Board of Directors

Gina Fortunato

Gina Fortunato

President

After 15 years in a leadership role with Sanofi-Aventis Pharmaceuticals, Gina Fortunato followed her dream of working in the animal health industry where she serves as VP of Veterinary Services for Crum & Forster Pet Insurance Group, providers of the ASPCA® Pet Health Insurance Plans. She loves helping pet owners keep their furry friends healthy. In her free time, Gina enjoys staying active with kayaking, dragon boating and riding horses. Gina has three horses and three cats, who have happily made their home in her barn. Gina is proud to serve as President for the Happy Trails Board of Directors.

Leighann Fink

Leighann Fink

Vice President

Leighann Fink, a licensed Ohio attorney of sixteen years, focuses her practice on education law, public law, and appellate law.
In addition to being a Board Member at Happy Trails Farm Animal Sanctuary, Ms. Fink is the Vice-President of the Board of Directors for the Blick Center, Treasurer of the Board for Open Arms Adoptions, and is a member of the Akron Zoo Board’s Education Committee.  Ms. Fink also presides on the Unauthorized Practice of Law Board for the Supreme Court of Ohio.
Ms. Fink enjoys living in Kent with her husband Eric and her five-year old son Sammy.  The Fink family enjoys all of the outdoor activities Portage County has to offer and are avid Ohio State and Kent State fans.

Tom Fares

Tom Fares

Treasurer

Tom holds a Master’s Degree in Metallurgical Engineering. He has created, developed, and launched several successful businesses throughout his 35-year career in the manufacturing, fabrication, and assembly sector. His financial philosophy and investment strategy have built a solid foundation for each of his companies. Tom is an animal advocate and is dedicated to supporting and protecting animals in need. He recognized HTFAS as his opportunity to contribute, in a positive way, to the welfare of suffering animals. Tom joined the Board of Directors in 2019 and is proud to be a part of this compassionate organization.

Jim Kuhn

Jim Kuhn

Secretary

After 30 years in corporate HR leadership roles, in 2011 Jim started and still operates a global recruiting firm called Kuhn Global Talent, LLC. He and his daughter Lissy share a love for all animals and enjoy working together for the betterment of farm animals, dogs, and cats both at Happy Trails Farm Animal Sanctuary and the Humane Society of Summit County. In his free time, Jim focuses on family, faith, and fitness.

Jess Rist

Jess Rist

General Member

Jess is a nonprofit development professional and dedicated community servant passionate about making the world a better place. She has devoted her life to fighting and advocating for important causes and organizations including IBH Addiction Recovery, the National MS Society, the Alzheimer’s Association, and now Happy Trails Farm Animal Sanctuary. She serves on the board of directors for the Association of Fundraising Professionals and enjoys connecting compassionate individuals with philanthropic opportunities to make a difference in the lives of others. Jess and her husband Kyle live in Kent with their four rescue cats and look forward to starting their own farm in the future.

Aaron Godfrey

Aaron Godfrey

General Member

Aaron, an accomplished Physicist, has worked for Energizer on solar cell technology, the U.S. Navy and now a high-tech aerospace company in Middleburg Heights. When not at his day job, he serves as deputy treasurer for the Western Cuyahoga County Democrats PAC, a grassroots-funded group that helps to get local candidates elected. He also serves on the Cuyahoga Democratic Party Executive & Central Committees for Westlake and as an elected Outings Chair for the Ohio Chapter of the Sierra Club. Aaron is a long-time animal lover volunteering at local animal shelters for years. He joined the Happy Trails team to better the lives of farm animals in need.

Tom Kaufman

Tom Kaufman

General Member

Tom is a passionate marketer with extensive local, national and international marketing experience. After nearly 20 years in the industry, Tom branched out in 2018 to start and run his own digital marketing agency called Owll Marketing. His company is focused on bringing Fortune 500 company marketing expertise to small businesses to truly help them thrive and grow. Tom’s two youngest children are avid animal lovers with aspirations to become either veterinarians or zoologist. He is excited to leverage their combined passion for animals along with his desire to help organizations leverage marketing to strategically position Happy Trails Farm Animal Sanctuary for continued growth.

Laurie Jackson

Laurie Jackson

Executive Director

Drawn to horses at a young age, Laurie transitioned from a horse enthusiast to equine professional successfully managing Moxie Stables, a horse boarding facility in Mogadore, while simultaneously holding an auxiliary riding position on the Summit County Mounted Unit for over a decade. A staff member of HTFAS since 2013, Laurie earned her current role as Executive Director leading rescue efforts to bring horses and farm animals to the safety of the sanctuary alongside law enforcement and humane agents. She is dedicated to continued equine/animal welfare education through her membership of the ASPCA/Right Horse Initiative. Laurie’s most recent accomplishment was to complete an internship at Flag Is Up Farms in Solvang, CA to further her training knowledge learning the methods of Monty Roberts Join Up and she continues on the path to certified instructor.

Pete Grasso

Pete Grasso

General Member

Pete Grasso is a seasoned communications professional with a background in public relations and marketing. He has spent his career working in and with trade media, both as a public relations practitioner and as an editor. He gained a great deal of expertise in the B2B arena, within large and medium sized advertising agencies. Though his transition to a plant-based lifestyle in 2011 was a way to be healthier, kindness and compassion toward animals has become a welcome side effect and something Pete is passionate about. Pete is thrilled to be able to use his expertise in public relations to bring awareness to the mission of Happy Trails Farm Animal Sanctuary. He and his wife April reside in Avon Lake with their rescue dog of 10 years, Rocco.