Board of Directors Nominations

2024 elections for the PAWS Board of Directors will be held online on May 25, 2024. All PAWS members with paid memberships and a current email address on file with PAWS as of May 15, 2024 are welcome to vote. 

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.

The current slate of nominees is listed below. All four are current PAWS Board Members. 


Dr. Sima Bruggeman

I have been volunteering as a veterinarian at PAWS since 2018 and currently work as a Clinical Veterinarian at Penn State. One of the greatest pleasures in my life is seeing dogs and cats (and all animals!) live healthy and fulfilling lives. I enjoy watching animals at PAWS get their second chance at life and experience the love and compassionate care that each and every one of them deserves. I feel lucky to work alongside such a selfless and caring team of volunteers and to see and hear of so many animals finding homes because of the work that they do. The community that PAWS has fostered is one of the best things about the Centre region and I hope to continue to support PAWS in my role as a board member. I live in State College with my partner, Tim, our window-well rescue kitten, Finnegan, and our English Setter, Pippin.

Sima Board with text

Mike Chilcot

It’s been my pleasure to serve on the PAWS Board of Directors since 2019. I’m also a member of the personnel committee. Even though I’ve only been involved with PAWS for a short time, I’ve been a lifelong lover of our animal friends; cuddly, and not so cuddly included! I was born and raised in central Pennsylvania and received my undergraduate degree from Penn State in Chemical Engineering. After a career as a professional poker player, I obtained my Juris Doctorate from Pitt. While at Pitt I expanded my ability and love of giving back to the community. I am currently an attorney with Leech Tishman in State College; focusing on Family law. My unique background and skillset helps me contribute to PAWS and the board of directors and hopefully will for years to come! I reside in State College with my wife, daughter, and our two lab mixes (one of which is a PAWS rescue).

Mike Chilcot

Steven Chichester

I was first introduced to PAWS in 2017, when searching for a dog to adopt.  Since then, I have adopted a PAWS dog, become a PAWS volunteer on dog side, and have served as a full-time dog foster. Originally from Waldorf, Maryland, I earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree while living in Virginia, and in 2015, I moved to Bellefonte, PA when I was offered a position at Penn State University. With previous experience in enrollment management and student services, I currently work in strategic planning for Penn State, and recently received a Ph.D. in Higher Education. As a strategic planner, I help organizations articulate goals, identify actions required to achieve those goals, and formulate plans that sequence those actions in a logical and efficient manner. Additionally, I previously owned and operated Eleventh Paw Properties, a property management company in the Bellefonte area. In my free time, I enjoy working on home improvement projects, attending sporting events, exercising, and spending time with my dog, Chaco.

Steven wearing turquoise button up

Ryan Macaluso - President

My involvement with PAWS started in 2015 when I began volunteering at the front desk. Since then, I've been a dedicated foster parent for both dogs and cats and contributed to PAWS development, serving on the Facilities and Strategic Planning Committees. Currently, I hold a position on the Finance and Executive Committee, solidifying my commitment to the PAWS mission.

My professional background spans various fields including operations, finance, human resources, real estate, and project management. With a bachelor’s degree in finance and a master’s in business administration from Penn State University, I bring a diverse skill set to support PAWS in numerous capacities. Presently, I work as the Plant Controller at Cook Medical, building upon my prior experiences at Amazon, Service Access & Management, and ALDI.

Our family at home consists of three dogs and a cat, two of which we gratefully adopted from PAWS. This close bond with the organization embodies our deep connection. For me, being a part of PAWS is not only an honor but also a constant source of joy and fulfillment.

Ryan Macaluso headshot