Safe Harbor Sanctuary announces leadership changes

At its recent board meeting, Safe Harbor Sanctuary named Elizabeth Howe as executive director and Linda Roca as board member. Founder and former executive director Sariah Hopkins will continue as treasurer. Jane-Ashe Gailmard remains as board member and thoroughbred liaison.

“I want to give my deepest gratitude to all who have been so supportive of the organization and of me personally over the years - volunteers, board members, and, of course, all who have donated for the horses,” said Hopkins. “Without you, Safe Harbor would not be as strong and vibrant as it is. I am so honored to have been the leader of this incredible organization and will participate in the position of treasurer with much excitement for the future, as Elizabeth takes over the leadership role.”

Safe Harbor is 100 percent volunteer-run and board positions are not compensated. The organization has successfully rehabilitated and rehomed more than 500 horses, ponies, donkeys and livestock animals since its inception five years ago.


Howe is an account executive at Varallo Public Relations in Nashville. She is a life-long horse owner who has been a Safe Harbor volunteer for the past three years. A graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, she lives in Wilson County.

“It is a privilege to take the reins of Safe Harbor at a time when we, as an organization, have a unified vision of where we can do the most good and what we need to do to continue our mission. I’m very thankful for this opportunity,” said Howe.

Roca serves as the adoption coordinator with Safe Harbor. Her Cottontown farm serves as a foster facility for the rescue, and she has adopted two Safe Harbor horses.  Originally from California, she and her husband relocated to Middle Tennessee from the northeast two years ago.

“I have always had a passion for animals, especially those in need, and becoming involved with Safe Harbor has allowed me to fulfill that passion,” said Roca. “I am honored to be a part of this great organization.”

Safe Harbor will host its third session of “Horse Camp for Grown-Ups” on July 28. A fall festival is in the planning stages for October. An annual “hay drive” is currently underway with a $6,000 fundraising goal. For additional information about the organization, to donate, and to see adoptable animals, visit

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