Meet Our Board Members
Joyce Kroker is a life-long resident of the Central Valley. She started out as a site coordinator for the EOC Hot Lunch Program at Congregation Beth Israel Synagogue, where she later became a board member. With the help of her daughter, she organized and implemented her first fundraiser which cleared $10,000.00. Joyce went on to become the Fresno County Coordinator for G.A.S.P. (the Group Against Smoking Pollution) where she ran Propositions 5 and 10 to get no smoking sections in California restaurants. During this time she participated in a TV debate with a member of the tobacco industry and gave presentations to drug abuse classes at Fresno State University, Fresno. Joyce served as President of the Young at Heart Senior Citizens organization for 27 years until it dissolved in 2015. At age 77 she became a board member for Elder Paws, where she serves as Vice President.
Cindy Clark has worked in the insurance industry since 1986 with Third Party Administrators. She has compassion for all animals, and has been a long-time supporter of multiple animal charities in the community. She has volunteered with several community no-kill shelters since 2010 participating in events, training classes for shelter animals, and dog adoptions. After attending an Elder Paws fundraiser in 2014 Cindy decided to make the commitment to join the Elder Paw’s board where she serves as Secretary. Cindy lives with her husband, Jerry, their two senior dogs Gonzo, and their Elder Paws hospice foster dog, Dingo.
Cathie Garnier is the Executive Director of Elder Paws. She graduated from CSU, Fresno in 1994 with an AA in Sociology, a BA in Victimology and an MS in Criminology. She went on to graduate from San Joaquin College of Law in 1998 with a Paralegal Certification. She worked for many years in the legal field as a Legal Secretary and a Paralegal in the areas of Family Law and Civil Litigation. Cathie went on to work in the field of Behavioral Health as a Case Manager for the severely mentally ill in 2011. Cathie’s heart, however, has always been in working with animals.
She has consistently donated funds to a variety of animal charities over the years and volunteered for a local no-kill shelter for a couple of years, where she became aware of the plight of the senior dog. Seeing a need in her community that was not being filled Cathie started Elder Paws Senior Dog Rescue in 2012, the Central Valley’s first and only non-profit dedicated exclusively to older dogs in Central Valley kill shelters. Since 2012 the organization has saved over 200 senior dogs. Desiring to make a difference in the lives of humans in her community as well Cathie developed the Pandora Fund pet retention program in 2016 and changed the name of the organization to Elder Paws Senior Dog Foundation so as to go beyond just rescue. Cathie has a natural ability when it comes to public speaking and networking skills, which she uses to help bring much needed awareness to the organization’s cause. She lives with her two senior dogs Fancy and Chula.
Mike Minasian is our Financial Officer. He discovered Elder Paws in 2015 and immediately wanted to help. Along with his wife Julie they began fostering and Mike was later invited to join the board in 2016. Mike says “My faith teaches me to love others, and to have compassion on those in need by helping any way I can. EP and the Pandora Fund allow me to do just that. Whoever first said that dogs are ‘man’s best friend’ was correct-dogs are the best!”
Mike is an area native and graduated from Fresno State with a degree in finance. Mike has worked in industrial refrigeration for over 21 years and has managed successful departments consistently achieving growth, customer service, and profitability for his employer. Mike is also a member of The Gideon’s International, an evangelical Christian association of businessmen organized in over 200 countries distributing scriptures. Mike has served as president and chaplain, and has been a church speaker for over 8 years presenting the ministry to area congregations.
Mike lives in Sanger with Julie and ‘Ranger”, their most recent rescued senior terrier mix.