Alex Cheng - executive director
Alex is one of the Executive Director of PAALS, Inc. and is 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 nonprofit world for several years, specifically with a couple different animal rescues. In addition to PAALS, Inc. 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, Inc.’s 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, Inc. 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, Inc. 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, Inc. 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, Inc. 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, Inc. 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, Inc.!
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, Inc. 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, Inc., 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.
Jacob kiley - Board member
I’m a board member for PAALS, Inc. because of my love of animals and my love for the community I live in. I’m not a Massachusetts native but for the last decade I have been committed to being a great neighbor and friend to those I meet, two legs or four.
I have a dog named Jackson who has a very special place in my heart for many reasons in addition to being a great member of my family. Jacks also happens to be my very first dog!
When I was a kid I lived in San Diego and in the summers I would go to Sea World. These visits sparked my interest in dolphins and I truly saw myself being a dolphin trainer someday.
Now being a part of PAALS, Inc., I’m in a position to help both types of animals alongside my great team members.
Jill alpert - Board member, secretary
Jill found out about PAALS, Inc. 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 - executive director
Kayla is one of the Executive Directors of PAALS, Inc. 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, Inc.! Feeling stressed and burnt out, but still wanting to help, she found that PAALS, Inc. 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. 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!
Kristin o’malley - pibbles kibbles (pet food pantry)
Kristin got involved with PAALS, Inc. to make her dream of starting a pet food pantry a reality. Animals have always been a huge part of her heart. Pitties especially hit her right in the feels. She's fostered and volunteered with local rescues and shelters in the past and more recently volunteered with an area pet food pantry. Kristin saw that this pet food pantry was helping keep pets and families together by preventing people from having to surrender their pets during times of hardship. She realized that she wanted to help reach even more families by creating her own pet food pantry. PAALS, Inc. was thinking about opening one up so they joined forces and Pibble's Kibbles was born!
When Kristin isn't elbows deep in kibble she's a scientist at an area biotech company. When she's not science-ing or pet food peddling she's crafting/sewing/painting/home reno-ing. She lives in an old farmhouse in North Central MA with her husband and two house hippo pitties- Thunder and Ramona.
Melissa galvin - board member
Melissa Galvin lives in Waltham Massachusetts with her two daughters, Cierra and Chyna. She is a passionate animal rescue advocate and has also opened her home to doggies Gertrude and Jack, as well as a few kitties!
Melissa’s passion for animals and their welfare has always been incredibly strong, making it no surprise at all that she also owns a highly reputable local pet care company.
Melissa is so excited to be a part of PAALS, Inc. and looks forward to all of the good things ahead!
Richard m. reeves - board 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).
stacey l. link - founder, board president
Stacey L. Link grew up in Sudbury, Massachusetts where her love for animals began at an early age. Although she now prefers the company of “dogpals”, at one time her favorite animal was rabbits — as was evidenced by the ten page report she wrote in the hopes of acquiring a beloved “rabbitpal”. [She did not end up receiving a rabbit which, to this day, remains a touchy subject.]
In addition to Stacey’s love of animals, she also exhibited a love of and interest in helping other humans from a very young age. Whether she was voluntarily helping other kids on and off of her school bus each day, assisting her Mom in Thanksgiving grocery shopping for families in need, supporting her classmates with Library help or reading to children while volunteering at a local shelter for mothers with children, Stacey’s care for the world around her always came naturally and has continued on into adulthood.
In high school Stacey co-founded a local S.A.D.D. chapter, captained sports teams and volunteered at numerous Special Olympics events. During her college years the passion for helping others pressed on and led to Stacey receiving her degree in Education and Psychology. After college Stacey worked locally as a teacher’s aide, then as a small group teacher for special needs students before her passion took one more turn, and she realized (while teaching English in Switzerland) that her true interest was in teaching animals.
Stacey now owns a local pet care company and has numerous years of animal rescue experience having worked as a staple volunteer with two different rescue groups, before shifting into different management roles within the latter group. Stacey is an Aunt to an *unbelievably* precocious two year old, a back-up dogmom to a slew of local dogpals, and is a Full-Time DogMom to her own three, beautiful and goobery dogpals — Oscar Enzo & Kora.
Steph Kley - Finance manager
Steph is the Finance and Donations Manager at PAALS, Inc. -- joining the team in the summer of 2018! She currently resides in the greater Philadelphia area working in the world of sustainable biotechnology as a marketing specialist, but she was fortunate enough to meet many of the wonderful humans involved with the organization through other volunteer activities during her eight years studying and working in Boston. She is thrilled to be able to work with them again to support the amazing PAALS, Inc. mission.
Steph has extensive experience working with non-profits and she is excited to bring that knowledge and her passion for animals to the team. She has been active in the animal welfare space for the last 14+ years through various organizations as a general volunteer, research assistant, manager, and foster mom. In her free time, Steph's best friend is her 5-year-old goober rescue-pup Finn.
tina visalli - human resources Consultant
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, was immediately interested in coming on board with PAALS, Inc.
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!