The Team

Small but Mighty

Here at Goatlandia, we don’t have a huge staff, fancy titles, or lots of office space. But we work our tails off, we get a lot done, and we have fun doing it! We pride ourselves on being small, grassroots, and humble. We have smart minds, big hearts, and we all do a little bit of everything to get the job done.

Our Founder

Deborah Blum

Goddess of Goats and All Things Goatlandia

Deb’s been pretty busy in her life with careers that include swimwear designer, restaurateur, and commercial pilot. After living in San Francisco for 22 years, Deborah gave up the city life, bought a house, and moved to Santa Rosa. The newly acquired acreage enabled her to have space for a few chickens and a couple of goats. One thing led to another – her love of farm animals grew, as did her furry and feathered family. After seeing a video about animal agriculture and feeling shocked and saddened, she became vegan overnight. She devoted herself to the belief that all beings deserve to be happy and live a life free of harm and fear.  And then she started rescuing animals. Almost all animals at Goatlandia were destined for slaughter, unwanted, sick, or born with congenital disabilities. Instead, they have been rescued, healed, made to feel safe, and are very loved (and a little spoiled). Today, Goatlandia is home to a family of goats, pigs, sheep, chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, horses, dogs, and two happy (and very busy) humans

Our Awesome Staff

Patrick Stewart

Fixits & Tidbits
If Patrick can’t do it, no one can!
Patrick is someone who is totally in love with food. (Oh, and he’s in love with Deborah, his wife too).  Patrick grew up in California and Canada, but Patrick’s serious love of food began 25 years ago when he got a job in the warehouse of an organic produce distribution company in San Francisco. He made his way up through the company over the years to become Director of Operations. He had the incredible opportunity to visit organic farmers all over the world, and his love of fruit and vegetables blossomed. Then he met Deb in 2017 and learned about the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle. After meeting Deb and the rescued animal family at Goatlandia, Patrick found it really easy to give up eating animals and animal products. Patrick shifted to working full time for Goatlandia as a volunteer and is in charge of all the really fun and hard stuff; building structures and fences, repairs and maintenance, compost management, orchard and vineyard work, and animal transport.

Lauren Kelly

Volunteer Coordinator
Official Goatlandia Goat Whisperer

As the Volunteer Coordinator, Lauren trains, assists and works with our volunteers. 

Aside from her "official" role, everyone who knows Lauren can tell you how much she is focused on loving and caring for her animal friends. "I love all of them and I’m always making sure they are happy and healthy."

P.S. It is widely known that Lauren has a crush on one of our handsome goats named Turner.

Marie Rochelle Macaspac

Moolah Maker & Tech/Design Geek
She puts the “fun” in fundraising! Also, the resident nerd/geek.

Marie loves to raise money for rescued animals! She's also a graphic designer and manages technical matters related to print, online, web, and digital needs. Starting in 2020, she’s been leading Goatlandia’s marketing and fundraising efforts. She is also a dedicated advocate for veganism and compassionate living.

In addition to her love and respect for farm animals, Marie has a special place in her heart for senior dogs, sloths, cats, bunnies, and guinea pigs, which is evident in the roster of organizations she has proudly served in the last 12 years.

Brenda Rynders, MSc

Sanctuary Manager
Your friendly neighborhood sheep whisperer

Since moving to California in 2017, Brenda has been involved with numerous farmed animal sanctuaries in Northern California and has found a special affinity for working with sheep. She has an admirable passion for animal assisted therapy and holds two Master's degrees in Clinical Psychology and Anthrozoology. Her background in sanctuary work and academic experience has also allowed her to fully embrace her vision for her own microsanctuary, Sheepy Hollow Sanctuary.

Brenda is also an avid lover of Halloween and the horror film genre. She is thrilled to bring her energy, passion, and dedication to farmed animal welfare to the Goatlandia team!

Emma McCapes

Tour Guide & Animal Care
Have a question? Ask Emma!
Emma has been volunteering at Goatlandia on Saturday mornings since the summer of 2017. In addition to her volunteer duties, she now leads public and private tours!
Emma was raised vegetarian and went vegan on New Years Day of 2014 so her diet is in line with her values. As a lifelong animal lover and advocate, she loves to spend time with and care for our rescued farmed animals and has a soft spot for the older or special needs residents.
When Emma is not volunteering or leading tours at Goatlandia, she works for the Animal Legal Defense Fund and loves spending time with her senior dog, Zoe, and her young nieces.

Susan Whistler

Animal Care
Friend to all <3

Susan began working as a volunteer in 2021 and became an Animal Caregiver staff in July 2022. She proudly became vegan just two months after she began volunteering at Goatlandia. "That is never going to change." says Susan.

Susan has developed friendships not just with the Goatlandia team, but also with many two-legged, three-legged and four-legged animals. 
"Whenever I am at Goatlandia, my spirit soars with happiness and respect for the work being done."

Christina Sachs

Chef & Kitchen Manager
Divine Alchemist of Food and Community

Good food has always been at the center of Christina's life. Now as a chef and activist, she believes food can be medicine, an opportunity, a service and an expression of respect and commitment to this planet and the other beings that we share this planet with.

Christina has worked in restaurants and kitchens for nearly 25 years; notably with the pioneering raw vegan restaurant Cafe Gratitude and Apple; leading their vegan fusion food program.  She also started and owned WholeHearted Chef, a local catering company.  Since moving to Sonoma County, Christina has also had the distinct privilege of volunteering with Ceres, and cooking and baking for Three Leaves Heritage Foods.

She is super excited to join the Goatlandia team for this next chapter and grateful for the opportunity to cook with integrity and love. May all be nourished by what is to come.

Stephanie Mathers

Grants Writer
Spreadsheet Guru and  Foundation Finder

Stephanie has been involved in animal rescue and welfare since adopting her first cat, Shakespeare, in 2002, from the Capital Area Humane Society in Lansing, Michigan. As her love for animals grew, she adopted more cats (and a few house bunnies), and became involved in Trap, Neuter, and Release (TNR) for community cats in Mid-Michigan. 

After moving to Utah in 2012 to be closer to the mountains, Stephanie started helping animal rescues and sanctuaries in her spare time. Her roles varied from animal care volunteer to board member to grant writer. In the meantime, she fostered a successful career in education serving in roles ranging from high school English teacher to middle school principal to educational policy writer. 

In 2021, Stephanie started focusing more time and energy on her work grant writing for animal-related nonprofits. Over time, Stephanie started working with multiple nonprofits in Northern California, including Goatlandia! She has enjoyed the opportunity to use her writing skills to help all of the animals at Goatlandia and in the community as a whole.

Our Board Members

Uta Lorenzen

Board Member and Chair

Uta first visited Goatlandia in November 2016, on a quest to visit animal sanctuaries in the Bay Area after she went vegan in October 2016. She has been involved and in love with Goatlandia and its animals ever since! She is Chair of the Board, and has been a part of numerous outreach events for the sanctuary. Uta works in development at a mathematical institute and enjoys telling her coworkers about the joys of goat selfies. She is inspired daily by studying herbalism, being in nature, walking her dog, and by the founder of Goatlandia, Deborah Blum.

Joseph Drypolcher

Board Member and Treasurer

Joseph was born and raised in San Francisco and owns and operates a boutique dog hotel in the mission with his partner. He hopes to give back to his community through public outreach, advocacy, and a meat-free lifestyle. Goatlandia aligns with his views of how we should be challenging the status quo of animals, and promoting and protecting them.

Sylvie Fremont

Board Member

Sylvie found her passion for rescuing animals two decades ago after working in the fragrance industry, being a caterer, and raising 3 children. She was born in France but has lived in the USA for more than 30 years and moved to Northern California in 2018. 

Her advocacy started with cats and dogs in New York suburbs, then when she moved to California she discovered Goatlandia. Currently Sylvie actively runs her business, Atelier Sylvie Fremont, a small gold and silver handmade jewelry studio. She's also an ordained minister and enjoys performing weddings and animal blessings.

Since 2001, Sylvie is also a Reiki master and teacher. Through her practice, she promotes shelter animals, healing and compassion through Kindness Reiki, her teaching platform for animals and their humans.

Debra Stein

Board Member

During her first visit to Goatlandia, Debra fell in love with two of their resident goats, Marla and Dot, who have since joined her mini herd of mini goats. Debra's professional background is in nonprofit management and she has worked for several years in the field of African wildlife conservation. Her current position is in fundraising and communications for a wildlife conservancy in Kenya. She is a huge fan of Goatlandia and is thrilled to support their mission as a board member!

Laurie Ubben

Board Member

Laurie, having grown up as the proverbial black sheep in her family, has always championed the underdog — sadly, somewhat silently for a good part of her existence.  Recently, happily, advocating for those without a voice has begun to manifest itself in her actions with fewer apologies.  Five years ago, she ditched dairy to become fully vegan.  Preparing meals for her family daily during the confinement has become a joy, a meditation and a religion.  Prior to this most recent revelation, Laurie grew up in Connecticut, went to college in North Carolina, married shortly thereafter to her husband of 37 years and has three children.  And lots of animals.  She has worked in advertising, art sales, film production and music education.  Settling in to animal welfare is where she is meant to be and she is honored and grateful to have met and be welcomed into the Goatlandia community.  With her husband she supports and has boots on the ground within a few other environmental and animal welfare organizations including World Wildlife Fund, E.O. Wilson’s Half Earth Project and Muttville.

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