A Cat Cafe?

MEET THE TEAM

Providing compassionate care and community connections for cats in need of forever homes.

Leslie Ann Weiss, Founder, President

Leslie Ann Weiss, Founder, President

Leslie has been a cat lover all of her life. Her dream as a little girl was to have a place where she could save animals... specifically cats. Leslie has been a vet tech assistant for a cats only veterinary hospital and a volunteer for several local cat rescues including Ventura County Animal Services. Leslie is a Certified Feline Behavior and Training Specialist skilled in assessing cat behavior, rehabilitation from stress induced behavioral problems, Tiny Lion kitten socialization and cat wrangling. On the rare occation Leslie is not at Surfcat you can find her with a feather wand on her Catio at home with her own clowder. Walking, kayaking and boating fill up the spaces.

Michelle Clark-Smith, Secretary

Michelle Clark-Smith, Secretary

Michelle has loved kitties since she was a little girl and was rarely without a feline companion in her life. A lover of all things living, she often found herself rescuing and rehabilitating all sorts of critters from birds to rabbits, possum, raccoons, dogs and cats. A compassionate person, she devoted her professional life to caring for the elderly and people with disabilities and special needs. She is now looking forward to helping build Surfcat, bringing her enthusiasm, organizational skills and creativity. It will be a natural transition for Michelle to focus her energy on our senior cats and cats with disabilities program, evaluating the special needs of cats and helping to find them forever homes where they can live in comfort and with love. 

Roxanne Vettese, Vice Preisdent

Roxanne Vettese, Vice President

Roxanne ("Rox") puts the "surf" in Surfcat Cafe & Adoptions. A diehard surfer and animal lover, Rox has been graced with the company of cats all of her life. When she is not shredding waves at the local breaks, Rox teaches U.S. History, World History, and physical education, at the middle school level. Rox got involved with cat rescue, fostering, and adoptions, through her BFF and roomie Leslie. Rox has sometimes been called the "cat whisperer", as even the most frightened feline eventually warms up to her. Rox is also Surfcat Cafe & Adoption's  artist in residence, chief writer, and reality checker.

Stacey Riddle Birchfield, Treasurer

Stacey Riddle Birchfield

Stacey loves the kitties, but she is also Surfcat’s unofficial “dog person”. Stacey grew up in Southern California and has just recently retired as the I.T. person for Casa Pacifica - a refuge and school for Ventura County kids who have had as rough of a life as some of our adoptable Surfcats. She has extensive non-profit experience and brings a sharp eye to bear on Surfcat’s IT.

Phillip Rockwell, Board Member-at-large

Phillip Rockwell, Board Member-at-large

Phillip is a California boy, born in Ojai, who found his way to Hawaii and graduated from Wayland Baptist University on Oahu with a degree in management. After an extensive stint in the U.S. Navy where he earned the rank of Master Chief Petty Officer, and deployed to both Iraq and the Horn of Africa Phillip is now working as a Family Office Manager and Butler (yes…a Butler!). Phillip’s management skills and experience working with non-profit organizations in the islands are an indispensible asset to Surfcat!