Board of Directors

bob-24bBecca Riker, Founder, Volunteer Executive Director and Secondhand Mutts Board President

Becca has spent the last few years building friendships and relationships with many of her clients at The Mutt Hutt as well as adopters and volunteers for Secondhand Mutts. Through these relationships she has created a small team of dedicated, committed and loyal folks to serve as board members. Read more about her journey helping animals here

Joy Sutton, Vice President

joyJoy loves all animals; big and small.  Her compassion for them has been a lifetime commitment straight from the heart.  Snuffy the Schnauzer was her first dog at age three, a gift from her beloved grandfather.  She has cared for lots of pets both inside and outside the house through her successful pet sitting business JoyCares Personalized Pet Care.  Riding horses has impacted her life as much as dogs and cats. Joy’s critters at home are: Gazelle, Sinatra, and Dr. Dude (kitty), plus various house guests and foster dogs. After office hours Joy turns into an animal rescue hero.  She enjoys planning and executing fundraising events and fostering dogs for various rescues.  Especially medical disaster dogs that need to be nursed back to health.  She lends a hand for two animal rescue boards, Berea ARF (Director) and Secondhand Mutts (Vice President).


lauraLaura Novak, Secretary

Laura Novak is starting her second term as a board member of Secondhand Mutts.  Laura has served as a volunteer for Secondhand Mutts for approximately two years, spending many weekend days at adoption events.  Laura has volunteered in the past as Team Manager for The Cleveland Cobras Soccer Club for two years, as well as for the planning committee for the 2011 Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Light The Night Walk.  She is employed by MetroHealth Medical Center as the secretary for two busy surgeons.  Laura is the proud mom of former Secondhand Mutt, R.B. (Rubber Bucket) and his canine buddy, Chuck, as well as two wonderful cats, Storm and Crush.  You will often see her dropping the very energetic R.B. and Chuck off at The Mutt Hutt to give them playtime and wear them out for at least an evening.

emilyEmily Sestak, Treasurer

Emily Sestak currently works as a Veterinary Technician at Gateway Animal Clinic, and has been in the field for about 7 years. Her passion is thoroughly about the love and care of all animals, particularly dogs.  She owns 3 dogs which are her life; and she’s been quoted saying “I would do anything for them”.  Emily was introduced to Secondhand Mutts through the Mutt Hutt, when I brought her high energy dog there about a year and a half ago.  She believed that the idea of daycare, connected with a dog rescue was brilliant, and points anyone looking for a dog, towards Secondhand Mutts.

Secondhand Mutts is a rescue that she firmly believe does “Respect The Dog”. Which when working in the animal field, this is undoubtedly the most important thing for the dogs. Emily is a great asset to the board because of her knowledge and eagerness to give new ideas. She is looking forward to giving insight on some adoption education, as well as new projects working directly with Becca.  Her clear ability to think creatively, drive business initiatives and give my time are some of her greatest contributions she can provide to Secondhand Mutts with. The well being of the dog is something Emily is passionate about and always will be.

Kerry Capwell
Kerry Capwell is an avid volunteer driven by her love for community involvement. Over the years she has served in various board & volunteer positions with Visiting Nurse Association, Tremont West Development Corporation, Tremont Community artist-in- residence program, and the Tremont Trek and the Friends of Cleveland Institute of Music. A banker for the past 20+ years, she has been employed by U.S. Bank for more than a decade and enjoys her role managing the corporate recognition programs including celebrations of Years of Service and peer to peer recognition. While Kerry is a loving cat owner, she is a true lover of all dogs, and any animal great and small (but mostly Bora the beagle), but will happily be a cat tester for any Secondhand Mutt’s that need an evaluation with their feline friends. She has been an emergency foster mother for needy pups and says that her house has all the furkids it can handle right now – but that can change!!


Kara Jacubec
Kara Jakubec is an attorney, advocate, and activist who loves alliteration and lives in Ohio City. A native of Lorain, Ohio, she spent 10 years in Chicago attending school for marketing, law, and comedy (what a trio! — ba dum bum, ugh) before returning to the Cleveland area. Kara has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, the Human Rights Campaign, and Hillary for America (again with the alliteration) as well as having served as the Vice President of Marketing and Communications for her theater company in Chicago, The Playground, and as a Fellow with the Ohio Democratic Party. She has loved dogs since long before her father took a business trip to Europe during which her mother secured for the family Oreo, a sweet and beautiful and deaf Dalmatian, and has been an enthusiastic Secondhand Mutts foster provider since 2010 when Sriracha hobbled in and needed a place to stay.