Meet Our Team

Laura Houston

Executive Director

Laura Houston joins the AWA team with over 20 years’ experience working to advance the human-animal bond.  Ms. Houston most recently held the position of Director of Education with the Elmwood Park Zoo (EPZ) in Norristown, PA where she was instrumental in EPZ becoming the first zoo in the nation to become Autism Certified. Prior to that, she was with the Philadelphia Zoo for 16 years where she held several roles including Director of Education. While at the Philadelphia Zoo, she helped steward the creation and advancement of multiple programs and exhibits including the award-winning ZooCrew teen volunteering program and Hamilton Family Children’s Zoo. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master’s degree in English both from Rutgers University – Camden. In addition to being an avid animal-lover, she is also passionate about engaging with her community, holds the position of Secretary for the Gloucester Commission for Women, and is a dedicated Philadelphia sports fan. Ms. Houston is a life-long resident of West Deptford, New Jersey where she resides with her partner, Bill, two rescue dogs and two very sassy African grey parrots.

Meet the rest of AWA’s team

Maria Giorla

Maria Giorla

Director of Finance & Administration
Nanci Urban

Nanci Urban

Senior Shelter Services Manager
Dr. Emily Seidl

Dr. Emily Seidl

Senior Veterinarian
Dr. Sara Patiño-Davis

Dr. Sara Patiño-Davis

Staff Veterinarian
Dr. Leroy Scott

Dr. Leroy Scott

Staff Veterinarian
Elizabeth Stanley-Reicherter CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA, ABCDT

Elizabeth Stanley-Reicherter CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA, ABCDT

Manager of Behavior Support and Training
Katie Nelson

Katie Nelson

Adoption & Customer Service Supervisor
Ashley Prem

Ashley Prem

Shelter Technician Supervisor
Robert Snyder

Robert Snyder

Animal Care Supervisor
Christian Snyder

Christian Snyder

Community Pet Outreach Specialist
View All