Meet the ElderPet Board
Doris Irwin (Board Chairperson) - Doris is retired from UNH. She has been a Pet Partner since 2001 with her English Cockers, Sebastian (now passed) and Tango. They have visited at nursing homes, classes and library events at UNH and Wentworth Douglass Hospital. They are also active in the R.E.A.D. Program at the Durham Public Library. Doris volunteers at Pet Partner Evaluations and often brings Tango to serve as a neutral dog team. Her new young dog Fletcher has recently become a Pet Partner and will be on teh job soon.
Ginny Ann (Vice Chairperson) - Ginny has worked with several agencies that deal with people who have developmental disabilities. She is a strong believer in the benefits of Animal Assisted Therapy/Animal Assisted Activities and is a long time volunteer with the UNH Therapeutic Horseback Riding Program. She is a dedicated volunteer for Pet Partner evaluations.
Mike Cicchese (Secretary) - Mike works for the Dover Police Department and is a communications specialist by training. He and his wife Holly are were registered Pet Partners with BoomBoom (now passed) a retired racing Greyhound. Mike and BoomBoom visited Wentworth Douglass Hospital. Mike is one of our licensed Pet Partners Evaluators and our Facebook Administrator.
Jeri Zezula, D.V.M. (Treasurer) - Jeri is a retired professor of Applied Animal Science at the Thompson School at UNH. She has been a Pet Partner since 1997 first with Abby, a German shepherd dog (now deceased) and is now a Pet Partner with Lily, a mixed breed. Jeri is a Licensed Pet Partners Instructor, ElderPet Service Coordinator, and teaches an on-line Animal Assisted Therapy course through UNH Professional Development and Training.
Marsha Barden - Marsha is a former trainer of Standardbred horses and a retired wildlife biologist for USDA, Wildlife Services. She currently runs a small boarding stable for retired horses. She is a Pet Partner with two English setters, Rosa (nearly retired), and Mister Grover. She and her dogs do R.E.A.D. visits at the libraries in Stratham and Madbury and visits at Exeter Hospital's Cancer Center and inpatient units, as well as and The Pines of Newmarket assisted living facility. Marsha is one of our Licensed Pet Partners Evaluators.
Barb Brothwell - Barb is retired histotechnologist from NH Veterinary Diagnostic Lab and is a Pet Partner with her husband John and their two French bulldogs Izzie and Gabby. They most regularly visit at Wentworth Douglass Hospital and love to participate in the UNH Finals visits. Barb is one of our crowd volunteers at Pet Partners evaluations and is our membership chairperson.
Linda Franchi - Linda is a repiratory therapist who has been delivering pet food and dog walking for ElderPet for several years. She has much hands on experience with dogs, cats, and horses and was a 4-H leader for 8 years. Linda will be helping revamp our community services in Strafford County.
Lisa Karakostas - Lisa is one of ElderPet’s founders. She works in Human Resources at Exeter Hospital and is coordinator of Animal Assisted Activities and Therapy there. Lisa has been a Pet Partner with Billy, a mixed breed rescue dog and has retired in 2014 as a long time Pet Partners Instructor and Evaluator. We are very pleased that Lisa has agreed to share her expertise on our Advisory Board
Allison Powers - Allison is a Professional Technical Specialist and instructor at the Thompson School Companion Animal Care Program where she has many and varied responsibilities. She coordinates student volunteers and does some emergency fostering, behavior consultations, pet sitting and grooming for ElderPet clients. She serves also as ElderPet's liaison to the local humane societies.
Martha Judson - Martha is a registered nurse who hold a BS in Education and an MS in Health Care and Welness Promotion. She has worked for many years a s a school nurse and, since her retirement, she works with the NH School Nurses Association and many health related committees and task forces. As an ElderPet Advisory Board Member, Martha will be helping redesign and diseminate information about ElderPet's community services in seacoast Rockingham County.