The Advisory Board

TJ Bennett – Creative Advisor

TJ Bennett grew up in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, a small suburb of New York City. While always curious about animals, he never had pets in the home and didn’t discover his true love for our four-legged friends until college. TJ’s love for animals grew stronger after college through one of his best friends, who always had a house full of dogs of all shapes, colors, sizes and personalities. TJ’s wife, Erica introduced him to the joy and nonstop hilarity that comes with having cats in the house. Her cat, Sophie, was a remarkably loving, stubborn and beautiful girl who stole TJ’s heart the day he met her. Erica and TJ now have two cats, Buford and Marvin, who rule the roost and are the best of buddies.

As creative advisor to The Pet Rescue Center, TJ brings almost two decades of advertising experience as a writer and Creative Director along with an unabashed passion for animals. This passion has motived him to help more people see the amazing work that The PRC does and ultimately help more animals find their two-legged soul mates.

Micaela Myers –  Media Advisor

A professional writer and editor, Micaela Myers earned her MFA in writing and has authored three equestrian books. She started her editorial career at Horse Illustrated magazine before taking a job with Laguna Beach-based Firebrand Media LLC, where she served as group editor, overseeing Laguna Beach Magazine, Newport Beach Magazine and the company’s hotel magazine portfolio.

In 2013, Micaela packed up her two adopted dogs, Rocky and Barkley, and moved with her husband to Wyoming, where she currently serves as editor of UWyo Magazine, the University of Wyoming’s flagship publication. A lifelong animal lover, Micaela has volunteered since junior high and greatly appreciates the work The Pet Rescue Center is doing to help homeless pets.

Charlie Slater – Legal Advisor

Charlie Slater has been a practicing civil attorney for the past 20 years. Charlie is an attorney with Muzi & Associates, A Professional Law Corporation, based in Irvine, California. Charlie practices primarily in business litigation and corporate law. Charlie also represents non-profit organizations in a variety of matters. He frequently advises boards, special committees, and management teams of companies and organizations.

Charlie is a resident of Orange County and has been married to his wife Tracey for 22 years.  They have 2 daughters with one in college and another one getting ready to enter college. They have 2 dogs, a Pomeranian, and a Chihuahua mix that was rescued from a bad environment.

Keiko Sakamoto – Legal Advisor

Keiko Sakamoto earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard University, and a law degree from Boalt Hall School of Law (now named UC Berkeley School of Law).

Ms. Sakamoto practiced corporate law in San Francisco and Newport Beach, specializing in securities and acquisition law until 2002. Keiko is a devoted dog advocate and a great supporter of animals.

Kim Novick –  Development Advisor

Kim Novick graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in English Literature, and continued on to receive her M.A in non-profit business management and community service from Brandeis University in Boston Massachusetts.  She currently lives in Laguna Beach with her husband, their 3 children and Einstein (a PRC rescue kitty). Kim has been Development Director for the Tony Hawk Foundation since 2002. In the past 11 years Kim has put the Tony Hawk Foundation on the charitable map, raising funds through corporate sponsorship, private donations, special events and foundation grants.

Continuing along her path in action sports and philanthropy, prior to THF, Kim served as the Development Director for the Surfrider Foundation. In her role as Development Director at Surfrider’s national office, Kim launched new fundraising strategies including employee giving, major donor initiatives, loyalty programs, foundation grants as well as maintaining and growing the organizations membership base.

Jennifer Durham – Advisor

Jennifer Durham, the chief compliance officer and a managing director of Pacific Investment Management Company LLC, has been a resident of Newport Beach since 2000.  She started her career at the SEC and lived in LA for more than 10 years.  Recognizing the opportunities at PIMCO, an investment firm by the beach, Jennifer transitioned from the city to her life in Orange County today.
Jennifer has a passion for animals and she knew this early on when at a young age, she found herself surrounded by animals including a Yorkshire Terrier that lived to be 21 years old.  Several years ago, Jennifer decided to fill her life again with pets and adopted a pug named Maggie.
In addition to her passion for helping animals, Jennifer brings 20 years of professional experience and has donated her time to the PRC for several years.

Charlie is a resident of Orange County and has been married to his wife Tracey for 22 years.  They have 2 daughters with one in college and another one getting ready to enter college. They have 2 dogs, a Pomeranian, and a Chihuahua mix that was rescued from a bad environment.

Roni Trinidad – Advisor

rogram for the PIMCO Funds Business Group. She has been at PIMCO for almost 30 years, and has been an active leader and volunteer with the PIMCO Foundation since its inception in 2008. Roni is also on the Board for Let’s Share Inc., a nonprofit that provides assistance to students, teachers and seniors that need help.

Roni became involved with The PRC after she adopted her one-eyed wonder, Oreo, who is now a certified Therapy Dog with the OCSPCA. Thanks to a good friend, Jen Durham, Oreo joined the Trinidad family in 2008 after The PRC and Dr. Wheaton saved her from a high-kill shelter and removed her non-functioning eye. Oreo lives with her family, Rom, Roni, Kelsi, and her older sister Koa, who is a retired Therapy Dog. Roni helped to start The PRC/PIMCO Dog Walks in Laguna Beach, recruiting a number of PIMCO Foundation volunteers to walk The PRC dogs at these events over the years.

Marina Songer – Advisor

Marina Songer has been in the veterinary field since 1987.  She began by managing and serving as the lead veterinary technician at a day practice for thirteen years, which taught her a lot about the precious bond between companion animals and their “moms and dads.”

She currently holds the position of Hospital Administrator at Animal Urgent Care in Mission Viejo, which keeps her very busy since AUC services approximately sixty local referring veterinary hospitals.

Marina is a long time resident of San Clemente, where she lives with her husband of over twenty-five years, Dan, and their furry four-footed and feathered babies.


Matthew Wheaton, DVM – President

Todd Lenz – Treasurer

Michael Mann – Secretary

love & dedication