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 and Fletcher. They have visited at nursing homes, classes and library events at UNH and Wentworth Douglass Hospital. They are also active in the REad With Me Program at the Durham Public Library.  Doris volunteers at Pet Partner Evaluations and often brings Tango to serve as a neutral dog team.

Marsha Barden - (Vice Chairperson) 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 has been a Pet Partner with two English setters, Rosa and Mister Grover (now passed). She and her dogs did R.E.A.D. visits at the libraries in Stratham and Madbury and visited 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 and is membership coordinator.

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 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.

Sue Walsh - Sue is a dog obedience instructor and board member with Piscataqua Obedience Club in Kittery, ME. She and her cocker spaniel Livy are dedicated Pet Partners primarily involved with the "Read With Me" program in the Acton, ME schools. Sue's background as a trainer and her knowledge of dog behavior and horses are very valuable assets to our board.

Kim Faustino - Kim has been a dedicated "crowd" volunteer for our evaluations for several years. She is the proud owner of 2 rescued Labrador retievers and active in Dock Dogs. Jackie, is her Pet Partner teammate. A lifelong volunteer who has worked with many organizations, Kim comes to us with a business and accounting background which will be put to good use on our board.

Allison Powers - Allison is former instructor at the Thompson School Companion Animal Care Program and has been involved in various professional and volunteer aspects of companion animal care for over twenty-five years. Her professional specialty is companion animal behavior. She volunteers her time with ElderPet to promote and support mutually healthy, human-animalrelationships. 

Patty Welch - Patty is a Pet Partner with her little Boston terrier Bodie. As a Pet Partner team, she and Bodie volunteer and conduct many popular actvitities at Newmarket Elementary School. Patty and Bodie also serve as a neutral team for Pet Partner evaluations and other events. In their other life, Patty is a dog groomer and Bodie and his "sister" Bindi compete very successfully in agility. Patty and Bodie also actively promote and fundraise for the service branch of ElderPet.

Advisory Board

Linda Franchi - Linda is a repiratory therapist who has been delivering pet food, dog walking and doing emergency pet sitting for ElderPet for several years. She has many years of hands-on experience with dogs, cats, and horses and was a 4-H leader for 8 years. Linda has helped revamp our community services in Strafford County.