Board of Directors Members

Ryan Macaluso - President

I started as a front desk volunteer at PAWS in 2015, expanded my role as a dog foster (fostering over 40 dogs in 2 years), then joined the Finance and Facilities Committees, began fostering cats (over 15 and counting), and joined the Board in 2019. Most of my Sundays (pre-pandemic) were spent at PAWS greeting the public and providing information about the work our amazing staff and volunteers do to assist animals in our area.  Merging my project management and finance skillset, I have been able to assist in finding contractors for various projects including the expansion of the cat wing. Currently, I work as the Director of Fiscal Operations for a human services provider in Centre County and am a trusted advocate and resource for the commonwealth. I enjoy working with people in the community and thrive on helping others. My background and experience have spanned finance, human resources, real estate, and project management. Additionally, I volunteer on the leadership team of ACAP (Aging Children of Aging Parents) Centre County as their Finance Director and as an undergraduate student mentor for the Smeal College of Business. I graduated from Penn State University in Finance and am currently an MBA student. In my free time, I cherish spending time with our family’s three dogs and my wife, Jeannette, who is a PAWS Shift Leader, Dog Floor Volunteer, and Personnel Committee member.

Ryan Macaluso board bio


 

Ginny Newman- Vice President

I have been a PAWS volunteer since 2016 doing weekly cat care, serving as a trainer and leader of the New Cat Care Volunteer Training Team, and have fostered several litters of kittens. I have served on special event committees, the Executive Director Search Committee, the Strategic Planning Committee, the Nominating Committee and the Executive Committee in my role as Vice President of the Board of Directors. Professionally I have worked as a government official, a nonprofit executive director, and a higher education administrator. My main expertise lies in management and organizational leadership, but I also have experience in fundraising and marketing. As a retiree I am fortunate to be able to volunteer both in the facility on a weekly basis and in a leadership role on the Board. I am continually impressed with PAWS reputation in the community and am proud to be a part of this fine organization. 

Ginny Newman

Reenie Ferretti - Treasurer

I’ve had a passion for animals since my first job pet sitting for neighbors in Boalsburg when I was 10. I also have over 20 years of accounting experience as both a consultant and controller for public and private companies. I was grateful for the opportunity to join the Finance Committee at PAWS in 2017 so I could use my experience to help further support a cause I am passionate about. In 2018, I was elected to the PAWS board and became the Treasurer. I serve as the Finance Committee chair and I have served as a member of other special event committees in the past, including the Fur Ball Committee and the Executive Director Search Committee. I worked with the Investment Committee and the Board to improve investments of excess reserves to provide more income to PAWS. I’ve enjoyed supporting PAWS as a Board member and hope to continue in this role. I live in State College with my husband, Chris, daughter, Dinah, and our three rescue cats, Cricket, Lion and Bert.

Reenie Ferretti

Maureen Casey

A PAWS volunteer since 2008, I have watched PAWS become an integral part of the community. Starting as a Cat Care Volunteer in 2008 and joining the Cat Medical Team shortly afterwards, I have spent Sundays at PAWS as part of the Medical Team to evaluate and treat sick animals and provide routine preventive care. I establish medical protocols, offer training sessions, inventory and order medical supplies, serve on the Cat Euthanasia team and assist with intakes. While working at Metzgers, I established the HART Fund to assist clients with medical care payments. I would be able to utilize this experience with fundraising at PAWS with events such as the Furball, Bingo, etc. I have established relationships with local vets.

Maureen Casey

Mike Chilcot

It’s been my pleasure to serve on the PAWS Board of Directors since 2019. I’m also a member of the personnel committee. Even though I’ve only been involved with PAWS for a short time, I’ve been a lifelong lover of our animal friends; cuddly, and not so cuddly included! I was born and raised in central Pennsylvania and received my undergraduate degree from Penn State in Chemical Engineering. After a career as a professional poker player, I obtained my Juris Doctorate from Pitt. While at Pitt I expanded my ability and love of giving back to the community. I am currently an attorney with Leech Tishman in State College; focusing on Family law. My unique background and skillset helps me contribute to PAWS and the board of directors and hopefully will for years to come! I reside in State College with my wife, daughter, and our two lab mixes (one of which is a PAWS rescue).

Mike Chilcot

Virginia Ishler

I have been an active PAWS volunteer for almost 2 decades. During that time, I have worked as a dog handler on the Sunday dog showings, adoption counselor, foster program coordinator and in the last few years a board member. I was on the search committee for the Executive Director position. I have participated in the Fur Ball and personnel committee. I am currently serving on the Governance committee. It has been a fantastic experience being involved in a proactive organization that keeps raising the bar in how PAWs can help animals. It has been rewarding to be part of the process to advance the care of rescue animals both medically and behaviorally. I adopted my first PAWs dog in 2005. I adopted our second dog in January 2021. Using resources from PAWS, I was able to work with Layla to overcome separation anxiety, anxious behavior, and leash reactivity. With the education PAWS provided I have a completely different dog from the one I brought home over a year ago. I would like to continue as a board member to support and promote PAWS mission to help animals overcome their challenges and provide the community with resources to improve animal care.

Virginia Ishler headshot

 

Susan Strohm

A PAWS volunteer for 11 years, Susan started on a Cat Care shift, then became a Floor Volunteer and coordinator of the Pet Partner program. A Cat Adoption Counselor since 2010, she serves as the Cat Adoption Counselor Co-Coordinator. Prior to retiring from Penn State in 2017, Susan was a faculty member in the College of Communications, Department of Advertising / Public Relations (1985-2017). A proud Golden Gopher (Ph.D., University of Minnesota) and Bucky Badger (B.A., University of Wisconsin), Susan also was the College of Communications Coordinator for the Schreyer Honors College (1989-2017). She owns and runs a martial arts studio certified by the World Tang Soo Do Association (a 501C Corporation with 200,000 members in 30 countries). She also serves as the Association’s Publications Committee Co-Chair, overseeing Masters’ Theses required for 4th Degree Black Belts and above. She assists with editing WTSDA books and produces martial arts instructional DVDs.

Susan Strohm

Monica Wright

Monica Wright has enjoyed living, working and volunteering in central PA for more than 19 years.  Her diverse experience with social and economic challenges guide both her professional and private life.  As Director of Development for Centre Volunteers in Medicine (CVIM), she focuses on community health and education by raising awareness and resources for those individuals who lack health insurance.  Monica is a supporter/volunteer for numerous community organizations including Rotary, The State Theatre, Chamber of Business and Industry in Centre County, Mount Nittany Health, ClearWater Conservancy, and Pets Come First to name a few.  She has supported PAWS for nearly 16 years volunteering on several fundraising committees and she has been on the PAWS Board for over three years.  She enjoys fostering kittens and has fostered 82 kittens over the last five years. Professionally, Monica has taught both graduate and undergraduate courses at Penn State.  She has conducted research with interdisciplinary teams collecting and analyzing data for varied research projects.  She worked with K-12 students as a certified school psychologist in Kentucky for several years before relocating to PA.  Monica is an honorably discharged veteran of the United States Army Reserves having served six years as a licensed practical nurse.   

Monica Wright

Steven Chichester

I was first introduced to PAWS in 2017, when searching for a second dog to join our family. Since then, I have adopted a PAWS dog, volunteered on dog side, and currently serve as a full-time foster.  Originally from Waldorf, Maryland, I earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree while living in Virginia, and in 2015, our family moved to Bellefonte, PA when I was offered a position at Penn State University.  With previous experience in enrollment management and student services, I currently work in strategic planning for Penn State, while also pursuing a Ph.D. in Higher Education. As a strategic planner, I help organizations articulate goals, identify actions required to achieve those goals, and formulate plans that sequence those actions in a logical and efficient manner.  Additionally, with my wife, Christy, who is a PAWS volunteer and Kennel Assistant, I own and operate Eleventh Paw Properties, a property management company in the Bellefonte area. In my free time, I enjoy working on home improvement projects, cooking unique vegetarian meals, exercising, and spending time with our three dogs, Chaco, Champion, and Silly Girl.

Steven Board with text

Dr. Sima Lionikaite

I have been volunteering as a veterinarian at PAWS since 2018 and currently work as a Clinical Veterinarian at Penn State. One of the greatest pleasures in my life is seeing dogs and cats (and all animals!) live healthy and fulfilling lives. I enjoy watching animals at PAWS get their second chance at life and experience the love and compassionate care that each and every one of them deserves. I feel lucky to work alongside such a selfless and caring team of volunteers and to see and hear of so many animals finding homes because of the work that they do. The community that PAWS has fostered is one of the best things about the Centre region and I hope to continue to support PAWS in my role as a board member. I live in State College with my partner, Tim, our window-well rescue kitten, Finnegan, and our English Setter, Pippin.

Sima Board with text