PAWS 2020 Board of Directors Candidates
This year’s Board Elections will be held virtually via an online voting program, Election Buddy, on Saturday May 30. Members are welcome and encouraged to vote any time that day (12 AM - 11:59 PM) on both new and returning Board members. Nominees must receive a majority of submitted votes in order to be elected. Read their bios here to learn more about the candidates. Not a member yet? It’s quick and easy to become a member through our website.
I’ve been a PAWS volunteer since 2001 and a member of the PAWS Board of Directors since 2004. Since 2012 I’ve served as the President of PAWS, a role I also held during 2008-2010. As President I’m responsible for the overall leadership of PAWS. I chair the Board of Directors, supervise our new Executive Director Lisa Bahr, and work with our Board, staff and volunteers to develop, communicate and implement our goals and direction to achieve our mission. 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.
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. I feel that my connections in our community, my knowledge of PAWS operations and my desire to see PAWS succeed would qualify me for the PAWS Board of Directors.
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.
I have been an active PAWs volunteer for almost 12 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. I was recently elected vice president. 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 would like to continue as a Board member especially with the recent hire of an Executive Director and the potential for even greater opportunities and impact in the next 10 years.
I’m running for reelection to the PAWS Board of Directors because I believe that I can meaningfully contribute to the continued success of the organization. I’ve volunteered 650 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.
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.
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).