Board of Directors


Deb (1)

Deb McFadden

Deb McFadden, President

VP, Osborne Capital Group

Deb became involved with Friendship APL in July of 2012 when she and her husband Jerry adopted their first cat, Mellow, from the shelter.  Her mom had previously adopted from here and Deb decided it was time for her to get her own pet.  As a child Deb grew up with dogs but a cat was more conducive to her and her husband’s lifestyle.  Deb became a shelter volunteer shortly thereafter and then they adopted a kitten, Mya, in November 2013.  Deb could see what a great organization FAPL is and was asked to become a board member in January 2015. Now Deb serves as Board President since April 2015.  In January 2016 Deb adopted another cat into her home, Misty, a handicap cat that was fostered by Executive Director Greg Willey.  In addition to her three cats, Deb’s workplace has two adorable dogs that “work” on a daily basis.  Deb is very involved with events and supports animal welfare and anything that will improve the lives of animals.

Deb received her Bachelors of Science in Business Management and a Masters Degree in Business and Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix. Deb works for Osborne Capital Group in Mentor and is an active member in the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC).  She also serves on a committee in the Meadow Lakes Home Owners Association.  Deb is married to Jerry and their only children all have fur, Mellow, Mya and Misty.


Amy Richards

Amy Richards

Amy Richards, Vice President

Senior Accountant, Cleveland Indians

Amy Richards is a senior staff accountant for the Cleveland Indians.  She has been actively involved with the Friendship APL Board for almost 5 years.  She has held the position of Treasurer and chaired the finance committee.  She is currently the Vice President.   Amy has always cared deeply about animal rights. Serving on the FAPL Board of Trustees has allowed her to follow her lifelong passion by taking on a more active role in advocacy for animals.

Amy resides in Grafton Township, where is the fiscal officer, with her husband Bob and their two English Bulldogs, Chunk and Lulu!


Val Porterfield and Family

Val Porterfield and Family

Valerie Porterfield, Secretary

Sr. Analyst, PolyOne Corporation

Val started volunteering at Friendship in 2011 after losing her dog Caden to cancer.  She started out by walking dogs and quickly became involved with events.  Val and her husband have fostered several Friendship dogs and became foster failures when they adopted their chocolate pitbull, Indy.  Volunteering and fostering quickly became a family affair as her parents and younger siblings joined in the fun.


Val was elected to the Board in 2015 and currently serves as Secretary and a member of the Marketing and Public Relations committee.  She currently works in human resources and also has an accounting background, including a Certified Public Accountant certification.

Val and her husband Corey reside in Sheffield Village with their three dogs, Maggie, Molly and Indy.  They are currently expecting their first two-legged addition to the family in the summer of 2016.


Patrick Radachi, Treasurer

Patrick Radachi

Patrick Radachi

Investment Advisor/Retirement Plan Consultant, Spira Benefits

Patrick Radachi is the founder and President of Spira Benefits, LLC, a consulting firm that helps companies design, implement, and operate corporate retirement plans such as 401(k), Profit Sharing, and Cash Balance plans.  He holds certifications from the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries (ASPPA) and fi360.   In addition, he is a Registered Representative and Investment Advisor Representative with his financial services firm, Spira Wealth Management, LLC.  Patrick previously served on the board from 2011 to 2013.  Having himself adopted from the shelter, he hopes more residents of the area become aware of the work Friendship APL does and appreciated the great resource available right here in Lorain County.  Patrick resides in Elyria with his wife, his son, and their dog, Cinnamon.


Lisa Brown and her two Friendship Pups

Lisa Brown, Trustee

Executive Director, Lorain County Community College Foundation

Lisa Brown joined the FAPL Board in 2018.  Lisa has always appreciated the unique bond that people have with animals; and animals with people.  She cannot remember a time in her life when she did not have a canine companion.

In her youth, she was active in 4-H, in which she trained and showed her pet Basset Hounds.  One of them was Grand Champion of the Erie County Fair.  The other, she trained to be a therapy dog.  Together, they visited residents of local long term care facilities.  Through them, she realized how much joy a pet could bring to those around them.

Lisa first became involved with FAPL as an event volunteer in 2013.  Since that time, her support for the organization, its staff and volunteers has only grown.  She has adopted two dogs from FAPL-Maizey and Chewy.

Lisa earned her BBA in Accounting from Kent State University and her MBA from Cleveland State University.  Lisa currently resides in Amherst with her husband, three sons, three dogs, and three goldfish.


Dawn with her cat, Sammy

Dawn with her cat, Sammy

Dawn Ermler-Fischer, Trustee       

Broadcast Technician, WKYC

Dawn is a graduate of Valparaiso University with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. She moved to Cleveland from Chicago in 1990 for her job as a broadcast technician at WKYC-TV. She has always had a passion for animal welfare and rescued her 1st cat when she was 8 years old and has rescued 2 dozen cats off the streets of Cleveland. She got involved with Friendship APL in January of 2011 after talking with Greg Willey in the Green Room at WKYC-TV. Greg asked her to come to the shelter for a visit, Dawn asked what she could bring, catnip toys was the answer. Dawn bought some toys but made some toys too.  This is how “Trixie’s Toys” began. Dawn visits the shelter every month with a fresh batch of catnip toys for all the shelter cats and “Trixie’s Toys” for sale in the toy shop. “Trixie’s Toys” are an ongoing fundraiser for the shelter. Every penny raised by the sale of her toys stays with the shelter.  Dawn hopes her skills as a broadcast technician will provide social media support for the shelter and awareness to animal welfare in Northeast Ohio.

David Humphrey

David Humphrey

David Humphrey, Trustee

Chief Executive Officer, Ohio Desk

David Humphrey grew up in Valley City, Ohio and many dogs, cats and horses were always part of the Humphrey home as his mother and aunts were always rescuing stray animals.  He graduated from Ohio University with a degree in industrial engineering and worked for National Gypsum for a number of years.

Humphrey joined Ohio Desk in Cleveland in 1977 and then eventually bought the company in 1984 where he remains as CEO.  Animals have always been part of his life, remembering that now living in Columbia Station for 38 years, not one of those years has been spent without at least one cat and one dog but usually with more.  He became interested in Friendship Animal Protective League many years ago and has been supporting it ever since.

Outside of the business, Humphrey is a 35 member of the Rotary Club of Cleveland as well as a trustee and treasurer of that club and is now a Rotary Club of Cleveland Foundation Trustee.  He has been a board member of Ohio Motorist Association and a 35 year member of the Vermilion Yacht Club.  He has been on the board of trustees and an officer in that club.  Humphrey is also an active member in the Strongsville United Methodist Church.



Sarah Mancuso

Sarah Mancuso, Trustee

Attorney, McDonald Hopkins LLC

Ever since Sarah first visited the FAPL she knew it was a very special shelter that was filled with love for the lives of all animals.  Sarah was elected to the FAPL board in 2019.  Sarah grew up adopting shelter cats and dogs and has always felt that it is important to speak up for animals who cannot speak for themselves.  Serving as a trustee for the FAPL has allowed Sarah to advocate for animals in an impactful way.

Sarah currently is a business litigation attorney at McDonald Hopkins LLC.  Sarah earned her J.D. from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, graduating cum laude.  Sarah graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. from Baldwin Wallace University.  She now lives in North Olmsted with her husband Nick and their pit bull-mix Enzo.


Lisa Parente and her rescue miniature poodle, Oreo Mint Shake.

Lisa Parente, Trustee

Tax Supervisor, Pease and Associates CPAs

Lisa Parente is a Tax Supervisor at Pease & Associates, CPAs in downtown Cleveland. She joined the FAPL Board in April 2019. Lisa grew up always having at least one dog in the home, as well as the occasional lizard or goldfish. Anyone that has met Lisa know of her affinity for all animals, especially dogs. Frequently given the “crazy dog lady” title, she wears it proudly. After attending several fundraising events hosted by the FAPL, Lisa was determined to do more than just attend events, and reached out to Board members for an opportunity to join them in serving the organization. Lisa appreciates the good that FAPL does for the two- and four-legged community (and even the tri-pawed) and looks forward to working toward Friendship’s mission.

Lisa earned her BA in Management from Hiram College and MBA in Accounting from Baldwin-Wallace College, and is licensed as a Certified Public Accountant in the State of Ohio. Lisa currently resides in North Ridgeville with her husband and their miniature poodle, Oreo Mint Shake.



Chris Pyanowski

Chris Pyanowski

Chris Pyanowski, Trustee

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Lorain County Prosecutor’s Office

Chris has always loved all animals and but would describe himself as a “dog person.” He adopted his dog Gorman in December 2014 and decided to get involved with Friendship APL to help others have the same kind of amazing experience. He sees Friendship APL as an organization that provides the opportunity for pets and families to come together and a safe place where animals can come until they find their forever home.

Chris earned his law degree and MBA at Cleveland State University after earning his bachelor’s degree from Kent State through the University Partnership Program at Lorain County Community College. Chris served in the United States Marines including a deployment to Iraq prior to pursing his education. Chris currently works in the Lorain County Prosecutor’s Office as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney and he currently resides in Elyria.



Linda Stepan and family

Linda Stepan and family

Linda Stepan, Trustee

Attorney at Law, Brouse & McDowell

Pookie changed Linda’s life.  When Linda adopted Pookie, she learned that this beautiful spirit had been left to die in a dumpster and then was scheduled to be euthanized for space at a shelter.  Linda knew that she had to take action to save the other Pookies in the world.

Linda met Greg Willey when she and her husband, Rob, volunteered and fostered Beagles for the Cuyahoga County Shelter.  They were inspired by Greg’s move to the Friendship Animal Protective League to save even more lives so they joined him there to volunteer and foster more Beagles.  Linda is a partner at Brouse McDowell and she jumped at the opportunity to further serve Friendship Animal Protective League as a board member.

Linda and Rob strive to spend every resource that they can to further the mission of the Friendship Animal Protective League and save more Pookies.


Remus with his beloved Bulldog.

Remus Tomici, Trustee

Vice President – RIK Enterprises

Having had pets his entire life, Remus knows how much joy they can bring to our lives.  Wanting to give back to the community,  Remus sought out a non-profit organization that shared his love for animals.  After getting involved with the shelter, and seeing all of the good that Friendship APL does, he knew he had found an organization that was making a real difference in the lives of animals.  Remus was elected to the Board of Directors as a Trustee in 2018.


Remus currently serves as a Vice President at RIK Enterprises, a family office located in downtown Cleveland. He grew up in the Seattle area, after which he spent over ten years working in Southern California.  After completing his MBA at the University of Chicago, he relocated to Northeast Ohio, where he now lives with his wife, son, Siamese cat and English bulldog.