Amy Richards, President
Senior Accountant, Cleveland Guardians
Amy Richards is a senior staff accountant for the Cleveland Guardians. She has been actively involved with the Friendship APL Board for almost 5 years. She has held the position of Treasurer, Vice President and chaired the finance committee. She is currently the 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 she is the fiscal officer, with her husband Bob and their two English Bulldogs, Chunk and Lulu!
Patrick Radachi, Vice President
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.
Remus Tomici, Treasurer
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.
Lisa Brown, Secretary
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.
Deb McFadden, Trustee
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 a board member in January 2015. Deb served as Board President from April 2015 to October 2020. Deb is very involved with events specifically the FAPL Animal Cruelty Tees Me Off Golf Outing and supports animal welfare and anything that will improve the lives of animals.
Deb received her Bachelor’s of Science in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Business and Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix. Deb is the CFO for Osborne Capital Group in Mentor and is an active member in the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). She also serves on the Board of Elyria Country Club as Treasurer and on the weekends you can find her working at Smitek Homes. Deb is married to Jerry and their only children all have fur, Mellow, Mya, Misty and Max – all FAPL rescue cats.
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 McCormick, Trustee
Manager of Client Value Initiatives, Honigman LLP
Sarah joined the Friendship Animal Protective League in 202 to make a difference in the lives of animals in the Greater Cleveland area. She decided to serve on the board of Friendship after being matched through the Business Volunteers Unlimited program. Sarah McCormick knew Friendship was the board she would like to serve on after meeting with Greg and understanding the mission of the organization through the animals it serves.
Sarah has always had a passion for rescue animals as she grew up with Golden Retriever rescues. Prior to joining the board, she was a dog walking volunteer and event volunteer for various shelters in the area. Sarah rescued her dog, Richard, from a Michigan shelter and plans to rescue another dog soon!
Sarah received her law degree from Michigan State University College of Law and her B.A. from Ohio University. While in law school, she was an editor for the Animal Law journal where she reviewed scholarly articles written on animal rights.
Lisa Parente, Trustee
Tax Manager, Neitzel, Luke & Salopek, Inc.
Lisa Parente is a Tax Manager at Neitzel, Luke & Salopek, Inc. in Westlake. 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 miniature poodle, Oreo Mint Shake.
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.
Zachary B. Simonoff, Trustee
Attorney, Zachary B. Simonoff Co., LPA
Zack has loved animals all his life. Being mostly a Cat person, he will always have a cat, however, Zack still loves dogs and, in the past, has had a mixed Dog and Cat household. Currently, Zack and his wife have a one eyed, toothless cat that they adopted from Friendship APL in 2015 who rules the roost and refuses to pose for a photo.
Zack grew up in Long Island, New York, and attended The George Washington University graduating with a BA in History in 1987. In 1988 he enlisted in the Army National Guard and served until 2000 as an NCO. Zack has been employed by the Department of the Navy as a Logistician from 1989 to 1995. In 1995 Zack attended the Cleveland Marshall School of Law (CSU), where he met his wife, graduated and passed the Bar in 1998. Since graduation, Zack has been employed as a Municipal Prosecutor for the City of Lorain in 1999, then a General Practice Attorney representing his neighbors and community members with a wide variety of needs, including Criminal Defense, Real Estate and Foreclosure issues, Probate Estates, and Guardianships, and Consumer Issues. Zack is also the Defense Attorney for the Lorain Veterans Treatment Court.
Zack serves on the Board of Agudath B’nai Israel (ABI) Synagogue as a past president, and previously served on the ADAS (Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services) Board.
Nicole Smith, Trustee
Business Development Territory Manager, American Express
Nicole Smith joined the Friendship Animal Protective League Volunteer Program in 2012. Nicole has always had a passion for helping animals and knew right away FAPL was the right organization to be part of. After volunteering at the shelter regularly, getting to know Greg through fundraisers and rescue missions, and assisting with donations from community members Nicole knew she wanted to serve on FAPL’s board.
Nicole has spent countless hours advocating for animals and has encouraged the youth to volunteer and get involved at Friendship. She has also spread animal awareness by encouraging family and friends to participate in community fundraisers, raffles, and rescue animals of their own. You will often find Nicole at the shelter on weekends socializing the shelter cats and making sure their condos are extra cozy with warm beds, plush toys, and soft blankets she donated to the shelter.
Nicole graduated from Kent State University with her Bachelors in Business Administration. Nicole currently resides in Avon with her 3 fur babies. Lexi, a shih tzu is her pride and joy along with her two rescue kitties, Talia and her newest addition Zoey who were both adopted from FAPL.
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.
Linda served proudly and diligently on the Board of Directors for 9 years. She is an enormous part of the renaissance of the organization. She continues to serve on the Operations Committee of Friendship APL during her rotation off the board.
Dawn Ermler-Fischer, Emeritus
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.
Gregory Willey, Executive Director
Gregory Willey has been working in animal welfare for nearly twenty years. He graduated with a degree in communication from Cleveland State University in 2001. Shortly after graduating, he began working as the Volunteer Coordinator at Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter. He worked there for eight years where he worked alongside his awesome team of staff and volunteers to build an incredible adoption program! During his time at Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter, he became a certified Volunteer Coordinator through Kent State University. He was also certified as an animal control officer through the National Animal Control Association.
In 2009, Greg took the opportunity to become the Executive Director of Friendship Animal Protective League. For the past ten years, he has worked tirelessly to develop new programs to help the companion pets of Lorain County and Northeast Ohio. When he arrived, the shelter was struggling to provide care for the 1,100 animals it cared for annually. Today, they are thriving providing care and services for over 5,000 animals a year.
Greg is a proud graduate of Leadership Lorain County (Best Class of 2013!). He was awarded the Emerald Award for Inspirational Leadership in 2017. He was awarded the Key to the City of Elyria in 2016 for his work in developing a trap neuter and return program for the community. Greg would not have accomplished any of the is without the support of his amazing wife, his incredible board of directors, and his dedicated team of staff and volunteers.