Leadership Team

Our Team


Our leadership team is responsible for overseeing the organization and its various departments. The leadership team includes: Executive Director, Director of Marketing, Director of Development, Shelter Manager, Chief Humane Agent and the Finance and Office Manager.

Jamie Tavano

Executive Director

Jamie Tavano joined the staff of Lake Humane Society in September of 2022 as the Executive Director. Jamie comes to LHS with a background in law enforcement, education and has extensive experience working with donors and programming.

Mr. Tavano is a retired Sergeant from the Kirtland Police Department. He was later an Adjunct Professor and Police Commander at Lakeland Community College, and most recently served as the Director of Public Safety Training Center-Law Enforcement for Cuyahoga Community College. Mr. Tavano has more than 25 years of experience working with nonprofits. He has been Vice President for both the Greater Cleveland Peace Officers Memorial Society and the Andy Nowacki Memorial Scholarship. He also spent a year on the Lake Humane Society Board of Directors.

Mr. Tavano lives in Mentor with his two children, his wife Kim and his rescue pup.

Email Jamie

(Photo courtesy of the News-Herald)


Elizabeth Johnson

Director of Development

Elizabeth Johnson joined the LHS team in 2020 and was promoted to Director of Development in 2022. Elizabeth attended Youngstown State University and earned her bachelor’s degree in Education. Her desire to help others led Elizabeth to working at several local non-profits, where she gained years of experience in community outreach, program development and grant writing. Her passion for helping animals was sparked at a young age, when she volunteered with her mom to walk dogs at a local animal shelter. Elizabeth is honored to spearhead fundraising efforts at Lake Humane Society to continue helping more animals in need. She also oversees fundraising events and the volunteer program. In her free time, Elizabeth loves spending time with her family and friends – including her rescue companions, two dogs, three cats and a rambunctious ferret.

Email Elizabeth Call Elizabeth, Extension 108

Alicia Opalko

Finance/Office Manager

Alicia Opalko joined LHS in January 2017 as the Finance and Office Manager. Alicia manages the daily financial operations of LHS. In addition to her financial duties, she handles Human Resources, payroll, and various other administrative duties. Before joining LHS she worked for University Hospitals and the Cleveland Clinic. Alicia attended Lakeland Community College where she earned an Associate of Arts degree. In her free time, she enjoys staying active, watching sports, spending time with friends and family, and keeping up with her adopted black lab, Macy.

Email Alicia Call Alicia, Extension 104


Megan Newkirk

Shelter Manager

Megan Newkirk has been with Lake Humane Society since November of 2017 as the Animal Clinic Care Manager and in 2019 became the Shelter Manager. She graduated from Kent State University with a Bachelors of Science. Megan has always had a passion for animals and knew that she wanted to get into the medical field and help save as many animals as she could. While in college, she worked as a veterinary assistant at a private practice. When she graduated she decided to become a wildlife rehabilitation specialist. After 9 years and 2 children later, Megan left the field to be a full time mom and a part time veterinary technician. As she worked in private practice she knew that she wanted to do more for those animals that couldn’t afford to get treatment. She began searching for her new career and found Lake Humane Society. Now, she oversees most aspects of the shelter including medical, animal care, adoptions, and foster. In Megan’s free time she enjoys hiking, camping, and being outside in the river with her family and dogs.

Email Megan Call Megan, Extension 111


Empty the Shelters!

Beginning December 1st through December 11th, select animals at Lake Humane Society will be adoptable for a discounted rate, thanks to the Bissell Pet Foundation.


Cats (1+years or older) = $25
Adult Dogs (1+ years or older) = $50 (plus $20.75 dog license fee)
Dog Bonded Pairs= BOGO $50 (plus $20.75 dog license fee for reach dog)


Help us EMPTY the shelters this month so all of our precious animals can have a home for the holidays, and fill out an adoption application below: