Our Board of Directors

Cathie Garnier

President/Executive Director

Cathie graduated from California State University, Fresno in 1994 with a Master’s of Science degree 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 Litagation. 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. As a dedicated advocate for animals for years She has consistently been involved with a variety of animal charities over the years, including volunteering for a local no kill shelter for a couple of years, where she became keenly 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. Between 2012 and 2016 the organization saved over 200 senior dogs. Cathie began to see financially challenged pet owners struggle in caring for the health of their senior dogs, often surrendering them because they could not afford proper vet care for them. Feeling a strong desire to make a real difference in the lives of people, as well as senior dogs, in her community, she re-organized Elder Paws into a foundation in 2016, developing the Pandora Fund pet retention program, another first of its kind non-profit in the Central Valley. Cathie uses her unique strengths of public speaking and networking skills to bring much needed awareness to the organization’s cause. She lives with her two senior dogs Fancy and Chula.

Joyce Kroker

Vice President/Fundraising Coordinator

Joyce 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 for this organization. While there she planned and organized her first fundraiser which netted $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 political campaigns for Propositions 5 and 10 to get no smoking sections in California restaurants. During this time she participated in multiple TV debates and gave educational presentations 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, bringing with her years of non-profit experience as well as valuable organizational and fundraising skills. Joyce has first-hand experience of the financially challenges facing disabled senior citizens today, having worked with many senior citizens over the years. She feels strongly about being able to serve this segment of the population in a meaningful way through the Pandora Fund.

Cindy Clark

Secretary

Cindy has worked in the insurance industry since 1986 as a Third Party Administrator. She has compassion for all animals and has been a long-time supporter of multiple animal charities in the community. She has volunteered with community no-kill shelters since 2010, participating in events and training classes for shelter animals and dog adoptions. Having a soft heart for the older dogs Cindy became a foster for Elder Paws in 2013; In 2014 Cindy decided to make the commitment to join the Elder Paw’s board where she serves as Secretary. Her strong ability to multi-task along with her attention to detail serve her well in this role. Cindy is well aware of the plight of senior dogs who are surrendered to kill shelters due to lack of financial resources. Elder Paws’ Pandora Fund program provides Cindy with the unique opportunity she was looking for to make a genuine difference in the lives of less fortunate pet owners in the community while keeping senior dogs out of over-crowded Valley kill shelters. Cindy lives with her husband, Jerry, their senior dog Gonzo and their senior hospice foster dog, Dingo.

Mike Minasian

Finance Director/Community Liaison

An avid animal lover Mike discovered Elder Paws in 2015 while volunteering at a local no kill shelter and immediately knew he wanted to get involved. Along with his wife, Julie, they began fostering rescued senior dogs for Elder Paws. Mike was invited to join the board in 2016 when Elder Paws became a Foundation and began administering its pet retention program, The Pandora Fund. Mike is a member of The Gideons International and says “My faith teaches me to love others, and to have compassion for those in need by helping in any way I can. Elder Paws and the Pandora Fund allow me to do just that.” Mike is an area native who graduated from California State University, Fresno. While he works in the industrial refrigeration field he has a background in accounting and accounting software. Mike serves as the organization’s Financial Director where, among other things, he creates and balances annual budgets, maintains donor spreadsheets, maintains the organization’s mailing list, and generates year-end tax receipts for all donors. He also serves as Community Liaison helping to create good for Elder Paws with those in the community. He lives in Sanger with his wife, Julie, and “Ranger”, their rescued senior dog.