her husband share their life with their daughter Eliana, and 5 dogs–all rescues.
Roy Askin is originally from New Jersey but has lived in Las Cruces, NM, almost 18 years. Roy graduated from DACC, and he has worked in various capacities, including owning his own business and law enforcement. In his free time, he likes travel, concerts, reading, and live sporting events. When his schedule allows, he also occasionally plays ice hockey in El Paso.
Roy has always liked and lived with dogs, but his interest in animal advocacy and fostering has increased in the last eight years. Roy and his wife, Amanda, have fostered deployed soldier’s pets during their deployment in order to allow them to serve our country and not worry about the care and well-being of their pets.
Roy supports APA’s mission of creating a no-kill community in Dona Ana County and looks forward to helping meet the goals and mission of ACTion Programs for Animals.
Kelley is a registered nurse employed at Memorial Medical Center, and her dad says she has been a friend to most every animal since she was a child. She introduced dad, who was not too fond of animals, to a little cat when he was at a low point in his life … and that cat turned out to be a joy! Nico the cat took charge of his dad’s small pecan orchard and became his best bud.
Nurse Kelley has hands that heal, according to her patients. And if the animals she has cared for over the years could speak, they would all agree. Kelley joined APA’s board in 2014.
Kristie Garcia grew up in Las Cruces. She received her bachelor’s degree in public relations from Texas Tech University and bachelor’s degree in dance from New Mexico State University. She is an associate communications specialist at NMSU, where she mostly covers the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.
She supports the NMSU Dance Program by attending performances and community dance classes whenever possible.
Kristie has had a love for dogs since childhood. She joined the APA Board in 2016 because of its mission to have a no-kill community and to educate the public about being responsible pet owners. She and her husband Joe live with an APA rescue dog – and “foster failure” – Roxy Hart.
Seeking new Board Members committed to saving lives!
APA’s philosophical approach to animal welfare in our community is modern and progressive. We are part of the No Kill movement as defined and advanced by the No Kill Advocacy Center, which is helping many communities achieve No Kill goals nationwide and worldwide. We strongly support reform of Animal Control departments and animal shelters to drastically reduce our community’s homeless animal kill rate and improve the lives of animals and people.
If you are a No Kill advocate, someone who wants to help save more feral cats’ lives, someone who is partial to the plight of pit bulls in our community, or someone willing and able to learn more about progressive approaches to animal welfare and help us grow quickly to reach our goals, we’d love for you to join our board of directors and help us step up our advocacy work in the community. Please contact us today if you are interested in serving on our Board.