Paws & Claws Gala Committee

Meet our 2019 Paws & Claws Gala Co-Chairs:

Caroline Krider

Caroline website photo- square.jpgCaroline’s involvement with the Wisconsin Humane Society began in 2002 when she started volunteering as a weekend rabbit socializer. She was inspired to reach out after a dinner guest asked “what is your passion?” and she answered “animal welfare.” The guest said, “Great! What are you doing about it?” Her answer was “not much, yet.” Shortly after, she submitted her volunteer application and in 2012, Caroline received the “Friend of WHS Volunteer Award.”  Joining the WHS Board of Directors (BOD) in 2014 and now co-chairing the 2019 Paws & Claws Gala with fellow Board member Charlie James and fellow animal lovers Emily and Angie Phillips are both honors. While Caroline has served on other boards, animal welfare is still her “thing,” so tries to live up to the long ago dinner guest’s challenge by continuing as a WHS weekend “Ambassador” introducing prospective pets to their guardians. In addition, she serves as the Immediate Past Chair and Nominating Committee Chair Zoological Society of Milwaukee BOD. During the workweek, Caroline is the Milwaukee Market Leader of U.S. Bank’s Global Industrials and Services division and is very fortunate to have had her employer’s support for more than 35 years.

On the personal front, Caroline is married to Paul Smith, “the Journal Sentinel’s” Outdoors writer, editor and photographer. They share a passion for animal welfare, conservation and outdoors activities. Together they have adopted 6 male cats, five of whom are (or were) WHS alums. While Paul grew up with dogs and “never knew cats,” he can’t imagine life without them. They currently reside with their two 2-year old boys, “Magic” and “Champ.” These fur babies are equally enthusiastic about life together and bring unconditional love, joy and “happy paws” to Caroline and Paul every day. 

Angie & Emily Phillips

Emily and Angie website photo- square.jpgAngie and Emily Phillips are passionate about the Wisconsin Humane Society’s mission to build a community where people value animals and treat them with respect and kindness because it is a critical component of their world domination 4 good, plus they love ALL of the animals!  Emily is a Financial Advisor at Baird and Angie is Director of Compensation, Benefits & Shared Services at Jason, Inc. Our family currently consists of 2 horses (Shiloh & Einstein), a dog (Sydney) and 3 cats (Ned, Dorrie and Percy).  Emily says that the family is at max capacity, but Angie is not listening, she is busy building an ark…..

When the opportunity arose to co-chair the Wisconsin Humane Society’s Paws & Claws Gala this year, we could not have been more thrilled to lend a hand to this organization full of passionate, committed, smart, good people who give their all for the animals and our community. We are looking forward to seeing all of your smiling faces (perhaps in superhero attire to fit the theme) at the gala this year when we will all have our chance to support this fantastic organization.

Charlie James

charlie james website photo.jpgCharlie James has been in the insurance business in Milwaukee for over 60 years, having earned his “wings” from UW Madison back in 1954. In 1987 Charlie purchased Fitzgerald, Clayton, Noyes and Kasten, becoming Fitzgerald, Clayton James and Kasten, Inc. (FCJK). In 2006, his son Todd succeeded Charlie as CEO of FCJK, then in 2011 affiliated with Robertson Ryan & Associate’s Mequon office location.

In his civic life, Charlie has always been actively involved in the Milwaukee community, through both his business leadership and philanthropic contributions. Currently serving as trustee of the Milwaukee Boys & Girls Club and Trustee Emeritus for the Nature Conservancy, his passion for animals and wildlife also lead to Charlie joining, and currently serving on the Board of Directors for the Wisconsin Humane Society. He is honored to serve in his newest role, co-chair of the 2019 Paws & Claws Gala alongside Caroline, Emily, and Angie.

Outside of the office, Charlie and his wife Carol reside in Fox Point, WI, where they raised 3 children and now enjoy being grandparents and great-grandparents to 10 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren! Both Charlie and Carol are actively involved in their community and Charlie continues to work on improving his swing at the golf course.




2019 Committee Members
Olinda Ayala
Laura Bolger
Natalie Burnside
Jessic Culotti
Sean Finnigan
Marni Garrett
Laura Lutter Cole
Jenny McMahon-Varick
Joette Rockow
Anne Robertson
Justine Wergin
Liz Ziherl

Interested in joining the planning committee for our Paws & Claws Gala? Contact Jesse VanCamp Pierron, Event Manager, at jvancamp@wihumane.org or (414) 431-6121.