Board of Directors

Kelly MartinPresident
Kelly was one of the founding members of the Southern Tier Wildlife Center, Binghamton, NY. In addition to holding a License to Collect and Possess to hold live animals for education, she has been a state and federally licensed wildlife rehabilitator since 1981 and has served on the NYSWRC Board of Directors for nearly as long. Kelly works part time for the Edmund Niles Huyck Preserve as an education assistant in
Rensselaerville, NY. She does live education programs as Wildlife Alive.”
Jean AldenMembership
Jean Alden has been a volunteer with the Wildlife Department of the Erie Co. SPCA since 1998 and has been state licensed since 1999. Jean’s involvement with wildlife rehabilitation began twelve years ago when she became a volunteer at the Buffalo Zoo working in the Rare and Nocturnal Mammal Department. In 2001 she completed the Bander’s Training Course from the Braddock Bay Bird Observatory and in 2002 received her oil spill training certification. Jean has a BA degree in Elementary Education from the University of South Carolina. Prior to her involvement in wildlife rehabilitation she was a teacher and assistant principal. Jean has a special interest in small mammals and waterfowl. Jean is our current membership chair.
Barbara Cole
Barbara Cole
Barb Cole attended the State University at Cortland, and earned a Master’s in Education. She retired from teaching after 28 years; but continues as a practicing rehabilitator. She has been licensed by NYS DEC and USF&WS since 1984, and has handled a wide variety of wildlife in the ensuing years. She also joined NYSWRC in 1984. Since her election to the Board of Directors, she has served as Legislative Chair, Secretary; and was President for 6 years. She works with the Southern Tier Wildlife Center, and continues to rehabilitate wildlife, while working to help provide public education, and support for environmental causes.
Veronica Serwacki
Veronica currently works full time as the Executive Associate to the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York. After obtaining her Class I Wildlife Rehabilitation license she joined the SPCA’s Wildlife department in 2003 as a Volunteer. Prior to that, in 1999, she had joined the Messinger Woods Wildlife Care and Education Center, as a volunteer for injured and recuperating wildlife. She is now a shift leader at the SPCA and on the Hospital Management Team at the Messenger Woods Wildlife Care and Education Center. Veronica is currently pursuing a Master of Science degree in Anthrozoology and hopes to be finished with her degree requirements in May 2016.
Lauren Shultz
Lauren is the Wildlife Center Supervisor of Volunteers for Wildlife, Inc in Locust Valley, Long Island, New York. At Volunteers for Wildlife, she oversees the care of 1,300 patients annually and thirty non-releasable educational animals. Lauren has been licensed as a New York State Wildlife Rehabilitator since 2007. She also holds a US Fish and Wildlife Migratory Bird Rehabilitation permit and State and Federal licenses to Collect & Possess. Lauren graduated from Connecticut College with a Bachelors Degree in Zoology and has a Master’s degree in General Education from St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY.

Lauren is the Volunteer Coordinator for one of the satellite store cat adoption centers for Last Hope Animal Rescue. She is also a frequent team leader on the capture team for Long Island (domestic) Rabbit Rescue. Outside of animal rescue, Lauren’s other passion is for rowing and she coaches the Cold Spring Harbor High School rowing team. She resides in South Huntington, NY with her husband and pets.

Cheryl HoopleNYSWRC Secretary
Cheryl Hoople, NYSWRC Secretary
Cheryl is a licensed rehabilitator who has been with the Wildlife Department of the SPCA of Erie County since June of 1999. She is also a member of the National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association. Cheryl has received her certificate for oil spill training and RVS training. In addition, she took the basic training for and joined EARS. She has been actively involved with the Board of Directors of NYSWRC since January 2002 and has assisted in the arrangements for the annual NYSWRC conference each year since that time. In 2003 Cheryl was nominated for and accepted the position of Secretary for NYSWRC.
Amy FreimanNewsletter Editor & Treasurer
Amy is the retired Director of Sweetbriar Nature Center. She began her love of animals while working for a veterinarian during high school and college. This interest continued throughout Amy’s career. She is among the early members of NYSWRC and is the current editor of the newsletter Release and the Treasurer. Amy is pleased to continue assisting other rehabilitators through her work with NYSWRC. Amy holds a state and federal license and works with RVS species and raptors.
Matt Zymanek
Matt Zymanek has been with Hawk Creek Wildlife Center since 1992. Currently the Operations Manager, he is an experienced Class 2 wildlife rehabilitator, wild animal handler and trainer, with a degree in Biology from Buffalo State College. Matt is oil spill trained, chemical immobilization certified and has rabies vector certification. His credentials include being a board member of The New York State Wildlife Rehabilitation Council, Hawk Creek Wildlife Center and The New York River Otter Project, Inc. He has acted as a guest naturalist on Princess Cruise lines and has presented papers at both the national and international level. He oversees Hawk Creek‘s facilities, the barn owl propagation program and animal care. Hawk Creek rehabilitates several hundred animals a year and permanently houses non-releasable birds of prey and other carnivores. Matt is also an environmental educator, reaching thousands of children annually. Hawk Creek currently presents over 2,500 educational programs in Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey. He is currently working on becoming a Falconer.
Terri Murphy
Terri has been a state and federally licensed wildlife rehabilitator since 1999, earning her Class II license in 2001. She began her love of wildlife after taking wildlife rehabilitation courses at Erie Community College, taught by Michael Olek of Messinger Woods. She was instantly hooked and spent three years as a shift manager for the new Messinger Woods Wildlife Hospital.

After several years of rehabbing squirrels, bunnies, woodchucks, possums, hawks and owls, she rehabilitated her first fawn and never looked back. She now specializes in white-tailed deer and the Virginia opossum.

She has been on the NYSWRC Board since 2006, is a member of NWRA and the National Opossum Association. She has been the neonatal care specialist for the Lakeshore Humane Society since 2008, is a foster mom for the Erie County SPCA, and a board member for the Tango Fund, which was established in 2012 and offers complimentary physical therapy for animals in need.

Terri is a graduate of Cornell University, School of Industrial and Labor Relations and spent 24 years as office manager for the Williamsville Teachers Association and Executive Assistant for the New York State United Teachers.

Ellen Kalish
Ellen Kalish is a lifelong birder, animal lover, orchid enthusiast, artist, photographer and naturalist.  Her love for birds has manifested into forming Ravensbeard Wildlife Center in Saugerties, NY, a not-for-profit wildlife rehabilitation center since 2000 with the goal of releasing these winged beauties back to the wild. Ravensbeard Wildlife Center specializes in raptors, but also takes in wading birds, game birds, waterfowl and songbirds.

Ellen holds a Class II NYS Wildlife Rehabilitation License as well as a Federal Migratory Bird Permit, RVS, Oil Spill, Chemical Capture, Falconry, and Education/Exhibition License to Possess.  With a background in early education, Ellen has given wildlife presentations for public schools, groups and clubs throughout Ulster, Rockland, Columbia, Dutchess, NYC and Orange Counties.

Ellen hosts a 2-week nature camp for kids ages 8-14 at her home in Saugerties.  The children study native flora and fauna, identify native birds, reptiles, mammals, insects, mushrooms, and medicinal plants.  They hike, swim, enjoy arts and crafts projects and study pond and stream life.  In addition, they learn about attracting wildlife to our backyards and have fun understanding the circle of life.

Barbara HollandsVice President
Barbara has been a state and federally licensed Class II wildlife rehabilitator since 1988. Barb specializes in small mammals and rabies vector species. Barbara was the North East Regional Director for the Emergency Animal Rescue Service Disaster Response Team for nine years and responded to over seven hurricanes, including Katrina. She currently is a team responder for NYS, CODE 3 Associates, and a National FEMA Animal Disaster Response Liaison.
In addition, Barbara has a nuisance wildlife license, is certified for Chemical Immobilization, Oil Spill Training, and Rabies Vector Species. One of her tasks as a board member, in conjunction with the NYS DEC Special License Unit, is to conduct the NYS Rabies Certification Course each year.
Barb has a Masters of Science in Adult and Public Education with a Certification in Human Resource Management from Buffalo State College. She has been a Veterinary Technician since 1985 in multiple animal realms.
She currently works for the Webster Police Department in the Animal Control Unit, at Rochester Community Animal Clinic as a surgery technician and an Associate Professor for Medialle College in Veterinary Science.
Sue Heighling
Sue Heighling
Sue’s appreciation for nature attracted her to the Erie County SPCA’s wildlife department nearly eight years ago. She is fond of small mammals, particularly squirrels. Sue has continued her interest in wildlife by becoming a beekeeper this year with two active hives. Her passions outside of wildlife rehab include gardening and birding. Her skill in taking wildlife photographs has led to her participation in regional art shows. Sue shares her home with a dog, four cats and two rats
Beverly Jones
Beverly Jones has been involved with rehabilitation since 1985. Bev was volunteer at the Ross Park Zoo and the Southern Tier Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. Bev attended SUNY Buffalo and obtained a BS degree in Environmental Science. She spent a year and a half at The Conservancy Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Naples, Florida and worked with a wide array of subtropical wildlife. Later, she had the privilege to work during three summers as a hack site attendant for the Peregrine Fund. Bev graduated from Medaille College’s Veterinary Technician program and began working as a veterinary technician and wildlife hospital supervisor at the Erie County SPCA in the Spring of 2000. Since moving to Olean in 2013, Bev splits her work week between the SPCA and Pfeiffer Nature Center, where she is the Nature Program Coordinator.
Virginia (Ginnie) Frati
Ginnie is the Executive Director and Founder of the Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Rescue Center in Hampton Bays, Long Island, New York. She is a retired secretary/administrator for the Suffolk County Department of Public Works. As well as being a board member for the N.Y.S. Wildlife Rehabilitator’s Association, she is also a member of the National Wildlife Rehabilitator’s Association, the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Association, and the East Hampton Group for Wildlife. Ginnie has successfully completed both the IWRC’s Basic and Advanced Skills Seminars. She is a N.Y.S. Certified Euthanasia Technician, N.Y.S. Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator (Class 2) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Permit Holder for the Rehabilitation of Migratory Birds. Ginnie is also a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Permit Holder for Possession of Live and Dead Specimens. Ginnie’s story “Nice Bird,” regarding a goose she once rehabilitated, appeared in the top selling book Chicken Soup for the Nature Lover’s Soul.” She was also featured in an article in People Magazine regarding animal heroes.

Advisory Board

Andrea L. Sammarco, ESQ.
Andrea L. Sammarco, ESQ.
Andrea L. Sammarco’s practice is primarily concentrated in the area of civil litigation and counseling. For over 20 years, she has assisted small businesses, municipalities and individuals in the areas of labor and employment, contracts, healthcare and benefits law.

Andrea was previously affiliated with Hiscock & Barclay, LLP, in the firm’s litigation department, before leaving to form The Sammarco Law Firm, LLP. She is admitted to practice in New York as well as the United States District and Bankruptcy Courts for the Western District of New York.

Andrea is past Chair of the Erie County Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Committee, and a regular presenter at CLE accredited regional and statewide conferences on topics of general interest, including alternative dispute resolution, labor and employment, and other issues. In addition to being a long time member of the Erie County Bar, Andrea has held memberships in the the Labor and Employment Relations Association of New York, the New York Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association, the New York Sate Bar Association. Andrea is also a certified mediator through the Cornell School of Industrial and Labor Relations.

Andrea received her law degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo, with a Certificate of Concentration in State and Local Government Law. Andrea served as Attorney for the Town of Pendleton, New York from 2004 – 2013. More recently, Andrea serves as local counsel for class-actionwage and hour litigation on behalf of Buffalo Bills cheerleaders.

She is currently the Chair of the Board of Directors of Niagara Hospice, Inc., as Board Member of The Hospice & Palliative Care Group. Inc., and as Advisory Board Member and legal counsel to the New York State Wildlife Rehabilitation Council.

Andrea is a New York State licensed wildlife rehabilitator, and has volunteered for numerous charitable organizations, including the Bless the Beasts Foundation, the Erie County SPCA Wildlife Department and others, and served as in-house counsel for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, a national animal rights/welfare organization. She lives in Clarence, New York with her husband Scott.

George V. Kollias, DVM, PhD
George V. Kollias, DVM, PhD
Diplomate – American College of Zoological Medicine

Jay Hyman Professor of Wildlife Medicine, emeritus

Research/Clinical Interests
Wildlife Health and Conservation, specifically Infectious Diseases, Epidemiology, Reintroduction Medicine

Education and Training
1982 University of California, PhD
1974-1976 University of California Davis, Residency in Wildlife/Zoological Medicine
1972 University of Missouri, DVM
Westcott Hospital for Animals, Detroit, MI, Intern, Small Animal Practice

Board Certification
American College of Zoological Medicine

Noha Abou-Madi, DVM, MSc
Noha Abou-Madi, DVM, MSc
Noha Abou-Madi graduated from the University of Montréal, Québec, Canada, completed a residency in anesthesiology then in zoological medicine at the University of Florida. She worked at Silver Springs Inc. in Ocala, Florida and at Busch Gardens, Tampa, Florida, before accepting a position at Cornell University where she is an Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences in the Zoological Medicine Section. Her clinical work is centered on conservation medicine, integrating the practice of zoological and wildlife medicine to the training of students and residents in this field. Her research interests are mainly clinical and aimed at improving the health of species of wild and captive animals.

Diplomate – American College of Zoological Medicine

Clinical Associate Professor, Section of Zoological Medicine
Section Chief of Zoological Medicine
Research/Clinical Interests
Anesthesia
Elephant Medicine

Education and Training
1989-1991 University of Florida, Residency in Zoological and Wildlife Medicine
1988-1989 University of Florida, Combined program: Third year residency in Veterinary Anesthesiology and Training in Zoological and Wildlife Medicine
1986-1988 University of Florida, Residency in Veterinary Anesthesiology
1986 University of Montreal, Master of Sciences (Veterinary Clinical Sciences)
1984 University of Montreal, DVM

Board Certification
2004 American College of Zoological Medicine

Karen Moran, DVM
Karen Moran, DVM
Dr. Moran received her degree in Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University in 1995. After graduation, she worked in a small animal practice until 2004, when she began work at the Erie County SPCA. Dr. Moran is a licensed wildlife rehabilitator, and she works closely with the wildlife department at the SPCA. In her “free time,” she cares for turtles and snakes at home where she lives with her husband and son and an ever-changing array of animals. Dr. Moran was the recipient of the 2008 Veterinarian of the Year Award.