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Helping Hounds Dog Rescue announces new board president and VP

By Journal Staff

Date:

SYRACUSE — Helping Hounds Dog Rescue announced it has recently added Crystal DeStefano and Katrina Crocker to its board of directors. DeStefano was elected to serve as president of the board and Crocker will serve as VP.

“Crystal and Katrina were specifically recruited this year to join the board and help lead Helping Hounds through our next exciting chapter,” Kathy Gilmour, executive director at Helping Hounds Dog Rescue, said in a release. “Our organization is in the midst of great transition as we prepare to move operations to our new space located in the Town of Cicero. This move allows us to act on our mission through expansion of services, and to better meet the needs of the dogs we rescue and our family of adoptive parents. Both women bring extensive leadership and business experience that is necessary during this period of growth.” 

DeStefano is president and director of public relations at Strategic Communications, LLC, a public-relations firm located in Syracuse. She holds a degree in finance and marketing from SUNY Albany and earned her accreditation in public relations (APR) in 2012. She is a member of the board of trustees for WCNY and is active in the Public Relations Society of America as a local-chapter board member and as the northeast regional representative for the national organization. DeStefano is a long-time supporter of Helping Hounds and adopted her dog, Oliver, from the organization in 2017.

Crocker is VP of communications at the Central New York Community Foundation, where she has worked for more than a decade guiding strategy and relationship building for one of the area’s largest nonprofit funders. She holds a degree in advertising from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. Prior to joining the Helping Hounds board of directors, Crocker was a volunteer for the organization, applying her expertise in communications and online tools to the management of its website since 2014. Crocker adopted her dog, Penny, from Helping Hounds in 2018.

The other officers of the Helping Hounds Dog Rescue board of directors are Lester Burt, treasurer; Jen Pichoske, secretary; and, Leigh Neumann, immediate past president. The organization’s other board members are Sam Deeb, Dr. Heather Danboise, and Kristin Norfleet.

Helping Hounds is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization funded by donations, fundraisers, and adoption fees, that works to find permanent homes in the Central New York area for rescue dogs. 

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