Meet Our Executive Team
Robin Robertson Starr
Chief Executive Officer
Robin left the practice of law to become the chief executive officer of the Richmond SPCA in 1997. She spearheaded the nonprofit’s transition to a no-kill operating model, implementing progressive programs and services to increase lifesaving across Central Virginia. Under her leadership, we opened the Susan M. Markel Veterinary Hospital in 2016, the first charitably-operated, full-service veterinary hospital in the Commonwealth.
After completing her undergraduate degree in biology at Wake Forest University, Robin went to law school at T.C. Williams School of Law of the University of Richmond where she was editor of the University of Richmond Law Review.
Over her more than two decades at the helm of the Richmond SPCA, Robin and her family have adopted many dogs and cats who have each brought immeasurable joy to their home. Currently, the Starrs have two dogs and two cats.
Chief Executive Officer-Elect
Tamsen came to the Richmond SPCA as a public relations intern in 2002 and joined the staff full time after graduating the same year from Virginia Commonwealth University with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications. She’s never looked back.
Over the years, she has performed development and communications roles, and since 2007 she has overseen those departments as well as all operational activities, programs and services as chief operating officer. Tamsen was named chief executive officer-elect by the Board of Directors in 2018 and will become the nonprofit’s chief executive officer upon Robin’s retirement in 2019.
Tamsen shares her historic Richmond home with two cats and a dog, all of whom she adopted from the Richmond SPCA. She is married and has one daughter.
Sarah Babcock, CTC, CPDT-KSA, CBCC-KA, CDBC
Chief of Education and Training
Sarah joined the staff of the Richmond SPCA in 2001, soon after graduating valedictorian and with honors from Jean Donaldson’s Academy for Dog Trainers at the San Francisco SPCA. Her earlier career at IBM followed her graduation from Sweet Briar College with a bachelor’s degree in math and economics. Sarah’s career change was inspired by Crosby, a dog she found, adopted and began training, which led her to pursue additional education in animal behavior at the University of Richmond where she completed three years of graduate work in psychology and neuroscience.
The dogs who share Sarah’s home have competed in canine agility, trained in tricks, done commercial work for local and national brands, appeared on the cover of Bark magazine, and visited local retirement communities as part of the Richmond SPCA’s Paws for Health Program. Her Henrico County farm is also home to cats, chickens and miniature horses, all of whom have benefited from some degree of clicker training.
Lindsay Brockman, LVT
Director of the Susan M. Markel Veterinary Hospital
Lindsay joined the Susan M. Markel Veterinary Hospital team in 2016 with a background in emergency veterinary medicine. After graduating from George Mason University with a bachelor’s degree in public relations in 2009, she went on to earn a degree in Veterinary Technology from Blue Ridge Community College.
Lindsay was promoted to director of our veterinary hospital in 2018. When she is not working at the Richmond SPCA, Lindsay enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter, as well as her two dogs, cat and guinea pig.
Steven Graeff, CPA
Director of Finance and Accounting
Steve started at the Richmond SPCA as a retail associate in 2013. A few months later, he took on the role of accounting assistant while completing his bachelor’s degree in accounting at Virginia Commonwealth University. Following graduation, he became a Certified Public Accountant and was promoted to manager of accounting. He became our director of finance and accounting in 2018.
Steve is a veteran of the US Armed Forces, having served in the Navy from 2001-2011 as an electronic technician. Steve’s dog Mr. Smoke is an alumnus of the Richmond SPCA and a regular fixture around the office, and Steve also has two cats, Renegade and Floozy.
Angela Ivey, DVM
Director of Veterinary Medicine
Dr. Ivey is a Kentucky native who joined the Richmond SPCA in 2004. An alumna of the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine, she earned her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 1985. She attended the University of Louisville as an undergraduate. Dr. Ivey worked in private practice for nearly 20 years, opening both a successful clinic in Colonial Heights and a satellite clinic in Chester.
As our director of veterinary medicine, Dr. Ivey oversees the provision of all professional veterinary services at the Richmond SPCA. This includes services delivered to pets in our care awaiting adoption, as well as patients of the Susan M. Markel Veterinary Hospital.
Senior Manager of Education and Training
Timothy joined the Richmond SPCA’s Animal Care team in 2006. He was promoted to manage the volunteers and programs department in 2011, and then spent six years as our manager of adoptions, beginning in 2013.
In 2019, Timothy became our senior manager of education and training. He is responsible for overseeing the Richmond SPCA’s education programs which include pet training classes, School For Dogs and humane education, as well as our volunteer department and programming.
Timothy lives in Mechanicsville with his wife, three children and two dogs, Grady and Simon, who are both Richmond SPCA alumni. Simon was adopted in in March 2006. Timothy’s adoption of Simon was the inspiration for him to join the Richmond SPCA staff one month later.
Carol Anne Baker Lajoie
Director of Development
Carol Anne serves as our director of development overseeing fundraising activities for the Richmond SPCA. Prior to joining our team, she served as director of development and external relations for the Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University and chief development officer for the YWCA of Richmond. She spent 11 years at the Virginia Historical Society before joining the YWCA. She holds a bachelor of science degree from VCU and is months away from completing her master’s from the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.
Carol Anne served on the board of the Virginia Association of Fundraising Executives and is the current chair of Impact 100, a women’s grant making collaborative. Her passions include Bruce Springsteen, making up songs about her dogs and being around smart women. She lives with her husband, rescued dogs, and a flock of highly demanding chickens in North Chesterfield.
Lisa Clarke Rivadeneira
Chief Operating Officer
Lisa’s summer internship with the Richmond SPCA in 2008 was the start to her career in animal welfare. After graduating in May of 2009 from Virginia Commonwealth University with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications, Lisa continued to volunteer until she joined the staff in early 2010. She has held positions in communications, volunteers, human resources and development before she was promoted to become our chief operating officer in 2019.
Lisa has two cats, two dogs, a toddler and a husband who keep her busy.
Senior Director of Sheltering Operations
Carly was hired in 2003 in the Richmond SPCA’s animal care department, which she now oversees as senior director of sheltering operations. In this role, she also supervises adoptions, admissions and the organization’s foster care program. Her team is responsible for the intake, care and adoption of nearly 4,000 animals each year.
Carly is a graduate of Coastal Carolina University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in history. Her family shares their home with two dogs and a cat, all of whom they have adopted from the Richmond SPCA.
Director of Communications
Tabitha joined the Richmond SPCA in 2005 as an admissions counselor soon after moving to Richmond from her home state of Mississippi. The following year, she was offered the opportunity to meld her skills as a communications professional with her newfound passion for animal welfare as the organization’s community relations manager. Tabitha was promoted to director of communications in 2010.
Tabitha is a member of the Public Relations Society of America and PRSA Richmond. She earned her bachelor’s degree in mass communications from William Carey University in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Tabitha and her husband live in Richmond with four Richmond SPCA alumni – two cats and two dogs.