Board of Directors

    Please meet our 501c3 Not-for-Profit Board of Directors!

    We are so proud to have a group with such unique talents and diverse experiences to draw from.
    This group of passionate folks will conserve and fully utilize every dollar you choose to contribute to our unified mission to save animals' lives.

    John "Jim" C. Beam 1933-2022

    John Jim Beam“Jim” - WHERE do we start? His track record in animal rescue dates back to the late 40s and continues in full force yet today. With the assistance of the likes of Pete Rose, Chuck Berry, and George Steinbrenner, Jim; along with his late wife Maddy created a long history of building shelters in Florida, St. Louis, and of course right here in Effingham County.

    After Jim, alongside Mary Ellen Eversman helped the Effingham County Humane Society buy their building, Jim then teamed up with Sally Perles and created the well-known EARS, an ingenious foster-based network to be the “voice of the animals”

    Jim then moved on to the municipal shelter in Effingham and alongside Heather Mumma, managed to finally make it truly a no-kill facility. They also petitioned the City of Effingham for 2 years and spanned 2 elected Councils to finally receive a beautiful expansion on our current Animal Shelter & Control. After a track record of putting thousands of animals down, this was indeed a monumental feat most 85-year-olds would shudder at tackling. Not Jim. He did not give up.

    Heather M.D. Mumma

    Heather started her quest for a no-kill county by accepting a Directorship on the Effingham County Humane Society board. After fundraising with her team from B&B Homes, and seeing firsthand how that could save lives, she realized she had a passion for animal rescue.

    After Heather was elected to the Effingham County Board in 2018, she was made “oversight manager” of the Effingham County Animal Control (now aptly named as a Shelter.) Heather was instrumental in making the shelter no-kill from the day she walked in and previously had been purchasing cats, fostering them, and rehoming them from that entity.
    When the right employees were in place, including a Warden who co-founded a rescue, Heather moved on to aid Jim in petitioning the City for an expansion and raised funds for a beautiful sign for the Shelter. Her business provided all estimating for the new structure, while Jim personally guaranteed the City he would pay cost overruns if they occurred. It passed!

    Today, Heather oversees the daily operations of the Cattery and hopes to eventually be there in a greater physical capacity. Retirement is looming.

    Heather resides in Effingham with her daughter, Veronika.

    Miriah Jo Ludtke

    Miriah has been active in animal rescue most of her life in some capacity. After being crowned Miss Missouri in 2019, things turned up a notch. She began representing SPEAK, a rescue for dogs who were born deaf and/or blind due to certain breeding practices.

    Miriah sat on the Board of Directors (Young Friends) for The Animal Protection Association of St. Louis.

    Miriah’s event planning and social media skills are perfect to accommodate the needs of a modern shelter like our Cattery.

    She currently resides in Lafayette Square in St.Louis. She and her fiancé Shaun are to be married this coming March.

    Nicole J. Nuxoll

    Nicki obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting through Eastern Illinois University. She has been an Accountant for 13 years.

    She resides in Effingham with her husband Brad and their 2 pups.

    Nicki prides herself in keeping up with the latest tax law and opportunities available for not-for-profits. Nicki will work alongside our grant writers to expand our services; namely TNR (trap, neuter, return) programs.

    Nicki has a huge heart and has overcome adversity with tenacity and courage. There isn’t a challenge she won’t face head-on.

    Shelby L. Arsenault

    Shelby is a mental health therapist with Mercy Hospital St. Louis primarily focused on their psychiatric outpatient programs.

    She holds a Bachelor of Science in social work and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from St. Louis University where she graduated magna cum laude in 2009. She also has her masters in Social work from the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis.

    She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of Missouri and is also a member of the National Association of Social Workers. Shelby backs several animal-related causes, primarily as a board member of the Animal Protective Association of Missouri.

    Shelby currently resides in Clayton, Missouri with her husband Jim, and two sons Charlie and Lane.