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.
Danielle Mazandi, Vice Chair, 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!
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.
Karin Magnuson, Secretary, has 25 years of experience in leading teams to solve tough business problems. She has worked at Google since 2006 and is currently in an Organizational Development role where she is coaching and consulting to senior leaders and their leadership teams as they navigate the most critical organizational and leadership development challenges at Google. Her prior People Operations roles at Google included leading the global Performance Management function, an HR Business Partner team and 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 2 rescued cats (Eli and Penny) and her rescued pup (Lucy) and has had a lifelong commitment to volunteering with animals. She is currently an active volunteer with both PAWS (walking guide dog Ava each week) and with Best Friends Animal Society.
Shane Artis is a technology leader in Finance with over 30 years of experience in software and technical architecture. He currently heads a department at a large New York bank where he is also a member of several technology governance programs including the firm's Machine Learning steering committee. Shane has many years of experience leading teams of software developers, managing multi-million dollar budgets, global staffing, mentoring, and recruiting, and has led the firm’s MIT technology campus recruiting team for many years in the past. Shane received his B.S. in bioelectrical engineering and M.S. in computer science from MIT.
Growing up on a small farm in the Midwest, a Canadian island, and later the Pacific northwest, Shane lived among and cared for farm livestock along with his dogs and cats, all of which instilled an early and life-long love for all animals. Most recently and sadly his two Russian Blue cats Daisy and Johnny Bravo passed away, survived by his faithful companion, Balto, a Labrador-poodle mix with talents for sleeping and chasing squirrels. Seeing his own family members struggle to care for loved companion animals in their later years, PAWS NY’s mission and successes were revelatory for how their charitable mission could help both animals and people thrive through hardship with dignity and security.
Walter Godlewski has nearly three decades of experience as a corporate attorney in New York City. While mostly retired now, he continues to advise select clients on public and private financing matters, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate governance issues. Mr. Godlewski began his association with PAWS by volunteering in the Housecall Program and is a passionate advocate for rescue animals in need. Mr. Godlewski received 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 husband, Christopher, recently adopted a nine-year old Wheaten Scottish Terrier named Tavish, the fourth in a long line of rescue Scotties stretching back to Hurricane Katrina. The three of them live in Norfolk, CT, where Mr. Godlewski serves on a number of non-profit boards and is active in local politics, when he's not traveling.
Shari Gold has spent the last 15 years working in development in the non-profit sector, writing grants and organizing fundraising events. Currently, she serves as part-time program manager for The Blue Card, supporting needy Holocaust survivors, and also works for the New York Foundation for Eldercare awarding grants to programs helping seniors. Prior to her non-profit experience , Ms. Gold worked in corporate marketing positions at Novartis and Unilever. Her love for dogs goes deep and includes volunteering/ fostering for a dog rescue as well as being part of a pet therapy team visiting hospitals and nursing homes. She also saw first-hand how important the bond between pet and human was by watching her elderly dad and his dog Benji navigate the last few years of their lives together. When she moved to NYC three years ago with her four-legged roomie Cassie, a rescue terrier, she became involved with PAWS as a volunteer. For over a year she visited Sam and walked Ophelia and witnessed the importance of the pet and owner bond and how the visits by PAWS volunteers made such a difference. Since her daughter Carly has moved to the city, she has also embraced the PAWS mission and currently walks Che Che during her lunch break. Ms. Gold received her BA from Bucknell University and her MBA from Northwestern University.
Minji Kim is a lawyer with over a decade of litigation experience in New York City and a focus on commercial and contract disputes. Ms. Kim is also passionate about legal issues involving animals and treatment of animals in New York City and is a member of the New York City Bar Association's Animal Law Committee. Ms. Kim received a B.A. with honors in Art History from Brown University and J.D. from University of Iowa. Currently, she shares her home with her best buddy, Marco, a 10 year old Cockapoo.
Janey Place came to PAWS first as a volunteer and then as a Board Member in 2020. She taught at the University of California Santa Cruz after receiving her Ph.D. in Systems Theory from UCLA. After marrying Michael Hiles, a businessman, she took his advice and went into business, working in energy, aerospace and then banking for 14 years and consulting for 16 years. They’ve been married for 43 years. Janey volunteered in hospice for 10 years and teases Michael with plans to open a cat hospice. She volunteers at the Central Park Zoo and is a life-long animal lover. Growing up in Hawaii, she was the go-to person for injured/sick/orphan birds and rarely lost a patient. She has always had dogs and cats, plus a Mynah bird, guinea pigs, hamsters and a horse who loved the beach but not the ocean. She is a volunteer at Best Friends’ kitten nursery in NYC and currently has three cats, (Yusuf, Tariq and Gordy) two adopted from the last litter she and her husband fostered.
Julie Stahl brings over 25 years of experience in creative marketing, content creation, storytelling, and education to PAWS NY. She is the founder of Blonde + Co, a leading, full-service creative agency that conceives and produces refreshing marketing campaigns and content for beauty & lifestyle brands and non-profit organizations. With a roster that includes some of the world's leading beauty brands, Julie has expanded her agency to represent a team of artists consisting of photographers, directors, and editors and she recently launched "BLONDE.cares," a philanthropic arm of Blonde + Co. As a young girl growing up in Australia, Julie has always been a strong advocate for animals, people in need, and our environment. Today she draws on her talented pool of artists and resources to affect human behavior with a goal of making our world a more beautiful place for all living things. "BLONDE.cares" has created campaigns for several non-profit causes—to help prevent domestic violence, and to create education for women diagnosed with breast cancer. Julie is teaching others to care, and with her daughter Athena, are regular conservation travelers for animal causes around the world. At the dog-friendly House of Blonde in Manhattan, Julie instills a sense of responsibility to the planet at every level, from lessening paper waste in the office to banning plastic water bottles and straws on set. She lives in New York with her partner and Blonde Creative Director, Grey Zisser, her daughter, Athena, their rescue poodle Lambchop, and two Cornish Rex cats, Sydney and Amelia.
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.