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Reviewing a career of work usually leads you to write a pretty standard biography of experiences but now that I'm here, committed to Glen Highland, the past is barely relevant. Gone are the schedules and timelines, meeting other people's needs; gone are the political agendas manufactured to suit someone's ego; gone are the pressure cooker environments where everything is critical yet totally out of proportion.... instead, what I experience with rescue work is far more gentle, yet more demanding in a very different way. I am now working 24/7, not because of the internet, but because animals need you up by 6am, filling their tummies and back out at 8pm, for a final piece of business. Their bark for attention is so honest, so direct (unlike the business world) and so easily handled...they just want to be with you.
Ever since the age of five, I'd dreamt of helping animals who were hurt, abandoned or uncared for. In fact, I prayed every night for the safe-keeping of those in danger. My own 'inner-tuning' led to an intuitive relationship with border collies who's sharp focus and instinctive brilliance is well-noted in the dog world. This breed tunes into the people and situations around them in order to understand what's needed. Finally, the dogs led me to my life's work.
That 'calling' led me to co-found Glen Highland with life partner, John Andersen. We worked side by side for 25 years in upstate NY until his death 4/20. Over the years as Executive Director, I have been channeling my intuition into matching border collies with new guardians, as well as utilizing my professional experience to oversee the day-to-day rescue operation and affiliated programs. Over 3000 dogs found new lives since the inception of Glen Highland. We also created The Getaway, a wildly successful dog lover’s vacation experience where funds supported the rescue. And, also created Camp Border Collie for Kids, pairing inner city children with rescue dogs were over 400 children transformed their hearts.
Now, the work has moved to Virginia with a Senior Sanctuary and Rescue devoted to Border Collies age 10 and over. Thirty dogs find safe haven living as Residents til the end of their lives, if adoption is not possible. This more focused approach allows us to target dogs who truly have no one to help them. Part of the joy of working with dogs is also being an Animal Communicator. Being able to ‘hear’ dogs allows me to know their desires and ways to help them on their journey. Many people ask for private sessions to help them benefit from understanding their dogs better just as the rescue dogs benefit from me understanding them more clearly.
My background has been full of creation - original ideas becoming a reality with twenty years experience in highly competitive industries - television, advertising, and marketing, acting as a catalyst for innovative projects, leading multi-million dollar projects for Fortune 500 companies (Bristol-Myers Squibb, Lexus, Maybelline Cosmetics) as well as producing for television broadcast networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, Time-Warner).
My life’s work is now the Border Collie breed, assisting these highly intuitive and sensitive dogs. My awareness of their capacity to heal and transform people is profoundly humbling and I remain forever grateful for the support of others who love them as much as I do.
Vice President & Board Member
Gina is President and CEO of National Public Media, where she is committed to ensuring the continued growth of NPR and the public media system through the funding from corporate sponsors. Garrubbo has spent more than 20 years in traditional and digital media growing marketing and sales teams, launching brands and building companies. She was one of the builders of Women.com, one of the first websites for women, and BlogHer, which brought independent voices to millions of readers. Garrubbo built advertising sales teams for Oxygen Media, Discovery Communications and in syndicated television.
Gina jumped into the Camp Border Collie for Kids summer program running from 2001 to 2012, sponsoring funds to help make it possible for over 400 inner city children to spend time at GHF learning about the special nature of Border Collies. Many children healed their fear of dogs as well as their hurting hearts from the difficult home settings they experienced.
Garrubbo holds a BA from Wells College and sits on the boards of the Interactive Advertising Bureau, Tappp and the Eat REAL Philanthropic Board.
Dr. Margot Unkel
Margot is currently an Assistant Director and Treasurer of Spring Farm CARES animal sanctuary/educational facility. Before that, she taught recreation and park management at Texas A & M and Ithaca College, and was Assistant Research Professor at the University of Washington College of Forest Resources. She also spent 8 years with IBM as a Systems Engineer, and with Boise Cascade as a Management Consultant. Along the way she co-founded Service Dogs, Inc., in Oakland California, and Animals in Distress, a wildlife rehabilitation organization in Boise, Idaho. During an eight-year period she was a volunteer at the Idaho Humane Society, acting variously as treasurer, vice-President and President, while also creating their computerized animal shelter management system, and writing important surveys.
Dawn is cofounder and Vice President of Spring Farm CARES animal sanctuary/educational facility. She graduated from SUNY Brockport with a B.S. in Social Work. She was a T.T.E.A.M. practitioner and professional hypnotists before founding Spring Farm CARES in 1991. Dawn was in her last semester of training for a career in Social Work when she became disenchanted with that system and nearly quit college. She was persuaded to stay, and did graduate, Summa Cum Laude, but, after graduation, she turned her back on Social Work and came to work at Spring Farm as a gardener! In 1987 she joined her employer, Bonnie Reynolds, as a TT.E.A.M. Practitioner and full partner in the running of the farm.
In 1989, she began to share her abilities in animal communication with the world. In more than 15,000 phone and face-to-face consultations, she has served over 6000 clients, talked to over 25,000 animals, given close to 200 workshops at Spring Farm and around the country – and is accounted one of the foremost Interspecies Communicators in the world.
Ashley initially joined the work at Glen Highland Farm in 2003 as an opportunity to spend meaningful time with her father, one of the Camp Border Collie for Kids founders, and spend time with the incredible border collies living on the property. Little did she realize that that one decision would go on to mold much of who she is, including her career path. Ashley has worked in almost every area of Glen Highland operations- from overseeing operations of the affiliated kid’s camp to working in the barn with the rescue dogs to assisting with logistics in the office. It was her initial experience working as a camp counselor that guided her to become a social worker in the field of child welfare.
Now living and working in Colorado, Ashley serves as the Coaching Manager for the Kempe Center at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. The dogs have always reminded her of the importance of connection to heart and humanity, something she strives to bring to her professional development work today. Ashley received her BA in psychology and English from the University of New Hampshire and her MSW from the City University of New York-Hunter College.
Board Member & Treasurer
Nancy considers herself to be quite a serious Border Collie lover. While both of the Border Collies in her life were adopted, her second Border Collie, whose name is Lupa, was adopted from GHF. That is when Nancy’s love affair with GHF began. She is enthralled by all the work we do and supports us in any way she can.
Nancy has been a Food Scientist for 30+ years and specializes in startup beverage companies. In fact she is well known in the beverage industry as the “Beverage Queen!” She develops the beverages and is responsible for everything inside the bottle. Some brands you know that she has developed and manages the ingredients for are Vitamin Water, Smart Water, SoBe, Capri Sun, FUZE, CORE Water, Newman’s Own Iced Teas, Body Armor….and many other energy drinks.
Nancy lives in Florida, but also travels to New Jersey, New York City and Park City, Utah….always with Lupa and her husband Greg by her side! Nancy has two sons. Bryan is an Aquatic Veterinarian and is extremely focused on creating policy for ocean fisheries. Ian is an Astro Scientist and works on the finance side of start-up space companies. Nancy and Greg love to travel and are very active. Nancy loves the Pilates Reformer and bike riding. She is the Board President for over 20 years of School Aged Child Care of Leonia, a non for profit before and after school program that also runs a summer camp in Leonia, New Jersey.
She is a board member of her Synagogue, Gesher Shalom in Ft. Lee, NJ, has been a board member of her condominium. Nancy is very excited about being further involved with GHF by being a board member.
Board Secretary & Office Manager
Tracy joined Glen Highland in October 2013, after meeting with Lillie and John during a Getaway vacation stay that summer. The Office Manager at the time was looking to leave and Tracy’s prior work experience in Executive Administration for an International financial company in the UK, an Office Manager for an Architect firm in CT, the HR Manager for her husband’s international trading company in CT and volunteer Treasurer for an elite Girls Hockey Program in CT, were pre-requisites to tackle the next challenge.
Born in England, Tracy moved to the US in 1995 and rescued her first border collie, with her husband, from a shelter in Armonk, NY, followed in quick succession by bringing a border collie puppy over from England and then an aussie shepherd from a local CT shelter. Rescue was always the way to go, giving a dog in need, a home to call their own.
In 2007 Tracy saw an expose about Glen Highland Farm on TV; in that moment there was no other place to be considered for rescuing the next border collie. In 2010 they adopted their first GHF alum, Jack, with subsequent GHF adoptions Sadie (2012), Lizzie (2014) and 2 visits as campers to the Canine Getaway in 2011 and 2013.
Even though Glen Highland is now located in Virginia, Tracy continues to work remotely in CT and NY.
Joycelene first experienced Glen Highland in 2006 as a Getaway vacation guest with her beloved dogs Ben and Molly. She loved the rescue and began volunteering to help with dog care on many return visits. It was through those interactions that she got to know the Founders, Lillie and John. Moved by their commitment and dedication to rescue Border Collies, Jos was eager to do more to help. Using her graphic design background and photography skills, she created the website for the dog vacations at the Farm which were the primary fundraisers for the rescue program. Over a meal one evening, Lillie had said to her, “If you ever want to completely change up your life and move to NY, give us a call!”
In 2012, Jos moved from Maryland to upstate New York with GHF rescue alum Jane to begin a new endeavor - the Senior Sanctuary for Border Collies. Jos always had an affinity for senior dogs, with a patience and demeanor making her just the right match to be the caretaker for the Senior BCs in the rescue. Being the primary caretaker for senior dogs proved both challenging and rewarding, but Jos would not have it any other way… As a rescue colleague put it, “The hardest job you will ever have, but also the one you will love the most.”
Jos also managed the Getaway vacation for 8 years, helping to grow the business and becoming a familiar face to several hundreds of dog lovers and their dogs that vacationed at the Farm every summer. With the sale of the vacation business and the move of Glen Highland to Virginia in 2020, Jos looks forward to a continued focus on senior dogs and spending winters without a down parka.