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Our Staff At Heaven Can Wait

Rachel Bergren

Executive Director

A lifelong animal advocate, Rachel Bergren is the Executive Director of Heaven Can Wait Animal Society where she is responsible for overseeing operations, development, strategic plan implementation, and the achievement of the charity’s vision, mission, and financial objectives.

Rachel’s vast experience in animal care and her passion for contributing to the community began at a young age. In 1995, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Biology from Texas A&M University then went on to receive a Master of Science degree in Biology from Western Illinois University in 2005.

Her expansive career launched in the early 2000’s in zoo and aquarium management, when she served more than a decade at the iconic Shedd Aquarium in Illinois. Next, she became Vice President of Education for Chicago’s famous Lincoln Park Zoo, honing her leadership and community skills at one of the most recognizable cultural institutions for animal welfare in the country.

After Chicago, Rachel moved to Sausalito, California where she worked at The Marine Mammal Center — the world’s largest marine mammal rehabilitation, scientific research, and education facility. And, most recently, she held the role of Executive Director for Get Outdoors Nevada.

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Marisa Younanian

Dr. Younanian is a 2016 graduate of Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine, after completing her Bachelor's degrees in Biology and French at the University of Alabama in 2012. Relocating to Las Vegas shortly after receiving her degree, she spent her first seven years in small animal private practice before joining Heaven Can Wait full-time in 2023. She enjoys interacting with her clients and patients, and seeing the positive impact the organization has on expanding access to affordable veterinary care. When not at work, Dr. Younanian can generally be found outdoors, enjoying one of the area's many local hiking trails; or relaxing at home with her big, fluffy rescue cat, Philippe.
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Alyssa Adams

Dr. Adams was born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana where she graduated from LSU School of Veterinary Medicine in 2014. Following graduation she moved to Las Vegas to begin working as a small animal general practitioner. After a few years as an associate veterinarian, she started working as a relief veterinarian with Heaven Can Wait in 2016. In 2018, the military moved her and her husband to North Carolina where she continued to work as a small animal veterinarian. After four years there, they found out they were returning to Las Vegas! She immediately contacted Heaven Can Wait and has re-joined the team full time.
During her free time she enjoys working out, watching sports, and spending time at the pool. She also owns a sweet cat named Ollie and a happy Labrador Retriever named Henry.
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Katelyn Meyer

Dr. Meyer grew up in Columbia, MO, home of the University of Missouri. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biology from Truman State University in 2014 before returning to Columbia to attend the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine. She graduated from veterinary school in 2018 and moved to Las Vegas. She worked as a small animal general practice veterinarian until 2021, when she decided to change course and join Heaven Can Wait, initially as a relief veterinarian, and then as Heaven Can Wait’s first full-time veterinarian. Her medical interests include surgery, preventive care, and accessible community medicine. She spends her free time hiking, traveling, horseback riding, and enjoying a good book and a cup of coffee. She and her husband have a cat, Charles, and two dogs, Ryka and Juniper.
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Annika H.

Lead Licensed Veterinary Technician
Annika was born in Henderson and raised in Las Vegas, but is of German heritage. She actually started out her career to be a human nurse, but diverted into animal medicine after a year. She graduated and got her first job as a Veterinary Technician. She joined Heaven Can Wait in 2009, and became the Lead Vet Tech in 2010. She was inspired to become a Veterinary nurse because she loves all Animals.
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Kelly Sheehan

Community Engagement Manager
Kelly began her career at Heaven Can Wait in 2021. She has taken care of animals from exotics to dog and cat companions since she was a girl. As a Las Vegas native, she was a veterinary assistant for 8 years at local clinics, owning family pups and finding furever homes for some others in need. Her experience in animal wellness and admiration for the incredible bond between human and companion inspired her to pursue a career connecting people who truly care, to the animals and causes that need them. In her leisure time, she loves Onewheeling, games with loved ones, dancing at shows, and beach adventures.
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Nathaly M.

Community Cat Coordinator
Nathaly is originally from Peru, and lived in Los Angeles before moving to Las Vegas, where she's spent most of her life. She loves animals, and is affectionately called "the cat whisperer" by the rest of the staff. Nathaly started volunteering for a trap-neuter-return program when she noticed a feral cat colony in her backyard, which is how she got started with Heaven Can Wait. In addition to her kitties, she has a sweet dog named Goldy.
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Kelli F.

Licensed Veterinary Technician
Kelli was born and raised in Las Vegas and graduated from CSN's Veterinary Nursing Program in 2013. She immediately joined the team here at Heaven Can Wait because of her strong interest in Trap-Neuter-Return and serving community cats. She has three cats of her own: Muffin, Yoda, and Kitten.
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Elizabeth R.

Licensed Veterinary Technician
Elizabeth is a Las Vegas native who joined Heaven Can Wait in 2010. She's a cat and dog lover, and has one cat called Eric who she found as a park as a kitten. Fun fact: she's an identical twin! In her free time she enjoys karaoke and a game of pool.
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Jane P.

Administrative Assistant
Jane emigrated from England in 1998 after meeting her American husband who was based in the UK with the US Air Force. She loves cats and dogs, and has pets of her own at home. Jane started volunteering at HCW's Sunday Clinics several years ago. When a job opportunity came up, she jumped at the chance to join the team.
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Board of Directors

Melissa Eure


Mark Debacker

Vice President / Treasurer

Sarah Ocampo, Esq.


Joe Florentino

Mary Beth Hartleb

Carolyn Wheeler