Meet the dedicated staff at AWA
Our staff oversees award-winning and innovative programs including Adoptions, Foster Care, Spay/Neuter Clinic, and Pet Re-homing that help more than 15,000 community pets in South Jersey. Our team of dedicated staff is headed up by the following senior staff.
Maya Richmond, Executive Director
Maya Richmond was Director of Operations and Program Development for the Maryland SPCA in Baltimore before coming to AWA. She enjoys designing innovative programs like, high-volume spay/neuter clinic, earned income ventures, staff development, building new spaces, and helping shelters develop sustainable programs and fundraising so they can will also be able to do more for the community’s needy pets. She shares her home with 2 cats, 2 dogs, an understanding husband, their young daughter and her elderly mother.
Joan Powell, Director of Finance and Administration
Joan Powell has served as AWA Director of Finance and Adminstation since 2011. Her work strengthens the administrative and financial functions with AWA's core mission. Her extensive accounting and financial background have been in the education and financial services sectors. She earned a B.S. in Accounting from Drexel University. The variety and diverse nature of the work, the people, and the Organization's mission provide her with stimulating challenges. "It's something different every day," says Powell.
Dr. Veronica Lye, Shelter Veterinarian
Dr. Veronica Lye is one of our three staff veterinarians. Prior to AWA, Dr. Lye spent five years in general practice with Banfield and three years in administration with Red Bank Veterinary Hospital. She received her bachelor in music and veterinary degree from University of Florida ("Go Gators!"). At AWA, she will head the largest low-cost spay/neuter clinic in South Jersey.
In her free time Dr. Lye pursues low level eventing with her horse, Dan. She is dedicated to her husband John, children Jack and Maria, and three cats - Black Jack, Annie, and Sophia.
Dr. Fred Cuccinello, Staff Veterinarian
Dr. Fred Cuccinello joined AWA in 2013. Prior to AWA, he worked at Regional Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Center. He spent time in general practice at Banfield and prior to that held his own private veterinary practice for 20 years. He and his wife have three pets: a King Charles Cavalier named Ruby and two Yorkies named Michelle and Bridget.
Dr. Erin Henry, Staff Veterinarian
Dr. Erin Henry graduated from University of Pennsylvania's Veterinary School. Following that she did her internship at Cornell University in Shelter Medicine. She and her fiance have a 45-pound "mutt" dog.
Judi Russo, Clinic Manager
Judi Russo, our Clinic Manager, began her career with the AWA clinic in 1984 after receiving her degree from Camden County College’s Veterinary Technology program. She oversees the spay/neuter clinic operations and community pet medicine. At AWA, Russo loves the freedom of working with many different kinds of people and their pets. Her wealth of clinical experience and people-skills puts all our animals and pet-owners in expert hands.
Christie Rogero, Targeted Spay/Neuter Manager
Christie Rogero, our Targeted Spay/Neuter Manager, runs AWA’s trap-neuter-return (TNR) program for feral cats—a program that leads animal welfare in the area for advancement and innovation. She works with pet owners to help them access affordable spay/neuter for their pets, trains groups of potential community cat caretakers to do TNR and much more.
“I like knowing that each day I am helping to save or improve the lives of animals in need,” Rogero says, “I’m excited to be part of the new, life-saving programs as well as organizational partnerships that can save thousands of lives. That is tremendously rewarding.”
Christie is a true cat-lover. She and her husband have six indoor-only cats and two semi-feral community cats: Merlyn, Elrond, Kitty, Tasha, Jadzia, O'Neill, Little Miss and Mr. Big. Follow the adventures of Little Miss and Mr. Big in AWA blog posts about community cats.
Chris Anderson, Assistant Director of Shelter Services
John Whitehead-Community Outreach & Humane Education Manager
John Whitehead joined AWA’s team in 2012 as our Community Outreach Coordinator. He manages the Humane Education and Pet Therapy programs and coordinates the outreach programs.
Prior to AWA, John was a Senior Customer Service Representative at Commerce/ TD Bank where he developed community outreach and retail entertainment events and worked with area schools. Prior to this, John was a Program Educator for the Bryson Institute of Philadelphia where he developed and presented diversity awareness workshops for Philadelphia and Bucks County schools. He has a B.S. from Delaware Valley College.
John enjoys working with schools and youth programs that educate students about pet ownership and the amazing human-animal connection. A life-long animal lover, John feels he's found a home at AWA where he can make a positive impact on families and homeless pets in the community.
Allegra Haldeman, Volunteer and Foster Care Coordinator