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BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Mitchell Clark

President

Mitchell Clark

Mitchell Clark is the President and Board Member of the Gulf Coast Humane Society.  This is a volunteer position. Mitchell recently adopted a pet from the GCHS.  He has been serving the GCHS for over 3 years.  Mitchell is dedicated to making sure all pets at the GCHS are well taken care of and placed in loving adopted homes.


Mitchell’s lifelong dedication to public service is evident in his law enforcement and military service. He has been a police officer in Nueces County Constable operations since 1981.  Mitchell is the Constable emeritus of Pct. 2 in Nueces County.  Mitchell served in the United States Marine Corps as an MP/Correctional Specialist. He also saw duty as a highly-prestigious USMC Drill Instructor in San Diego. Mitchell was honorably discharged with the rank of Sergeant.


Mitchell Clark has 35 years of experience in civil trial law with emphasis on commercial litigation, business litigation, business formations and contracts. He has litigated cases involving hundreds of millions of dollars and has extensive experience in class action litigation, contract law, fiduciary litigation and oil & gas cases.  Mitchell is licensed by the State Bar of Texas, the State Bar of Tennessee, and is also admitted to practice before the US District Courts for the Southern and Western districts of Texas, and the United States Supreme Court.

Leslie Ruta

Vice President

Leslie Ruta

Leslie Ruta joined the GCHS board in 2021. Leslie has an Accounting, BBA and a Master of Accountancy from Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi. She is the Director of Planning at Port Corpus Christi, overseeing strategic projects, grant pursuits, land-use analysis, and the Port’s geospatial information system (GIS) and Technology Advancement Program. She has worked or volunteered with non-profits in South Texas for more than 20 years, serving as board President for Junior League of Corpus Christi, Inc. in 2019-2020. She and her husband share their home with Torrie the English Mastiff, age 6, and Zelda the Bull Mastiff, age 3.

Kallia Shook

Treasurer

Kallia Shook

Kallia Shook Kainer is the Chief Financial Officer at CC Distributors located in Corpus Christi, Texas. Prior to this role, she was the Financial Controller of SecureCare Technologies in Austin, Texas.  Her focus has been on business leadership as well as finance and accounting report analysis and preparation. Kallia has a master's in business administration and is a proud alumnus of Texas A&M Corpus Christi.  


As a dedicated member of the community, she has served on the Board of Directors for The Rotary Club of Corpus Christi, The YMCA of Corpus Christi, Paws and Claws of the Coastal Bend, and FUNdraiser Club.  Her passion lies in community service and animal rescue, she is a foster for rescues and a true

animal advocate.  She is dedicated to the boards she serves on, the rescues she works with, her family, fur family, and friends.

Kelly Mueller

Secretary

Kelly Mueller

Kelly Mueller traveled the world as a child in a military family and grew up in such countries as Thailand, Panama and Brazil. This nomadic and adventurous lifestyle instilled in her a love and appreciation of different cultures, languages and travel. Frequent moving did have its drawbacks for the avid horse lover though, and so it was not until high school that she was able to purchase a horse of her own, a mare named Angel. Kelly and Angel had many adventures in their 20 years together, from eventing in North Carolina to a stint with Texas A&M University’s Parson’s Mounted Cavalry, to Angel’s retirement in Corpus Christi where the once spirited mare gave gentle rides to Kelly’s children.


Kelly has always been involved with animals and has a personal motto that “If an animal crosses my path in need of assistance, I will help”. For twenty years she rescued, rehabilitated and rehomed dogs, cats, iguanas, rabbits and birds, and at one point was a small animal wildlife rehabilitator for the City of Corpus Christi, raising and releasing orphaned rabbits and squirrels. She now loves on Jonnie, a rescue Beagle, and Whiskey, Tango and Mojo, rescued kittens.


Professionally, Kelly has worked as an independent consultant for investigational drug research, a preschool teacher, and a high school tennis coach. Her favorite “job” by far, though, was being a stay at home mom to her three children. All three of her kids were her helpers in all her animal endeavors and are now sharing their homes with rescue dogs of their own.


Kelly, now completing her third year, is honored to be a member of the Board of Directors of GCHS. “I feel that we have a strong, cohesive board team, a great new Director, a top-notch facility, and are poised to do some really great things for the needy animals in our community, making our area of the world a better place!”

Denny Bales

Board Member

Denny Bales

Denny Bales is a native Iowan, growing up in Des Moines. He attended Grandview Junior College in Des Moines and the University of Iowa in Iowa City during his schooling years. He worked summer vacations with a local jewelry store group, which is where he fell in love with the jewelry business that ended up being his lifelong profession. Denny started with the Zale Corporation as a manager and departed 12 years later as Vice President, National Sales Manager with over 300 leased stores in his charge.


In 1980, Denny decided to go into business for himself and relocated to Corpus Christi, TX. He opened his first jewelry operation in Susann’s Texas Gift Store in Sunrise Mall, and later opened his first fine jewelry store in the Copperfield Shopping Center. After another relocation, he moved to the Town and Country Shopping Center where his store remained for 25 years. Today, Denny still enjoys the world of Diamonds out of his current store in the Village Shopping Center.


Denny has two sons who are both in the fine jewelry business as well and one daughter who is a school administrator. His wife unfortunately passed due to a long battle with cancer.


Denny has always been a lifelong animal lover. In 1989 after the loss of his dog, he decided to adopt a dog instead of buying one from a breeder. At that time, he didn’t know anything about a Humane Society. He simply located a shelter (the original GCHS shelter on Navigation) and adopted his first rescue pup, Lexy. While he was there, he asked the Director if he could help them out with advertising. That was the beginning of Denny’s 25 years involvement with Gulf Coast Humane Society. Denny’s assistance helped GCHS go from a shelter with no advertising at all, to one of the most highly advertised in the state of Texas. Denny has sponsored the entire advertising program: something he has been happy to do to help homeless animals find forever homes.


Denny has been on the Board of Directors for 25 years and spent 17 years as President of the Board. Some may wonder as to why he has been involved for such a long period of time. But Denny made a promise to our founder that he would remain a part of GCHS for as long as he was a resident of Corpus Christi and that he would participate with the dogs 1-2 days per week. He has kept that commitment for 25 years, spending his weekends in the GCHS dog park: a gift from the most generous Cora Keeler and her family.

Rose Anne Rhoades

Board Member

Rose Anne Rhoades

Roseanne Rhoades has been a dedicated GCHS board member since 1984.

Curtis Speed

Board Member

Curtis Speed

Curtis Speed is a Corpus Christi resident who has served on the Gulf Coast Humane Society Board of Directors since 2019 - spending the last two as President before passing the torch. During 2021, he spent nearly 6 months leading the organization while we searched for a new Executive Director.


Curtis is a lifelong entrepreneur and real estate investor. He got his start sacking groceries and stocking shelves at his family’s local chain of grocery stores, Feudo Foods, from a very young age. He purchased his first piece of property at 16 years old and began working in his father’s family’s construction business around the same time. He is now a third-generation business owner, successfully running Coastal Construction since 2005.


Curtis spends his free time at his home away from home on Lake Corpus Christi where he enjoys spending time with his family, playing with his dogs Scotch and Whiskey, and watching the local wildlife. His backyard is a “zoo”, with deer, birds, foxes, cats, and other friendly neighborhood pets. Curtis is a passionate GCHS board member and is always looking to help the organization grow and do more for the community.

Mark Goodman

Board Member

Mark Goodman

Mark is a lifelong resident of Corpus Christi, married to his wife Debbie for 47 years, they have three children, six grandchildren, Maggie the family pet, and ruler of the laird. He is a Board Member of the Gulf Coast Humane Society, a voluntary position.  Mark has spent most of his career in the Refining and Industrial Construction business, holding managerial positions with several large companies in the coastal bend, and currently Operations Manager for Repcon Inc. Mark has volunteered his time with school and church functions, coached little league sports, and volunteered with community outreach programs.


Mark is an avid golfer. He has always had a lead by example philosophy, been a team player treating everyone with dignity and respect. Mark assisted and supported his wife Debbie when she managed the first Tom Keller Memorial Golf Tournament raising funds for GCHS. His intent as a Board Member of the Gulf Coast Humane Society is to represent the shelter with the highest regard, make positive contribution, support the activities of the shelter, and care for the animals in the best possible atmosphere.

Kent Nielsen

Board Member

Kent Nielsen

Kent Nielsen is a proud graduate of Carroll High School, class of 1980. He has been married to his high school sweetheart, Pat, for 39 happy years.  Kent and Pat have raised two daughters; Chelsea (27) and Lindsey (25).

 

Kent is a true entrepreneur owning several businesses over the years including but not limited to, 3 Blind Mice Blind Cleaning, Moonlite Lighting Design, Champion Seamless Gutter, Paradigm Homes, and Paradigm Roofing. Kent has been the president and owner of Pest Patrol, Inc. for the last 33 years and a co-owner of Armstrong Lumber since 2015.

 

Kent and his family are supporters of The American Cancer Society, Triumph Over Kid Cancer, Halo Flight, Driscoll Children’s Hospital, and Nueces Country Junior Livestock Show.

 

Kent has previously served as a board member of the Texas Pest Control Association, Corpus Christi Country Club, Corpus Christi Estates Association, and the National Pest Control Association.