Meet the Team

Board of Directors


Hannah Shaw

Founder and President of the Board of Directors

Hannah Shaw is a neonatal kitten expert and humane educator known for her educational resources and advocacy work as Kitten Lady. She is the author of Tiny But Mighty: Kitten Lady’s Guide to Saving the Most Vulnerable Felines and several children’s books about animal welfare. With a background in grantmaking, nonprofit development and campaign management, she is passionate about finding lasting solutions to the most pressing issues facing animals.


Michelle Strickland-Kucerak

Vice President, Board of Directors

Michelle is a powerful advocate for all animals and is a founding board member of the Orphan Kitten Club. She is the Senior Vice-President of Programs and Public Policy for the international animal advocacy organization The Humane League, and has worked in the nonprofit sector for nearly 3 decades.

Updated Justin Photo 2022

Justin Yabumoto

Treasurer, Board of Directors 

Justin has always loved working with animals, so after moving to San Diego, he and his wife Yige, built a nursery in their home to care for neonatal kittens. He particularly likes to help socialize shy/spicy kittens so that they can be adopted into loving homes. Justin also has over 10 years of experience in corporate finance where he manages budgets and provides strategic advice for his business partners.


Dr. Rachel Wallach

Secretary, Board of Directors & Veterinarian 

Dr. Rachel Wallach is a veterinarian with a passion for animal rescue. She obtained her veterinary degree from the University of Glasgow in Scotland and is the co-owner of Oaks Veterinary Urgent Care in Agoura Hills, CA. She has a special interest in advancing neonatal kitten medicine and brings veterinary pediatric expertise to her role with Orphan Kitten Club.


Andrew Marttila

Board Member

Andrew Marttila is an animal photographer known for his captivating images of felines. His work as The Cat Photographer depicts the lives of celebrity cats, shelter cats, and house cats with intimate detail. Andrew is the creator of three beautiful photography books, Shop Cats of New York, Cats on Catnip, and How to Take Awesome Photos of CatsHe serves as both a hands-on caregiver for neonatal kittens and as the secretary of the board.


Valerie Neal

Board Member

Val is a two-time Orphan Kitten Club adopter, making her the proud Mom of Chloe (2017) & MoMo (2023) Neal. Val’s love for the feline community started with her very first cat named Doogie & after adopting & learning how to care for Chloe, a kitten with rear-leg paralysis, she was thrilled to give back to the OKC organization that had given her so much. Val is an HR Professional working in the tech industry, with a MS in Organizational Development. She lives in San Jose, California with her husband, two human daughters, Holly & Collins, and their precious kitties.


Ame Esterline

Managing Director   

Ame is a passionate animal lover and Operations professional. She holds a Masters Degree in Public Policy and an honorary doctorate in cat shenanigans. Her professional background is in nonprofit management, finance, and communications roles. She is an experienced animal foster and lifelong advocate for animal welfare. Ame lives in Chicago with her very patient husband and the world’s cutest troublemakers.

Strategic Advisory Committee

Jackie Noble

Strategic Advisor

Jackie Noble is an expert in neonatal kittens and shelter programs. She is the Director of Nursery and Placement for San Diego Humane Society and has overseen the first and longest-running shelter kitten nursery since 2010. Jackie is also the author of the 2022 book The Fantastic World of Baby Animals.


Nadia Oseguera

Strategic Advisor

Nadia Oseguera is an animal welfare professional with a passion for bringing and keeping people and pets together. She has a strong background in kitten and cat care, as well as removing barriers to fostering to make the joys of helping animals accessible to all. Currently, Nadia manages a grants program for the UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program where she aims to uplift and amplify the efforts of front-line staff and promote funding practices that are equitable and inclusive and honor the diversity of the animal-human bond.


Janel Griffieth

Strategic Advisor

Janel is a passionate non-profit leader who has dedicated nearly a decade to human and animal well-being. Janel began working at the Oklahoma Humane Society–the largest animal non-profit in the state–as a Pet Adoption Specialist, where she also began fostering. She found her niche in neonatal animal care. This led her to become the Neonatal Volunteer Coordinator, where she grew a volunteer and foster training program for neonatal kittens and puppies. From the success of the training program and the dire need from the shelter and community, she was tasked with creating a more comprehensive neonatal program. Under her leadership as the Neonatal Nursery Program Manager, the program has saved thousands of neonatal kittens and puppies and hundreds of moms. 

Foster Caregivers


Yige Zhao 

Kitten Caregiver

Yige is a lifelong animal lover who has volunteered for animal shelters and sanctuaries in varying capacities. She became fascinated by all the aspects of neonatal care a few years ago when she learned about the plight of young kittens in the shelter system. With a background in healthcare, Yige especially enjoys nursing the smallest and sickest babies to healthy and strong mini-panthers.