Meet the Staff

Jeff Struchtemeyer | Chief Executive Officer

512-260-3602 ext. 111

Jeff spent 12 years working in the financial and banking sector as a registered broker before moving into the nonprofit arena. He has spent the last 18 years working for a variety of nonprofits such as Switchboard of Miami and the National Domestic Violence Hotline located in Austin.

  • He moved to Austin in December, 2015
  • Has one dog named Niobe

Laura Acton Furiani | Chief Operating Officer

512-260-3602 ext. 106

In 2015, Laura left her career in restaurant operations to pursue her passion of working with animals. She started at Texas Humane Heroes in 2016 and is excited to grow with this organization.

  • From Buena Park, California
  • Loves to kayak and hike with her husband
  • Is a mom and stepmom to six awesome kids and has a three-legged dog named Braxton

Carolyn L | Veterinarian

Carolyn joined TXHH because it is a progressive organization that aligns with her mission, and that we’re a shelter that provides services to the community that are greatly needed.

Before TXHH, Carolyn was mainly doing work at private clinics and high-volume spay/neuter clinics, as well as several nonprofit before that. She’s been working with animals since she was 13 after she started volunteering at her local animal shelter.

  • She has 2 daughters, ages 9 and 4, along with 4 dogs, a cat, and many fish… not counting foster animals
  • She was born on Halloween, her favorite holiday
  • She’s originally from Florida and has lived all over the state. She went to UF for undergrad, (Go Gators), and yes, there really are a lot of actual gators there 🐊

Brie Brehm | Director of Medical Services

512-260-3602 ext. 107

Brie joined Texas Humane Heroes in 2015 and has helped amplify our operations. Before that, she was in the field of Social Work as a therapist in a hospital in San Diego. Brie has worked in animal rescue and welfare for 23 years in various positions.

  • From San Diego, California
  • Enjoys traveling, hiking, and yoga
  • Has one bulldog puppy and 4 cats

Kate Nesbitt | Intake Manager

512-260-3602 ext. 113

Kate joined Texas Humane Heroes in 2024 after four years in animal shelter management across central Texas. As both Intake Manager and Foster Coordinator, she’s in charge of bringing dogs and cats into our care, as well as handling their foster care.

  • Born in Ireland
  • Moved to Austin, TX at age 8
  • Has a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and a Minor in Biochemistry from Baylor University

Shelby Chesshir | Senior Adoption Center Manager

512-260-3602 ext. 101

  • Grew up in Round Rock, Texas
  • Loves going to concerts, paddle boarding, hiking, and hockey games
  • Proud owner of Arya the Doberman and Murphy the tabby cat

Christian Long | Director of Communications


Christian joined Texas Humane Heroes in 2022 after spending years working in digital media as a reporter, designer, and social media manager. As Director of Communications, he runs our social media, coordinates news appearances, and tries to spend as much time with every dog and cat we have.

  • Originally from rural Nebraska
  • Currently has two rescue dogs, Riley and Francesca
  • Was once told he looked like a “young, handsome Frank Zappa” by Jeff Goldblum

TXHH Board of Directors

Rob Klepner, President

Mary Ward

Nikki O’Donnell

Don Grenier

H.R. Strickland, Founding Member

George Grammas, Founding Member