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Mutual Rescue Leadership

Mutual Rescue is a national animal-welfare initiative created in 2015 by Carol Novello and David Whitman under the auspices of Humane Society Silicon Valley, one of the leading animal community centers in the United States. Mutual Rescue includes many people who give their time, expertise, energy, enthusiasm, ideas, connections, goodwill, financial support, and love to the initiative. To everyone involved, thank you!

Carol Novello

Carol Novello

Founder and President

Carol joined HSSV as President in September 2010 and previously served on HSSV’s Board of Directors for one year. Through her leadership, HSSV became the world’s first model shelter by meeting all guidelines set forth by the Association of Shelter Veterinarians. During her tenure, mission results have seen significant increases in intake, adoptions, save rate, and animals receiving extended care.

Prior to HSSV, Carol spent over 20 years in the high–tech industry and most recently worked for Intuit, where she held numerous general management and marketing positions including president of the MasterBuilder Software Division, Vice President/General Manager – QuickBooks Online, and Vice President- Marketing for QuickBooks. She is also the author of Mutual Rescue: How Adopting a Homeless Animal Can Save You, Too (Grand Central Publishing, April 2019).

Carol received her MBA from Harvard Business School, and her bachelor’s degree in economics and English from Dickinson College. Her family includes several rescue animals.

David Whitman with dogs

David Whitman

Executive Producer

David Whitman harnesses the power of the arts to create transformative experiences, often with influences from afar. In Europe, Brazil, the West Indies, Florida, and California, he has had the privilege of collaborating with creative, luminous and legendary folks—affirming Maya Angelou’s observation, “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” His broad interests derive from and lead to exploring the world through books, film, photography, tribal textiles, music, languages, travel, and frequent nature hikes with his basenji companions.


Doug Scott, Principal and Creative Director

Tectonic is an award-winning creative agency for change agents. Based in Chicago, they build brands and tell stories for nonprofits, causes, foundations, and social ventures they believe in. They refuse to accept the world as it is and have dedicated their lives to making it more as it should be. Tectonic’s first film for Mutual Rescue, “Eric & Peety,” was also its first to go viral—a joy to behold and perhaps also a good omen for the upcoming Mutual Rescue films.

Mutual Rescue Advisers

Tracy Randall, Legal Adviser

Tracy Randall’s practice at Fenwick & West concentrates on intellectual property counseling and structuring, drafting and negotiating commercial agreements with a focus on consumer and digital media products and services, including inbound and outbound technology license agreements, user generated content distribution agreements, terms of service agreements, online advertising agreements, sponsorship agreements and privacy and publicity rights agreements. Randall regularly advises clients on digital distribution business models (online, offline and mobile), e-commerce offerings, content clearance and copyright and DMCA issues. She also advises clients on the legal issues that arise when running sweepstakes, contests and promotions as well as assists clients with managing the risks associated with handling consumer information. She regularly advises clients on compliance with COPPA and CAN-SPAM and consumer privacy issues arising in mergers and acquisitions.

Steve Kirton, Brand Adviser

Steve Kirton is President of Circa Healthcare, an animal health-focused marketing communications consultancy, with a track record of lively healthcare advertising. A born communicator, Kirton earned his insights through many years of hard work in the healthcare industry, beginning with hands-on bench work as a clinical microbiologist. During an 11-year tenure with an international medical diagnostics company based in the U.K., he rose from Sales Representative to Director of International Sales and Marketing. Steve then moved to the U.S. and held a role as Business Unit Manager for Centocor, a leading biopharmaceutical company. His corporate experience was followed by several years as an ad agency executive, not only at his own company, but also at New York-based Euro RSCG Life. He provides marketing knowledge and business wisdom distilled from over 25 years of healthcare experience.

Steve is passionate about the important role of companion animals in our lives, something he has witnessed personally many times and also experiences every day he brings his dog into the office.

David Gilmour, Strategy Adviser

David Gilmour is the managing director of Blyth Capital Partners LLC, a California-based investment advisor and hedge fund manager.. Prior to founding Blyth Capital, Gilmour had a 25-year career as a successful high-technology entrepreneur, executive, and board member.

He is an active investor and adviser to high-technology startup ventures on both coasts. He is a prolific inventor with numerous issued patents related to machine learning, natural language processing, privacy and security.

Marketing and PR Partners

Wasabi Publicity Inc.

Wasabi Publicity, founded in 2002, launches international campaigns leveraging innovative grassroots marketing and sophisticated public relations. The firm lives to launch conversations that make a difference and change the world. They have helped their clients be featured on CNN, NPR, Good Morning America, Forbes Magazine, Time, the Wall Street Journal and much more.

Drew Gerber (CEO) and Michelle Tennant (Chief Creative Officer) bring decades of marketing and media relations experience. Having represented Nobel Peace prize winners several times over, Wasabi has been, and continues to be, instrumental in managing the media attention garnered from the Eric & Peety film and in gaining coverage for the overall Mutual Rescue initiative.


46Mile is a marketing consultancy and full-service agency backed by Hearst Corporation offering fully integrated regional marketing and media solutions to brands in the San Francisco Bay Area. They work collaboratively with businesses to create and execute meaningful strategies to engage customers. 46Mile also offers the unique ability to distribute and amplify campaigns via world class technology platforms and inventory of Hearst media outlets worldwide. Their charter is to provide large regional brands with the level of service and marketing resources typically reserved for large national and global brands.

46Mile helped Mutual Rescue design and build its inaugural web site, transitioning the initiative from telling our stories through film to building our community online.

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