Board of Directors
Charlie Hatfield, President
Charlie Hatfield is the Director of Transactions and Consulting at international real estate broker Cushman & Wakefield, Inc.
He has more than 30 years of experience in real estate and related fields and has advised, and is a trusted advisor to corporate clients including Mobil Oil, Siemens AG, KKR (private equity giant), Deutsche Bank, AIG, Merrill Lynch and IntegraLife Sciences among others.
Charlie Hatfield supports answering today’s problems by working “smarter not harder” and kick-starting the science and technology that brings our solutions into this century.
In addition to his position as Board president of Spay FIRST!, Charlie is a member of the board of Trenton Children’s Chorus, a non profit that provides after school support in music, choral singing, social responsibility, education and personal development to underprivileged K-12 children in Trenton, NJ. In 25 years as a non-profit, every student to complete the Trenton’s Children’s Chorus program has been accepted to college.
Billy R. Clay, B.S., M.S., D.V.M., DIPLOMATE, American Board of Veterinary Toxicology, Vice President
BILLY R. CLAY was born in rural Eastern Oklahoma on October 23, 1942, and is married to Maria Elena Clay. He became a Diplomate, American Board of Veterinary Toxicology, completing a Ph.D. in crop physiology at Oklahoma State University in 1975. He is a Veterinary, Environmental and Agronomic Consultant, and remains an Adjunct Professor, College of Veterinary Medicine at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, OK.
Through affiliation with the Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA), Billy Clay was a leader in the passage of important animal welfare legislation, including a seizure statute which enables Oklahoma law enforcement agencies to act swiftly in cruelty cases. This was a straightforward solution to a technicality that protected animal cruelty perpetrators; the result has been first-time prosecutions in many Oklahoma counties. He was active in the passage of Oklahoma’s spay/neuter license plate and tax check off program and in 2009-2010, Dr Clay led the OVMA task force on high volume breeders (puppy mills) which helped in the passage of regulations of dog dealers in Oklahoma for the first time.
Billy Clay has received:
- Who’s Who on American Universities and Colleges,
- Was awarded a National Science Foundation Teaching Fellow position,
- President and he was Who’s Who in Veterinary Science and Medicine (two-time entry), Pharmacia Achievement and Dedication Award,
- OSU College of Veterinary Medicine Distinguished Alumnus Award,
- Elected to the AVMA Council on Public Health and Regulatory Veterinary Medicine,
- Elected to the AVMA Animal Agriculture Liaison Committee,
- Elected to the AVMA Committee on Environmental Issues,
- Elected as the AVMA representative to the OIE (World Health Organization branch for animals),
- Elected as the AVMA candidate to EPA Advisory Committee,
- Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association’s Distinguished Service Award,
- Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association President’s Award (2 times)
- 2013 Oklahoma Alliance for Animals, Kraft Lifetime Honorary Achievement Award
Dr Clay has developed numerous publications in both technical and lay journals. Many were the product of original and/or team research programs, others pertain to animal, plant or environmental management practices to avoid or rectify damage or loss.
Charles Helwig, DVM, Secretary
Charles A. Helwig, DVM graduated from Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1966. Immediately after graduating, he was drafted and spent two years in the U. S. Army Veterinary Corps. After being discharged from the Army, he entered into private veterinary practice as an associate veterinarian in Tucson, Arizona. In 1973, Charles Helwig founded and developed a multi-veterinarian, AAHA accredited companion animal clinic in Tucson. After practicing for 27 years, he sold his veterinary practice and became the Executive Director of the Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA).
Dr. Helwig was the chief administrative officer responsible for all management activities of the OVMA until his retirement in 2008. He was actively involved with animal welfare issues within the community and also in the State Legislature. Under his leadership the OVMA lobbied for the passage of important animal welfare legislation that included anti-cruelty statutes and the spay/neuter license plate and income tax check off programs.
Coming out of retirement in 2009, he was the Executive Director of the Southwest Veterinary Symposium (SWVS) until 2013. SWVS is the largest regional veterinary conference in the southwestern United States.
Dr. Helwig was named Veterinarian of the Year by the Arizona Veterinary Medical Association in 1996 and was named Executive of the Year by the American Society of Veterinary Medical Association Executives in 2003.
Dr. Helwig served on the Board of Directors and was President of the Humane Society of Tucson in Tucson, AZ.
Sandy Humphreys, Treasurer
Sandy Humphreys, treasurer since 2013 is a long time animal advocate and niece of Spay FIRST! founding board member Paula Silver, who passed away July 28, 2012. Sandy is dedicated to making the world a kinder and safer place for animals.
Nancy Atwater is co-founder and treasurer of Spay Oklahoma, the first and largest high volume, low-income spay/neuter program in Oklahoma. Nancy has guided the program development of Spay OK since its 2004 inception and facilitated the opening of a second clinic, creating a financially sustainable strategy for serving low-income homes in mid-size population areas. Through her efforts Spay OK has initiated first time partnerships with local municipalities. Spay Oklahoma provides over 12,000 surgeries annually.
Nancy Atwater consults with start-up spay neuter programs both in Oklahoma and elsewhere in the Midwest, encouraging sustainable growth while building capacity through creative solutions. Her focus is on helping programs determine their “best fit” for partnerships with municipalities and shelters in order to achieve sustainability during growth.
Nancy Atwater is a fund raising consultant for non-profit organizations and has guided charitable organizations to greatness for 25 years.
Patty Epstein, Esq.
Patricia Epstein is a life long animal lover who currently shares her home in New York City with her two rescue dogs.
She is a graduate of Barnard College (1979) and the Columbia University School of Law (1982). Patricia worked in law firms for the first three years following graduation from Columbia and then went on to work as in house counsel in the financial services industry at The Bank of New York Mellon (1985-1988), Morgan Stanley & Co. (1988 – 2001) and Societe Generale (2001 – 2012). Since leaving financial services, she has done pro bono legal work for NY nonprofits, as well as engaging in volunteer work for nonprofits involved in a variety of missions.
Patricia was a member of the Board of Directors of Lulu’s Rescue, a Pennsylvania based dog rescue from 2011 until 2014, serving as the Chair of the Lulu’s Rescue Board from 2011 until 2013.
Following a distinguished career in technology, in 1974 Ed Kent founded Kent Technical Applications Inc., K.T.A., which went on to become a worldwide engineering company supporting the semiconductor industry. K.T.A., a private corporation, has operated wafer manufacturing projects for many of the top semiconductor companies including, Intel, AMD, Hitachi, Samsung, TSMC, and many others. In 2007 he participated in the design and building of a $9 billion dollar semiconductor manufacturing facility.
The son of a respected Garland Texas Police Officer and a working mother, Ed graduated high school in 1965, afterward enlisting in the military. His service included advanced officers training and three overseas tours of duty. He was Honorably Discharged in September 1969.
After returning to Garland in 1969 Ed worked for Texas Instruments, transferring to the Automated Systems Design Group. Later that year he met Sue, his bride to be. They married in 1973 and recently celebrated their 40th anniversary. Sue Kent was a founding board member of Spay FIRST!
Ed and Sue Kent returned to rural living in southern Oklahoma in 1996. They purchased land and built a shelter for a small non-profit animal welfare organization.
Following their retirement, Sue guided the organization they had founded, Oklahoma Spay Network (OSN), to become the first rural high volume spay/neuter clinic in Oklahoma. 5000 surgeries are provided there annually. OSN also mentors associated organizations on establishing similar clinics and operates a mobile unit serving rural areas of the state.
Following “retirement,” in 1997 Ed became a reserve deputy and later acted as undersheriff with the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office. Not one to sit still, in 2008 he helped develop the first ever anti-cruelty class for Oklahoma police officers using Oklahoma statutes and high quality forensics techniques. By the end of 2011, over 500 officers had attended the class.
Ed was elected as Sheriff of Marshall County in November 2011 and was sworn into office January 2, 2012.
Ed Meyercord is Chief Executive Officer, President and a Director at San Jose, CA-based Extreme Networks, a publicly traded, global provider of wired and wireless networking solutions. Before stepping into the CEO role in 2015, he was Chairman of the Extreme board where he has served for over six years. Previously, Ed was the Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer and a Director of Critical Alert Systems, a privately held, healthcare information and technology company based in Jacksonville, FL delivering unique clinical alarm management and communication systems for hospitals. Ed also served as the Chief Executive Officer of Richmond, VA-based Cavalier Telephone and TV and New Hope, PA-based and publicly traded Talk America, Inc., both nationwide telecommunications service providers to small businesses and consumers. Before entering the technology and telecom industries, Ed began his career on Wall Street and was a Vice President at Salomon Brothers (now part of Citigroup). He has also served on several boards of directors of various entities. Ed brings leadership and an established track record in building vision, developing business and financial strategies and managing the execution of plans to deliver successful results.
Ed has lived in the Princeton, NJ community for 20 years with his wife and three children. He was actively engaged in coaching youth soccer and youth ice hockey programs in Princeton for over a decade. He is passionate about family and enjoys exercise, sports as well as cooking and spending time with close friends. He has been a dog lover since he was a little boy when his family raised “Gunner,” a very friendly and adventurous yellow lab. Ed is best friends with his 10 year old, black labradoodle “Oakley” who has been an integral part of the Meyercord family since he was a puppy of two weeks. Ed and Oakley are together constantly, side-by-side.
Ed Meyercord brings a voice of leadership as Spay FIRST! pioneers research in non-surgical contraceptives and sterilents that are dedicated through their approval and patents to helping animals in chronic poverty.