Board of Directors & Staff

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Meet Friends

Our all-volunteer, Board of Directors is comprised of animal lovers and supporters in the Fairfax County area. Each member brings a unique, professional skill-set to our Board, helping us accomplish our mission.


Evelyn C. Grieve, President / Acting Treasurer
Rita Altman, Vice President
Jill Westeyn, Member
Michael R Frey, Member
Karen Diviney, Ex Officio Member / Shelter Liaison to Friends Board


Lindsey Jurca, Operations Manager

dog eddie

Eddie, Friends’ Mascot

Evelyn Grieve

Evelyn C. Grieve

President / Acting Treasurer

Evelyn C. Grieve is the co-founder of Friends.  Evelyn and Karen Diviney, the current Shelter director, founded the Friends in 2006.  Karen and Evelyn had previously worked together in the Department of Human Resources for the County of Fairfax. Evelyn retired from the Department of Human Resources, County of Fairfax, after 25 years as the IT Division Director.  Evelyn also served four years as the President of the Mallard Cove Homeowners Association.

Evelyn and her husband Bill are the lucky foster failures of Eddie, the Friends mascot. Eddie is an 11-year old, full-of-life Cairn terrier.  Evelyn and Bill have also rescued a special-needs Airedale terrier. Other pets have included a Dandie Dinmont terrier and another Airedale terrier.

Evelyn grew up with cats, dogs, ducks, rabbits, turtles and hamsters.  In addition to gardening, Evelyn, Bill and Eddie love the beach.

Rita Altman

Rita Altman

Vice President

Rita Altman is a retired preschool and primary special education teacher. She touched the lives of children in California and Virginia public school systems.

While living in Irvine, Calif., Rita walked dogs at the Irving Animal Care Center (1995-2002). Since 2004, Rita has volunteered at the Fairfax County Animal Shelter with the foster program and as a dog walker. She joined the Friends Board in 2011.

Rita also volunteers with So Others Might Eat, in Washington, D.C., and more recently with Doobert–transporting dogs in need of homes from overcrowded shelters down south to rescues up north.

Rita lives with her husband Barry (a devout Friends and Shelter volunteer), three dogs Latke, Tessie, and Nia; and wonderful cat Olivia.

Jill Westeyn

Jill Westeyn


Jill Westeyn is a public affairs specialist and social media manager with the United States Mint, and was formerly a program manager with the Air Force Association. She is a retired Air Force veteran. Jill has more than 20 years of public affairs and events management experience.

Jill joined Friends in 2015 as a much-needed volunteer. The work she did for Friends inspired her to become a dog kennel volunteer at the Shelter. In addition to caring for the dogs, Jill works as part of a training team, helping to make dogs more adoptable.

Jill met her husband Lindsey while they were both serving on active duty in Washington, D.C. Jill and Lindsey live in Herndon with their two beagle mixes, Sully and Zeke.

friends of fairfax county animal shelter

Nancy Abbott


Nancy is a commercial lender with TD Bank.  She has been with TD Bank since 2009, and was formerly with Alliance Bank, Signet Bank, Bank of Virginia and Colorado National. Nancy has more than 20 years of retail and commercial banking experience.

Nancy’s volunteer experience includes board positions with Brookfield Swim Club, Inmed Partnerships for Children and Friends since April 2018. Nancy has also volunteered in the community with Fairfax County Public Schools, Girl Scouts and Chantilly Youth Association.

Nancy and her husband Mark have lived in the Chantilly community for more than 30 years. They have four children and have collectively rescued 10 dogs throughout the years. Currently, Nancy and Mark have two rescues, Ben, a Great Dane Shephard mix; and Kiki, a Shih-Tzu.

Michael Frey

Michael R. Frey


Michael R. Frey served Fairfax County for 37 years. In November 1991, he was elected as the first member of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to represent the newly created Sully District. Michael served on the Board of Supervisors for six terms–a total of 24 years.

Michael’s knowledge and experience in land use and development issues within Fairfax County is extensive. In addition to being an expert on these matters, he also is known for advocating for and improving the lives of animals in Fairfax County.

Michael has been a homeowner in the London Commons community of Centreville since 1985. Issues affecting our youth remain one of Michael’s s top priorities, and he has been a strong supporter of youth athletics.

Since leaving office in 2016, Michael has remained involved in community activities.  In addition to serving on the Friends board, he presently serves on the boards of the Historic Centreville Society and the Fairfax County Historical Society. He is also involved with the Southwestern Youth Association as they begin Phase Two of the SYA Sports Park project.

In 2017, the Fairfax County Animal Shelter was named in Michael’s honor by the Board of Supervisors, in recognition of his lifelong commitment to animals and humane issues.

Karen Diviney

Karen Diviney

Ex Officio Member

Karen Diviney is the co-founder of Friends and is currently the Director of Department of Animal Sheltering, Fairfax County. She served as the Fairfax County Animal Shelter Director from 2004-2012. Additionally, Karen has 19 years of experience in Human Resources.

From January 2013 to August 2015, Karen served as the Treasurer for Friends. She is a member of The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement (formerly SAWA), a professional association dedicated to bringing out the best in animal welfare leaders.

Karen lives with her husband Wayne, Shelter alumnus Charlie Murphy, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and Cesar, an African Gray Parrot.


Lindsey Jurca

Operations Manager

Lindsey Jurca has been passionate about animals from a young age and was involved in some of the first fundraising events put on by Friends.

She is a recent graduate from George Mason University, earning her degree in Business Management.

Prior to joining Friends in 2017, Lindsey was a veterinary technician at Kingsview Animal Hospital. Lindsey lives with her husband, Andrei, and their three cats; Kiya, Mo, and Blu.