Meet The Crew!
Along with volunteers across the country, Rescue Rebuild is operated by a bunch of
hammer-swinging, animal lovers! Meet the builders behind the reins:
Bryna Donnelly: Founder, Director of Family & Pet Projects
Having founded Rescue Rebuild and while running the program since 2007, Bryna’s passion for animals inspired her to address a need that few had before. Through the use of her science background combined with her experience working with tools, she’s been making a big difference in the shelter community for over a decade. She creatively adapted construction practices for the shelter environment, meanwhile inspiring thousands to volunteer and work together to improve their local (or not-so-local) animals shelters. At the end of the day, her goal is to help animals be healthy, happy and into a forever home as fast as possible! Now Bryna leads the push to create pet-friendly spaces in Domestic Violence & Homeless shelters to make sure that no owner should ever have to choose been safety and their pet!
Dog Person or Cat Person?: “Woof!”
Animals at Home: “4 Dogs (Bucky, Blacky, Tinkerbell, & Teddy)”
Favorite RR Memory: “When I hired Zach!”
Zach Baker: Director of Animal Shelter Projects, A.K.A. Bob the Builder
A carpenter at heart, Zach’s construction background and love for animals brought him to Rescue Rebuild as a volunteer for 5 years before we finally made him stick around and help out full time! Before Rescue Rebuild, Zach ran his remodeling company and spent most of his free time pestering Bryna about where the next build was. Now Zach leads our animal shelter renovation projects through to completion. In addition to making plans, ordering materials, and leading volunteers on-site, he also loves to take pictures and videos of our awesome volunteers! Chances are if he’s not holding a hammer, he’s holding a camera!
Dog Person or Cat Person?: “Don’t make me say!”
Animals at Home: “2 Cats (Walker & Tex) and 2 Dogs (Copper & May Belle)”
Favorite RR Memory: “That time I dropped a fence fitting into a drain pipe and Bryn had to fish it out barehanded, up to her shoulder in things that no one should have to touch!”
Matthew Russick: Program Manager, A.K.A. Lucky
As a volunteer and a contractor for 3 years, Matthew knew what he was getting into when he joined Rescue Rebuild full-time! His diverse background in all types of construction and heavy equipment operating has uniquely prepared him for every type of project that we get into. He has built countless catios, play yards, and cat rooms! He gained his nickname “Lucky” because he has a knack for being quite the opposite. He has the record for having changed the most flat tires on our trailer!
Dog Person or Cat Person?: “Dog”
Animals at Home: None yet, but we’re working on him!
Favorite RR Memory: “That would have to be when Zach got the lift stuck and I got to rent a big excavator to drag it out of the mud.”
Kimberly Spina: Program Manager, A.K.A. Wonder Woman
An animal lover to the max. In fact, if you ever can’t find her during a build, go check the cat room. Chances are, you will find her there. At every shelter that we renovate, she plays this fun game where she finds a dog that she wants to take home and vows that if it hasn’t found a furever family by the time the build is over, she will fill out the adoption papers herself! Luckily, for her own sake and the sanity of her roommate, this has worked out in her favor so far. Learning all the tools, toys, and construction projects as she goes, she has already become the expert at chain link and is the only one in the group who is allowed to teach our volunteers!
Dog Person or Cat Person?: “Depends on the day. Today is cats day.”
Animals at Home: “2 dogs (Zoey & Kyla) and 4 cats (Luna, Lily, Moe & Charlie)”
Favorite RR Memory: “When Bryna made me do wood branding on dog agility steps…while it was raining…with a very wet wood burning tool that wouldn’t heat up…”
Casey Paholski: Program Manager, A.K.A. Dudley Do-Right
Casey started volunteering with Rescue Rebuild in 2013 while he was a freshman in college. Ever since he made it a point to go on at least a couple builds every year. Before Casey joined our team, he had already been on over 12 trips and his family had adopted 3 pups from Rescue Rebuild shelters! Lilly, Daisy, and Flint are happy to have forever homes thanks to him! He graduated from Delaware Valley University in 2017 with a B.S. in Conservation and Wildlife Management. Before coming on with GreaterGood.org, Casey worked as a Park Ranger after college and then did wildlife mitigation in Atlanta, Georgia.
Dog Person or Cat Person?: “Dog person!”
Animals at Home: “1 dog (Lily), 2 crested geckos, and 1 flying gecko”
Favorite RR Memory: “The time I convinced my parents that I had already adopted Lilly and got the ok to bring her home from the shelter we were working at!”
Rachel Hiebert: Program Manager, A.K.A. The Canadian Carpenter
A new Arizona desert transplant, Rachel joined Rescue Rebuild after her move from Alberta, Canada where she owned a roofing company. She is very excited to do something meaningful with her construction experience! Married to GreaterGood.org’s very own Bonnie Aguilar, together they have two dogs and a cat. When Rachel isn’t on or planning a build, she enjoys adventuring with her wife, music, reading, spending time with friends, and riding her motorcycle.
Dog Person or Cat Person?: “The scales probably tip more towards dog, but I love both!”
Animals at Home: “2 Dogs (Zara + Walter) and 1 Cat (Gemma)”
Ryan McFarland: Program Manager, A.K.A. The Lumberjack
An all-around handy-man and Eagle Scout, Ryan has a lifetime of experience working with his hands. He’s done it all when it comes to construction projects, giving him the skills of a construction worker with the heart of a true animal lover. Ryan first met the crew in 2017 when Rescue Rebuild came to the Florida Keys SPCA after Hurricane Irma, where Ryan’s wife is the Director of Operations. He semi-jokingly asked if they were hiring. Two years later, they were and Ryan jumped at the opportunity to be a part of the team! Before Rescue Rebuild, Ryan attended Delaware Valley University receiving a Bachelor of Science in Ornamental Horticulture and Design. Ryan owned and operated his own business, 2nd Nature, until he joined Rescue Rebuild full time in 2019.
Dog Person or Cat Person?: “2 Paws Up!”
Animals at Home: “2 Dogs (Palmetto & Bismarck), 3 Chickens, 1 Tortoise, and some Fish!”
Favorite RR Memory: “When Rescue Rebuild came to the Florida Keys SPCA in 2017…and then they hired me!”
Nate Borger: Program Manager
Nate is the newest member of the Rescue Rebuild team. He is currently living in California but is from Bethlehem, PA. He first worked with the team in 2013 after transferring to Delaware Valley University. He went on almost every trip he could during his time in school and picked up his construction knowledge along the way. Nate graduated with a degree in Wildlife and Conservation Management from DelVal in 2015 and soon after began working with a bird removal company. Nate moved out to California with his girlfriend to pursue her dream of Veterinary School. He is currently living outside of LA and adapting to the warmer weather.
Dog Person or Cat Person?: “Cat Person; Brains over Brawn”
Animals at Home: “2 Cats (Posh and Tyrone); 1 Dog (Bambi – 15 y/o Chihuahua)”
Favorite RR Memory: “That time Bryna returned a Rototiller…and then had me till an entire yard in the Nashville sun.”