skip to content

Merry Burns - Human Relationship Director

Merry Burns has been in the recruiting industry for 13 years. She is a Sourcing Recruiter for KellyOCG. She recruits for Fortune 500 companies across the United States. Merry has worked with companies such as Nike, Cisco, EMC and United Airlines, just to name a few. She is responsible for sourcing top talent for her clients.

Merry has always loved all animals. While growing up in San Diego, she spent all of her summers at her Grandparent’s farm in South Dakota. Merry rode horses and played with the farm dogs, feral cats, wild turkeys and her Grandma’s pet peacock, Joe. Those are her favorite memories.

Merry and her husband adopted their first Great Dane, Memphis, 8 years ago. After falling in love with the breed, she joined Rocky Mountain Great Dane Rescue as a volunteer.  She failed Foster 101 when she adopted her first foster, Ty. When BDHP was created she joined forces and became the first volunteer in Nebraska. She has fostered, transported and chaired events.  In her role as Human Relations Director, she is responsible for recruiting and training new volunteers for application processors and home checkers. In addition, she field applicant questions.

Merry and her husband, Michael live in Omaha, NE with their Great Danes, Memphis and Ty. They also have 2 cats, Presley and Dax.


Darlene Zizka - Accounting Director

Darlene Zizka began her accounting career over 20 years ago working in the finance department of various large construction companies in both Las Vegas and Denver.  She has had a variety of experience from Accounts Payable to Accounts Receivable and even owned her own book keeping business.  Recently, Darlene made a career move to Arrow Electronics to broaden her accounting experience.

Darlene’s relationship with Big Dogs Huge Paws began in November 2010, when she decided it was time to adopt her first dog.  She has always had a love for English Mastiffs, and while researching where to adopt one, destiny brought her to Big Dogs Huge Paws.  She attended a meet & greet where she learned more about the rescue and was so impressed with the organization she decided she wanted to become a part of it. 

While attending an event, destiny again brought her accounting qualifications to the attention of the CFO, Kristie Mendralla.  She worked with Kristie to improve and streamline the accounting processes and was soon offered the role of Accounting Director.  In her short time with BDHPI, Darlene has volunteered at events, fostered, assisted with adoptions, and transported gentle giants from state to state.  Since joining the accounting department, she has helped to train the accounting volunteers that assist BDHPI with the vast monthly accounting responsibilities. 

Although Darlene did not end up adopting her English Mastiff, she did adopt a Bull Mastiff named Magnum in April 2011.  Magnum joins Darlene and her husband Robert along with his little brother Dante “the Destructor” a 2yr old Chow mix and their 3 cats Hailey, Potter & Sasha.

James Lane - IT Director

James now lives in San Jose, California, but originally became involved with BDHPI in 2008 while living in Fort Collins, Colorado.  A long-time animal lover, James got involved with BDHPI at the encouragement of his wife, Cristina, when they were considering adopting a new dog.  James and Cristina fostered a variety of of big dogs when they lived in Colorado, and continue to support BDHP from a distance.

James works in the e-commerce sector and also owns a small web development company geared towards helping small businesses establish a web presence. James enjoys learning about technology and innovations in web design and is excited to support BDHP with its efforts.

In his role as Director of IT, James’ primary focus will be to align the goals of BDHPI with existing and future technologies. He will help coordinate volunteer efforts to manage and maintain the existing user community of BDHPI and IT related projects. His biggest goal is to help BDHPI streamline existing business processes to encourage the future growth of the organization. Please do not hesitate to contact him with any technical questions or concerns.