Founder of CatVando, Ellen has an entrepreneurial spirit and the vision to see what needs to done and works tirelessly to accomplish those goals. Her background includes several years of publication both her own county-wide publication in Douglas County, Oregon, and she currently writes an article for Lyden People and Places. Ellen has experience in startup and management and photography, and she has been a resident manager and caretaker at a pilot program for people with traumatic brain injury. She has an interest in natural healing and is involved with herbals, flower essences for animals and people, as well training in Healing Touch (energy work) for people and animals. Above all, Ellen has compassion for helping animals and a can-do attitude, which has helped CatVando grow.


An animal lover all her life, Stephanie has been involved in rescue for more than 30 years. She’s a professional groomer and massage therapist and shares her life with her adopted dog, Pinto.


In 2012, Paulette’s mother entered a nursing home and could no longer care for free-roaming cats. Being a compassionate person, Paulette started looking after them. In June of 2012, Paulette received assistance from CatVando in establishing a colony, resulting in medical treatment and TNR of over 20 cats. Paulette has been a volunteer for over 3 years. Twice a week, she helps with cleaning needs at CatVando. She acted as treasurer since 2013 and most recently became president. She continues to work part-time in order to financially care for her large cat colony.


Iris has a B.A. in Business Management and spent decades working in advertising, sales and management within the newspaper industry. Iris been interested in animal welfare since childhood, assisting with rescue for over 40 years.


Fenisia studied sociology and psychology at Loyola University for two years.  In 1973 she worked as a legal secretary in a downtown law firm.  She and her husband started their own business in 1983 until 2001. The business was sold in 2001. She is now retired. In 1998 Fenisia started volunteering at Paws of Chicago, which lead to developing an active role in humane education and animal advocacy.  She runs her own not-for-profit, Passion for Animals. She met Ellen Miles, founder of CatVando a few years ago and loved her passion and commitment to helping the feral cats and the community. Fenisia decided to volunteer and later became a board member, focusing on fundraising and other duties.


Magdalen been with CatVando since the summer of 2009. She is a family medicine physician and has used her knowledge with some of the medical needs of the CatVando residents. Over the years, she has been involved in several animal activities on behalf of CatVando. In the past two years, she has been more involved with adoption follow-ups. Magdalen lives with her husband, their three dogs and four rambunctious cats in Brookfield, WI.


Linda has always had pets in her life: dogs, cats, turtles, birds and fish. She has rescued a few wildlife animals and took them to a wildlife refuge for help. She joined CatVando 5 years ago when a flyer showed up in her mailbox about cats in the neighborhood. She now has a colony of 9 cats outside and lives with 7 cats. At CatVando, she is known as the Landscaper because she likes to help make the grounds look good. She also helps out whereever she can.


Born and raised in the UK, Neil’s family always had one or more cats at home. After spending 20 years in the UK construction trade, Neil married in 1999, and in 2000 he moved to Chicago. Skills include horology (time-keeping devices), heating & cooling and computer maintenance. He has been a valuable CatVando volunteer since 2010. He is the current board secretary, coordinating our monthly board meetings. He resurrected and updated the CatVando web site, and became our temporary web master. He took over the management and maintenance of our TNR database. He set up and maintains the computer network and our security cameras. He has also organized/hosted numerous trivia quiz fundraisers and designed several of the CatVando publications.