Meet our Team
Director of Finances
President, Board of Directors
Genae Bene is our resident “cat whisperer” and has a passion for helping with feline behavioral issues and facilitating the smooth transition of adult cats into their new homes. Genae works in Corporate Banking for TD Bank and uses her experience in finance to oversee the budget, fundraising, and spending of the rescue. Genae originally founded Pittie Party Rescue as a dog rescue for Pitbull/Bully breeds in 2015. In 2017, Genae realized that there was a greater need in New Jersey for cat rescue when she discovered an unmanaged colony of cats living in her apartment complex.
Angela Diekhaus is an animal welfare professional with a passion for shelter medicine and neonatal kitten health. She has a strong background in kitten and cat health, as well as removing barriers to adoption and making the joys of pet parenthood accessible to all. Currently, Angela is the Administrative Coordinator and Veterinary Technician for The Spay & Neuter Center of New Jersey and manages a relationship with TNR organizations across the state to support humane population control in the community. Angela oversees the daily operations of the entire organization, with a special interest in the physical health of our cats and the mental health of our volunteers and fosters.
Vice President, Board of Directors
Hala works as a scientist for Bristol Myers Squibb's cell therapy division and is a passionate animal lover who uses her exceptional organizational skills to ensure that our rescue runs smoothly day in and day out. She started fostering for us during the COVID-19 lock down of 2020 and was immediately hooked. She now works tirelessly behind the scenes to create and maintain efficient processes for everything from paperwork and record-keeping to website maintenance. Although she loves her admin duties, her favorite job is still fostering kittens and she has currently fostered over 100 since she first joined the rescue!
Director of Marketing Communications
Member, Board of Directors
Christina joined Pittie Party Rescue in 2019 by volunteering at our adoption center and soon began fostering kittens. She specializes in kittens that need extra care and she has fostered and rehabilitated paralyzed, blind, and other special needs kittens. Her work with Pittie Party Rescue has inspired a passion for animal welfare and responsible pet ownership. Christina is currently the Director of Marketing Communications and runs the rescue’s social media, branding, and marketing. Her favorite part of this role is using her creativity and the power of social media to expand the reach of the rescue and help more cats find their forever homes. Christina works as a scientist in cell therapy at Bristol Myers Squibb and attended Rutgers University for both a Bachelor's in Biotechnology and a Masters in Biotechnology and Genomics.
Director of Medical Records
Member, Board of Directors
In 2018, Maureen embarked on her journey with Pittie Party Rescue as a devoted volunteer. Her passion and dedication soon led her to assume the role of habitat coordinator, and since 2020, she has now served as our Medical Records Director. With fondness for cats, she not only cares for three of her own but has also fostered a handful of young kittens. Maureen earned her bachelor's degree in Biology and Animal Science from Rutgers University in 2021, and she is currently pursuing her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) at the Royal Veterinary College in England. . Her favorite part of volunteering for Pittie Party Rescue is seeing the positive impact on both the community and the cats who inhabit it. She relishes the opportunity to educate others to ensure their cats lead long and fulfilling lives.
Secretary, Board of Directors
Elyse began her journey with Pittie Party Rescue back in 2017, with Genae and Angela and fostered the very first litter that Pittie Party took in! She has fostered over a hundred cats and kittens, including semi-feral strays, neonatal kittens, and mama cats with their kittens. Elyse previously served as our Adoption Coordinator and played a heavy role in developing our adoption process. Currently Elyse is the Secretary of our board of directors serves as an advisor and mentor to the rescue. Elyse graduated from Rutgers University with her Master’s of Social Work and Minor in Sociology and presently works as the Director of Social Services at a subacute rehabilitation center and nursing home. Her favorite part of rescue work is hearing about all of the happy and successful adoption stories!
Director of Animal Care
Hilary became involved in the world of cats after adopting her first cat and volunteering at rescue in Kansas City where she eventually became the co-coordinator of their cat program. After moving to New Jersey she found our rescue and quickly became more involved. She currently serves as our Director of Animal Care where she coordinates our fosters, schedules medical care for our animals, and maintains the general inventory of our rescue . Hilary is especially interested in helping animals with medical issues, working with semi-feral and under socialized cats, and animals with behavioral challenges. Hilary has her PhD in clinical psychology and works with children with developmental and multiple disabilities.
Kathleen joined Pittie Party Rescue in 2021 after a long career of leadership positions in public housing, social services for people with disabilities, and Medicare counseling for seniors. After retiring she began researching local volunteer opportunities she could put her skills to use. Luckily she found our PetSmart Adoption Center. Although she started as a volunteer, Kathleen quickly took on more responsibility. As our Volunteer Coordinator she is responsible for staffing the center, and training new volunteers. Although Kathleen can't have a cat due to her husbands allergies she still gets her "feline fix" from cuddling with our Adoption Center kitties.
Hailey Hyoeun Kim
Hailey’s first encounter with Pittie Party Rescue was back in 2020 as a college student, when she was trying to find a home for the friendly stray cats in the neighborhood. Although her classes kept her too busy to volunteer she knew she wanted to return when she could. Soon after graduation Hailey reached out to Pittie Party Rescue again to start volunteering! Currently, she manages email communications with potential adopters and coordinates Adoption Day appointments. At work, Hailey is a psychiatric-pediatric pharmacist where she collaborates with healthcare professionals to provide safe and efficient medication therapy.
Michele joined us as a volunteer in 2021 when Pittie Party Rescue moved into our new location at the PetSmart in North Brunswick after seeing an Instagram ad looking for volunteers to socialize kittens. In addition to volunteering at PetSmart which she still does, Michele now processes applications for prospective adopters. Thanks to her strong organizational skills she is able to ensure that our application processing runs smoothly and in a timely manner. Outside of her rescue work Michele enjoys spending time with her three cats and family and is a certified group exercise instructor teaching out of her home, online and with Edison Recreation.
It Takes a Village
Pittie Party Rescue is entirely run by volunteers and we cannot possibly list every person who selflessly invests their time, energy, and expertise to ensure our rescue runs smoothly. From feeding and socializing with our cats in our adoption center, to opening their homes and hearts to cats awaiting adoption, to organizing adoption events and fundraising campaigns, our volunteers do it all. We want to acknowledge that without the tireless efforts of these compassionate individuals, our rescue simply wouldn't be able to reach as many cats in need or provide the quality of care and attention they deserve. Volunteers and fosters are not just supporters; they are the backbone of our rescue, and their dedication transforms the lives of countless feline companions, giving them a second chance at happiness and love.