Humane Society of Mason County

About the Board

Lynn Soderlund President

Lynn Soderlund has lived in Washington since 1968 living in the Everett/Lynnwood areas until she moved to Belfair in 2007. Lynn worked for Sears in Everett, Lynnwood and North Seattle for 18 years. She then moved into banking working for Frontier, Key and Union Banks for another 14 years and is using her skills as a member of the HSMC Board. Lynn has always loved animals, especially cats, and has always had one or more pets. Upon moving to Belfair, Lynn was surprised to learn there was no animal shelter and has been with the Humane Society of Mason County since her move. She is currently retired and enjoys having the time to dedicate to charities.

Brenda Gardner Vice President

Brenda comes to the Humane Society of Mason County from the Board of Kitsap Humane Society . She immediately saw the need to help Mason County with raising funds to build a much needed shelter. Brenda lives on the outskirts of Belfair on her farm with way too many horses, dogs, and cats. She works for the Navy as an accountant and enjoys all outdoor sports. She is proud to be associated with such a fine group of members all striving towards the goal of raising a shelter and assisting Mason County residents with animal care and education.

Hazel Bellinger Secretary

Hazel has lived in Washington for 40 years and has been involved with several animal rescue groups during that time. She is currently the assistant Spay/Neuter Coordinator for HSMC, and is developing a foster care program to help rescue and rehome the large number of cats/kittens that come through our doors. She is an ardent supporter of HSMC's plans to build their own animal shelter and actively supports and encourages our partnerships with other established animal rescue groups in the area who are currently assisting us in our efforts to rehome a large number of unwanted cats,kittens and dogs. Hazel has a rescued Lab mix, a permanent medical needs foster dog and a dozen indoor cats. Her hobbies are reading, gardening and hiking with her dogs.

Barbara McDowell Treasurer

Barbara McDowell and her husband, Mac, moved to Washington in October 1999, and have resided in Belfair since that time. Barbara's work experience was in the San Diego area of California where she worked in the clerical field in the aircraft and missile industries; and real estate and book publishing businesses. She joined the Naval Reserve in November 1984 and worked in the supply field for 12 years. Barbara then joined a squadron at North Island Naval Air Station and enjoyed flying as a flight attendant for 3 years. Upon her husband's retirement in 1999 and moving to Washington, Barbara completed her 20 year career in the supply field at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, and retired in November 2004, attaining the rate of Chief Petty Officer. Barbara and her husband joined the Humane Society of Mason County in August 2006. They are avid animal lovers, and over the years have owned countless dogs and cats, as well as farm animals. Barbara was elected as Secretary in February 2007, President in October 2008; and Treasurer in June 2012. She hopes the dreams of attaining a humane society shelter and related services in Mason County will be realized as soon as possible.

Blanche Valverde Director of Spay & Neuter

After retiring as an Operations Supervisor for The Social Security Administration in 1999, Blanche and her husband Rene moved from California to Washington in 2006. Their two adult sons still live in California. The entire family has always been animal lovers, so needless to say their home was never without a variety of animals including cats, dogs, rabbits, hampsters, mice, chickens, snakes and an occasional wounded bird.
After moving to the Belfair area, Blanche became aware of the lack of a shelter in Mason County but discovered the group of people who were working to get one built. She joined the Humane Society of Mason County in 2008 serving as Vice President until June 2012, and is currently the Director of Spay and Neuter.

Cathy Gatto Board Member

Cathy is a retired school nurse and has 4 children and 5 dogs. She had been living in Alaska for 39 years where her husband had been a State Representative for 10 years, and they both shared a commitment to children and animal welfare. After her husband's recent passing, Cathy returned to the Mason County area where she grew up and to be near her mother. She joined the Humane Society of Mason County and was elected to the Board of Directors where she can continue her commitment to animal welfare in Mason County. Cathy is a life-long Republican and christian, and enjoys reading, sweet white wine and walking her dogs.

Jodene Vaughan Board Member

Jodene Vaughan and her husband John moved to Mason County in 2002. Jodene became aware of the plight of homeless dogs and cats in Mason County and the desire and passion to help these sweet, innocent animals arose.

Jodene is originally from Lakeside, California. Jodene's father is credited with fostering her love for all creatures from dogs to birds. Jodene moved to Washington State in 1990. Jodene obtained a position working for Holly Ridge Center, Infant/Toddler Program, which is an Early Intervention Program for children with special needs from birth to 3 years old. Jodene worked at Holly Ridge Center for almost 16 years. Working at Holly Ridge Center built the passion in Jodene to help those that are in need. Jodene obtained a position as an administrative assistant at Harrison Medical Center in 2007. Jodene had the great fortune to obtain another position there that allows her to help people that are in need.

Jodene's main passion remains helping homeless, abandoned, dogs and cats. Jodene feels that it is an important mission to build a shelter in Mason County to house, feed and provide medical care for homeless dogs and cats and to raise funds to continue HSMC's program to provide low cost spay and neuter.

Jodene and her husband currently have five dogs and a cockatoo. Two of their beloved dogs are rescues. Jodene's cockatoo Brandy was originally rescued by her father.

Sally Cull Board Member

Sally Cull moved to Washington State in 1989 from New Jersey. She was a laboratory technician for the State of Washington Department of Ecology at the environmental lab in Manchester for 21 years and is now retired. Before that she was a veterinary technician from 1976 to 1987 after receiving certified training in Blackwood, New Jersey. She moved here in 1989 with her husband and son who had recently graduated high school so they could explore new opportunities.
Sally and her family always had dogs and enjoyed them in activities like camping and hiking. She loves the weather and scenery of the Pacific Northwest. She did some volunteer work with the Humane Society in the late '90's and early 2000's then left to take care of her ailing husband. She returned in 2014 and is the present office manager. Sally enjoys living with and training dogs and wants to stay active in her community through helping and educating the public about dog care and ownership.

Rhonda Robe Board Member

Rhonda Robe resides in the Seabeck area and works at NUWC Keyport. She has supported the animal shelters for the past 15 years but became involved in Mason County when she heard they needed a shelter. Rhonda sat on the board for a brief time, but continued to volunteer and support their fund raising activities. She was selected to sit on the board again and hopes to be able to see the shelter built in Belfair.