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About Us

Almost Home Foundation was founded by five animal lovers in March, 2005. The founders felt that by creating this organization, a difference could be made by saving the lives of adoptable dogs and cats.  Although the Board of Directors has changed since then, the goal of Almost Home Foundation remains the same.

We are an all volunteer, registered, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to rescuing stray, neglected, and abandoned adoptable cats and dogs. Our primary focus is to save those animals needing us most. We also believe in rescuing responsibly. Our focus is to rescue homeless cats and dogs and responsibly place them into permanent, loving homes.  We are extremely selective about the dogs we place and temperament testing is done prior to adoption from our program. Our goal is to responsibly place cats and dogs with temperaments that will make loving family pets.  Almost Home Foundation is a no-kill shelter and only reserves euthanasia for terminally ill animals or cases of human aggression.

Thanks to our network of foster homes, and financial support from fundraising, we’ve been able to reach out to save animals not only throughout Illinois, but in many other states including Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee where they may otherwise be euthanized due to lack of space, time, or money at high-kill shelters. We have also driven many miles to save animals from other states including Mississippi and a South Dakota Indian reservation.

Almost Home Foundation does not discriminate based on breed, age, or health of an animal.

Current Board of Directors

Rosemary McNiff

President

Rosemary McNiff is the President on the Board of Directors for Almost Home Foundation. She worked in the international publication distribution business for 23 years. In 2001 she opened her own international publication distribution company starting with 7 employees, grew it to over a 100 employees, and sold it to a Fortune 500 company in 2010. She was able to meet her goal of retiring at the age of 40. She then joined AHF in 2010 and has had a property investment/rental company since retirement. Rose loves participating in rescue because she is passionate about animals. She and her colleagues have the same vision and goals for AHF. They want to take it to another level so they are able to rescue even more dogs and cats and continue to make a difference in the lives of homeless pets. Rose looks forward to AHF’s continued support and growing relationships to benefit our community. Rose grew up in Franklin Park and has always had her primary residence in Illinois. She has vacation homes in Florida and Michigan as she loves traveling and boating with her husband, family and friends. When Rose isn’t cracking the whip to get stuff done at AHF, she is spending time with her 2 daughters, 3 grandchildren, 4 dogs, and foster animals. She takes at least two of her dogs with her wherever she travels. They love traveling too! Three words that describe Rose are: tenacious, decisive, and dedicated. Rose is very excited for the future of AHF and looks forward to what we can do together!

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Christina Ciesla

Treasurer

Christina Ciesla is the Treasurer on the Board of Directors for Almost Home Foundation. She is responsible for the general financial oversight of the Foundation including financial records and reporting, cash management, financial planning and budgeting. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from NIU, became CPA-certified in 1996, and spent 10 years in public accounting as an Audit Manager for manufacturing and distribution companies, as well as nonprofit organizations. She left that company to become Controller of a manufacturing company for the next 15 years. Currently, she and her husband are owners of Club Pilates in Schaumburg. Christina is also an Approved Humane Investigator with the Department of Agriculture. When asked what gets her up in the morning, Christina had this to say: I have loved animals my whole life but I didn’t know in what capacity I could help. It was when I came across the “starfish” story, I knew I could make a difference. I started volunteering with AHF in 2010 and the rest is history…this is the story: A young girl was walking along a beach upon which thousands of starfish had been washed up during a terrible storm. When she came to each starfish, she would pick it up, and throw it back into the ocean. People watched her with amusement. She had been doing this for some time when a man approached her and said, “Little girl, why are you doing this? Look at this beach! You can’t save all these starfish. You can’t begin to make a difference!” The girl seemed crushed, suddenly deflated. But after a few moments, she bent down, picked up another starfish, and hurled it as far as she could into the ocean. Then she looked up at the man and replied, “but I just made a difference for that one.” When Christina isn’t obsessively cleaning the kennel or crunching numbers, she and her husband like to relax in their Elk Grove Village home. Though they lost their AHF dog, Winston, in 2020, they are looking forward to fostering and rescuing many more like him. Three words that describe Christina are: humble, helpful, and hilarious! (Not what you were expecting for a CPA?)

Jackie

Jackie Guglielmo

Canine Director

Jackie Guglielmo is the Canine Director on the Board of Directors for Almost Home Foundation. She is responsible for all canine behavior issues, returns, owner relinquishments, and training. Jackie received her Bachelor of Arts in Business from DePaul University. She spent over 20 years working in the life insurance industry in policy accounting and customer service. During that time she earned her Life & Health Insurance License, earned the designation of CLU (Chartered Life Underwriter), FLMI (Fellow, Life Management Institute), and ALHC (Associate Life Health Claims). Jackie joined AHF in 2008. Currently, Jackie works part-time as a Paraprofessional within her school district. If you ask Jackie why she does what she does, she will tell you that rescue is tough. It is emotionally and mentally draining. She knows her colleagues feel the same way too. The animals we rescue are in desperate need of a second chance. They have been given up, abandoned, or lost. Although we can’t save them all, we push ourselves beyond the limit every day to do as much as we can with the resources we have. Jackie has a daughter in college pursuing a degree in Computer Science and Physics. She also has two Almost Home pets – a dog named Bolt, and a cat named Ginger. When Jackie isn’t at the kennel (powered by caffeine!) running around checking transport dogs for fleas and ticks and cutting their nails, or thinking of innovative ways to improve AHF’s processes, she can be found enjoying the outdoors with her family. Their outdoor hobbies include: hiking, boating, scuba diving, and learning to fly an ultralight aircraft. She loves taking her dog on two long walks a day. Three words that describe Jackie are: dedicated, determined, and organized.

Chuck Hanson

Vice President

Chuck Hanson is one of the five original founders for AHF in 2005. Chuck’s vision to save cats and dogs in the Chicagoland area and beyond has flourished and expanded since AHF’s inception. He is the owner of Master Motor Rebuilders in Addison. Chuck is currently on medical leave.