Alex Cheng - executive director
Alex is one of the Executive Director of PAALS, and a longtime animal lover. She is unable to pick a favorite animal, and frequently travels all over the world to see animals in the wild – she’s seen wild penguins in 3 different countries, spanning 2 continents (Galapagos penguins, Magellanic penguins, and African penguins). In the real world, Alex is a software engineering manager for a company that’s grown from a relatively small, unknown start-up(ish), to a large publicly-traded industry leader in the time she’s been there.
Alex has been active in the animal welfare non-profit world for several years, specifically with a couple of dog rescues. In addition to PAALS, she currently volunteers with a local rescue in Adoptions and Fundraising. With her professional and volunteer history, she has run the gamut of experiences, and is excited to bring that experience to supercharging PAALS’ growth. In her other free time (what other free time?), Alex attempts to cuddle her big-headed, sassy dog Kooza, participates in all kinds of circus activities, plays ice hockey, and dabbles in pottery.
Allison sharma - board member
Allison, who currently lives in Newton, has a long history of volunteering and activism! She has been active in the United Parish of Auburndale for about 16 years, volunteering in many, many capacities there. About 2 years ago, she became very interested and involved in refugee causes, and since the fall of 2016, Allison has been serving as a local hub for collecting humanitarian aid for NuDay Syria, an organization dedicated to serving women and children suffering from the effects of the war in Syria. She is also active in her community - when her kids where in elementary school, she served as the Communications Coordinator on the school’s PTO board, and most recently, she became active in local Newton, MA politics: Allison is currently serving on the executive committee of the city’s Council on Aging, and last fall, she ran as a write-in candidate for city council… losing by only 7 votes, a good reminder for everyone that your vote DOES count! She found out about PAALS through a local connection and, knowing some of the folks already working on the project, knew that the passion in this org would be strong.
Allison adopted Sadie, a Sato from Puerto Rico, a little over four years ago, and she counts Sadie (also known as Sadie Sue, Sadie Lady or Puppity Pupster) as her favorite animal in the world. If all of this weren’t enough for Allison’s incredible talents, she can also recite all the prepositions in the English language very quickly. She had to memorize them in high school and they’ve stuck with her since then!
Amanda jett - board member
Amanda moved to Massachusetts in November of 2013 and currently live in Melrose with her fiancé and their bulldog fur-child, Brooks, who has got quite the personality and keeps them on their toes! Amanda LOVES all animals, but in particular: puppies (which doesn't actually designate an age — all dogs are puppies to her) elephants and bears!
Amanda grew up in Bear, Delaware with her younger twin sisters, where she was an avid field hockey and lacrosse player! She loved participating in team sports so much that she decided to referee high school field hockey and girls' lacrosse in Eastern MA, on the side of her full time job as a civil engineer!
In college, Amanda volunteered with the American Cancer Society by helping plan the University of Delaware Relay for Life event each year. She is also a current volunteer with a local animal rescue, where her duties have ranged from those on the management level as well as standard volunteer duties such as transport and event help.
Currently, Amanda is the Board Vice President for the University of Delaware Boston Alumni Club, as well as accepting a seat on the Board of Directors for PAALS, Inc.! When asked what prompted her decision to accept, Amanda stated, “I just love the idea of an organization that helps plan events and fundraise for the MANY animal rescues and organizations that are out there. It's amazing to be able to spread your love for animals with more than one group!”
Ashley Kouyoumjian - Board member
Can I pet your dog? Seriously. I love dogs. All of them. Walk down the street with me and I'll point them all out. My family has the sweetest mini schnauzer of all time, Greta and an adorably dorky yorkie named Sophie. I'm excited to join PAALS in order to put my non-profit and event planning experience to use in support of animals of all types (hoping to meet some alpacas along the way). Outside of my work in the non-profit world and the PAALS team, I am a competitive boxer and boxing trainer. I always wear red lipstick and I have big hair! Let's work together to help improve the lives of animals everywhere!
Christine terry - Graphic design consultant
Christine is a lover of all animals, especially her two fur children, rescue pups Cash and Finn. They were rescued through Survivor Tails Animal Rescue, a Massachusetts-based animal rescue where she currently volunteers as a Media Coordinator. She was approached to help out with PAALS because of her amazing work at Survivor Tails! Other than dogs, she also loves lowland tapirs, lemurs, horses, sloths, penguins, eagles and otters. Christine lives in Lakeville, MA, but was originally adopted from Korea.
Emily Socha - Board member
Emily is a dog mom most recently hailing from the west coast. Currently residing in Waltham, MA, she spent the last 7 years just outside of Los Angeles, California. California is where she adopted her baby girl Laika, a 6(ish) year old Siberian Husky/Australian Shepherd mix before they both made the cross-country trek back to Boston. Emily’s favorite animals are elephants, for their combination of giddy playfulness and non-domineering leadership style.
Prior to the work she does now as a personal trainer and movement specialist, Emily spent time in the non-profit prevention world, working with Massachusetts state and nationwide youth prevention agencies that focused on building middle school and high school communities to encourage leadership and foster healthy decision making. Now Emily dedicates her time to PAALS. She knew from a young age that animals shouldn’t be treated any differently than humans when she couldn’t watch Free Willy longer than the three-minute intro (after erupting into unstoppable tears). A lifelong animal enthusiast, she saw no better way to give back the love and enjoyment that her own years of being a dog mom has provided for her and now wants to keep that passion going by helping more animals than just the one she has at home.
Fun factoid: Emily was born in California, grew up in Massachusetts, then lived in CA for 6 yrs., and is now back in MA!
ERic Walz - board member
Eric, originally from Keller, TX, has a passion for animals and loves to help. As a board member, he has the ability to ensure PAALS stays true to its mission of supporting organizations that positively impact the lives of animals in need. Eric’s desire to help extends even further than animals: most recently, he and his wife, Emily, began a project to organize a collection of holiday gifts for needy families in the Boston area who are involved with the Department of Children and Families. In doing so, they hoped to brighten the holidays just a little for the families involved with DCF who may struggle to afford even basic necessities during the holidays, much less gifts.
Eric recently took a “Hawk Walk” with a Harris Hawk named Beau, and Beau the Hawk and birds top his list of favorite animals. But he can’t forget Rex, his little senior Chihuahua! Did you know Eric is athletic, too? He played for the Chatham A’s in the Cape Cod League!
Erin Reeves - Board member
Erin grew up in Connecticut before moving to Sudbury, MA for high school. She currently lives in Natick, where she has been involved with a local Boston rescue. She has fostered dogs in her home, as well as volunteered at different events. Through a longtime friendship and interest in the animal welfare non-profit world, she was asked to be a part of PAALS!
Dogs are her favorite animals, and she is the dog mom to two Miniature Pinschers named Lucy and Cooper. Lucy and Cooper also share their home with two cats, Maya and Tessie. Erin is a “pretty good” (aka amazing) tennis player!
Hannah Rosen - Community outreach
Hannah got involved with PAALS when a previous animal rescue connection reached out to ask if she would be interested! The timing was right for her, who had been looking for a new volunteering opportunity. To Hannah, this is a whole new approach to helping animals from what she’s used to, but she believes it covers an area related to animal welfare that is in great need, and has the potential to make a huge, positive impact for so many animals.
Before PAALS, Hannah was involved with volunteering for a variety of animal rescues, starting with the local shelter in high school. A few years ago, she became more involved with several local animal rescues, and has been an Adoption Coordinator, Foster Coordinator, Foster Mom, and Event Volunteer! She also volunteers with a local group that helps families find their dogs after they’ve gotten lost. Animal rescue and welfare are her passions. Between dedicating so much time to animals in need, she also has her own rescued fur children, who are her family and best friends. Charlie is a Catahoula/Corgi mix, Monkey is a calico cat, Salem is a black cat, and Kit Kat is a Shiba Inu! Besides animals, Hannah is obsessed with donuts, and will travel anywhere in search of a good donut. Both of her dogs have donut-themed collars, leashes and bandanas, and half of her own clothing and home furnishings are donut-themed.
Jill alpert - Board member, secretary
Jill found out about PAALS through her previous non-profit volunteering in rescue. She worked as the Processing Coordinator for Survivor Tails Animal Rescue, and before that, organized a number of fundraisers for school events. Jill’s favorite animals are dogs, and her two pals, Buddy and Hercules, are both rescues. Fun fact… she can arm wrestle and win, big time!
Kayla prange-bybel - executive director
Kayla is one of the Executive Directors of PAALS. Originally from Norwell, MA, she currently resides in Natick, and she has been volunteering in various ways with animal rescues for several years. As a result of her work in the animal rescue world, she was asked to come on board with PAALS! Feeling stressed and burnt out, but still wanting to help, she found that PAALS was a great fit for the time and effort she had to give to a volunteering endeavor.
Her favorite animals are dogs and horses, and while she doesn’t have horses (yet?), she has two rescue dogs. Sam is a 3 year old Boxer/Lab mix, and Winnie is a 6 month old Husky/Lab mix. She also has a pet ferret named Herbie, who is 6 years old. Kayla admits she doesn’t have many hidden talents (and if she does, they are doing a good job staying hidden), but she speaks two languages!
Kelly allen langadinos - community outreach
Kelly is an off-leash dog hiker by day, and found about PAALS just by walking in the woods with some of PAALS’ other off-leash dog hikers! When she first started her hiking business, she spent afternoons at Angell Animal Medical Center walking the dogs, feeding them, and keeping the shelter clean - just generally wanting to do small things to give the pups a better day. In 2014, Kelly ran the Boston Marathon for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and she dedicated the run to her step-mom, who was in treatment. As fate would have it, she was looking for a band for a big fundraiser event and that’s how she met her now-husband! Aside from dogs, she loves pigs and penguins, and counts her 13 year old American Dingo (a wild dog from the forests of Georgia) as her partner in crime. Her dog, Penzi, was the reason she started her off-leash dog hiking business!
Her husband also came with two rabbits, Bandit, a Dwarf Hotot, and Honeybee, an American Dwarf. Kelly and her family live in Arlington, but she loves to travel and explore. She has been to 18 countries and 29 states, and has lived in the UK and Italy, speaking varying levels of French, Spanish and now Greek. One of the best trips she’s ever taken was to Peru, where she did the 5 day Salkantay trek to Machu Piccu.
Richard m. reeves - board of directors, treasurer
Richard M. Reeves was born, raised and educated in upstate New York. Mr. Reeves retired from an active business career and settled in Saratoga, New York with Jeannette, his wife of 42 years.
After serving in the US Navy during the Viet Nam conflict, Mr. Reeves entered Syracuse University where he completed his Bachelor of Science and Masters of Business Administration degrees, majoring in Finance and Accounting. After graduating he embarked on a career in the real estate investment field including mortgage lending, property development, pension fund management and equity investing. Mr. Reeves has held senior executive level positions in a number of firms culminating in thirteen years as President of Metropolis Investment Holdings Inc., a Chicago based private real estate investment firm, where he still remains as an active board member and advisor.
During his 36 year business career Mr. Reeves was involved in a number of professional and recreational organizations but also found time to donate time and energy to civic and educational organizations. Mr. Reeves was an active member and officer of the Fairfield Jaycees for many years and as an avid sailor volunteered as a board member of the United States Power Squadron (USPS). Since retiring Mr. Reeves has given of his time to the Backstretch Employees Service Team (BEST) helping the welfare of the backstretch employees at the Saratoga Race Course. In addition, Mr. Reeves joined the Saratoga Springs Lion’s Club where he has volunteered for a number of the club’s programs and currently holds the position of Immediate Past President (President).
Sabrina feldman - conductor, pod 1
Sabrina loves dogs - they’re her favorite animal, in addition to sloths and pink flamingos - and got started with volunteering with them a long time ago when she would do dog transports. Her old boss was really passionate about dog rescue and would let Sabrina take off work last minute to help transport dogs from Connecticut to get them to a foster home!
Now that she has settled down with a family in Newton, MA, she hasn’t been able to help out as much in person, but is looking forward to joining PAALS to help out again. Her family includes a 7 year old Pitbull named Henry, who is half rabbit, half horse, and half dog. Fun fact: she’s 100% Italian!
sara mattioli - financial consultant/auditor
Sara comes to us from the rescue world, and currently lives in Providence, RI. Though she grew up in Bristol, CT, she only just recently moved to Providence from South Boston. Sara started her volunteer experience with Survivor Tails Animal Rescue, and found PAALS through a mutual connection from Survivor Tails.
Her favorite animals are dogs, evidenced by her 5 year old black Lab mix named Parker, who was adopted 3 years ago. Parker loves to sleep, cuddle and chase other animals. Last October, she hiked to Cracker Lake in Montana in 3 feet of snow and not only lived to tell the tale, but saw tons of wild animals!
tina visalli - human resources
Tina has been in rescue for over half a decade, getting her start with Last Hope K9 Rescue, where she still volunteers. She also currently volunteers at Attleboro Animal Shelter. Tina recently started her own non-profit, Kyle’s Legacy Inc, dedicated to raising funds for Canine Cancer Research and Treatment. Her previous experience in animal welfare-related non-profits forged many strong relationships, and as a result of one of these relationships, she was asked to come on board with PAALS.
While she calls her favorite animals orangutans, seahorses, and dogs, there is not a doubt that her 10.5 year old, miraculous 2-time cancer survivor, Kody the Puggle, is her absolute favorite in the entire world. When she’s not doing all this amazing work with animal welfare non-profits, Tina enjoys travelling to Central America and the Caribbean. She also does charity events, especially 5Ks!