Behind SitStaySpeakOut is a Board of Directors uniquely positioned to identify and advance the types of media projects that can truly make a difference in the world of animal welfare.
PAM HORTON, Board Chair
Pam has been passionate about rescuing animals all her adult life. She has helped dozens of dogs find a home and was “dat mommy” to Lil Olive. Pam’s involvement in A Voice for Lil Olive brought to her a new awareness about the importance of using film and video to educate people on the harmful effects to animals. She speaks for those with no voice through social media and as the central point of the new documentary A Voice for Lil Olive to be released in 2017.
In virtually every arena you can imagine, Pam has stepped up for animals. She has volunteered at animal rescues, protested outside of pet stores selling mill dogs, and brought multiple rescue dogs into her own home. While she slowly rehabilitated Lil Olive, a badly abused Italian greyhound, she expanded her reach into the social media sphere, developing a Facebook page and persona that would attract more than 42,000 followers. Many of those followers — members of what Pam calls her “pack family” — have gotten their first taste of animal-welfare activism via her work. More are sure to do so through A Voice for Lil Olive, the documentary project inspired by Lil Olive’s story and fueled by Pam’s belief in its importance. Her continuing advocacy, she says, meets what is almost a biological need. Of her activism, she says, “It’s really just deep inside of me.”
SAM AND KATHY GUADAGNOLI
Sam and Kathy are among Colorado Springs’ most successful businesspeople and most generous philanthropists. In addition to running some of the most popular bars and nightclubs in the city’s downtown area, Sam and Kathy have funded The Mezzanine, a unique “social enterprise” that hosts cutting-edge arts performances for the community while raising money for the Colorado Springs Conservatory. They also stand at the heart of an ambitious effort to redevelop the city’s long-suffering South Nevada Avenue corridor into a haven of creekside cafes, restaurants and apartments. The Guadagnolis’ 40-plus years in business, fundraising and community-building, combined with their passion for animals, the arts and entertainment, make them indispensable members of the SitStaySpeakOut board.
Coba, a “nearly native” of Colorado Springs, has enjoyed a 20-year career in radio and continues to do so as the news director for 94.3 KILO and morning show host on 103.9 RXP. One of the joys of working for actual live and local radio stations, has been the opportunity for Coba to help and highlight all of the amazing nonprofits in the area. While a proud recipient of several Colorado Broadcaster Awards for “Best Morning Show” and “Best Commercial,” she is most proud of the station’s first “Best Public Affairs Show” win for an interview with a local nonprofit that rescues and trains dogs before finding them their forever homes. With a firm belief that a home isn’t truly a home without an animal, Coba, her husband, and their two children share a house with two dogs, four cats and a pair of Betta fish that she swears will outlive them all!
Kevin brings a cool head and steady hand to the SitStaySpeakOut board, strengths that have been developed and refined over years of flying airplanes. Kevin is an alumnus of the United States Air Force Academy and today flies internationally for American Airlines. When he’s at home in Colorado Springs, he is deeply engaged with the issue of puppy mills as the adoptive parent (with wife Pam) of rescued Italian greyhounds. A champion for Lil Olive — both the famous Italian greyhound and the film inspired by her life — Kevin is passionate about making lasting change in the world of animal welfare.
Tom is an Air Force veteran who now owns a local real estate firm and has been a realtor for 17 years in the Pikes Peak region. He is a leader in the realtor-community and is on multiple real estate boards, helping to enact positive change for realtors and the public alike. His passion for people and wanting to help others, including animals, is what Tom adds to the SitStaySpeakOut board. Tom and his wife Duchele have their own fur-baby-family of two dogs and three cats.
Ashley is a relative newcomer to the media world, but a veteran of banking and finance with FINRA Series 7, 6 and 63 securities licenses. Her extensive academic background includes a B.A. in psychology; an M.B.A. with emphasis in marketing, international business and finance; and a graduate accounting certificate, all from the University of Colorado. She’s also an avid and experienced community volunteer, having worked with such organizations as the Junior League, the American Cancer Society, the Alzheimer’s Association and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Perhaps most importantly, she’s mom to two Italian greyhounds, Lola — a puppy mill survivor — and Cassie.
Pete is an Emmy Award-winning, Colorado-based filmmaker with numerous film festival acceptances for narrative feature, documentary and short films. Among his credits are Disneyland: Then, Now and Forever, which he directed and edited at Disney’s request to commemorate Disneyland’s 50th anniversary. He also directed the nationally acclaimed documentary HAZE (featuring Robin Wright-Penn), which graphically examined the beer-soaked party scene that permeates the national university and college environment.
Most recently, Pete has moved from dark comedy/docudrama territory (The Creep Behind the Camera) to directing A Voice for Lil Olive. It gives the dog lover an opportunity to expand on a topic he touched on in conditional, a semi-biographical film celebrating the unconditional love shown to us by our favorite pets. That nine-minute work was named “Best Narrative Short Film” at the Orlando Film Festival.
Pete is more than a storyteller — he is a director who understands what it takes to achieve commercial success. Pete has six feature-length films in distribution, his flagship being Haze, the definitive documentary on alcohol abuse on college campuses. Narrated by Robin Wright-Penn, Haze has been viewed by more than a million students in America alone, and is the most successful documentary on HULU and Snag Films. At SSSO, Pete will guide animal activists and care professionals in the crafting of their media — be they public service announcements, short web videos, full-length projects, or other ideas entirely — with an emphasis on creating media that is both educational and emotionally resonant. “Whenever I take on a film project, I tend to be very optimistic,” he says. “Maybe it’s ego talking, but I tend to be like, ‘We’re gonna change the world.’”