Development Team

Vaughn-MauriceVaughn utilizes his lengthy experience in community outreach, leadership, program development, public speaking, and philanthropy to help ALDF provide the best possible legal advocacy for animals. He draws upon a great wealth of creative and analytical skills to make a positive and progressively-responsible impact upon the organization, and serves as a liaison between donors and staff.

Prior to his work at ALDF, Vaughn served as general manager of Dogs for the Deaf, a nonprofit organization that rescues dogs and trains them to assist hearing impaired people. While in that Oregon-based office, he managed a staff of 31 and significantly increased revenue for that organization. Vaughn also served as executive director of the St. Tammany Humane Society in Louisiana where he worked on the successful campaign to end cockfighting in that state (the last state to do so), and in various development roles for the American Red Cross for more than thirteen years.

William Rivas-Rivas represents ALDF to our major donors and is responsible for developing major philanthropic support to ALDF. His exceptional talents include an empathic and passionate ability to engage with donors and serve as a liaison between donors and ALDF staff. He delights in being able to thank ALDF’s generous donors for their support, being in the unique position to extend appreciation for their kindness, and hearing wonderful success stories which makes ALDF’s work possible.

ALDF is a true fit for the genesis of William’s beliefs in animal protection. He is a strong believer that people with particular skill sets should employ their talents in consideration of what’s best for animals, not themselves. Before joining ALDF, William spent several years as Manager of Donor Communications and Relations at the American Red Cross National Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

William began his career in animal advocacy at PETA, where he spent nearly 6 years involved in protests against such organizations as the Ringling Brothers, and started PETA en Español, an animal rights campaign in Spanish. After returning to his foundation in development campaigns, William later became a major gifts officer at the PETA Foundation. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Houston and an international master’s degree in Photojournalism from Spéos, where his unusual animal-as-food photography won him special notice in a juried exhibition.

A proud Texan, William was eating his way through the animal kingdom, until one day he went from being a heavy meat eater to a vegan overnight. He made this ethical transformation while in the U.S. Navy, where he spent nearly a decade “sailing the seven seas,” four years of which were spent as a Naval Officer, stationed on two warships, including an aircraft carrier. After witnessing “might makes right” mentalities go awry, William has been a vegan for 16 years.

William lives in Austin, TX with his partner, Rachel and super-sweet feline rescues, Marmus and Sophie. In his free time, he enjoys photography and long-distance running. He recently ran a double marathon, raising over $12,000 for ALDF and the protection of animals.” He’s active with the local chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Texas Humane Legislation Network, and serves on the Leadership Council for the Workers Defense Project.

Meagan Garton joined ALDF as the Administrative Assistant for Development in 2015. She works closely with all members of the Development team communicating with donors, handling registrations and invoices, and attending to whatever tasks her team requires. Meagan has always loved animals and has always had dogs in her life, including many rescues. After developing friendships with passionate activists, she decided to start working for ALDF because of the organization’s excellent work advancing the rights of animals and its strong commitment to that cause. Meagan graduated from Biola University in May 2014 with a degree in photojournalism, after which she worked in London for a student hostel and traveled through six countries in one year. Outside of ALDF, Meagan enjoys reading, writing, traveling, eating, being outdoors for as long possible and mentally planning her next trip abroad.

Erika MathewsErika Mathews works closely with ALDF donors in the New York region in crafting their philanthropic legacies for animals. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English and Journalism from Rutgers University. Erika brings 20 years of experience working for animal protection organizations. Prior to her work at ALDF, Erika worked for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. She has worked in all aspects of development, including direct mail, major gifts, planned giving, capital campaigns, foundation and corporate gifts as well as events and publicity, most recently as vice president of development and communications at St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center. Erika also worked for Liberty Humane Society and the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in New Jersey, and she served on the board of The Grey Muzzle Organization and the Animal Welfare Federation of New Jersey.

Erika also oversees the humane goose management program at several lakes in New Jersey. She is a passionate advocate for a ban on New York’s horse-drawn carriage industry and for providing hospice care for homeless dogs and cats. Erika is most grateful for the friends she has made along the way, especially brown dogs Chelsea and Hunny, four audacious cats, a 33-year-old rescued horse, daughter Willow, and a very patient husband who puts up with it all.

Dale ThompsonDale works closely with the director of development in day-to-day operations and specializes in grant writing. She received her undergraduate degree from Evergreen State College, where she developed a passion for animal rights and environmental conservation. She later completed a master’s degree in professional communication at Westminster College.

Previously, Dale worked with the Great Salt Lake Institute in Utah, an organization dedicated to supporting research, education, and stewardship of the Great Salt Lake. This is a vital migratory habitat for birds designated as part of the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network in 1992, and Dale is proud of the work she did to help people understand the value of the lake and the wildlife who rely on the lake habitat for survival. Conservation is important to Dale’s animal activism and she has worked for another organization that protects wilderness areas and endangered species—in addition, Dale has volunteered with the Great Salt Lake Audubon Society. Dale also has a background in the arts, having previously worked for a performing arts center and an online arts magazine.

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