Board of Directors


President/ Treasurer: Stephanie Nichols-Young

Stephanie Nichols-Young is an attorney who has been in private practice in Phoenix for over 30 years. She received a BA in Radio-TV and a JD from the University of Arizona. Her law degree was awarded with distinction.

She was founding chair of the Arizona State Bar Animal Law Section and taught Animal Law as an adjunct professor at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University and as an Assistant Adjunct Professor at the James E. Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona. She is also a member of the board of directors of the Law College at UA. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Wilburforce Foundation. She is a former Chair and Board Member of the Animal Legal Defense Fund, and continues to volunteer with that organization.

She served as Chair of Arizonans Against the Power Grab, the political committee that successfully defeated Proposition 109 in November 2010. She has chaired and served on the steering committee of other ballot measures that focused on protecting the interests of animals.

Vice-President: D.J. Schubert

DJ Schubert is a wildlife biologist with the Animal Welfare Institute. He received his degree from Arizona State University in 1983. He served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Burkina Faso, West Africa. Once he returned from Africa, his professional career started with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, but soon moved on to work for a variety of non-governmental organizations including People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, The Fund for Animals, and, since 2005, the Animal Welfare Institute. His current work encompasses both a variety of domestic wildlife campaigns and international wildlife issues including combatting whaling and the international trade in wildlife.

Secretary: Karen Michael

Karen Michael is the legislative coordinator for ADLA. She received a BSN in nursing from the University of New Mexico before moving to Arizona. She volunteered with Arizona Lobby for Animals and was involved in a long-term investigation of inhumane treatment of animals at Arizona’s livestock auctions, dairies, and slaughterhouses. She also volunteered on several citizen initiative campaigns including the 1994 ban on traps and poisons on public land, the 1998 ban on cockfighting, and the 2006 ban on confinement of pregnant pigs and calves raised for veal.

She is also one of the Founders of Humane Voters of Arizona and writes its legislative report card on animal issues each year and provides institutional history on legislative and other issues to many organizations in the local, regional and national humane communities.

Board Member: Cattryn Somers

Cattryn Somers is a former elementary school teacher and a life-long volunteer. In 1987, after receiving a BA in Art and Art History and a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Rice University, she spent a year as a Volunteer in Service to America (VISTA) in the Adult Literacy Corps in Houston, Texas. In 1990, she received her Master of Education degree from Arizona State University with endorsements in Education of the Gifted and ESL. She has lived in Arizona since 1988. In that time, she and her husband have raised three foster sons. She has been an active volunteer with, and supporter of, several animal protection organizations.

Board Member: Nancy Harris

Nancy Harris is a retired CPA with 30 years’ experience in governmental and non-profit accounting. Nancy began her Arizona non-profit /governmental work in 1984 as the Finance Director of the ASU Foundation. She transitioned to Maricopa County government in 1994 as the Financial Administrator for Financial Reporting and then to Maricopa Integrated Health System as the Assistant Controller and then Grants Controller for the hospital system. During that time Nancy was also Financial Director of the Maricopa Health Foundation which provided resources for hospital programs.

Nancy transferred to Maricopa County Animal Care and Control (MCACC) in 2001. As Controller and then Deputy Director of the agency, Nancy was able to combine fiscal and administrative duties with working with animals on a daily basis. This was an exciting time to be part of the agency as it transitioned to a new orientation for animal welfare and adoption in addition to its mandated responsibilities for animal control. While at MCACC, Nancy was vice-chair for The Humane Link, a non-profit which provided community information and programs on the link between human and animal abuse.

Nancy shares her home with her husband Tom and five very spoiled and happy former shelter cats. (Bhodi, Buddy, Lola, Harley and Xena). Working with ADLA and serving as a Board Member provides a welcome and exciting combination of financial work and animal welfare.