Susan Brandt is the founder of Rational Animal. Her motivation to help at-risk animals began as a child as she became exposed to the plight of animals in her community and around the world, starting her first campaign to end the seal hunt in 4th grade. She learned from her mother and grandmother, who rescued and nurtured the animals around them, and her father, a Brooklyn native, who brought the family to live in Boulder, Colorado, and taught her about the beauty of nature. Susan attended the University of California, Santa Cruz and received a full scholarship for her Masters degree in 1991 from the School of International Studies Communication and Development Program at Ohio University and received a Houk grant for her 1992 internship at the Division for the Advancement of Women at the United Nations in Vienna. She headed programming and creative development at the University of Washington’s Communications and Technology Department where she lead the development of a Research 1 university television channel, ResearchChannel. Upon moving to NYC, she started Rational Animal and is also active in the fine art music photography world working at the Morrison Hotel Gallery in Soho where Rational Animal holds its meetings and fundraisers.
David Glicksman has been a board member and Treasurer of Rational Animal since June 2011. David is a CPA as well as a CLM, and is the CFO of the James Mintz Group, a global Investigative Services firm. He has also been an active volunteer of Animal Care and Control, the ASPCA, the Mayor’s Alliance for Animals and the Best Friends Animal Society.
Maggie Massimine is the Director of Business Operations at John Ciardullo, P.C., an Architecture firm in NYC. With John Ciardullo, P.C. she is responsible for the day to day operations and financial responsibility of the firm. She is accountable for the management of company financials, public contract requirements, project specific financial documentation and requisitions, coordination of accounts payable/receivable and system administration of human resources and payroll services.
Maggie graduated Magna Cum Laude with an Associates degree in Fashion Design and Bachelors in Product Management from FIT. She is currently pursuing an MBA from the University of Scranton. As a volunteer for Rational Animal, she has used her skills in graphic design, textiles, fashion, and business to promote awareness for at-risk animals through various media campaigns and the Mothers Comfort Project. Maggie has a special passion for the Mothers Comfort Project as it utilizes her love of sewing, design and business coordination to bring warmth and comfort to Animals in need. Maggie is an active participant in animal rescue efforts and uses her love of animals and years of experience to foster at-risk animals saved from euthanasia in overcrowded city shelters.
Marc Bekoff is Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, a Fellow of the Animal Behavior Society, and a former Guggenheim Fellow. In 2009 he was with presented with the Saint Francis of Assisi Award by the Auckland (New Zealand SPCA). Marc has published more than 300 scientific and popular essays and twenty-two books including Minding Animals, The Ten Trusts (with Jane Goodall), The Emotional Lives of Animals, Animals Matter, Animals at Play: Rules of the Game (an award-winning children’s book), Wild Justice: The Moral Lives of Animals (with Jessica Pierce), The Animal Manifesto: Six Reasons for Expanding Our Compassion Footprint, and the Encyclopedia of Human- Animal Relationships , the Encyclopedia of Animal Behavior ), and the Encyclopedia of Animal Rights and Animal Welfare. In 2005 Marc was presented with The Bank One Faculty Community Service Award for the work he has done with children, senior citizens, and prisoners. In 1986 he became the first American to win his age-class at the Tour du Var bicycle race (also called the Master’s/age-graded Tour de France. His websites are marcbekoff.com and, with Jane Goodall, www.ethologicalethics.org.
Nina Levine is a born and raised native New Yorker. She has spent 27 years at Wenner Media (Rolling Stone and Us Weekly) as Entertainment Advertising Director for both titles. All of Nina’s pets have been rescued from shelters. Her current pet, Daisy, is working towards Therapy Dog certification. Nina has been a board member of Rational animal since November of 2009.
Salem Krieger is a New York City based photographer specializing in location portraits and architectural photography. Most recently Salem has also added video making to his arsenal of skills. Salem has worked with a wide array of clients, including American Airlines for their South American travel stories, the US National Guard Association to create photo essays in the Arctic Circle, and architectural assignments for Whole Foods Market and Nike. He has also done corporate portraits for clients such as The Financial Times of London and Forbes, as well as worked with companies such as FujiFilm and Samsung to help promote their digital cameras. Salem’s personal work has led him to publishing a book titled Continuing Interest with Xerox Corporation, which will feature their state of art digital presses.
Salem helped create and photograph the “I Did It” Campaign commissioned to Rational Animal by the Mayor’s Alliance for New York City’s Animals, a series of photographs used to promote spaying and neutering services available in all five boroughs. These posters have been seen throughout the city on telephone kiosks and in publications.
Susan Muska has been involved with Rational Animal as an advisor to the board and on media production since 2002. She is a documentary filmmaker and has her own company with Greta Olafsdottir, called Bless Bless Productions. They focus on social injustices, including hate crime, women refugees, and marriage equality. For Rational Animal, Susan and Greta produced the video featuring an interview with Tippi Hedren about banning big cats as pets for the Animal Law Committee, and the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals first video about the coalition of shelters in NYC. Susan and Greta divide their time between New York City, France, and Iceland. Presently they have several projects in development, including one about endangered wildlife. Susan also teaches at Parsons, CUNY, and at the University of Iceland in the Gender Equality Studies & Training Program.
Kiva Kamerling As a teenager, Kiva found a welcoming community through promoting and supporting bands she loved. Now, as a gifted publicist, she channels that foundational deep connection with Press House clients alongside years of publicity savvy gleaned from a string of successful campaigns, spanning numerous industries.
"When I was a kid, every Wednesday I would go to the local club and sneak into shows. I felt like an outcast at school, and the bands were non-judgmental. They became some of my closest friends" Kiva reveals. "That connection made it personal, and it drove me to spread the word about these bands. And that connection stays with me today, whether I'm working with bands, charities, comedians, or photographers."
Kiva spends her free time volunteering for Rational Animal, spending time with her adopted shelter cats, and feeding the wildlife that live around her, in upstate NY. Working to help animals in need provides a much-needed solace and grounding from the hustle and bustle of a publicist's life.