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DAWS Board of Directors

Danbury Animal Welfare Society's Board of Directors manages the strategic and operational aspects of the organization. Our 2016 Board of Directors are:

Seated left to right:  Dan Carter, John Piper, Lenore Maskara, John Madaus, Emil Tomasi

Standing left to right:  Cheryl Rykowski, Dr. Paul McNamara, Corrie Falciano

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


2016 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, United Technologies, Grey Advertising, McGarry Bowen, Sikorsky Aircraft, Pratt and Whitney, Novartis, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and Boehringer-Ingelheim.

Cheryl is a graduate of the Boston University School of Management with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration; she holds a Master of 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 rejoined the DAWS Board in 2015 as a Director.  In 2014, Cheryl lead the formation of the Fundraising Advisory Council and remains a member.  The Fundraising Advisory Council provides strategic recommendations to the Board.

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 also rejoined the Land Trust Board in 2015 and serves as a Director.

Cheryl is married to Jonathan Etkin.  She is mommy to Daisy; a DAWS- rescued German Shepard mix and DAWS-rescued cats Bonnie, Autumn, 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, Dan 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.

Dr. Paul McNamara - Director

Dr. Paul McNamara, DVM is currently Chief of Surgery for Hudson Highlands Veterinary Medical Group in Hopewell Junction, NY and Consulting Veterinarian for the United States Department of Justice/ Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.  He also serves as a Tactical Emergency Casualty Care for Law-Enforcement Instructor for the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services.  He serves with the National Center for Security and Preparedness/State Preparedness Training Center, Oriskany NY; is a member of the Veterinary Science Technology Advisory Council at Ulster County Community College and is a Tactical Veterinarian/Special Deputy for the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office in Poughkeepsie, NY.

Dr. McNamara received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University and his Bachelor of Science in Animal Science from the College of Agriculture and Life Science at Cornell University.  He was elected to American College of Veterinary Surgeons with Small Animal Emphasis, and did his residency in Small Animal Surgery, at the College of Veterinary Medicine for Cornell University. He also completed an internship in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University.

Dr. McNamara has numerous specialized training in veterinarian care and publishes and lectures extensively.  His many awards include, most recently, the Bureau of Diplomatic Security- Office of Anti-Terrorism Certificate of Appreciation. 

Dr. McNamara is a married father of four two-legged children and four four-legged children.  He resides in Stormville, NY.

John Madaus - Director

John Madaus has over twenty year’s retail management experience, and currently the Store Manager at PetValu in Danbury. He has also managed for both PetSmart and Pet Supplies Plus stores.  In each role, John has worked closely with animal welfare organizations in order to assist dogs and cats in finding their forever homes.

John championed the current Pet-Value program which brings DAWS cats and kittens to the Pet Value store in Danbury so that they might be seen by prospective adopters and increase their chances of finding a loving family.

John also has seven years’ experience in both graphic design and digital printing. He was Branch Operations Manager for a large multi-million dollar printing company in Hartford Connecticut and was responsible for overseeing the design and execution of many projects from small brochures to large vehicle wraps.

For years John has also done freelance work as a videographer and film editor.

John resides in Danbury, CT and is the father of two, two-legged children and two, four-legged children.  His two cats, Cheetos and Donuts were adopted from DAWS.  

Lauren Crespo - Director

Lauren currently works for Monroe Public Schools as the Administrative Assistant to the Assistant Superintendent as well as the Administrative Assistant to Human Resources department. Prior to that, she spent eight years in the banking industry, holding various positions in New York and Connecticut. Lauren is a graduate of SUNY New Paltz, with a Bachelor’s degree in International Business.

Lauren is a lifelong animal lover. She began volunteering for DAWS in July of 2015 as a Cat Socializer and soon after became an Adoption Counselor and back up Team Lead. Lauren also fosters litters of kittens and nursing mother cats, assists with our TNR program, and is volunteers during DAWS fundraising events as often as possible.

Lauren is from Dutchess County New York and currently resides in Danbury, CT. She is the very proud mother of five, two-legged children. Her newest addition, Truffles, is a recent “foster-failure.”