Board of Directors

The Santa Fe Animal Shelter is governed by a Board of Directors, each of whom brings a deep commitment to the animals and people of our community.
To contact our Board of Directors, please email


Jan Ballew, President

Born in Wyoming, Jan grew up in the southeastern corner of New Mexico. She graduated from the University of Southwestern Louisiana, then worked in Baltimore and Houston before moving to Santa Fe in 1981. In 1991, she opened Jan Ballew's Northern Gallery and for the next ten years was active in the Santa Fe arts scene. Jan has served on the boards of The Santa Fe Symphony, The Governor's Mansion Foundation and Wheelwright Museum.   When not working on SFAS projects, Jan and her husband spend every available minute catering to the whims of their Shelter dogs.


Caren Shiozaki


Caren Shiozaki, Vice-President

Caren is a native of the Bay Area. After gigs in San Francisco, Hong Kong, Phoenix and Dallas, she landed in Santa Fe in December 2007. She joined the Shelter Board in 2016. In her day job, she’s a Chief Information Officer and e-discovery specialist.  She is an ardent advocate for animal welfare, Science, Technology, Engineering or Math (STEM), and girls’ and women’s issues.  She is mom to her canine fur-baby, Sparky, who was rescued from the streets of Dallas.



Bill Synnamon, Treasurer

Bill attended Rice University in Houston, Texas from which he received his BBA and Southern Methodist University in Dallas where he obtained his MBA.  He retired in 2017 after 43 years in the banking industry in various senior level positions, the last 24 years of which were spent in New Mexico.  Bill moved to Santa Fe in 1993 where he met his wife, Jan.  They currently are the proud owners of four dogs, all of which were adopted from the Santa Fe Animal Shelter.



Robert Basler, Secretary

A retired journalist who roamed the world for three decades with Reuters, Bob moved to Santa Fe in 2012 and joined the Shelter Board in 2013. Before moving here, he lived in New York City, Hong Kong and Washington, DC. Bob went through the Khyber Pass twice, and was annoyed that they didn’t sell souvenir t-shirts. He and his wife, Barbara, live with two dogs and three cats, all of them rescues. Bob enjoys hiking, writing, cooking and just waking up in paradise every morning.



Bill Thornton

Bill was raised a Buckeye, went to college in Boston and moved to Los Angeles to await his future bride. After stints in banking, stock brokerage, grad school and a divorce, he volunteered in a primary gubernatorial campaign; became an actor and finally started a wholesale sportswear manufacturing company. He moved his office to Santa Fe in 1987, and retired 10 years later to volunteer his time as an AIDS activist and working for animal and dance organizations.



Mary Mitchell

Mary worked as a major donor consultant in a variety of political, environmental and educational organizations in Washington, DC and New York. In 1998 her husband's job took them to Europe where they lived for 15 years, first in Switzerland, then in England. While in England, Mary earned a diploma in garden design and opened her own landscaping business. She also became a certified Hatha yoga teacher and now teaches at her home studio in Santa Fe. Mary has served on the Board of the Botanical Gardens, and is active in the Hestia Fund, which helps middle school children graduate from high school. Mary has two dogs, and recently adopted a remarkable kitten from the Shelter. Its name is Joni Mitchell.


Kurt Hausafus

Kurt grew up in California, graduated from the University of Washington, and received his Ph.D. in economics from Northwestern University. After a decade as a university professor, he entered the business world with various computer-based information companies in the Boston area, serving roles in product development, marketing and as chief financial officer. Kurt and his wife Anita retired to Santa Fe in 2010, bringing with them their cairn terrier Baylie. Involvement with the Shelter’s volunteer dog walking program led to the adoption of Chaco, a terrier mix. Together Anita and Kurt enjoy cooking and entertaining the wonderful friends they have made over the years.


Dr. Jennifer Steketee, Shelter Executive Director

Born and raised in Oregon, Jennifer attended veterinary school in Oregon and Washington State, graduating in 1997. She has worked since then both in the public and private veterinary sectors, finding her true passion in shelter medicine. Moving from Medical Director to Executive Director in late 2016, she brings us a wealth of knowledge in many areas of animal sheltering, devoted to making sure our animal population receives the highest level of care possible. When she’s not busy with her life-saving work at the Shelter, she’s mountain biking, hiking, skiing, or hanging out with her 2 dogs and 4 cats.