Home Making a Difference... One Animal at a Time!

DAWS Board of Directors

Danbury Animal Welfare Society's Board of Directors manages the strategic and operational aspects of the organization. Our 2015 Board of Directors are:

Seated left to right:  Cheryl Rykowski, Lenore Maskara, Corrie Falciano

Standing left to right:  Dan Carter, Emil Tomasi, John Piper


You can read each Board Member's bio, below.

Each year, Board members are elected to serve a 2-year term.  If you are interested in Board service, please contact daws@daws.org.

2015 Board Member Biographies

John Piper - President

John is a Commodity Manager at Sikorsky Aircraft in Stratford, CT and is responsible for managing an annual spend of $72MM.  John is actively involved in the North American cross-functional Commodity Management Team and leads several key projects to achieve the UTC “One Company” initiative and to ensure company strategies are followed and goals are met.  John graduated Cum Laude from Sacred Heart University with a degree in Business Administration and also received awards for academic excellence from the John F. Welch School of Business. 

John began volunteering with DAWS as a Thursday night dog walker in July of 2003 after he and his wife adopted their first dog, Pepper, from DAWS.  After witnessing the dedication and compassion of the DAWS volunteers during the adoption process, John could see what a great organization DAWS is and wanted to be a part of it.  John served on the Board of Directors from 2005 through 2007 and also served as Maintenance Program director during that same time.  He has served as a Team Lead and has done many SATO transport pick-ups for the homeless dogs of Puerto Rico.  He has achieved “Top Dog” fundraiser several times for the annual Walk for Animals fundraiser and has also assisted with the annual Hound Hike.  In 2008, John was presented with a Citizenship Award by his employer for his contributions to animal welfare, and Danbury Animal Welfare Society also received a check for $1,000 in recognition for John’s work

John lives in Waterbury, CT with his wife Susan and his son Ryan along with their two dogs, Tucker, and Prinny.  Tucker and Prinny are both failed foster attempts.  Tucker was rescued from the Hartford Pound on the day he was to be euthanized and Prinny was rescued from an abandoned house along with two of her puppies by John and several of his friends.

Emil Tomasi - Vice President

Emil is a Senior Business Manager at Bristol Myers-Squibb representing a billion dollar biologic medication that brings hope and cure to thousands of patients.  He has worked in the public arena all of his adult life, working his way through college with work study jobs in teaching and for Marriott International in various capacities.  After graduating from college with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry he endured a yearlong battle with Hodgkins Lymphoma.  During that time he witnessed firsthand the challenges that life often hands all of us and vowed to always work hard towards positive outcomes in everything he does. Emil worked as a salesman and manager for Pepsi Cola before moving into pharmaceutical sales, which was his goal after becoming a cancer survivor.  

Emil has always been a dog lover and had his opportunity, along with his wife Joanne, to bring 8 week old Dickens in to their lives in 2001.  Since then, they adopted Ted, a terrier mix, from poodle rescue and realized how hard so many people work to bring better lives to our little friends.  A few years after adopting Ted, he learned about DAWS from their niece, and he and Joanne started volunteering on Sunday afternoons.

Lenore Maskara - Secretary

Lenore currently works as Benefits and Payroll Supervisor at Memry Corporation, a manufacturer of medical device components in Bethel, CT. She has held a variety of positions as a member of the Human Resources department since joining the company in 2002. Prior to that, she was a Marketing Assistant at Neumann Real Estate in Ridgefield, CT.  Lenore graduated from Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration focusing on Human Resources.

As a child Lenore was highly allergic to animals and unable to have a pet of her own, but even then was passionate about animal rescue. She helped the occasional fallen baby bird and spent weekend mornings clipping dog food and cat litter coupons and forcing her parents to mail them to the local animal shelter. Finally, after years of pleading, her family rescued a lab mix, Dodger, from the pound.

Many years later and while living in an apartment with a strict “no pet” policy, Lenore began volunteering at DAWS. She has been a devoted Monday night dog socializer since 2006. Lenore also volunteers at off-site events, contributes baked goods for DAWS fundraisers, and is a member of the animal transport team.

Corrie Falciano - Treasurer

Corrie is a Business Operations Manager at Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. where she provides operational and financial support for all business-related processes in her scientific-based function.  Prior to working at Boehringer, she held various financial and accounting roles with increasing responsibility at both Pepsi Bottling Group and IBM Corporation.  Corrie graduated from Post University in Waterbury, CT with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting.

Corrie is a lifelong animal lover.  She has volunteered at DAWS as a cat socializer and with event planning.  She attends the DAWS Making a Difference Ball annually with her friends and family.  She also participated in the first DAWS 5K in 2012.  She is excited for the opportunity to volunteer at the shelter and offer her business and financial skills to an organization that is so close to her heart.  Corrie lives in Danbury with her husband, Paul, a Financial Systems Manager at IBM Corporation.  They are devoted parents to their two cats from DAWS, four year old Rosie and one year old Bernie Williams.

Cheryl Rykowski - Director

Cheryl is owner of CRE Solutions, Inc., a learning and development company dedicated to getting good employees to perform with great skill.  Cheryl has over 20 years’ experience designing and facilitating learning across a wide range of industries and cultures.  Cheryl has taught classes from the “plant floor” to “executive suite” for many corporations including MasterCard International, Avon Cosmetics, Allied Waste Disposal, Grey Advertising, BDO Seidman, Sikorsky Aircraft, Pratt and Whitney, Novartis, and Boehringer-Ingelheim.

Cheryl is a graduate of the Boston University School of Management with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration; she earned a Masters in Education from Fairfield University and completed post-graduate certification in Organization Development Practices from Columbia University.

Cheryl began her volunteer service at DAWS in July, 2005 as a Monday night Cat Socializer.  She held volunteer positions in the Cat Program as a Medicator, Team Lead and Adoption Counselor.  From 2006 to 2009, Cheryl was the DAWS Volunteer Program Chairperson.  She was Cat Program Chairperson for two years beginning in 2010.  Cheryl joined the DAWS Board of Directors in 2012 as President, and then served an additional year as a board of director. 

Cheryl is also an active member of the Land Trust of Danbury and served on their board for four years from 2008 to 2012.  She rejoined the Board in 2015 and serves as a Director.

Cheryl is married to Jonathan Etkin who, thankfully, understands that unless he's bleeding out of his eyes, DAWS comes first.  She is mommy to Daisy; a DAWS- rescued German Shepard mix and DAWS-rescued cats Bonnie, Autumn, Lucas and Lucky.

Dan Carter - Director

Dan was elected to the Connecticut State Legislature in 2010 and is proudly serving his third two-year term as State Representative for the 2nd General Assembly District covering Bethel, Danbury, Newtown and Redding. He is the Ranking Member (Republican Leader) on the legislature’s General Law Committee, and member of the Banks and Finance, Revenue & Bonding committees. During his time in the legislature, Dan has become a steadfast supporter of legislation that improves the lives of animals.

Dan grew up in a strong community-oriented, middle class family as the son of a police officer and a nurse. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science at Bowling Green State University and earned a Master’s degree in aeronautical science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He is pursuing a Doctorate degree in Organizational Leadership.

While in college, Carter joined the U.S. Air Force ROTC program – a move that eventually saw him become a C-130 “Hercules” pilot. Rep. Carter served proudly in Saudi Arabia in support of operation Desert Storm, and he also served two tours in Bosnia with NATO. Additionally, he participated in missions supporting this country’s drug interdiction program in Central America. His military dedication earned him the Meritorious Service Medal.

Dan currently lives in Bethel and is a father of two.