Alan Dow, President

Alan is a native of the UK and was in industry for 40 years, 30 years of that time with DuPont where he worked in four different countries in marketing, strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions and business management. His last position was as COO of a joint venture with Air Products supplying specialized slurries to electronic manufacturers worldwide. Alan consulted for a Japanese chemical company after taking early retirement from DuPont in 2004 and was CEO of a pharmaceutical startup and the COO of a high performance polymer startup. Alan became involved in animal rescue through his wife Mary and was the secretary of a cat refuge before volunteering for IAR in 2010. He joined the board in 2012 and has been the President since 2015. During his time on the board the organization has grown considerably in terms of animals served, expenditure and fundraising and the focus of his efforts as President has been to carefully manage IAR as it evolves from a fully volunteer, all foster parent organization to one with a building, a spay and neuter clinic and the potential to expand further.

Shelly Baum, Treasurer

As a lifelong dog lover, Shelly decided to start volunteering with IAR after retiring. Over her career, Shelly worked for both large and small organizations, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to family run private businesses. She hopes that her many years of accounting experience contribute in a small way to the success of IAR and she has been a Board Member since 2015. She shares her home with her spouse of over 40 years and has recently welcomed a new addition – a rescue dog named Hannah.

Miriam Markfield, Secretary

Miriam adopted two cats from IAR and subsequently became a volunteer. She has volunteered in many different capacities over the years, has served on the Board of Directors since 2011 and currently serves as Secretary of the board. Miriam earned her bachelor’s degree from Furman University and her juris doctorate from Duke University School of Law. She lives in Carrboro and practices in Durham.

Mary Dow, Director

Mary, who is originally from England, is a leader of both the Cat Foster Team and the Feral Cat Team, has been a volunteer for 12 years and a Board Member since 2014. Prior to volunteering for IAR, Mary was the co-founder and a board member of a cat refuge in Chatham County and acted as the volunteer coordinator for eight years. During her time with IAR Mary managed the signature fundraising event, the Painted Chair Auction, for a number of years and is always the leading fundraiser for the Great Human Race. Mary’s key interest is in helping the animals, she has adopted out hundreds of cats and kittens, and she has extensive contacts with foster parents, donors and adopters.

Susan A. Elmore, DVM, Director

Dr. Elmore has been volunteering with the weekly feral and foster cat clinics at IAR since January 2021 and is one of the veterinarians for our Cat Tales Cat Café partner. She received her undergraduate degree in zoology and her master’s degree in genetics/biotechnology from North Carolina State University and then worked as a research associate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She then received her DVM and completed a residency program in anatomic veterinary pathology at NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Elmore is board certified by the American College of Veterinary Pathologists and American Board of Toxicologists and is a Fellow of the International Academy of Toxicologic Pathologists. She was an NTP pathologist and staff scientist at NIEHS for most of her career where she provided management and oversight of pathology peer review, oversight for NTP immunotoxicity studies, Group Leader for the Mouse Embryo Phenotyping Core and Special Technique Core, and Director of the Global NTP ToxPath Training Program. Since August 2021 she has been President of the consulting firm ElmorePathology, LLC.

Kim Gurley, Director

Kim learned of Independent Animal Rescue while searching for a rescue dog. She began volunteering in 2018 and works on the fundraising committee. She has a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Appalachian State University and works as a field service engineer for a scientific instrumentation company. Aside from fundraising, Kim is focused on helping to plan IAR’s growth and development. She is interested in building organizational capacity, recruiting, and supporting volunteers. She joined the Board of Directors in 2020.


Betty Nicholson, Director

Betty was originally invited to join the IAR email team by a friend who was already a volunteer. She received her undergraduate degree in Economics from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and her MBA from Duke University. She has worked at two of the “Big 4” accounting firms, including 15 years in London and New York. She now works for a leading financial services firm. She joined the Board of Directors in 2022.