Our Team

Leadership Team

The leadership team at Humane Society of Forsyth County (HSFC) shares an endless love for animals and works tirelessly to build a compassionate community that enriches thousands of lives. The leaders you will learn about are a mix of volunteers and employees. Learn about the people leading our mission to save and enhance lives!

Debbie Bertsch – Executive Director

Originally from Seattle Washington, Debbie moved to Georgia in 1986. She graduated from Kennesaw State University with a minor in accounting and a major in business management. In 1989, she married her husband Mike and has two daughters, Emilie and Hannah. She started with the Humane Society in 2010, helping to create the Thrift Store located in Cumming. After the success of the Thrift Store, she was asked to join the Shelter team in 2018 and promoted to the Shelters first Executive Director in 2019. She is thankful to work with such dedicated people, all with the same goal of caring for the counties animals. The Humane Society strives to help the community and surrounding areas, and promotes low-cost spay/neuter and vaccine clinics, as well as assisting people in providing their furry family members’ continued care.

Email: debbertsch@forsythpets.org

Justine Daniel – Shelter Operations Director

Justine has 10 years experience in animal welfare and over 30 years of experience in customer service. She has served as Shelter Operations Director since 2017 and is responsible for ensuring that all areas of shelter operations run smoothly and efficiently.

Email: jdaniel@forsythpets.org

Amanda Porter – Development / Fundraising Director

Amanda hails originally from Houston, TX, although she now joyfully calls North Georgia home. She and her husband Aaron were married on Halloween 2020, and they have two perfect pups and a mischievous kitten together. A theater lover from day one, she began her working days at the Masquerade Theatre as their Production Manager. She has been searching for a job that fills her soul ever since and is delighted to have joined the team at HSFC. Outside of work, she enjoys going for runs, hiking with friends, and baking delicious creations. She looks forward to meeting you at our next community event!

Email: amanda@forsythpets.org

Board of Directors

The Humane Society of Forsyth County, GA’s Board of Directors is a volunteer board comprised of local residents who help the Society fulfill its mission. The Board sets the organization’s road-map for the future and works at fundraising throughout the year. Our board members bring a wealth of experience in many different businesses, financial and global areas.

Scot Rucker, II – President

Scot Rucker, II has served as a board member of the Humane Society of Forsyth County since 2015. His love for all animals started at a young age. He then moved on to his true passion of owning his own business of training dogs. He initiated the HSFC “Friends of Nina Program” and also serves on the Forsyth County Bite Board.

Email: srucker@forsythpets.org

Jamie Porter – Vice President

Jamie Porter has been associated with the Humane Society since 2013 in various capacities, including volunteering, fostering, and as a board member volunteering his time as Director of shelter operations. Jamie and his wife Pam are retired and reside on Lake Lanier with their seven dogs.

Ann Margaret Johnston – Treasurer

Ann-Margaret Johnston has had her CPA firm in Forsyth County for over 28 years and has a dog-friendly work environment. She is very involved with animals, as she served 9 years as Treasurer for The Humane Society of Northeast GA, current HSUS GA State Council member, Pups with Purpose with Sheriff Freeman, Pilot & Paws Rescue, currently she serves on the Executive Board for the Humane Society of Forsyth County as Treasurer, and various other boards in and around the county. She and her husband David live on Lake Lanier with their CGC Westies Olivia and Savannah.

Mark Schullstrom – Secretary

Mark Schullstrom Jr. is a seasoned professional with over two decades of expertise in the technology industry, who joined the HSFC Board of Directors in late 2012. Demonstrating his dedication and leadership skills, Mark has served as both Vice President and President of the organization. His personal life is enriched by his family – his wife Sarah, and their two children, Nora and Luca. As a testament to his commitment to animal welfare, the family has adopted four pets – two dogs and two cats – all of whom are proud alumni of the HSFC.

AJ Seliga

AJ Seliga’s dedication to animal welfare stretches back to his time at The Marine Mammal Center in California, where he contributed to rehabilitating sick and injured seals and sea lions. His passion for creating and hosting events led him to establish Fun Team Events in 2019. AJ helps plan our annual Bark and Boogie Ball and other fundraising initiatives. Residing on Lake Lanier with his husband, Jeff, and Truman, their outdoor-loving rescue pup, AJ continues to merge his love for animals and event planning to support our cause.

Other Board Members

Michael Barlow
Amy Comstock
Dr. Erin Doiron
Kevin Herbert
Ashley Johnessee
Pam Polley
Vicki Rennick
Bea Wilson
Al Cioppa

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