MATTHEW GERSHMAN, ESQ., PRESIDENT
Matthew Gershman is a shareholder in the litigation and appellate groups of the Los Angeles office of Greenberg Traurig, LLP. Matthew’s practice focuses on disputes involving real estate, family trust management, partnership disputes, copyright claims, and class-action claims in the areas of false advertising, unfair competition, and products liability. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland, majoring in marketing, logistics, and supply chain management. Matthew has many years of experience serving on the board of directors for a homeowners’ association, as well as coaching a public high school’s mock trial team.
CHRISTIAN GRATTAN, VICE PRESIDENT & SECRETARY
A long time friend of animals and guardian of many a rescue dog, Chris is incredibly proud to be part of CSNW. Chris has directed a number of businesses during his professional career, ranging from large publicly held companies to his own consulting business. He now has channeled his love of music to take his career in a new direction, running a division of the world’s largest instrument retailer. Chris lives in the Los Angeles area with his wife, two young kids, and two dogs. Once upon a time, he was an avid traveler and spent a number of his childhood years living overseas. His favorite trip was to east Africa, topped off by a trek with the mountain gorillas in Rwanda. In another life, he would be a professional golfer.
STEVEN GERSHMAN, CPA, TREASURER
Steve Gershman, Counsel at KatzAbosch, joined the firm in 1973. He has experience in accounting, auditing, management services, and personal financial planning that spans more than 48 years. He has been an instructor at the University of Baltimore and an Adjunct Instructor at Howard Community College. Steve is also an active speaker at various community meetings and seminars. He has served as a board member and/or officer on several boards, including the Howard County Leadership Program and the American Institute of Mental Health.
CAITLIN HAWKS, ESQ.
Caitlin Hawks is the head of litigation for a national animal protection non-profit, where her practice focuses primarily on the Endangered Species Act, consumer protection litigation, and constitutional law. Caitlin earned her law degree at the University of California, Los Angeles and her bachelor’s degree at the University of Puget Sound. She previously worked at the Seattle law firm of Savitt Bruce & Willey LLP and in the Los Angeles office of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP.
JESSICA MAYHEW, PHD
Jessica is an Assistant Professor in Anthropology at Central Washington University. She has a BA and MA from the University of Chicago, where she first realized that her deep-rooted love of primatology would become her profession. A native of the Granite State (New Hampshire), she came to Washington in 2013 after finishing her Ph.D. in evolutionary psychology at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. She specializes in ape behavior, social cognition, and juvenile play. Always trying to peek inside the minds of other primates, she conducts fieldwork in the summer, works alongside students in the Primate Behavior program during the school year, and volunteers on weekends at CSNW with the Cle Elum 7.
LISA MCCURDY, ESQ.
Lisa McCurdy is a shareholder with the global law firm, Greenberg Traurig, LLP. Her legal practice focuses on business litigation, trusts and estates litigation, real estate litigation, and animal law. Lisa did not discover her interest in law until the early 2000s; her love of animals started at birth. Lisa is a published author on various animal-law related topics and she supports a number of animal rescues in Los Angeles who are working reduce the population of homeless animals around the country. She was appointed by the Mayor of Los Angeles in March 2012 to serve as a Commissioner for the Animal Services Department of the City of Los Angeles, and served in that capacity and as Board president until February 2014. Lisa has a degree in psychology with a specialization in business and administration from UCLA and earned her law degree at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. Lisa lives in the Los Angeles area with her husband, two young children, and two scruffy rescue dogs.
Tara McKenney is an ardent animal welfare and wildlife conservation volunteer with over 20 years of experience in corporate marketing and communications. She is eager to spend every day in a mission-driven role that is positively impacting the future of wildlife by dedicating her career toward the urgency of conservation, and is excited to share her expertise with CSNW. Tara has a degree in English from Syracuse University and lives in Los Angeles. She is a fiction writer, workout zealot and outdoors enthusiast.
DONNA MENSCHING, DVM
Donna Mensching has had a longstanding passion for environmental conservation with a particular interest in nonhuman primates as charismatic megafauna. During her undergraduate years, she volunteered and worked at the Duke University Primate Center caring for bush babies, giving tours, and analyzing data for a study of intergroup dynamics among longtailed macaques. She continued pursuing her passion for animals by attending veterinary school at Cornell. Following nearly a decade in general and emergency practice, she attended Envirovet, a summer institute designed to involve veterinarians in interdisciplinary solutions to environmental problems. That experience led to a Master's degree in environmental toxicology, board certification in toxicology, and poison control center work. The latter brought her to Seattle where she was introduced to the Cle Elum 7 Chimpanzees, volunteering and helping to establish a veterinary clinic at CSNW.
LORI SHEERAN, PHD
Lori is a Professor of Anthropology at Central Washington University. She earned her MA and PhD degrees at The Ohio State University, with field research in China focused on black gibbons. Lori has continued to concentrate on Asian primates in her fieldwork, particularly macaques, with more than 25 years of field work in China and current research based in Bhutan. She is interested in locations where people and monkeys interact, such as near farms, temples, and tourist sites. After ten years of teaching in the California State University system, Lori joined the faculty at Central in 2003, where she has focused on teaching primatology and anthropology curricula. She has served as thesis committee advisor or member to more than 200 students across 28 years of teaching.