Board of Directors

THLN's board of directors is comprised of individuals who bring their professional talents and animal welfare expertise to the organization to help further its mission for the animals. All work is provided on a voluntary basis. The duties of the board include: establishing and implementing legislative agendas designed to pass effective animal protection legislation; providing information to the news media concerning THLN issues; informing THLN's membership of animal-related legislation; increasing membership statewide; working with other organizations who share THLN's goals; and fundraising to provide the financial resources needed for lobbying, membership communications, and media-related activities.

Stephen Hurst

Position: President Donate to THLN on my behalf
Steve has spent his professional career in real estate development and finance. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Real Estate from Southern Methodist University and a Masters in Business Administration from The University of Texas at Austin. Steve and his wife Vickie, began volunteering as a foster home for dog rescue organizations more than 15 years ago. In that time, they have helped several dogs find loving homes. Steve is also an active fundraiser and grant writer for several Dallas area rescue organizations. He helps plan events for these groups to raise funds, promote humane education and get dogs adopted. Before becoming a board member, Steve was a longtime volunteer with the Texas Humane Legislation Network and enjoys helping with humane education, legislative advocacy, and fundraising. As chairman of the THLN grassroots committee, Steve is committed to connecting people across Texas to their elected officials to help advocate on behalf of animals. Steve knows there’s nothing more important than having neighbors talk to neighbors, reaching each other where they live, work, learn, worship, text, and tweet. Steve and his wife share their home with their four rescue dogs and occasional foster dogs.

Jaime Olin

Position: Vice President and Legislative Chair Donate to THLN on my behalf
Jaime is currently Senior Counsel with the law firm Skiermont Derby, practicing patent and commercial litigation. Before that, she worked as Legal Advocacy Counsel with the ASPCA, focusing on animal welfare litigation, animal cruelty prosecution support, and equine welfare issues. She’s taught courses and given dozens of presentations on animal cruelty laws, the LINK, and various other animal law topics. She earned her BA in Psychology/Biology (focus on animal cognition) from New College of Florida, her MS in Animals and Public Policy from Tufts University, and her JD from the University of Michigan (Go Blue!). She’s lived in Dallas since 2009. Jaime’s rescue dogs, Parker and Benny, are admittedly somewhat pampered, but they motivate her to work hard to improve the welfare of all Texas dogs.

Mona Thaxton

Position: Secretary Donate to THLN on my behalf
Mona has a professional history of more than 35 years in nonprofit healthcare and education, and volunteer civic leadership. She’s been a lifelong animal advocate. She served for 9 years as a board member of San Antonio’s Animal Care Services Department. During that time the shelter’s live release rate went from 13% to more than 90%. And through partnerships with the City, foundations, and private donors, two new shelters were funded, planned, and constructed, and opened. She “retired” in 2014 to move to the family ranch near San Antonio and became more involved with the interests of cattle, sheep, and goat ranchers, and the protection of wildlife. She joined the THLN board in 2019 to devote energy to the larger cause of advocacy for people and animals statewide.

Susan Beldon

Position: Director Donate to THLN on my behalf
Susan resides in San Antonio, Texas, with her husband, Brad, four children, and five dogs. Growing up in Maryland, Susan developed a passion for helping animals while working with a local veterinarian. Susan served on the board of the San Antonio Humane Society for six years. Currently, she sits on the City of San Antonio Animal Care Services Advisory Board. New to the THLN Board, Susan initially became involved as a Legislative Ambassador. Susan is interested in animal-related legislation and laws. This commitment is what motivates her to be a strong advocate for all Texas animals.

Elisabeth Rutledge

Position: Director Donate to THLN on my behalf
Elisabeth Rutledge combines a passion for animal rights with experience in public affairs and advocacy communication to help THLN further its mission. Currently working as a communications consultant for the Jeff Eller Group, Elisabeth helps clients large and small protect and enhance their brand equity and stakeholder relationships. Her clients have included some of the country’s best-known names in advocacy, energy, health insurance, retail, private equity, and transportation. Before joining the Jeff Eller Group, Elisabeth was a senior vice president with Hill+Knowlton Strategies and a managing director at Public Strategies. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in American Studies. Elisabeth is also a graduate of the Leadership Texas program.

Advisory Board

Pamela Boich

Company: Texas Humane Legislation Network Donate to THLN on my behalf

Julie Caramante

Company: Texas State Horse Council Donate to THLN on my behalf

Yolanda Eisenstein

Company: Eisenstein Law Office Donate to THLN on my behalf

Sherry Ferguson

Company: Houston Humane Society Donate to THLN on my behalf

Lisa Gilchrist

Company: HOPE Animal Rescue Donate to THLN on my behalf

Cile Holloway

Company: Texas Humane Legislation Network Donate to THLN on my behalf

Sharon Hotchkiss

Company: Of Counsel | Kotchkiss Law Firm, PLLC Donate to THLN on my behalf

Jack Knox

Company: Cafe Pacific Inc. and Knox Ranch Inc. Donate to THLN on my behalf

Natalie Lynch

Company: Lynch Law Firm Donate to THLN on my behalf

Glynda Ray

Company: Donate to THLN on my behalf

Erin Shults

Company: Mazie’s Mission Donate to THLN on my behalf

Mary Spencer

Company: SPCA of Texas Donate to THLN on my behalf

Robert "Skip" Trimble

Company: Texas Humane Legislation Network Donate to THLN on my behalf