Our Team

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Dr. Annie Harvilicz is the Chief Medical Officer of the veterinary hospital Animal Wellness Centers in Venice, California and Founder of Animal Wellness Foundation. She is the recipient of the Sherrie Clark Compassion and Caring Award and the Tobey Award for helping lost, abandoned, or homeless dogs and has served on the national leadership council of the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association. It was Annie’s vision to create a rescue organization that would align with her veterinarian practice and treat every animal as a unique individual.


John Mackey, serves as Board Member, and is the current CEO of Whole Foods Market, and one of the most influential advocates in the movement for organic food and standards for humane animal treatment. He started the Animal Compassion Foundation to address making animal welfare more economically viable. Mackey is on the Board of Directors of Global Animal Partnership, a Board of Director for the Humane Society and has followed an entirely plant-based diet.


James Grant has worked in the Los Angeles rescue community for over 10 years, starting out as a volunteer and dog foster for multiple rescue groups. As Vice President of Animal Wellness Foundation, he has cultivated relationships with key leaders in animal care and control, private rescue personnel, shelter and training facilities. As a result, James has facilitated in thousands of rescue and rehome missions at home and overseas, facilitating rescuing endangered dogs from meat trade in China.

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Wayne Pacelle led The Humane Society of the United States as president and CEO for nearly 14 years. He expanded its work into all 50 states and into 51 countries, merging with a half dozen organizations to create one of the largest animal-care organizations in the world and the most important advocacy group for animals. Wayne extends his animal advocacy experience as C.E.O. of Animal Wellness Foundation working with it’s political arm, Animal Wellness Action, to end animal cruelty at the federal level.


Sylvia Vannini, serves as Board Member, and is an attorney who advises public and private companies on mergers and acquisitions, securities, and general corporate matters, including corporate governance, both in and out of the entertainment industry. She has been recognized by Legal 500 as “Next Generation Lawyer” in Media, selected by the Daily Journal to its “Top Women Lawyers” list (2018) and in Variety’s Legal Impact Report (2018) and Super Lawyers: Southern California Entertainment Law Rising Star (2015-2018). She is an animal lover, pet owner, vegetarian and rescue supporter.


Ryan O’Neil, serves as Board Member, and is an American actor and former boxer with a passion for animals. O'Neal trained as an amateur boxer before beginning his career in acting in 1960. In 1964, he landed the role of Rodney Harrington on the ABC night time soap opera Peyton Place. Ryan is most notably credited for his roles in Love Story (1970), Peter Bogdanovich's What's Up, Doc? (1972) and Paper Moon (1973), Stanley Kubrick's Barry Lyndon (1975), Richard Attenborough's A Bridge Too Far (1977), and Walter Hill's The Driver (1978). He is a pet owner and animal rescue supporter.


Dr. Pernilla Edstrom, DVM, at Animal Wellness Centers, has over 12 years of veterinary care experience. After receiving her veterinary doctorate, she accepted an internship at Animal Surgical and Emergency Center (ASEC) in West Los Angeles. There, she was exposed to a multitude of specialties, such as Emergency and Critical Care, Surgery, Cardiology, Radiology, and Internal Medicine. She is a leader in the foundation’s animal care department working with Animal Wellness Centers hospitals on the front lines to treat and rehabilitate animals while actively supporting animal protection policies.


Juliana Riccardi serves as Director of Outreach of the Animal Wellness Foundation Rescue, where she develops and manages it’s network of volunteers, fosters, and supporters; while heading up communications projects including event planning, website and promotional design. Juliana works hands-on to lead and coordinate rescue missions, animal care, and adoptions and as a result has facilitated in rehoming hundreds of animals since joining the team.

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Holly Gann serves as Director of Federal Affairs for Animal Wellness Action working closely with the foundation on policy support. She oversees federal legislative and regulatory efforts and will work to advance key initiatives to achieve the nation’s most important policy goals for dogs, cats, horses, and other animals. Gann previously worked at The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society Legislative Fund for more than half a decade, bringing numerous victories to the organization and its affiliates during her tenure.