About Wildlife Rescue League

What We Do

Wildlife Rescue League operates a wildlife assistance helpline that provides the public with advice, resources and referrals to licensed wildlife rehabilitators. Wildlife Rescue League is committed to educating the public about the natural history of native wildlife, how to exist with our wild neighbors and preventing the need for wildlife rehabilitation. Wildlife Rescue League also provides informational brochures as well as educational materials and presentations to inform the public about wildlife.

Wildlife Rescue League does not receive any local, state or federal funding. We are totally dependent on donations to provide life-saving food, medicine and supplies. Please support us by making a donation today.

Who We Are

Wildlife Rescue League is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization dedicated to providing care for sick, injured and orphaned wildlife with the intent of releasing them back into their native habitat. Our licensed rehabilitators, located throughout the Northern Virginia and surrounding areas, work with a network of volunteers, wildlife centers, animal shelters, humane societies, nature centers and veterinary hospitals to provide life-saving help for wildlife in need.

WRL Leadership

Beth Axelrod

Beth Axelrod

Vice President / Treasurer

Beth has a long history of volunteering for wildlife and animal protection groups, and became involved with WRL as a Helpline volunteer in 2007. She has served on the Board of Directors since 2011, and as President from 2013-2017. Beth currently serves as Vice President and Treasurer, as well as chairing the Wildlife Center Task Force.

Prior to retiring, Beth had a 30 year career in Real Estate Management and was the Vice President of a real estate development firm. She managed projects from start to completion and focused on team management and training, ensuring statutory compliance with multi-jurisdictional condominium acts, and that construction standards met the specifications of contractual documents. Beth also prepared operating budgets for multiple projects, served on all Declarant Board of Directors, prepared financial reports for investors and represented the Developer in negotiations regarding legal issues.

Beth grew up in Virginia, and currently lives in Centreville where she created a landscape with a focus on wildlife. The property features multiple gardens, a small pond, and wildlife and pollinator habitats. She recently became a Class I permitted reptile rehabilitator with a focus on turtles.

Philip S. Church

Secretary

Mr. Church is a graduate of Ohio State University and spent over 32 years working for the Defense Logistics Agency as a logistics and contracting specialist, focusing largely on procurement automation. He has been the At Large representative to the Fairfax County Animal Services Advisory Commission since 2001 with time as Chair, Vice-chair, and Secretary.

In addition to other humane organization work he was a primary member of Humane Deer Management which was a key partner in the five year deer spay effort in Fairfax City, VA. He has been a member of the Mantua Citizens’ Association Board since 2010 and joined the WRL Board of Directors in Dec 2020.

He and wife, Patricia, have three children and live in Fairfax, VA.

Cliff Ballena

Cliff Ballena

Board member

Cliff graduated in May 2017 from Virginia Commonwealth University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Forensic Science. Cliff has had a strong passion for animals from an early age and volunteered at the Richmond SPCA throughout his undergrad. Cliff joined the Animal Welfare League of Arlington in September 2017 as a Deputy Animal Control Officer, becoming the Sergeant of the department in 2019. It is with this position that he has been able to strengthen his leadership and public communication skills.

Cliff takes a special interest in native wildlife conservation, holding a state permit as an apprentice to rehab wildlife animals. When squirrel season comes you will most likely find Cliff holding a baby squirrel and feeding them as they require multiple feedings during the day. Cliff shares his home with his wife, his dog Brownie and the temporary wildlife that come in for rehabilitation. One look at the squirrel wallpaper in his wildlife room and you can tell exactly what animal his heart lies with. However, Cliff does take in the occasional bunnies!

Mindy Mucci

Mindy Mucci

Board Member

Interim Development Committee Chair

Mindy is an accomplished, senior professional with deep business development and program management experience, an 18-year track record of relationship building and driving strong financial outcomes, and experience leading and writing successful proposal submissions.

Although her career thus far has been centered around for-profit industries primarily in the DoD realm and she has enjoyed the strategic aspect of growing businesses, Mindy could not deny the progressively audible voice in her head to shift over to an industry that elicits more personal fulfillment. She is eager to spend the next chapter of her career applying hard-won commercial capabilities to missions about which she feels passionate, which is what led her to WRL.

Elissa Myers

Elissa Myers

Board member

Elissa Myers has been involved with nonprofits for over 50 years, most recently as Executive Director of the Academy for Eating Disorders, President & CEO for Partnership for Prevention and President & CEO of the Electronic Retailing Association. Her expertise in strategic leadership, board and government development, member and sponsor marketing, and team building make her an excellent candidate for the WRL board. She has authored many articles in the field of Association Management, has developed on-line training programs and has consulted with numerous nonprofit organizations.
Elissa’s other passion is animals. She has been the in-kind donations coordinator for WRL for many years.

Elissa holds a Bachelor and Master of Arts from George Mason University. She lives in Springfield with her husband and dog India.

Casey Nolan

Casey Nolan

Board member

Casey Nolan is a double graduate of Georgetown University, receiving both her B.A. and M.A. in American Government. She works at Gartner, a research and advisory firm, and helps supply chain and quality leaders solve their most critical issues.

Outside of work, she spends most of her time in Toastmasters, teaching Sunday School and serving as the Communications Chair of her alumni committee. Additionally, she is a graduate of Arlington Neighborhood College, a civic ledership development program, and previously served as President of the Clarendon Courthouse Civic Association.

Casey has volunteered with WRL on the Helpline since October 2018. She also participates in training new volunteers and in planning and moderating the Trifecta Lecture Series. She lives in Arlington with her rescue dog, Juniper.

Elena Taube Bailey

Elena Taube Bailey

Board Member

Interim Marketing Committee Chair

Elena Taube Bailey has over 17 years of private, academic and government sector experience. She currently serves as a senior national security analyst at the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), as well as, a part-time Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University in the graduate Applied Intelligence program. Elena previously served as an analyst and subject matter expert covering a variety of high-level national security issues at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), the Department of State (DoS), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), as well as, the Consulate General of Israel and the Consulate General of Ukraine.

Elena is currently completing a Ph.D. in Strategic Communication. She is also completing an M.A. in Psychology from Harvard University. Elena received an M.B.A. from Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business, and an M.A. in Politics with a focus in International Relations and American Government from New York University.

A champion of human and animal safety and wellbeing, Elena serves as the Executive Director of Wild Things Media, and as a Board Member of the Wildlife Rescue League.

Carolyn S. Wilder

Carolyn S. Wilder

Board member

Interim Rehabilitator Committee Chair

Carolyn S. Wilder is a former president of Wildlife Rescue League (WRL) as well as a volunteer on WRL’s helpline and a presenter to community groups and schools. Carolyn began her involvement with WRL in 2008 as a transporter while transitioning from a career as an attorney. Now retired, Carolyn devotes most of her time to WRL activities.

Carolyn has been a licensed attorney since 1979 and worked for nonprofit trade associations for almost twenty years as in-house counsel. She counseled the associations and its members on contracts, antitrust, trademarks and general legal issues.

Carolyn also served six years on the board of Senior Services of Alexandria.

Committee Chairs and Coordinators

Paul Stipe

Paul Stipe

Helpline Committee Chair

Paul started working on the helpline in 2019, and has taken over the role of managing the group of helpline volunteers, training them, and keeping the helpline shifts staffed so we can handle calls from the public. The WRL volunteer work started up shortly after he retired from a dozen years of consulting and after a career as an Air Force program manager.

Volunteering with the WRL is finally opening up an opportunity to learn more about wildlife and to help in the Northern Virginia. Paul is part of the WRL Center Task Force, looking for ways to help more wildlife in new ways.

Joan Vasbinder

Joan Vasbinder

Education Committee Co-Chair

Joan has been involved in education for over 40 years as a teacher, principal, and director at the University level.

She became involved with the WRL upon her retirement in 2017. She joined the Education Committee in 2021, working to create classroom lessons and presentations on wildlife for school age students.

Joan received a BS in Biology and Education and a MA in Administration and Supervision from the University of Texas at Austin.

She currently lives in Boone, NC with her husband and Rex bunny, E.B.

Tammy Duncan

Education Committee Co-Chair

Linda Fiedler

Volunteer Coordinator

Scott Confer

Data Management Coordinator

Vegetarian / Vegan Policy

In acknowledging the importance of our environment and animal welfare, all events sponsored, hosted or funded by WRL will have only vegetarian or vegan fare served.

You Can Help Wildlife in Need

Wildlife Rescue League - Viriginia
Wildlife Helpline 703-440-0800
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