Helping Hounds Announces New Board President and Vice President

Helping Hounds Announces New Board President and Vice President

 Syracuse, NY (April 26, 2019) – Helping Hounds Dog Rescue welcomed Crystal DeStefano, APR and Katrina Crocker to its Board of Directors at the organization’s April board meeting. At the meeting, DeStefano was elected to serve as president of the board and Crocker will serve as vice president.

 “Crystal and Katrina were specifically recruited this year to join the board and help lead Helping Hounds through our next exciting chapter,” said Kathy Gilmour, Executive Director at Helping Hounds Dog Rescue. “Our organization is in the midst of great transition as we prepare to move operations to our new space located in the Town of Cicero. This move allows us to act on our mission through expansion of services, and to better meet the needs of the dogs we rescue and our family of adoptive parents. Both women bring extensive leadership and business experience that is necessary during this period of growth.”


 Crystal DeStefano is the President and Director of Public Relations for Strategic Communications, LLC, a public relations firm located in Syracuse. DeStefano holds a degree in finance and marketing from SUNY Albany and earned her Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) in 2012. She is a member of the Board of Trustees for WCNY and is active in the Public Relations Society of America as a local-chapter board member and as the northeast regional representative for the national organization. DeStefano is a long-time supporter of Helping Hounds and adopted her dog, Oliver, from the organization in 2017.


Katrina Crocker is the Vice President of Communications at the Central New York Community Foundation where she has worked for more than a decade guiding strategy and relationship building for one of the area’s largest nonprofit funders. She holds a degree in advertising from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. Prior to joining the board of directors, Crocker was a Helping Hounds volunteer, applying her expertise in communications and online tools to the management of the organization’s website since 2014. Crocker adopted her dog, Penny, from Helping Hounds in 2018.

 The Helping Hounds Dog Rescue 2019 Board of Directors and Officers:

Crystal DeStefano, APR, President

Katrina Crocker, Vice President

Lester Burt, CPA, Treasurer

Jen Pichoske, Secretary

Sam Deeb, CPA

Dr. Heather Danboise, DVM

Leigh Neumann, Immediate Past President

Kristin Norfleet, Esq.

For more information about Helping Hounds Dog Rescue, to view dogs available for adoption or to donate to the organization, visit

 About Helping Hounds

Helping Hounds Dog Rescue (HHDR) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization funded by donations, fundraisers and adoption fees, that works to find forever homes in the Central New York area for rescue dogs.  HHDR has earned the Better Business Bureau’s Accreditation and offers a Donor Safeguard Policy to all who provide contributions of any value. 

HHDR provides a compassionate approach to dog rescue by matching homeless dogs from overcrowded shelter systems with loving homes.  Their team of dedicated staff is well supported by an army of more than 300 volunteers and as a result they are able to successfully place over 1,700 dogs annually into loving homes.

Media Contact: Erin Zacholl

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