top of page


We are an animal rescue and sanctuary, located in the town of Sonoma, CA. It's a smaller rescue, run by founder, Tania Soderman, The Board and volunteers.



Tania Soderman

Tania Soderman is the founder and executive director of SCRS. Tania rescued animals from a very early age, both in her native country of Norway, and continued in Africa, till she landed in California as an international student.


Tania is an artist, and her studies in the USA were in computer arts. Trained at The Academy of Art in San Fransisco as an animator she worked for Electronic Arts and Magic Arts/Sony. She continued her higher education in Photography at The San Fransisco Art Institute. Tania has been a portrait and commercial photographer for the last two decades and finally  pursued her ultimate dream of a rescue farm. Soderman has run Sonoma Chicks as a private rescue for the last 8 years, till the farm became a 501c3 -Non profit in 2023. Tanias art -portraiture of the animals living on her rescue farm are featured worldwide.

Backers_Steve_00042 fall 2019 headshot reduced.jpg

Steve Backers

Steve grew up in the bay area, completed his Bachelor’s degree in Finance at Santa Clara University, and his Master’s of Business Administration also from Santa Clara University. He went to work for Intel Corporation right out of college and held various Finance, Accounting, Tax, Audit and Human Resources roles for over 25 years, first in Santa Clara, and then transferring to Folsom and moving to El Dorado Hills.

Steve recently retired as a Business Professor and Department Chair at William Jessup University, having taught for five years. Between his time at Intel and teaching, Steve held positions including Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Chief Operating Officer (COO), and Director of Human Resources at a technology startup as well as COO at a
Sacramento area non-profit.

Steve is actively involved in his community assisting multiple non-profit organizations either as a board member or by providing business coaching and consulting services.

He and his wife Lori have counted the Sonoma area as their “go-to” getaway spot for over thirty years, having always loved the beauty of the valley, the wines, and the people. Steve’s love of animals, Sonoma, and helping non-profits made Sonoma Chicks Rescue and Sanctuary the perfect fit!


Matt Leffert

Matt comes to SCRS from Jack London State Park where he is the Executive Director. Previously, he worked at the One Tam partnership, a major initiative of the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy where he led the Conservancy’s corporate development strategies and emerging initiatives and helped launched the Tamalpais Lands Collaborative.


He has over 18 years of fund development experience that spans a broad spectrum of nonprofit organizations including Point Blue Conservation Science, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco – the de Young and Legion of Honor. In New Orleans post hurricane Katrina, he served as the Development Director for New Schools for New Orleans.


Matt enjoys the beauty of the outdoors and is a competitive long distance runner, cyclist and triathlete.


Danette Leighton

Danette Leighton serves as CEO of the Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF), founded in 1974 by Billie Jean King to strengthen and expand participation and leadership opportunities through research, advocacy, community programming and a wide variety of collaborative partnerships.


Leighton joined WSF in 2022 as the seventh CEO in the organization’s history, annually serving millions of girls and women to improve access and equity across all sports as fierce advocates of Title IX. By Title IX’s 50th Anniversary in June of 2022, WSF will have invested over $100 million to expand access and opportunities for girls and women in sports.


Most recently chief marketing officer of the Pac-12 Conference, Leighton brings an array of operational, data and analytics, sponsorship, fan engagement, marketing and sales experience to WSF, spanning professional and college sports for both men and women.

Prior to her nearly 12 years with the Pac-12, Leighton was with Maloof Sports & Entertainment’s NBA Sacramento Kings as vice president of marketing and brand development, as well as vice president of business operations for the WNBA Monarchs, where she led the business of the World Championship-winning WNBA franchise. She also previously worked for Sony and managed their sponsorship of the PGA Tour’s Sony Open in Hawaii and was Stanford University’s executive director of the 1999 NCAA Women’s Final Four.


Leighton is a graduate of the University of Arizona, where she earned her BA in Political Science and a minor in Media Arts.  A mother of one daughter, Leighton resides in California and credits her youth softball experience for helping shape her as a sports industry executive.


Anne Moller Racke

A native of Oberwesel, Germany, Anne Moller-Racke came to California in 1981 and became vineyard manager for Buena Vista Carneros Winery in 1983. By 1997 she was promoted to Vice President of Vineyard Operations. She helped establish what is now the Carneros Wine Alliance and brought recognition to Carneros as an American Viticultural Area (AVA).

In 1999, Anne purchased a Farmhouse property in southwest Sonoma that included a historical Victorian house, now her home, and a 10 acre parcel that she planted to vine the following year. During that same time Anne founded the Donum Estate and built the reputation of being one of California’s leading Pinot Noir producers. Today, Anne is focused on solely Blue Farm, which she expanded from the Estate Anne Katherina Vineyard, to some of the most respected vineyards in Sonoma County.


Dr. Tiffany Newman, DVM

Tiffany grew up in Sonoma Valley, attending El Verano Elementary, Altimira Junior High and Sonoma Valley High School. She attended Occidental College in Los Angeles, spent 2 years teaching English in Japan, and completed her degree in veterinary medicine at the Atlantic Veterinary College, University of Prince Edward Island where she met her husband, Gordon.


They moved back to Sonoma in 2016, where they currently live on a hobby farm with their 3 elementary school daughters, 6 alpacas, 2 goats, 2 bunnies, 2 dogs, cat, guinea pig, numerous chickens and racing pigeons.

Tiffany currently practices small animal veterinary medicine at Sonoma Veterinary Clinic with Dr. Howard Rosner. Sonoma Veterinary Clinic with Dr. Howard Rosner. 

bottom of page