Our Board of Directors

Dana Barre, Founder & Chair Emeritus

Dana opened Heartland in 2010 after having worked as an actuary and being a stay-at-home mom. Holding masters degrees in both business administration and counseling, she created Heartland to be a resource for children and animals, two of society’s most vulnerable populations. Dana has a particular soft spot for Heartland’s farm pigs and roosters, two widely misunderstood and under-appreciated species. She shares her home and life with her husband, two kids, and three cats.

  Kate Atkins, Board President
kate-atkinsKate is an Associate Business Developer in the Nonprofit and Government Practice at Wipfli LLP. She spends her workdays connecting nonprofits across the nation with consultants, auditors, products and other services they need to efficiently and effectively advance their mission. She just finished a 3-year term as President of Angel’s Wish, an all-volunteer cat rescue in Verona, WI. Kate graduated with a Masters in Philanthropy and enjoys using her skills to help Heartland. The animals at Heartland bring her peace and happiness and she knows that Heartland will continue to grow because it is a place where many people benefit from the joy, peace and stability that working with animals provides. Kate is passionate about animals and believes that connecting people to the rescued farm animals at Heartland is extremely beneficial for both. Kate lives in Madison with her husband Colin, cats Darius and Xerxes and pit bull mixes Molly and Gilligan.

Hathaway Dilba, Board Secretary
hathaway_dilba-tnHathaway Dilba is Co-Founder and the Director of Promotions at Ale Asylum, a Madison-based microbrewery. She handles Ale Asylum’s online marketing, event planning, and social media, and enjoys doing the landscaping for the beer garden. Born in San Francisco and having lived in the Los Angeles area, Hathaway attended college in Madison, earning an Associates Degree in Apparel Marketing and a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and Management from Edgewood College. She has served on several local nonprofit boards, including A Fund For Women. Hathaway has a profound love for animals and grew up on a small hobby farm that included horses, goats, sheep, chickens, ducks, cats, a dog, and even a 75 year old tortoise!

Amanda VanNatta, Board Treasurer
Amanda is a Tax Manager at Wipfli LLP specializing in not-for-profit tax services. After joining the world of public accounting 6 years ago Amanda realized very early on that her passion was working with and assisting tax exempt organizations with their tax filings and unique tax issues. Besides working with tax exempt organizations Amanda’s other passion is animal welfare and she currently volunteers as a Canine Companion at Dane County Humane Society as well as having volunteered with Wisconsin Chihuahua Rescue as a foster family. Amanda is lucky to be supported in her passions by her husband Mike and two year old daughter Eleanor as well as her ancient 14 year old rat terrier mix Peggy Sue.

Cindy Buchko
Cindy Buchko is General Counsel of Construction Business Group (CBG).  CBG is a non-profit Joint Labor-Management organization whose purpose is to enhance business opportunities and quality of life by ensuring fairness, equity and standards of excellence in the construction industry.  Prior to working for CBG, Cindy was in private practice and was a shareholder and the Vice President of Legal Services for Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C.  While at WHD, Cindy concentrated her legal practice in real estate and land use litigation.  Cindy has served on several Dane County non-profit boards and routinely provides pro bono legal services to non-profit organizations.  She is a life-long Wisconsin resident, wife of Mark W. Knipfer, Jr., and mother of Dawson (and two rescued cats).

Lauren Cnare
Lauren Cnare has worked in the Madison area for 30 years as a professional communicator on behalf of organizations that make a difference in the lives of individuals and the community. She recently retired from local politics and now cares for her community as the Communications Director for St. Vincent de Paul and member of various city and county committees. Her evenings are devoted to walking her dog, Calvin; riding her horse, Rio, tickling the cats Bean and Itsy; and enjoying the arts and outdoors with her spouse and college-aged daughter. She’s looking forward to increasing awareness and support for Heartland, assuring that all the animals and people thrive.
Eric Sundquist
Eric SundquistEric Sundquist is managing director of the State Smart Transportation Initiative at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In that role he works with state DOTs on innovative, sustainable policy and practice. He previously worked on clean energy policy at the Center on Wisconsin Strategy at UW-Madison, and before that as a newspaper reporter and editor, most recently at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. A native of Indianapolis, Eric earned a doctorate in urban planning and a master’s in public policy from the Georgia Institute of Technology, as well as a master’s in humanities from the University of Richmond and a bachelor’s degree from Miami University. Eric is a member of the First Unitarian Society and served for seven years on the Madison Plan Commission. He and his wife, Dorrie, live in Madison with their dogs Sam, from the Atlanta Humane Society, and Victor, from Red Lake (Minn.) Rosie’s Rescue via ARVSS Animal Rescue. Eric and Dorrie’s daughter, Madelyn, attends the UW.
Shelly Torkelson
Shelly has been working in the nonprofit development world for ten years. She has a B.S. in Biology, a certificate in Nonprofit Management, and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Environmental Conservation at UW. As the Development Manager at Madison’s Henry Vilas Zoo, she helps raise funds for exhibit renovations and other improvements while keeping the zoo admission-free. Before moving back to her home state of Wisconsin, she lived in Arizona, leading the development and public relations efforts of a no-kill rescue for dogs and cats. She’s happy to be back in Madison, and her love of animals and her belief in the power of the human-animal bond inspires her to help Heartland in every way she can. She has a yappy but lovable rescued pug mix named Grub, and adopted two rescue chickens from Heartland.

Laura Konkel
Laura is Partner at the law firm of Michael Best & Friedrich, practicing intellectual property law. Laura has volunteered at Heartland since 2014 in different capacities, including animal care, collecting gala auction donations, providing pro bono legal services, and chicken-sitting at her home. Always an animal lover, spending time with the Heartland animals and learning their stories inspires her to make thoughtful choices and live a more compassionate life. Laura is from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and lives in Madison with her husband Bryan, daughter Audrey, son TJ, and two rescued German Shorthaired Pointers, Maggie and Henry.

Steve Suleski
Steve is Vice President – Board Relations and Corporate Secretary of CUNA Mutual Group. In this role, he is responsible for supporting CUNA Mutual’s board of directors and its subsidiary management processes. He received his law degree from the University of Wisconsin and, prior to joining CUNA Mutual, was a partner at Foley & Lardner, LLP and a senior attorney at Alliant Energy. He currently serves on several other non-profit and two fintech venture company boards. He and his wife, Jacqui, live in Madison with their dog Oliver, and have enjoyed supporting Heartland Farm Sanctuary at its annual fundraiser for several years (including “winning” an African safari and a baby grand player piano at one memorable event). He looks forward to helping HFS take the next steps in realizing its mission of caring for farm animals in need, nurturing people through the human-animal bond, and fostering respect and kindness toward animals and each other.