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Staff Spotlight: Estelle Barber

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Staff Spotlight: Estelle Barber
Virginia Shedd, Outreach Coordinator

Estelle Barber has been with Animal Place for 6 years! She is phenomenal. Her job title is elusive. Membership and Donor Steward? Bookkeeper? Purchase Fulfiller? Accountant? Payroll Specialist? Internet Connectivity Commissioner? Basically, she keeps the walls up and the staff happy.

When she first applied with Animal Place, Estelle was told she was overqualified. Indeed, she has more than 20 years of experience working with nonprofits, including 10 years as Financial Manager with Music in the Mountains, a year-round series of musical performances in Nevada County, California.

When Estelle started, we had a staff of ten and she worked part-time. We were still hand-writing every check! She is now full-time and has loved seeing Animal Place grow to include a staff of more than 30. She says, “Working here has been a wonderful revelation. I am consistently impressed by the people here who have dedicated their lives to this work.”

The way we see it, it is Estelle who enriches others. A seasoned parent, she shares real life experience and advice with new mom, Marji. She is one step ahead of the game and ready with donor information to help Kim build those relationships. When Virginia has questions about being a homeowner in a rural area payments for events, Estelle has the answers. Her wit keeps us all on our toes. And, when we’re having a bad day, she reminds that she was not vegan when she began working here, but that meeting farmed animals and learning about them and what happens to them for the first time helped her go vegan immediately. And it’s helping others, too.

Estelle’s compassion extends to her community. She serves on four boards: the Nevada Theatre Commission, Youth Bicyclists of Nevada City, KARE Crisis Nursery, and the Nevada County Composers Cooperative. She arranges for Animal Place staff to sing holiday carols for those who need cheering up, and she talks to people in her community about animal protection issues.

She works behind the scenes, but without Estelle Animal Place wouldn’t be able to manage its nationwide presence, wouldn’t be so connected to our community, would definitely run out of stationery and printer ink. We think Estelle deserves the spotlight more often.

Note from Executive Director: I can think of no one more qualified for or dedicated to this position than Estelle. She is funny, calm under pressure, and always willing to help. She brings joy to the office each day. I am honored to work alongside her.