Board of Directors Nominations

2022 elections for the PAWS Board of Directors will be held online, all day Saturday, June 4. All PAWS members with paid memberships and a current email address on file with PAWS as of May 28 are welcome to vote. 

On June 4, each paid member will receive an email from ElectionBuddy, our online voting software, with a personalized link to the secure online ballot. To submit an updated email address, please email 

The nominees for 2022 are listed below. If you are interested in serving as a future Board member, please reach out to our Executive Director for more information. To review our existing Board makeup, visit our Board Members page

To confirm you are a current member, you can email To renew your membership or become a new member, visit our membership page


Spencer Lewis

Since moving to State College in 1988, I have had the pleasure of being an active part of our wonderful community, working at Penn State and giving back as a volunteer/donor to numerous non-profits.  I retired from Penn State after thirty years in fundraising for the University in September 2021 and I am now free to focus my attention on volunteer activities.  My love of animals (especially dogs) led me to focus on service with PAWS . While at Penn State I served as the Director of Development for Penn State Outreach and Online Education (Shaver's Creek, Penn State Public Broadcasting, World Campus, etc.) for eighteen years, raising more than $40M during the latest campaign. I also held fundraising positions in Penn State's Smeal College of Business and the College of Engineering, and as Executive Director of the American Cancer Society. I also worked with local non-profit organizations, including the American Red Cross, the Boy Scouts, and our church.  My wife and I have three grown children, and a Jack Russell Terrier named Chelsea.

Spencer Lewis

Karen Mayes

I have been a resident of Centre County for almost 40 years and received my bachelors degree in Civil Engineering from Penn State University .  Ever since I can recall, I have had a deep found love and passion for animals.  To this day, my fur babies go with me everywhere I go, as much as possible, as they bring so much joy to my life.  With having over 24 years of experience in project management in the construction industry for both the public and private sector and with working with a variety of architects and engineers, I am excited to support PAWS as a Board Member in their Strategic Planning goals.  After graduating from the class of 2021 Centre County Leadership, one of my personal goals was to become a servant leader for an organization within the community that I had a deep passion for and in which I could apply my skills and build upon the strong relationships that I have created over the years.  PAWS seems like a perfect fit for me and I am excited to be apart of the Board.  Additionally, I have been involved with Boy Scouts of America, coaching the Penn State Learn to Skate and Bald Eagle Youth Soccer programs. I live in Howard with my husband, JP, daughter and son, Sierra and Hunter and our two sweet dogs, Roxy and Autumn.

Karen Mayes with 2 dogs


Ming Tien

PAWS is an organization that I have known since the adoption of my first dog: Sammi. I have
also adopted Boomer (previously named Prancer) and Annie. Beside of the affection I have for
dogs, I adopted these dogs mainly for my family, something for my son and I to engage in raising, enjoying and bonding on.  Indeed, many ours are spent on outings, sharing laughter and joy that these dogs have brought into our lives. I am retired now and have much more free time. One  contemplates how to best spend that free time and of course one is always: how do I give back?  One way is to facilitate the processes which have brought you happiness in life.  PAWS did that for me.  So in some ways, I would like to give back that joy to the organization of PAWS, but also facilitate the happiness to both the animals and the people that would share in this bond.

Ming Tien pic


Ginny Newman - Vice President

up for re-election in 2022

I’ve volunteered over 900 hours to PAWS since 2016 doing weekly cat care, serving as a trainer and leader of the Cat Care Training Team and have fostered several litters of kittens. I’ve served on numerous committees including the Fur Ball, Membership, Personnel, and the Executive Director Search Committee. Professionally I’ve worked as a government official, a nonprofit executive director and a higher education administrator. My main expertise lies in management and organizational leadership, but I also have experience in fundraising and marketing. My volunteer service record has given me firsthand understanding and demonstrates my passion for PAWS. As a retiree, I’m also able to devote significant time to the organization. I believe my professional experience can help PAWS be the region’s premier companion animal resource.

Ginny Newman

Reenie Ferretti - Treasurer

up for re-election in 2022

I’ve had a passion for animals since my first job pet sitting for neighbors in Boalsburg when I was 10. I also have over 17 years of accounting experience as both a consultant and controller for public and private companies. I was grateful for the opportunity to join the Finance Committee in 2017 so I could use my passion and accounting experience to help support PAWS. In 2018, I was elected PAWS Treasurer and I serve as Finance Committee chair and Fur Ball Committee chair. I also served as a member of Executive Director Search Committee. I worked with the Investment Committee and the Board to improve investments of excess reserves to provide more income. I’ve enjoyed supporting PAWS as a Board member and hope to continue in this role. I live in State College with my husband, Chris, daughter, Dinah, and our two PAWS rescue cats, Cricket and Lion.

Reenie Ferretti

Virginia Ishler

up for re-election in 2022

I have been an active PAWS volunteer for almost 13 years. During that time, I have worked as a dog handler on the Sunday dog showings, adoption counselor, foster program coordinator and in the last few years a Board member. I was on the Search Committee for the Executive Director position. I have participated in the Fur Ball and personnel committee.  It has been a fantastic experience being involved in a proactive organization that keeps raising the bar in how PAWS can help animals. It has been rewarding to be part of the process to advance the care of rescue animals both medically and behaviorally.

Virginia Ishler