Illinois Equine Humane Center is Governed by a Board of Directors that Provides Oversight and Transparency
Gail Vacca President/Founder
Charlie Deveaux Board Member
Justine Dover Secretary/Treasurer
Sarah Mowat Board Member
Jessica Otto Board Member
Gail Vacca has been engaged in the horse industry for over four decades. Her career within the industry began on the east coast where she taught riding lessons, trained, and competed hunter/jumpers throughout New England. In 1984, she passed the New Hampshire Racing Commission licensing exam and began her career as a Thoroughbred racehorse trainer. While no longer actively training racehorses, she still owns her own rescued Thoroughbreds. Active in equine rescue and rehabilitation for over 35 years, her most visible role in recent years has been as a grassroots advocate for both national and state-based non-profit organizations dedicated to reducing equine cruelty and neglect through education and legislation. She is the Founder of the Illinois Equine Humane Center which was organized in 2008.
Charle Deveaux is a retired airline pilot and Navy Captain who started volunteering in 2011. He has owned two pleasure horses and enjoys the Triple Crown as a sporting event. He is happy to help the ILEHC as a volunteer and as a Board member.
Justine Dover started as an ILEHC volunteer in the late summer of 2012 and during January 2014 accepted an ILEHC Board position. Since a young age, Justine has wanted and loved horses but living in the suburbs precluded her from pursuing that interest. Justine adopted an ILEHC horse, King Cielo, during the autumn of 2013. She also adopted Foreclosed in the Fall of 2021 and Sok Sok in the late Winter 2022. The therapeutic value derived from caring for a horse has been boundless, my passion is rescue.
Sarah Mowat was born in England and began riding Shetland ponies as soon as she could waddle, from then on horses became her passion and purpose. As a youngster she worked in stables in exchange for a pony to enjoy Pony Club activities with, working her way up through the British Horse Society exams. Her first paid job was caring for horses and fondly recalls squeezing in school assignments in the tack room between training sessions. As an adult, barn time eased off in place of work, re-locating to the US, and starting a family, but she would always seek out horses and continued riding at every opportunity. Sarah discovered ILEHC at a Christmas event in December of 2017 and was inspired by the mission, people and horses to get more involved, accepting an ILEHC board position in June of 2019. Sarah is the proud owner of adopted My Pal Asher.