Board of Directors

Anthony Barnett — Executive Director

Anthony graduated Cum Laude with a business degree from Baker University, and successfully completed the Triple Crown Academy for Professional Dog Trainers distance education course. He has been a local business owner in Lawrence, KS, for ten years, manages large dog packs, and evaluates dogs for temperament and disposition. He also evaluates and shelters dog fighting and cruelty seizure dogs for local humane society, law enforcement and regional rescue organizations, particularly bulldogs. He has two Pet Partner registered therapy dogs who he visits with at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Topeka, KS in the PTSD, acute psychology, and traumatic brain injury building. Anthony is the Founder and Director of Game Dog Guardian, a local nonprofit educational and outreach program.

Katie Bray Barnett — Director of Operations

Katie graduated from Missouri State University and received her Juris Doctor from the University of Kansas School of Law. She was awarded the Walter Hiersteiner Outstanding Service Award by the law school faculty, which is given to the student whose service to her fellow students, university, and community, demonstrates the greatest promise for contribution to the legal profession and to society. Katie is the Founder of the KU Student Animal Legal Defense Fund and worked for Best Friends Animal Society while in law school. Prior to law school, Katie worked for the City Attorney’s Office in Springfield, Missouri, for several years and worked in the complex litigation field for nearly five years. Katie currently represents several humane societies and shelters in the Kansas City area on legislative and policy matters, and has managed operations for another local nonprofit since 2010.

Jill A. Reese, LSCSW — Director of Mental Health

Jill graduated from the University of Kansas with a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology and a Bachelor of Arts in Crime and Delinquent Studies. After graduation she worked in the adoption field helping children placed with their adoptive family’s transition into new family systems. Working within the foster care system, Jill realized that she wanted to return to school to pursue a degree that would support her desire to help individuals within their environments. Jill graduated from Washburn University with her Masters of Social Work, where she maintained a 4.0 with honors for the entirety of the program. She was also a member of the academic honors society Phi Beta Kappa. Upon completion of her Masters degree, Jill joined Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center as a clinical case manager for children in the juvenile justice system. Throughout her tenure at Bert Nash she gained experience in several mental health positions. From a clinical case manager she moved into crisis stabilization and acute hospitalization screening. Upon successful completion of her clinical license, Jill practiced as a therapist as part of the Intensive Outpatient Team (IOP) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) teams, both of which serves an acute population of individuals dealing with mood and personality disorders. Jill shifted from community mental health into the world of hospice social work where she has been able to provide compassionate support and care to those dealing with death and dying. Working with individuals to enable them the comfort of living a life worth living is her ultimate goal.

Lisa Carestia

Lisa graduated summa cum laude from Auburn University with a bachelor’s degree in Business (finance) and was awarded the Alpha Kappa Psi Scholarship Award for the attainment of the highest grade point average in the College of Business. She received her Juris Doctor from Northern Illinois University College of Law where she was the recipient of the Honorable George W. Unverzagt Scholarship, Phi Delta Phi Balfour Scholarship and Justinian Society of Lawyers Scholarship. During law school, she was President of Phi Delta Phi and the Italian American Law Student Association and Law Review Notes and Comments Editor. Lisa adopted her first dog during her second year of law school after volunteering at her local animal shelter. She remains on the Board of Directors of Game Dog Guardian, a nonprofit in Lawrence, KS, and continues to support her local Naperville, IL, animal shelter. Lisa has prepared and reviewed business plans and legal documents for animal advocacy organizations, and has continued to be an active supporter of her local animal shelters and various Midwestern nonprofit organizations.

Dr. Tom Liebl

Dr. Liebl earned his doctoral degree in Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University in 1985. In 1985-86 he completed an internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Rowley Memorial Animal Hospital in Springfield, MA. After practicing in Framingham, MA, for one year, he spent another three years in a small animal practice in Manhattan Beach, CA. He joined the staff at Clinton Parkway Animal Hospital in Lawrence, KS, in January of 1990. Dr. Liebl achieved Diplomate status of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (Canine and Feline Practice) in 1994. Dr. Liebl comes from a family of veterinarians — his father, brother, and sister are all veterinarians. His son Parker is a sophomore in the school of veterinary medicine at Kansas State. Dr. Liebl and his wife are members of St John the Evangelist church and Dr. Liebl currently is a board member of the Pet Tribute Foundation at Kansas State University. Dr. Liebl’s time away from his veterinary practice includes family activities, fishing, motorcycle riding, back packing, and ultra-endurance mountain bike racing.

Amber Nickel

Amber Nickel received her bachelor’s of science in Journalism from The University of Kansas in 2002. After graduating she spent a few years working in television production at Channel 6 News in Lawrence, KS, until opening Pawsh Wash and Pet Health Market in 2005. She shares her old farm house (built in 1850) with her son Cash, Mr. Bean (Boston terrier) and Hercules (pit bull). Community service is a passion for Amber and she serves on several boards and committees in the Lawrence and Douglas County area including: Leadership Lawrence, Junior Achievement, Lawrence St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee, and Symbiotic Behavioral Treatment Center. The mission of her business is to make Lawrence, KS, the best place in the world to have a dog and this is accomplished by assisting pet owners in taking great care of healthy, happy animals, and supporting events that provide opportunities for humans to spend fun, quality time with their companion animals.

Dr. Taylor Porter

Dr. Porter is the current Medical Director and Principal Investigator at the Cotton-O’Neil Clinical Research Center for Behavioral Health at Stormont-Vail West in Topeka, KS. Prior to joining Stormont-Vail, he worked at the Menninger Clinic for five years, finishing his time there as the Director of Psychiatry. Dr. Porter earned his Medical Doctorate from the University of Kansas School of Medicine in 1987, and completed his residency in Psychiatry at the Naval Hospital in Portsmouth, VA. He is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Dr. Porter spent a total of 24 years in the United States Navy and retired as a Captain. He was Inpatient Director at Jacksonville Naval Hospital when called active duty in 2004. His active duty stations included Portsmouth Naval Hospital, Pearl Harbor Medical Clinic (teaching residents at the Army Medical Center), and was Inpatient Psychiatry Director at the National Naval Medical Center and Walter Reed Hospital, Bethesda, MD, before moving to the Navy Reserves and returning to Kansas.

Crissa Seymour

Crissa graduated with highest distinction (summa cum laude) and honors from the University of Kansas with bachelor’s degrees in Biology and French. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Mortar Board. She graduated from the University of Kansas School of Law as a Rice Scholar (full tuition scholarship) and Order of the Coif. She was also awarded the Faculty Award for Outstanding Scholastic Achievement, which is given to the graduating student selected by the Law Faculty as having made the most significant contribution towards overall legal scholarship. During law school, she was a member and Executive Note and Comment Editor of the Kansas Law Review, and authored an article on Patent Law. Crissa grew up in a multi-dog household and has been around dogs her entire life. During college, she volunteered for the local humane society fostering and working primarily with bully breed shelter dogs. Crissa has worked with various local organizations, including Kansas City Dog Advocates to educate and inform public officials and their constituents regarding animal control and dangerous dog ordinances, spaying and neutering, and Breed Specific Legislation, as well as served on the Board of Directors of Game Dog Guardian, an education and outreach organization in Kansas.