Board of Directors

Garry Buff, Chair, is an attorney and banker who served as a senior administrative manager at two commercial banks.  Presently, his focus is on the not for profit community.  In addition to serving on several boards and assisting various organizations, Mr. Buff also administered the Charles H. Revson Foundation Law Students Public Interest Fellowship Program at NYU Law School.  Mr. Buff is a passionate animal lover and supporter of animal rights/rescue organizations.  He and his wife are proud pet parents to Isabelle, a beautiful tabby cat who is the center of their universe.  Mr. Buff was attracted to the mission of PAWS NY because he understands the incredible bond between a pet and its parents.   He received his B.A., with honors, from St. John Fisher College, a J.D. from Syracuse University College of Law and an M.B.A. from NYU.

Walter Godlewski, Vice Chair, has 23 years of experience as a corporate attorney in New York City. His practice focuses on advising clients regarding public and private financing alternatives, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, securities law and regulatory compliance issues, and corporate governance matters. Mr. Godlewski also volunteers in the PAWS Housecall Program and is a passionate advocate for promoting the adoption of rescue animals in need. Mr. Godlewski receive a B.A. in Economics and English from Williams College and a J.D. from Washington and Lee University School of Law. He and his fiancé, Christopher, recently adopted a six-year old Wheaten Scottish Terrier named Parker just days after their black Scotty, MacDuff, succumbed to cancer. The three of them divide their time between Manhattan and Norfolk, CT.

JR Hernandez, Treasurer, brings an expertise in financial management to the PAWS NY Board. Mr. Hernandez has an extensive background in corporate finance and consulting, with fifteen years' experience including investment banking, public and private equity investing, small-business management, and strategic advisory roles. In addition to his professional background, Mr. Hernandez is fluent in four languages, including Spanish, French and Italian. As a child, Mr. Hernandez had a cat named Mishu, a cocker spaniel named Pepe, and two parakeets named Pee Wee Herman and Tina Turner. Currently, he shares his home with two cats. Mr. Hernandez received a B.S. in Economics from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he specialized in Finance and Global Analysis.

Danielle Mazandi, Secretary, has several years of experience in the non-profit sector including several years specifically in planning fundraising events.  She currently serves as the Associate Director of Special Events at New York Public Radio.  Danielle has been a life long animal lover and became introduced to PAWS NY first as a volunteer prior to joining the Board. She supports PAWS NY and their mission to promote the human-animal bond. Originally from Boston, Danielle graduated from Boston University with a degree in Hospitality Administration. Danielle lives in the West Village with her husband, her Persian cat Poombah, Lab mix Sunny, and Border Collie mix Melvin.  In addition to volunteering with PAWS NY, Danielle and Melvin are proud to serve as members of the Caring Canines team at a New York City hospital, visiting patients in need of a smile!

Mike Cassidy comes to PAWS NY with over 18 years of experience in the financial services industry.  He has extensive experience in the asset management business having worked as a trader and portfolio manager for several prominent US hedge funds.  Mr. Cassidy is also committed to community outreach and dedicates time to a number of charitable organizations.   He is a member of an outreach program in the New York Corrections System that focuses on inmate recovery and rehabilitation for the Sing Sing Correctional Facility in Ossining, NY.  Mr. Cassidy also was a volunteer dog walker for PAWS NY and enjoyed working, and building relationships, with PAWS NY clients and witnessed firsthand the impact of the organization’s mission.  Mr. Cassidy lives in New York with his wife and daughter and their 8 year old Vizsla, Crosby, who brings much love and joy to the family.  Mr. Cassidy received a B.A. from Union College in Schenectady, NY and a M.B.A from Fordham Graduate School of Business.

Karin Magnuson has 20 years of experience in leading teams to solve tough business problems.  She currently manages the global Performance Management function in People Operations at Google and previously led an HR Business Partner team as well as an HR Operations team.   Prior to Google, Karin spent 6 years at McKinsey & Company where she spent 3 years consulting to healthcare clients and then 3 years in a professional development role. She also spent 4 years as a growth strategy management consultant at Corporate Decisions Inc (CDI).  Karin received her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Brown University and her MBA in Healthcare Management from the Wharton School of Business.  Karin lives in Chelsea with her 3 rescued cats Eli, Penny and Pistachio and has had a lifelong commitment to volunteering with animals.  She is currently an active volunteer with both PAWS (walking guide dogs Bella and Ava each week) and with Best Friends Animal Society.

Zarela Maldonado has sixteen years of experience in fundraising and managing development operations. She has worked with a wide range of leading community, national and international non-profit organizations in the areas of healthcare, culture, social service, higher education and public policy, and she is currently Vice President at CCS, a nonprofit fundraising consulting firm.  She has managed successful capital and capacity building campaigns and developed successful fund-raising strategies while working closely with institutional leaders, board members and volunteers. Ms. Maldonado has a B.A. in Sociology from Hamilton College and a Master’s in City and Regional Planning from Rutgers University.  She holds a black belt in Karate and is a certified yoga teacher.

Monika Salazar is a senior strategic thinker and marketing visionary with 20 years of experience spanning from TV, film entertainment and PR to fast-food and healthcare. Ms. Salazar is currently the Director of Global Franchise Development and Marketing in the Licensing & Entertainment group for Girls and Games at Hasbro, Inc. Prior to Hasbro, she worked at MTV Networks/Nickelodeon developing and writing creative strategies that unlocked and inspired unique product development. In her career, she launched a number of groundbreaking marketing and promotional campaigns for The Walt Disney Company, Ogilvy & Mather, Foote Cone & Belding and VIZ Media. Ms. Salazar resides with her two loves, Merlin Manhattan, her Tri-color Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and Max, her Blue Merle Australian Cattle Dog. She holds an M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University, a B.S. in Business, Marketing, from Cal State University of Long Beach. She is also an accomplished photographer.

Andrea Y. Tu, DVM,

Andrea Y. Tu, DVM, is a veterinarian with over 16 years of experience in the fields of animal health and the human-animal bond, including six years researching developmental behavior at the New York State Psychiatric Institute and volunteering with human-animal bond outreach groups prior to starting her veterinary career. While attending veterinary school, she served as president of the Student Chapter of AAHA, co-founded the Surgery Club, coordinated the first Zoonotic Diseases Symposium, and gained extensive experience in veterinary behavior at the Cornell Animal Behavior Clinic. Dr. Tu was also selected for the competitive Veterinary Extern position at PAWS SF. In that capacity, she contributed to the PAWS Safe Pet Guideline, which provides information on the risks of zoonotic diseases to the general public and health professionals and devised a unique public health approach to better the well-being of both pets and their owners by educating owners about the detrimental health effects of cigarette smoke exposure to pets. She also participated and gained experience in all aspects of PAWS’s daily operations, including client intake and volunteer coordination. Her experiences have allowed her to witness first hand the impact one can make in helping people by helping pets, and she hopes to use her medical knowledge to continue to help the city’s most vulnerable residents stay with their pets. Dr. Tu currently practices general medicine at Park East Animal Hospital; prior to joining Park East, she completed a Small Animal Medical and Surgical Rotating Internship at Red Bank Veterinary Hospital in New Jersey. She is also completing additional to become a board-certified veterinary behaviorist. Dr. Tu grew up in Taipei, Taiwan and Lexington, Massachusetts, is fluent in Chinese and currently shares her home with her opinionated senior cat, Hazelnut. She received her B.A. in Biopsychology from Barnard College of Columbia University and her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.