Heartland Staff

Staff Leadership

Dana Barre, Executive Director/Founder

Email: Dana.Barre@HeartlandFarmSanctuary.org

Phone: (608) 219-1172

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.

Alecia Torres, Shelter DirectorAlecia Torres

Email: Alecia.Torres@HeartlandFarmSanctuary.org

Phone: (608) 577-6795

Alecia moved to Wisconsin 20 years ago to earn her degree in social welfare from UW Madison and never left! She has loved and lived with animals her whole life and is passionate about animal rights issues. Her favorite friends at the Heartland barn are the turkeys, chickens and roosters. Alecia lives in Madison with her husband, their Lab-mix Sophie, and Sophie’s cats.

Jamie Monroe, Administrative Director

Email: Jamie.Monroe@HeartlandFarmSanctuary.org

Phone: (920) 328-8280

Jamie started volunteering with Heartland Farm Sanctuary in 2011 as an animal caretaker and is now our Administrative Director. She is originally from Kingsford, MI and went to school at Northern Michigan University, earning a degree in writing/journalism. Jamie moved to Madison in 2008 and currently lives with her husband and their animal friends (including four rescued chickens she adopted from Heartland!) on Madison’s north side.

Therapeutic & Humane Education Staff

Claire DuCharme, Programs Manager

After receiving a graduate degree in Rehabilitation Psychology from UW-Madison, Claire started her career working with students with disabilities at UW-Whitewater. She took a tour of Heartland Farm Sanctuary in 2014 and fell in love. When she moved to Milwaukee, she sought out opportunities in environments similar to Heartland, and started volunteering at other local animal shelters. Claire is excited to combine her love of helping people with her love of helping animals as the Programs Manager at Heartland Farm Sanctuary! She lives with her husband and their two cats, Kevin and Mabel.  

Tera Runde, Ambassador

Tera began volunteering at Heartland in February 2014 and her regular shift evolved into training and animal enrichment. She particularly loves working with the mini pigs and llamas, but is in the process of helping all of the animals get comfortable being handled for veterinary care. Tera has helped with tours in the past and especially likes leading tours with young children. She is now leading school and public tours on the farm as well as promoting Heartland out in our community. Tera especially loves being known as “Percy’s human” and taking him on field trips to businesses and schools.

Sunshine Stokes, Camp Director

Mister & Sunshine

Email: Sunshine.Stokes@HeartlandFarmSanctuary.org

Phone: (608) 513-9771

Over the years, Sunshine had worked with both children and with special needs populations in a variety of capacities. She has worked at Girl Scout and Easter Seals summer camps, led arts and crafts and drama workshops with children of various ages, and facilitated teen team building activities. After several years as an accountant, Sunshine returned to the UW-Madison to earn her Bachelors in Education and her teaching license. After graduating in 2010 she began her career as an elementary school teacher with the Madison Metropolitan School District. She loves working with children and animals, and she has a strong passion for humane education. Wanting to become a more active advocate for animals, Sunshine discovered Heartland in 2012 and began volunteering as an animal caretaker. In addition to being the Camp Director, she leads school tours at Heartland, and takes animals on outings to various events through the Heartland Farm on Wheels program. Sunshine lives on the east side of Madison with her husband, two cats, and two African Grey parrots. When not teaching or working at the Sanctuary, she enjoys spending time with her family, biking, gardening, and crafts.

Stephanie Weis, Program Facilitator

Stephanie Weis

Email: Stephanie.Weis@HeartlandFarmSanctuary.org

Phone: (608) 279-2558

Stephanie grew up in Wisconsin and always befriended farm kids in her schools, hoping for invitations to their barns. Her passion for animals of all sorts has never left her and she thought that she would become a vet. After a couple of semesters of hard-core math and science, she switched majors to her second passion: Kids! Stephanie earned her BS in Elementary and Middle School Education with an emphasis on science. She taught fourth through sixth grades for 23 years before taking a leave of absence to spend more time at Heartland. She began as a volunteer in January of 2010, and over time became animal care, Farm on Wheels and camp staff. She also leads school field trips at the barn. Stephanie lives just a couple of miles from the barn with her husband, two kids, dog, cat, fish, rescued parakeets, and occasionally friends’ pets when they are on vacation. She feels so fortunate to be able to combine her love of kids and animals working at Heartland!

Shelter Staff

Vickie Hoehn, Medical Supervisor

Vickie Hoehn Bio PhotoVickie grew up spending summers and vacations on her grandparents’ farm where she was able to feed her love of animals and hard work! Combined with her twenty years of experience as a PA, she has found a great fit at Heartland. Vickie has worked in hospitals and clinics and has taken her skills on volunteer disaster relief trips to Myanmar, Belize and most recently New Orleans, after Hurricane Katrina, where she learned construction skills. She now uses her medical and building skills at Heartland. She performs regular animal health checks, works closely with veterinarians, and manages medications in addition to working animal care shifts. Vickie enjoys all aspects of working at Heartland, but one of her favorite things to do is to combine her skills in construction and maintenance with working in and around the barn with at risk youth and young adults where they help care for the animals and the facility itself.

Barbara O’Connell 

Barbara’s first career was in the medical field taking care of people.  When she retired in July 2014, she knew she wanted to become more involved with animals.  She started volunteering at the Dane County Humane Society in Madison and one of her fellow workers, Terry Ryan, mentioned that she volunteered at Heartland Farm Sanctuary.  In the cold month of February, Barb started as a volunteer at the farm and fell in love!  The animals and people at the barn are her true inspiration, and she hopes to be a part of Heartland Farm Sanctuary for a long time. Barbara shares her human home with her husband, Larry, and two dogs, Ella and Basie.

Bob WalkerBob Walker

Email: Bob.Walker@HeartlandFarmSanctuary.org

Bob is Heartland Farm Sanctuary’s Project Coordinator. He is a Manufacturing Engineer for a global company based in Madison, and comes with extensive Project Management skills. His experience in Technical Support communications with customers and Sales personnel are well suited for the role he fills at Heartland. While his professional experience is in the industrial manufacturing world, his passion is helping to save and maintain old buildings, structures, and barns. Bob’s knowledge of construction principals, and his love of animals make him a key member of Heartland’s team.


Carrie Richardson

Carrie was born and raised in Richland Center, Wisconsin.  After earning her Associate’s in Arts and Sciences at UW-Richland, she transferred to UW-Platteville.  She graduated with a Bachelor’s in Social Science Comprehensive in 2008. Carrie always carried a deep concern for animal welfare and in March of 2014, began volunteering at Heartland.  She is also a full-time Accounting Clerk for a non-profit healthcare organization.  She enjoys spending her Saturday afternoons grooming and cuddling Baine the goat.

Angela Adams

Angela AdamsAlways an animal lover, Angie grew up in Madison and always had cats at home, as well as experience with small critters. Angie began working at Heartland in April of 2011 and even with no prior experience working at a barn she found herself right at home among the animals. The founder hired Angie right on the spot due to Angie’s involvement in a local animal activist group – Angie was part of a three-person team who coordinated Elephants Living Free, a part of Alliance for Animals and the Environment. Thanks to Heartland she was able to work at Dane County Humane Society and help with adoptions and share her experience with farm animals, who often came into the shelter. Angie can be found at the barn on some PM shifts loving on all the animals, especially Fonzie the rooster, Maxine the pig and Rosie the duck.

Quincy Markowitz, Avian Consultant

Quincy has been with Heartland since 2011. During her first visit, she met and fell in love with a rooster named Sonny. That was the beginning of her interest in birds and it has only grown stronger. She earned the first ever Animal Welfare degree from the UW-Madison in 2015 (with an emphasis on ornithology). In the fall of 2016, Quincy began her own private sanctuary for special needs birds and has three ducks and five chickens. Quincy also fosters chickens (mostly roosters) while looking for permanent homes.

 Katie Liutkus

Katie is a veterinary medical student at the University of Wisconsin – Madison School of Veterinary Medicine in the class of 2018. She is originally from Cleveland, Ohio and has a Bachelor of Science in Pre-Medicine from the University of Dayton. She started volunteering at Heartland in the summer of 2015 and has been loving it ever since. She loves the diverse personalities of each animal at the barn and is slightly obsessed with Daisy and Beau, the resident Holsteins. She hopes to pursue a career practicing companion animal medicine and providing veterinary care to other farm sanctuaries. She lives in Madison with her rabbit, Pikachu, cat, Tigger, and dog, Winnie.

Stephanie Wittig

Stephanie lives in Janesville and has worked in the pet food/pet supply industry for 13 years, where she’s gained a lot of knowledge on animal care and nutrition. Most of her experience is with cats and dogs but she’s always loved all animals, which led to her volunteering at Heartland starting in September 2016. She has a “gentle obsession” with cows and can’t wait to have a couple as pets someday. She always makes sure to give Beau and Daisy a treat each shift!