Board Members


Jo Bighouse, President is the chief volunteer officer of Serenity Farm and ensures the supervision and administration of the animal sanctuary’s business and affairs. In conjunction with the rest of the Board, Jo creates, communicates, and implements Serenity Farm’s vision, mission, and direction while evaluating the overall success of the organization. Jo is the owner of Instinctive Pet, LLC and Professional Bookkeeping, LLC. She is a member of The National Association for the Education of Young Children and has 23 years experience as the administrator of Paxton Child Development Center in Leesburg, Virginia where she created an on site petting farm for the children. She is the former owner of Midas Touch Naturally Healthy Pets, a store specializing in natural and holistic products for pets and people.

Donna Olive Kropotkin, Vice President works with the rest of the board, to plan, develop and enforce policies and objectives for the animal sanctuary to ensure it maintains its values and meets established goals. Donna is responsible for recommending operational strategies and creating a systemic organizational structure that incorporates an internal system of checks and balances and enables the organization to expand its operations. Donna designs and conducts on-going systems analysis and oversees the complete operation of Serenity Farm in accordance with the direction established in the strategic plans. A retired Executive Assistant for Lockheed Martin Corporation and a lifelong animal lover and Master Naturalist, she has worked with various shelters in the area doing pet care and training, as well as volunteers for the Loudoun Therapeutic Riding program at Morven Park in Leesburg.  Donna is also an established beekeeper and owner of Hound Haven Apiary in Berryville.

Lisa Phillips, Treasurer is the lead director for oversight of the financial condition and affairs of Serenity Farm including audit or financial review results. In conjunction with other directors, Lisa oversees budget preparation, monitors the spending of the organization, and ensures that appropriate financial reports, including an account of major transactions and the financial condition of the corporation, are made available to the Board of Directors on a timely basis or as may be required by the Board of Directors. Lisa was born and raised on a farm in Loudoun County and has been a volunteer for several therapeutic riding programs.  She was a preschool teacher at Paxton Child Development Center for six years and is currently employed by Loudoun County Public Schools in the Special Education Department.

Julie Baniowski, Secretary is responsible for the proper management and utilization of important records including meeting minutes and the organization’s by-laws. Julie is the regional coordinator for National Great Pyrenees Rescue and volunteers with a national equine network that pulls slaughter-bound horses. She fosters and works with dogs in need of socialization and rehabilitation of failed livestock guardians. Julie has chaired a task force for battered women and is actively involved in the protection of women and children in abusive life situations.

All Board members are volunteers and do not receive any compensation for their work on behalf of Serenity Farm Animal Sanctuary.

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