Board of Directors

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

jason-flatt

Hometown: Queens, NY
Current City: Dallas, GA
jason@friendstotheforlorn.org

Jason M. Flatt
President & Founder

Jason shared his home with his parents, Roy and Gerrie, brother, Evan, and pitbull, Calvin. His parents taught him animals were part of the family. From an early age, Jason’s love of animals was undeniable. He brought home every stray he came across and dreamed of becoming a veterinarian. However, life took its twists and turns. Instead, Jason had a successful 20-year career on Wall Street as a commodity/futures trader/broker, and then as a managing director for an equity research publication.

After losing his brother unexpectedly in 2005, Jason found himself in a very dark place. He needed a change and decided to move to Georgia for a fresh start and to escape some rough memories. Shortly after his move, Jason intercepted a 5-week-old pitbull pup, named Angelo, from going to the pound. Suddenly, the dark days got a little brighter. The love Jason and Angelo shared for each other made life good again. Jason went to the pound with the intent of adopting another pitbull as a playmate for Angelo. When he saw the pounds were filled with pitbulls, he was bothered. This realization bothered him enough that he decided to do something about it. In October 2009 Jason founded Friends to the Forlorn Pitbull Rescue.

Jason built FTTF on integrity, compassion, commitment, and love. He pours his heart and soul into every animal he rescues. He loves to rescue the Forlorn, the ones everyone else has given up on. He believes that there is a home for every animal and we just need to work really hard to find it. He prides himself on being decent to every animal and human, in every situation. Jason believes if you are able to help, you should. He has big plans for FTTF. These plans are almost as big as his heart, and his personality.

lori-ragan-harkey

Hometown: Atlanta, GA
Current City: Marietta, GA
lori@friendstotheforlorn.org

Lori Ragan-Harkey
Vice President

Lori has always been an animal lover and “informal” rescuer all of her life. Bringing home the strays that crossed her path from the time she was a child, including dogs, cats, turtles, hamsters, rabbits and even a fox. Lori began to get into “formal” rescue in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina when she went with a rescue group down to New Orleans to help with the overwhelming issues affecting the abandoned animals.

Lori continued to work with both national and local rescue organizations, leading her to meet Jason Flatt in 2008. As Jason began his venture in rescue, Lori’s efforts began to align with his, making her one of the first volunteers to come on board with FTTF when it officially became a 501(c)3 in 2009. Lori has worn many hats through the years, but now spends most of her time on the business side of the rescue working with donors, volunteers, banking, and strategic planning to keep the rescue running smoothly. Lori is an integral part of FTTF and oversees many of the behind the scenes duties delegated to various volunteers.

Lori is employed by Ragan Enterprises, Inc., her family’s mechanical contracting business, where she manages the office and oversees the finances. Lori resides with her husband, two dogs, two cats, and an iguana. She stays busy with her two grown children and four grandchildren, who all reside in the Metro Atlanta area. She is involved with the grandchildren’s school and social activities. Her hobbies include reading, baking, and gardening.

tina-drummond

Hometown: Abilene, TX
Current City: Temple, GA
tina@friendstotheforlorn.org

Tina Drummond, CPA
Treasurer

Tina grew up in Texas and received her Accounting degree from Abilene Christian University. She has been a resident of Paulding County since 1995, a Certified Public Accountant in Georgia since 2000, and owner/partner of a CPA firm in Paulding County since 2004. She is a certified public accountant licensed in the state of Georgia and a member of the American Institute of CPAs.

Tina’s areas of expertise include corporate tax, small business accounting and taxation, personal income tax preparation, business consulting, and nonprofit 501(c)3 applications and reporting. Tina oversees and handles all of FTTF’s taxes, budgeting and finances. She believes in FTTF’s mission and the services we provide to animals and the community as a whole.

Tina lives in Paulding County with her family. She is involved with numerous ministries, non-profits and community organizations. Tina truly enjoys her profession and the opportunity to provide a needed service to so many in the community. She shares her home with a Mastiff, Cocker Spaniel, and four pitbulls: Lucky, Tater, Mercedes and Eclipse. Mercedes is Eclipse’s mom and they were both rescued by FTTF.

holly-nelson

Hometown: Stamford, CT
Current City: Austell, GA
holly@friendstotheforlorn.org

Holly Nelson
Secretary

Holly relocated from Connecticut to Georgia in 2003 due to a job transfer. A few months after relocating she was passing by a pet store in Smyrna, GA and saw rows of crates on the sidewalk with dogs up for adoption. Having never seen this before in CT, she was saddened that pets seemed so disposable. As an only child who adored animals and grew up with dogs, cats, birds, and fish, it sparked an interest to learn about the pet overpopulation problem in Georgia. She visited many shelters and rescues, and decided to adopt her first dog, Bella, a husky mix from a local rescue, in 2003. Holly wanted to do more to help, so she began volunteering at adoption events and fostering. After five years of involvement with various rescues, Holly met Jason Flatt at a veterinary office in 2008. Shorty after, she came on board to FTTF.

Holly oversees the adoption events, adoption and foster applications, our community spay/neuter program, veterinary care, training, and home visits. Her 15+ years of being involved in the Atlanta rescue community is a true asset to our organization. Holly recognizes the overwhelming need for a pitbull rescue and education organization in the Atlanta area and is committed to supporting FTTF reach the level of necessity the Atlanta area demands.

Holly has extensive college education from Southern Connecticut State University and New York Medical College, where she studied public health in the community. Holly works for a large insurance company and has worked in this industry for 20+ years, overseeing claims management, account management and sales.

Holly resides with her husband, Paul, and a menagerie of rescue dogs, including Dachshunds, labs, pitbulls and mutts. She has owned four pitbulls – Zeus, Roger Rabbit, Ali and LJ – all rescued through FTTF.

emily-hite

Hometown: Indianapolis, Indiana
Current City: Decatur, Georgia
ehite@friendstotheforlorn.org

Emily Hite
Board Member

Emily grew up in Georgia, with a deep love for animals but in a house without pets. Emily’s first pitbull, Ruby Magnolia, found her when she was living in Sarasota, Florida. Ruby was a small puppy discovered abandoned in a ditch. They were introduced by a mutual friend and it was love at first sight. Adopting Ruby introduced her to the stigma associated with pitbulls and she quickly became a staunch advocate for the breed. One pitbull quickly became two, but Emily didn’t begin working with rescues or fully understand the depth of the problem until she relocated back to Atlanta.

She began fostering for a local nonprofit and started recognizing the staggering number of pitbulls in shelters. She met Jason Flatt in 2014, when she saw a pitbull mix scheduled for euthanasia at a local animal shelter. She contacted the shelter and they connected her with Friends to the Forlorn. Working with FTTF introduced Emily to the heartbreaking situation of dogs classified as pitbull – overpopulation, cruelty and neglect, disproportionately high euthanasia rates, and an unwarranted and unfair reputation. Inspired by the commitment and work of FTTF, Emily and her husband began fostering for the rescue. Emily joined the Board of Directors in 2016.

Emily has a master’s degree in Public Health from the University of South Florida and is a senior manager at ICF, a consulting company in Atlanta. She lives with her husband, three rescue pitbulls – Ruby Magnolia, Lola Bird, and Miracle – and a small, angry, rescued Cairn Terrier named Tripper.

lenny-carr

Hometown: Dearborn Heights, MI
Current City: Hiram, GA
lcarr@friendstotheforlorn.org

Lenny Carr
Board Member

Lenny Carr is a Detective Sergeant for the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office Crimes Against Children Unit.

Lenny has a diverse background, spending 15 years as a retail executive before joining law enforcement. During most of that time he participated, along with his spouse, as a volunteer with the Paulding Humane Society and independently rescued animals, both wild and domesticated. Lenny also worked as the Facility Manager for Paulding County Animal Control under the Paulding Marshal Bureau.

Lenny is active in several community organizations, including Paulding Public Safety Appreciation Inc. as an Executive Board Member and Treasurer, United Way Paulding as an Advisory Board Member, and most recently joined Friends To The Forlorn Pitbull Rescue as a Board Member.

Lenny has a wealth of knowledge within the community, excels at organizing and promoting fundraising events, and forecasting community needs.

lauriel-leonard

Hometown: Memphis, TN
Current City: Vinings, GA
lauriel@friendstotheforlorn.org

Lauriel Leonard
Board Member

Lauriel has always had a love for animals, and has volunteered and worked with many animal welfare organizations since the mid 90’s. Her most recent passion was as founding member of Georgia English Bulldog Rescue, Board Member, and Bully Ball Committee Chair for 9 years.

She met her first pitbull, Roxy, realizing even she had fallen for the false stereotype but found out firsthand how wonderful a pitbull could be.

She joined the FTTF Board and became the Events Chair in January 2018 to follow her heart and help the terrible problem shelters have today, pitbull over population, cruelty and high euthanasia rates.

A graduate of UGA, she has been co-owner of a design and manufacturing company, DEX Industries, for 18 years. She and her husband, Craig, live in Vinings, GA and share their home with Roxy, Addie Bobbles and Rosa Maria. Addie Bobbles came from a rescue in Tennessee, Rosa Maria from a local Atlanta rescue, and Roxy from the streets of West End Atlanta.

clay-leathers

Hometown: Villa Rica, GA
Current City: Dallas, GA
New.Hope.AH@gmail.com

Clay Leathers, DVM
Board Member

Dr. Clay Leathers grew up in Villa Rica, Georgia. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of West Georgia and was the first student to be accepted into the UGA veterinary program from UWG. Dr. Leathers attended the University of Georgia Veterinary Teaching College and graduated in 2006. He opened New Hope Animal Hospital in 2012 with his wife, Dr. Valerie Leathers, after practicing for 6 years in Carroll County Georgia. His favorite veterinary cases are dermatology, internal medicine, soft tissue surgery, and orthopedic surgery. He also contributes to Paulding County rescue groups and organizations. Dr. Leathers cares for all dogs in the FTTF program, as well as performs surgeries for our spay neuter program. He provides medical expertise to our Board Members to ensure our dogs receive the best treatment possible. He believes in FTTF and is proud to be a part of our organization.

Dr. Leathers and his wife met in Athens and now live in Dallas with their three sons, who keep them busy! They have two dogs, a Golden Retriever and a Jack Russell Terrier, and a feisty long hair cat named Tybee. Clay is pictured with their two dogs, Jackson and Scott.