Our Team


At Lake Humane Society, each member of our team plays a crucial role in our mission. From our dedicated animal care associates who ensure the well-being of our furry residents to our compassionate adoption counselors who match pets with loving families, every individual contributes to the success of our shelter. Additionally, our database managers maintain vital records and streamline operations, while our events coordinator organizes community engagements to promote our cause. Together, our diverse team works tirelessly to provide care, facilitate adoptions, and engage with our community.

Randall S. Barnes

Executive Director

Randy Barnes grew up on a small farm in rural north central Ohio and has lived in the state his entire life.  He graduated from Heidelberg University with a degree in history/pre-law and then worked in student affairs at his alma mater before working as Director of Development for East of Chicago Corporate.  Later, Barnes moved on to ASM International working in volunteer engagement and eventually becoming Executive Director of 5 Affiliate Societies within the association.  The last 10 years, Barnes worked at Case Western Reserve University as the Executive Director of the University Center and the Performing Arts Center before joining the team at Lake Humane Society.  Barnes holds a masters degree in non-profit organizations (an MBA with a soul) from CWRU, has a passion for working with volunteers, and endeavors to strengthen the relationships people have with their pets.  He lives in Parma with his spouse and his 3 rescue dogs Baron, Zee and Finn.  Randy feels there is insufficient joy in the world and ‘aims to stir some up’.

Email Randy Call Randy, Extension 102

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. Alicia lives in Chardon with her husband, son, and adopted black lab, Macy. 

Email Alicia Call Alicia, Extension 104


Allison Kager

Shelter Manager

Allison Kager joined LHS in June 2017. Allison began her career at LHS as an Animal Care Associate and eventually moved to different positions at the shelter, including, Adoption & Intake Coordinator, Foster & Volunteer Coordinator and now manages the daily operations of the shelter.

Before LHS, Allison attended Kent State University majoring in Zoology. She spent her summers rehabilitating wildlife and running educational programs and summer camps at the Kevin P. Clinton Wildlife Center. Allison has always had a passion for animals and is elated to be able to work with them every day. 

When she is not at work, Allison enjoys spending time outside, backpacking and attending sporting events with friends and family. 

Candice Boev

Assistant Shelter Manager

Candice has been with LHS since May 2013. She has been in various roles throughout the years at LHS. During her time at LHS she has found her special niche of working with behavioral cats, shy-shut down dogs, and small dogs. Candice has always had a lifelong passion for animals that started as a young girl. Before joining LHS her previous work experiences were at Lake MetroParks Wildlife Center and the International Crane Foundation in Wisconsin. Candice is a graduate of Hiram College with a bachelors degree in Environmental Studies with an Area of Concentration in Wildlife Conservation and Rehabilitation. 

In her spare time she loves experimenting with cooking and baking, reading, fish keeping, playing card games with her family, immersing herself in the creative world (painting, colored pencil work, seeing Plays & concerts), spending time with her husband and furry kids (all alumni of LHS: 2 dogs – Missy & Joxer (fka Jax), 3 cats – Olga, Lucy, & Sue, 4 working cats – Beauty, Jimmy, Ellie, & LaBella)! 

Dr. Deidra Galhotra

Medical Director

Deidra Galhotra is the medical director here at Lake Humane Society, where she has been employed since 2022. She holds her Bachelor of Science in Psychology/Pre-Med from UAB and her veterinary degree from Murdoch University. With over twenty years of experience in the veterinary field, Deidra maintains a passion to serve her community by providing veterinary services to those most in need. She believes animals and their people should always be treated kindness and respect and is a firm believer in positive reinforcement.

Patience Doeing

Intake Coordinator

Patience joined our team in August of 2023 after graduating from Tiffin University with a Bachelor of Law Enforcement. Prior to going to Tiffin, she was a 4th generation graduate from Fairport Harbor. During her time in college, she did an internship at the Charleston Animal Society in Charleston South Carolina where she was an intake coordinator on a march larger scale.  She has always had a passion and love for animals. Her main goal in life is to be the voice for all animals as they do not have voices of their own.

In her free time, Patience spends time with her daughter, supporting her brothers at their sport events, enjoying time with family and friends, being creative with different kinds of crafting projects, and loving all of her adopted pets.

Cindy Sender Riley

Community Outreach Coordinator

Cindy joined the LHS team in 2018. After graduating with a degree in Biology, she spent several years in various environmental education roles including assisting Fish and Wildlife Services Sea Turtle Conservation efforts in SC and working at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.
Since being at LHS she has spent most of her time involved with adoptions, education, and marketing the animals. Her favorite part of her job is being able to use her writing skills to tell each animal’s special story in hopes of finding them a home.
Cindy recently self-published a children’s book series titled, Cindy’s Cuddly Critters, that includes stories based on actual rescue animals (some even being LHS alumni!)

Brianna Cimorell

Animal Care Associate

Brianna joined the LHS team in December of 2023 as an Animal Care Associate. Before LHS, she attended Kent State University where she studied business management and nonprofits. Brianna’s love of animals started at a young age, where she dreamed of someday living on a farm with all of her rescued animals. Her current rescued friends include dogs: Belle and Baker, cats: Gordon and Aurora (an LHS alumni), crested gecko: King Leonidas, and hermit crabs: Eugene, Hermie, Squirt, and Scuttle. Brianna’s favorite part of working at Lake Humane is helping shy animals gain their confidence and engaging in enrichment activities with the small animals. Brianna loves animals of every kind and believes that every animal deserves a chance to be loved in a forever home. In her free time, Brianna enjoys birdwatching, reading, metal detecting, and watching Animal Planet with her pets.

Alex Bennett

Animal Care Associate

Alex joined our team in October 2023, bringing with her a wealth of first-hand experience and a passion for animal welfare. Her journey into the world of animal care began early, fostered by her childhood spent on her grandma’s donkey farm. With a deep-rooted love for animals, Alex pursued a career as a veterinary assistant after graduating from the University of Akron with a degree in business administration.

Driven by her commitment to animal welfare, Alex found her calling at LHS, where she continues to make a meaningful impact in the lives of animals every day. Her diverse background in business administration coupled with her genuine passion for animals makes her a valuable asset to our team, contributing to the success and growth of our organization.

Kaylee Berry

Volunteer Coordinator

Kaylee joined our team in March of 2024 as the Volunteer Coordinator. She attended Kent State University where she studied Criminology and Sociology, gaining licensure in substance use counseling. She worked as a juvenile diversion and probation officer and adult mental health parole officer. A love of animals led to a career change and since being at LHS, Kaylee has spent most her time building a volunteer family and cuddling cats. When she’s not at work, she’s often found with her 7 rescue animals, running, or working on graduate school papers.

Sara Hillwig

Veterinary Assistant

As a Riverside High School graduate from Painesville, Ohio, I bring passion for and experience with animals to the Lake Humane Society team. The fellowship among my colleagues is what I cherish most about working here. My particular passion lies in enhancing the well-being of shelter cats, striving to make their lives brighter every day. Beyond my work with animals, I’m known for my culinary skills; cooking delicious meals for my loved ones brings me joy. And when I’m not in the kitchen, you’ll find me tearing up the roller rink with some serious moves.

Julia Markell

Veterinary Assistant

Julia, better known as Jay, joined Lake Humane Society in September 2022 as an Animal Care Associate. Over time, she transitioned into the role of Adoption Counselor and now serves as a Veterinary Assistant. A graduate of Mentor High School, Julia pursued her passion for animal care by attending Valley College for veterinary assisting and is currently on the path to becoming a Veterinary Technician. What she adores most about her role at LHS is the opportunity to delve into the realms of animal rescue and medicine, forming bonds with the animals as they await their forever homes. Beyond her work, Julia finds solace outdoors, enjoys painting, and cherishes moments with her beloved companions: a dog, 3 cats, and 2 lizards.