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Darren young, board president

Darren Young is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA), one of the Co-Founders of Sammy’s Hope, and current Board President.  Darren served in several leadership positions at Sammy’s Hope from 2010 - 2018, including the role of Executive Director of from 2013 – 2018. He was also a Co-Founder of For This One, a non-profit established to provide humanitarian support to the people of Haiti, where he served on the board and in leadership roles from 2009 – 2015.

Darren currently works at the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center, where his primary role is training fearful and under socialized dogs rescued from cruelty cases throughout the country. Prior to moving to a full-time career in Animal Welfare, Darren had a 20 year career in Information Technology and Business as the Co-Owner, along with his wife Christine, of Tekpro Systems LLC.

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Angel Lebak, secretary

Angel Lebak is the owner of Marketing Angel (formerly Assistant Angel) Social Media and Online Marketing company serving small and mid size business around the United States. Angel is Digital Marketer certified and stays up to date on current online and social media marketing trends for all clients - including Sammy’s Hope.

Angel started volunteering for Sammy’s Hope’s in 2015 in all things Sammy’s Hope Social Media. Since that time, Angel has used her efforts to help Sammy’s Hope with a more social media and marketing guidance role with the incredible social media marketing volunteers (thank you Karen and Sheila!) who share Sammy’s Hope passion and incredible animals with the world. Angel is often behind the scenes - a marketing “ninja” and ensuring that Sammy’s Hope incredible reputation and passion is shared consistently online.

Angel is rescue dog obsessed with her dog, Charlie, who is a rescue lab mix. When not working, Angel enjoys time with her husband Alan, college humans and various community outreach efforts.



Jim Wood, treasurer

Jim Wood has been in public accounting for 29 years.  A graduate of Wake Forest University, he began his career with Peat Marwick Mitchell in Greensboro, North Carolina.  More interested in the type of client base attracted to smaller firms, Jim joined a local firm in New Brunswick, NJ in 1988 and spun off his own practice in 1998.  Jim currently practices in Hillsborough, NJ where he and his staff specialize in nonprofit organizations, local savings institutions, small businesses, and individuals, particularly the tax issues associated with non-traditional families.  He shares his home with cairn terrier, Herbie, and terrier mix, Lidia.


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christine young, board member

Christine is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA). She serves on the Board of Directors, and is a co-founder of the organization.  Since Sammy’s Hope’s inception in 2010, Christine has worked hands-on with socialization, training, behavioral evaluation, and adoption-matching for shelter dogs.  In the past, Christine has also been involved in various administrative duties for the organization such as marketing, web design and photography.  Christine and her husband Darren have fostered many of Sammy’s Hope’s adoptable dogs and take a special interest in helping those that need extra socialization or specialized care.

Outside of Sammy's Hope, Christine had an 18-year career in Information Technology, and founded the consulting firm, Tekpro Systems. In 2016, she left IT to devote herself full-time to dogs in need.  Currently, Christine is a Behavior Rehabilitation Coordinator at the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center, where she works with under-socialized and fearful dogs rescued from puppy mill, hoarding, fighting, and cruelty cases from across the country.  She lives in Weaverville, NC with her husband Darren and 4 rescue dogs, 3 of whom are Sammy's Hope alumni.