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The people behind Mutual Rescue, inspired by their companion animals
Founder & Author
Carol Novello is the founder of Mutual Rescue and author of Mutual Rescue: How Adopting a Homeless Animal Can Save You, Too (Grand Central Publishing). She received her Bachelor’s degree in Economics and English from Dickinson College and her MBA from Harvard Business School. Carol held several senior executive positions at Intuit before shifting her focus to animal welfare, serving as the president of Humane Society Silicon Valley for nearly a decade. She is currently on the board of directors at CUDDLY, Inc. Her family includes three rescues: cats Herbie and Porchini and mixed-breed mutt Daisy.
Mutual Rescue’s executive producer, David Whitman, is known as a wandering spirit. After a transformative year as an exchange student in Belgium, he graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, then volunteered for three years with the U.S. Peace Corps in Saint Lucia. He later managed Berkeley’s renowned Hertz Concert Hall, receiving multiple awards from the University during his 14 years there. For the next decade, he pursued arts interests in the U.S., Europe, and Brazil. Silicon Valley’s Tech Museum then tapped him to coordinate a monumental exhibition on Leonardo da Vinci in partnership with the storied Uffizi Gallery, Opera Laboratori, and other major cultural institutions in Italy. For the next eight years, he designed and directed the Museum’s resplendent, multimedia Tech Awards galas, then joined forces with Carol Novello to create Mutual Rescue. He has contributed to numerous organizations as a board member, most recently the Yavapai Symphony Association. He collects contemporary art and traditional textiles, reads adventurously, and loves exploring rugged nature trails with his basenji companions.
Program & Social Media Manager
Finnegan Dowling is Mutual Rescue’s program and social media manager, and a regular contributor to the Mutual Rescue blog. She has been poking around animal welfare for more than 25 years and has worked in shelters in Washington, Colorado, California, and Nicaragua. Prior to Mutual Rescue, she was the social media manager for Humane Society Silicon Valley, where her work was honored with Shorty and Communicator Awards. Finnegan’s writing has been published in The Bark, Bay Woof, and Huffington Post. She lives in coastal Texas with an opinionated dog and her husband. When not working, you can usually find her reading, writing, or running around Latin America.
Kurt Krukenberg leads the Mutual Rescue initiative in his role as the president of Humane Society Silicon Valley, where he is also a longtime Doggy Day Out volunteer. Previously, he spent 20 years helping companies and nonprofit organizations create sustainable growth in a variety of operating and advisory roles. Kurt received his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Rice University and MBA from Harvard Business School. He is eternally grateful to have been rescued by his wife, Charu, and their dogs.
Blythe Jack—a lifelong animal lover and a proud pet parent to her dogs Roxie, Oakley, and JosieBelle—is Mutual Rescue’s strategic adviser. As a board member at Humane Society Silicon Valley, she fell in love with Mutual Rescue and its mission at first meeting in 2017. Her support is reflected in every facet of the initiative, including its two recent films, “Kimo & Jazz” and “Keema & Her Pack,” as well as the new Mutual Rescue Moments series and a film in progress. Blythe has been an active private-equity investor in the consumer sector for nearly 25 years, having been a managing director at TSG Consumer Partners for over 11 years, where she led investments in consumer brands such as BrewDog, Backcountry, Dutch Bros, IT Cosmetics, and Canyon Bicycles, among others. She counts a great husband of over 20 years and teenage daughter amongst her pack, along with their three beloved hounds.
Love and respect to the people who’ve shared their inspirational stories in Mutual Rescue’s first 14 films: Tanner Hopson, Kimo Pokini, Shakeema Hutcherson, Bhuvana Hariharasubramanian, Abhishek Raut, Jade and Jessica Allen, Kim and Brian Rose, Sarah Coletti, Patrick Donovan, Michael Uy, Jessi Burns, Josh Marino, Tracy Campion, Robin and Mark Myers, and Eric O’Grey, and to their companion animal co-stars: Rei, Jazz, Kubo, Keema’s pack, Lollipop, Trubs, Lana, Domino, Grace, Abbie, Andi, Scout, Jack, Liza, Jake, and Peety.
Additional love and respect to the people, companion animal co-stars, and rescue organizations featured in Mutual Rescue Moments, Seniors Saving Seniors: Elena Page, Raina and Baxter, Angela Stell, NMDOG; Mimi Christensen, Ariel, Sunrise of Bethesda Senior Living; Doreen Jakubcak, Eileen Farkas, Debbie Williamson, Marty’s Place Senior Dog Sanctuary; Steve Lee, Lillian Lee, Bobe and Baby, Humane Society Silicon Valley; Sandy Brychta, Rebel Rey Lee, Cupcake, and Muttville Senior Dog Rescue.
Tectonic Video is a Chicago-based video strategy and production company that works exclusively with nonprofits. “We’ve partnered with Mutual Rescue from the beginning,” says Tectonic’s founder and CEO, Doug Scott. “We’re humbled to have created more than a dozen award-winning Mutual Rescue films together. We’ve seen how shelter animals and their people do indeed rescue one another, and we’re inspired by the tireless efforts of animal-shelter employees and volunteers to save lives.”
Advocate Creative is a branding and design agency for nonprofits and foundations. Since their inception in 2012, Advocate Creative has made it their mission to advance their clients’ missions. They help create brands, build websites, design print pieces, and launch campaigns for today’s most impactful organizations. Advocate Creative’s work is reflected in Mutual Rescue’s website design and the signature illustrations—by art director Jessie McGrath—in Mutual Rescue’s films and Coloring Pages For All Ages.
Alex Williamson is a composer, producer, and arranger for film, television, and games. As a frequent collaborator with Grammy-winning composer Christopher Tin, Williamson has composed and arranged for a variety of films and games, including the blockbuster Civilization VI, PGA Tour 2K21, and the mobile hit Rise of Kingdoms. His work with Mutual Rescue includes the films “Tanner & Rei,” “Kimo & Jazz,” “Keema & Her Pack,” “Bhuvana & Abhishek & Lollipop,” and the memorial montages “Still Yours” and “Silent Paws.”
Fenwick provides legal advice and assistance to Mutual Rescue, principally for intellectual property protection. From emerging enterprises to large public corporations, the law firm’s clients are leaders in the technology and life sciences sectors who are fundamentally changing the world through rapid innovation.
Past story judges include the Mutual Rescue team; filmmaking partner Tectonic; board members, donors, volunteers, and staff at Humane Society Silicon Valley; and recognized professionals in animal welfare, science, philanthropy, journalism, and the arts—including Dr. Marty Becker, Tom Corwin, Jenna Donleavy, Jennifer Erwitt, Ethan Goldman, Tisha Haney, Ingrid King, Bonnie-Jill Laflin, Maggie Lawson, Josh McGuire, Jude McVay, Doug Menuez, Karen Mullarkey, Amy Shojai, Phoebe Smolan, Rick Smolan, Gina Spadafori, Morgan Spurlock, Tracey Stewart, Mark Ulriksen, and Kayleen VanderRee and Danielle Gumbley.