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.


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Ginny Newman- Vice President

I’ve volunteered over 900 hours to PAWS since 2016 doing weekly cat care, serving as a trainer and leader of the Cat Care Training Team and have fostered several litters of kittens. I’ve served on numerous committees including the Fur Ball, Membership, Personnel, and the Executive Director Search Committee. Professionally I’ve 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. My volunteer service record has given me firsthand understanding and demonstrates my passion for PAWS. As a retiree, I’m also able to devote significant time to the organization. I believe my professional experience can help PAWS be the region’s premier companion animal resource.

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 17 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 in 2017 so I could use my passion and accounting experience to help support PAWS. In 2018, I was elected PAWS Treasurer and I serve as Finance Committee chair and Fur Ball Committee chair. I also served as a member of Executive Director Search Committee. I worked with the Investment Committee and the Board to improve investments of excess reserves to provide more income. 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 two PAWS rescue cats, Cricket and Lion.

Reenie Ferretti

Dave Abler

I’ve been a PAWS volunteer since 2001 and a member of the PAWS Board of Directors since 2004. From 2012 -2021 I served as the President of PAWS, a role I also held during 2008-2010.  I’m a member of the IT Committee and Finance Committee, and was on the Executive Director Search Committee. By The Numbers, a consulting business owned by my wife Cathy Kassab and me, is a PAWS Universal Sponsor and the Presenting Sponsor of PAWS Bingo. Cathy and I live on a farm near Philipsburg with our 9 rescue dogs, one rescue cat, and a menagerie of chickens, geese, guinea hens, turkeys, and ducks.

Dave Abler

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 13 years. 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.  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..

Virginia Ishler

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

Colleen Williams

Born, raised and residing in State College PA, Colleen Williams graduated with a degree in Marketing from The Pennsylvania State University and received her Masters of Business Association from Saint Francis University. Her 20 year career focuses on leadership, business development, marketing and public relations. She has served on the boards for The Centre County United Way, Centre Volunteers in Medicine, Leadership Centre County and Central Pennsylvania Creative Professionals. Colleen is the secretary of The Patton Township Business Association, a member of the Happy Valley Adventure Bureau’s marketing committee, an advisor to businesses through Powerlink and just joined the PR committee for Rotary. As for her family, after inheriting a schnauzer 27 years ago, Colleen went through a transformation from a cat person to a dog one. Yet, she will always love all animals including hamsters, guinea pigs and pikas (mountain dwelling animals in South Asia).

Colleen Williams

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