Leadership

The Animal Rescue League of Iowa depends on its small, dedicated staff to care for the thousands of pets that come through the ARL's doors each year. The ARL also relies on the hundreds of dedicated volunteers who help operate the shelter and care for the animals daily. The ARL is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors.

Board of Directors

  • Carol Griglione, Chair
  • Phil Akason
  • Matt Jacobson
  • Chris Costa
  • Joan Fletcher
  • James Langeness
  • Bernard Lettington
  • Dean Peyton
  • Chad Rasmussen
  • Adam Shaikh
  • Carey Wimer
  • Kathleen Worth
  • Mark Zimmerman

Staff Leadership

The following staff oversee the organization, animal veterinary care, animal behavior, operations, and communications.

Tom Colvin

Chief Executive Officer

Tom Colvin, CEOTom Colvin has been instrumental in the state of Iowa for animal protection work since 1974. He began his work as a Certified Veterinary Technician in Waterloo, Iowa. He went onto become the director of the Black Hawk Humane Society (now called Cedar Bend).

Tom moved to Des Moines in 1993 to become the shelter director of the Animal Rescue League of Iowa (ARL). In 1995, he was appointed the ARL’s Executive Director, a position he has held since. Tom led the initiative to build a new 43,000 square foot shelter, which was completed in October 2008.

Tom has served as the President of the Iowa Federation of Humane Societies since 1981 and also currently serves on the Iowa State University External Stakeholders Advisory Group, on the boards of the Iowa Wildlife Center and Better Business Bureau, and previously on the Iowa Board of Veterinary Medicine. He is also a member of The Association of Animal Welfare Advancement (formerly Society of Animal Welfare Administrators) and the Association of Fundraising Professionals, which promotes ethical fundraising practices. He has also been a wildlife rehabilitator and has served on Iowa deer taskforce committees.

Tom has worked tirelessly on legislation to strengthen Iowa’s laws for animal protection, including extensive work to address animal cruelty and puppy mills in Iowa. He has received awards for his efforts in legislation, including his work to enact the animal shelter mandatory spay/neuter law in 1992 and the felony animal abuse law in 2000. Recent successes in legislation have resulted in prohibiting giving pets as prizes, felony animal fighting laws, and in 2010, the passing of the Puppy Mill Bill.

Under Tom’s leadership and direction, the Animal Rescue of Iowa has repeatedly been honored with local “Best Non-Profit” awards, has been named a "Top-Rated Non-Profit" by Great NonProfits since 2013, and in 2015 was recognized nationally as the “Shelter of the Year”.


Dr. Dan Campbell

Director of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Campbell, ARL, Director of Veterinary MedicineDr. Dan Campbell is the Chief Staff Veterinarian at the ARL, overseeing the medical program at the ARL. Dr. Campbell has been a practicing veterinarian since 1987. After graduating from Iowa State University, he began his veterinary career in private practice at Village Veterinary Hospital in Johnston where he worked as one of the clinic veterinarians for 12 years. With the support of his former boss and friend Dr. Randy Mertens he began his relationship with the ARL by providing pro bono assistance to pets in need, from spay/neuter surgeries to emergency service.

In 2000 Dr. Campbell was approached by the Animal Rescue League of Iowa (ARL) and asked to be the first on-staff veterinarian at the ARL and he accepted the position of Chief Staff Veterinarian. In 2011, Dr. Campbell celebrated a milestone by performing his 50,000th spay/neuter surgery of animals at the ARL. As an extremely skilled surgeon, Dr. Campbell has performed countless other surgeries to give animals of many species a chance for a healthy life. Additionally, Dr. Campbell went to Mississippi to help animals during Hurricane Katrina, and has been to hoarding and puppy mill cases all over Iowa.

He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Iowa Veterinary Medical Association, the Association of Shelter Veterinarians, Iowa Veterinary Rapid Response Team, and the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association and is on the Board of the Iowa Federation of Humane Societies.


Joseph Crock, CPA

Director of Finance and Information Technology

Joseph Crock, ARL, Director of Finance and Internet TechnologyJoseph joined in January of 2020 to provide support and analysis for the organization’s operational priorities including accounting, information technology, risk management, and organizational support. He will be primarily responsible for guiding our accounting department and analyzing our information technology needs. Joseph is a lifelong Iowan, graduating from Drake University in 1996. He became a CPA while working in the medical, governmental, and non-profit auditing fields. He most recently worked for small manufacturing companies as a corporate controller focusing his efforts on containing costs and cash flow management.

Joseph has provided financial consulting for small business, health care organizations, and museums. He has also served on the Board of Directors for non-profits including a library foundation, a daycare, and the Alumni Board of Advisers for his college fraternity at two separate universities. These volunteer positions have allowed him to help to guide and influence the next generation of leaders in our state.


Stephanie Filer

Director of Communication and Development

Stephanie Filer, ARL, Director of Communication and DevelopmentStephanie Filer has served in professional non-profit development roles since 2005. Prior to relocating to Des Moines, Stephanie lead the development team for Junior Achievement of Eastern Iowa with offices in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, and Waterloo and served on the Board of Directors, Finance Committee, and Marketing Committee for the Cedar Valley Humane Society.

In 2010 Stephanie joined the Animal Rescue League of Iowa and now oversees the development staff who are responsible for fundraising and marketing for the organization. She has presented locally and nationally on social media marketing and fundraising as well as on breed-neutral marketing and advocacy. Stephanie has been instrumental in removing breed regulations from city ordinances and other corporate policies to help them become more pet-friendly while also enhancing public safety.

She is a graduate of both the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute and Leadership for 5 Seasons and was recognized as the Corridor Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 in 2008. Stephanie serves on the Board of Directors for Des Moines Neighbors and is a member of the Society of Animal Welfare Administrators, the Des Moines Leadership Network, and the Association of Fundraising Professionals, which promotes ethical fundraising practices.


Colin Grace

Director of Legal and Strategic Initiatives

Colin Grace, Director of Legal and Strategic InitiativesColin Grace joined the ARL in 2018, and serves as the staff attorney and lobbyist for the ARL. Colin provides legal support for the ARL’s shelter and rescue operations, lobbies government agencies in order to further the ARL’s mission, and advises state and local law enforcement officials and prosecuting attorneys as part of the ARL’s Animal Welfare Intervention program. Additionally, Colin has presented to numerous educational and professional groups on Iowa’s companion animal welfare laws.

Colin is a lifelong Iowan, growing up in Des Moines, Iowa, receiving his bachelor degree from Iowa State University in 2013, and his law degree from the University of Iowa in 2016. Prior to joining the ARL, Colin practiced civil litigation and criminal defense with Grefe & Sidney, PLC. Colin is a member of the Iowa State Bar Association and the Polk County Bar Association.


Matt Levien

Director of Animal Services

Mick McAuliffe, ARL, Director of Behavior and EnrichmentMatt came to the Animal Rescue League from the Denver Dumb Friends League where he was Director of Buddy Center 2014-2019. With this role, he was responsible for one of the four facilities that were part of the Dumb Friends League. The Buddy Center is a full service animal shelter accepting strays, owner surrender and law enforcement animals. The facility handled between 4,000 – 6,000 cats and dogs a year with over 250 active volunteers a week and 17 employees.

Prior to being Director of Buddy Center, Matt earned his degree in Zoology, interned and worked in zoo field then moved into leadership roles at Target. After moving to Colorado with his wife, he started at the Dumb Friends League working in animal care, adoption and behavior. After a few years, he moved into a supervisor role at the Buddy Center where he worked to increase the volunteer program through engagement and support. In 2009, Matt transitioned to the Behavior department where he build cat behavior modification programs, classes and support as well as improving dog behavior modification programs in shelter. In 2012 Matt became the Behavior Manager extending the program by supporting other shelters through education. As well as writing and speaking for the public education regarding cat and dog behavior. When Matt became the director of the Buddy Center serving the Douglas County Residents in Colorado he worked to decrease length of stay in shelter while striving for best outcomes for all animals. During his time as Director Matt also volunteered with the Colorado Federation of Animal Welfare Agencies Development committee supporting the yearly educational conference.


Mick McAuliffe

Director of Behavior and Enrichment

Mick McAuliffe, ARL, Director of Behavior and Enrichment

Mick McAuliffe has worked in animal training, behavior and enrichment since 1987. Before coming to the United States, Mick served as the Director of Animal Behavior and Training for the RSPCA Queensland, Australia, where he developed assessment, modification and training programs for multiple species. In addition to his extensive work in canine training, Mick has developed, implemented and lectured on training, behavior and enrichment programs for animal shelters, zoos, government and private facilities around the world.

Mick joined the Animal Rescue League of Iowa in 2009, and oversees all behavior, training and enrichment programs for the ARL, ensuring the mental well-being for all animals in the ARL’s care.

The pet behavior, enrichment, and training team, under Mick’s supervision, only uses positive reinforcement training techniques, eliminating the need for physical or verbal correction or training equipment that can cause pain or injury. Throughout his career, Mick has written for animal magazines, research papers and has co-authored two books for the ARL that are in stores nationwide: For Love of Dogs and For Love of Cats.


Joe Stafford

Director of Animal Control Services

Joe Stafford, ARL, Director of Animal Control ServicesJoe joined the Animal Rescue League of Iowa team on March 2019 as the Director of Animal Services. In this role, Joe oversees the Des Moines Animal Services program, which includes working with a diverse staff that care for all of the homeless and unwanted animals of the City and the Animal Services Officers who are in the community advocating for public safety and animal welfare on a daily basis. Joe also is responsible for ARL’s Community Outreach programs, which includes the Animal Welfare Intervention (Animal Cruelty Investigations and Disaster Response), Trap Neuter and Return, Vet Assistance, Public Spay and Neuter, Crisis Foster, and low to no cost vaccination programs.

Joe came to the ARL from the Humane Society of Pikes Peak Region where he was the Director of Animal Law Enforcement 2010 and 2019. With this role he directed and managed a staff of over 45 animal law enforcement officers (ACO’s) and others that served a 5,600 square mile area with approximately 1.3 million human residents and more than 700,000 companion animals. His division handled over 45,000 calls for service annually; which included over 4,250 cases of animal welfare concern.

Prior to Joe being at the Humane Society of Pikes Peak he was the Field Services Manager in Centennial, Colorado and Douglas County, Colorado. Joe was also the President of the Colorado Association of Animal Control Offices for seven years; served as a board member for the Colorado Pet Overpopulation Fund for three years and served on the Legislative Committee for the Colorado Federation of Animal Welfare Agencies for two years.

Joe holds National and State certifications in numerous areas, such as:

  • Nationally Certified Animal Control Officer—National Animal Control Officers Association
  • Nationally Certified Humane Investigator—University of Missouri-Columbia Law Enforcement Training Institute
  • Nationally Certified Equine Investigator—University of Missouri-Columbia Law Enforcement Training Institute
  • Colorado Certified Animal Control Officer—Colorado Association of Animal Control Officers
  • Commissioned Companion, Small Animal, and Equine Investigator—Colorado Department of Agriculture
  • Technical Animal Rescue Specialist—Code 3 Associates
  • Pet First Aid—American Red Cross

Joe is also a veteran who served in the United States Air Force as a Law Enforcement Specialist and Training Manager where he provided law enforcement services as well as directed, planned, and conducted numerous training programs responsible for education and training of over 8,000 students annually from five military bases in the Pikes Peak Region and Air Force Cadets.