OHS Leadership Staff
Meet the OHS Leadership Team
President and Chief Executive Officer
Sharon has been a professional in the field of animal care and welfare for 39 years. She has helped lead the Oregon Humane Society, the state’s largest and oldest animal protection organization, for 31 years and has served as its President and CEO since 1998. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Zoology (Pre-Vet Med) from Oregon State University, a Certificate in Nonprofit Business and Management from Johns Hopkins University, and is a Certified Animal Welfare Administrator (CAWA).
She has served on the Banfield Shelter Advisory Committee and chaired the National Federation of Humane Societies Board of Directors. Recipient of the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Humane Award for 2008, she is currently serving on the Board of The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement and is on the Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine Advisory Council.
Sharon shares her home with her husband, two dogs and a cat.
Chief Operating Officer
Brian August is the Chief Operating Officer of the Oregon Humane Society. Before joining OHS, Brian spent nearly two decades as a strategy and operations leader in industries ranging from aerospace to wine and consumer products. His immense love of animals and unrelenting curiosity into the challenges and opportunities that animal welfare organizations across the country are facing led him to join OHS. Prior to stepping into the COO role at OHS he led the strategy and operations practice for the Portland office of slalom consulting, an international business and technology consulting firm.
At OHS, Brian leads the teams responsible for shelter and medical operations, strategy, finance, marketing, HR, IT and fundraising. His focus on growth and development at all levels in the organization has helped build a team that is highly sought after for operational and strategic advice as well as disaster response capabilities. He continues to build out networks locally, regionally and across the country to work on challenging issues and create opportunities for impact that go beyond the walls of any single organization.
He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Emory University, a Masters of Business Administration from Carnegie Mellon University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Pittsburgh. He is a Certified Animal Welfare Administrator (CAWA) and serves on the Board of Directors as Treasurer for Shelter Animals Count.
Brian lives in Portland, OR with his wife and a particularly resilient and stubborn terrier. He competes in triathlons and enjoys spending time with his family running, biking and cross-country skiing.
Stephen Kochis, DVM
Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Kochis has served for nearly 25 years in various positions in veterinary medicine, including Dove Lewis Emergency Animal Hospital and VCA Northwest Veterinary Specialists. His veterinary specialties include infectious diseases, immunology and emergency medicine.
He received his Bachelor of Science in Animal Sciences and DVM from Cornell University. Dr. Kochis served on the OHS Board of Directors for three years until he joined the staff. He has served as President of the Portland Veterinary Medical Association (PVMA) and currently serves on its Executive Board.
In his free time Steve enjoys gardening and succulent collecting, traveling, building LEGOS, and exploring the pacific NW with his husband Chris and his two Border Terriers Helo and Tiberius.
Vice President, Shelter Operations
At OHS, Chase oversees a staff of 89 animal welfare professionals in four departments – Admissions, Animal Care, Customer Care and Training & Behavior. Collectively, these programs serve close to 20,000 pets each year. Operations focuses on lifesaving efforts locally and nationally, via collaboration, education and compassion for the animals and people in need.
Prior to OHS, Chase served in a senior management role with Wells Fargo Bank managing cross functional initiatives in a financial and sales environment. A Pacific Northwest native, Chase resides in SE Portland with his wife, son and two dogs George and Elsie.
Vice President, Development and Capital Campaign
Jennifer is a highly motivated and donor-centric development professional who thrives on sharing a vision, building relationships, and connecting donors with their philanthropic interests. Following 20 years of working with donors in areas of education and healthcare, she joined OHS in July, 2016, where she is responsible for the annual fund, special projects and major gift fundraising. She is also working closely with Sharon Harmon and the Campaign Cabinet on OHS’s New Road Ahead capital campaign.
Jennifer earned a BA in English Literature and a MPA with a concentration in non-profit management from Portland State University.
Vice President, Legacy Gifts and Strategic Initiatives
At OHS, Gary leads a team whose members are committed to ensuring financial stability and providing exceptional donor stewardship. Gary has implemented a broad and diverse array of programs including planned giving, direct mail, monthly giving, a retail store, vehicle donation program and other strategies that have created a very stable, private donation funding base. During his tenure at OHS the donor base has grown from 2,500 contributors to more than 88,000.
In response to the needs of pet owners, Gary founded the OHS Friends Forever care-of-surviving-pets program in 1995. The program has evolved as OHS championed the passage of two Oregon laws which facilitate including pets in estate plans. Gary has assisted hundreds of people in creating plans for their pets.
Gary shares his home with his wife and two dogs and one cat.
Vice President, Marketing and External Affairs
James has extensive experience in marketing, organization leadership, fundraising and technology. Throughout his career he has developed marketing programs designed to reach multiple communities, with a focus on historically underserved groups. Prior to joining OHS, James held leadership positions at YMCA in California and worked for many years in graphic design.
In his role as Vice President of Marketing and External Affairs, James oversees several departments including volunteer engagement, humane education, corporate relations, community outreach and events, communications, and marketing. He also plays a key role in OHS’ legislative strategy and advocacy work.
James relocated to Portland in 2019 and lives with his partner Kevin and their two cats, Gus and Noah.
Vice President, Human Resources
Rhonda has an extensive career in Human Resources spanning the healthcare, education and legal industries. Her roles have encompassed work on both local and regional levels and in both mature and start up organizations. The majority of her career has been spent in highly complex organizations including 20 years in nonprofits. The theme has always been a love of working for mission driven, socially responsible organizations. She has extensive HR leadership experience in talent acquisition, workforce management, compensation and benefits with a special passion around organizational culture and employee engagement.
Rhonda’s most recent role was leading Human Resources operations for 13 years at CareOregon, a nonprofit involved in Medicaid/Medicare health plan services, reforms and innovations. She was delighted to blend her professional experience and her personal passions to join OHS in 2017.
Rhonda lives a country lifestyle with her husband, llamas and multiple dogs including Riley, their new rambunctious puppy.
Vice President, Finance
Debbie is a CPA with an extensive career in Finance and Operations leadership across multiple industries, including public accounting, optometric services, veterinary services, manufacturing and retail. Most of Debbie’s 30+ year career has been in start-up and entrepreneurial organizations, helping those organizations reach their full potential. Debbie brings 10+ years of veterinary services experience with Banfield, The Pet Hospital, holding a variety of executive leadership positions; VP Operations, VP Finance, VP Veterinary Selection/Development, and VP Planning. She loves animals and is very committed to the OHS mission.
Debbie earned her Bachelor of Science degree from University of Illinois and is originally from the Chicago area, but has been in the Pacific Northwest for over 20 years.
She enjoys traveling, community service and most of all, spending time with her family, particularly spoiling her granddogs Opie & Izzy.