Meet Our Team

Board of Directors

Tricia Zarro

Chair

Tricia is an experienced educator in a co-taught, inclusive classroom. She is a fierce advocate for all children, particularly those with special needs. Tricia knows firsthand the many benefits of having an autism service dog as her family received the first one placed by Caroline McCabe-Sandler in 2008. In addition, service dogs in training regularly visit Tricia’s classroom; they interact with children and help to facilitate learning.

When not teaching or with her family, Tricia can be found working at various summer camps as an inclusion specialist. She has a BS in Therapeutic Recreation from Lehman College, a MS in Education from Fordham University and is currently completing her MS in Special Education from Manhattanville College. She lives in Ossining with her husband Ernie, children Maddy, Kylie and Danny, and their dog, Ranger. She believes very deeply in something that Mother Teresa once said: “In this life we cannot always do great things, but we can do small things with great love.”

Julia Lancian

Treasurer

Julia is an experienced Finance Director and Compliance Officer at a health care focused investment banking firm in New York City, where she has been since 1999. She is responsible for all compliance with local, state and federal regulatory bodies as well as all aspects of accounting. Julia earned the equivalent of an M.B.A. with focus on Finance and Marketing at the European Business School, Oestrich-Winkel. In addition, Julia completed advanced business studies at the University of California, Berkeley, Universidad de Navarra (Spain), and New York University. Julia is bilingual in English and German and is an avid traveler. Over the past 20 years she has been a passionate volunteer for Special Olympics, Coalition for the Homeless, New York Cares, BOS Foundation and Guiding Eyes for the Blind. Julia believes that the powerful bond found between canines and humans has unmatched potential in changing lives profoundly.

Neva Goldstein

Director

Neva is an artist with a BFA from Rhode Island School of design, and a yoga instructor. She is very active in community service and philanthropy. She is especially passionate about causes that benefit children with special needs. For over a decade she has been a volunteer with The Make a Wish Foundation of the Hudson Valley, currently as a wish granter and mentor. Neva successfully organized 5 annual Yoga for Wishes fundraising events benefiting Make a Wish.

For over 13 years, she was a volunteer teacher’s assistant in the school program at Blythedale Children’s Hospital, working with children with serious physical and mental challenges. Neva has also been a volunteer camp counselor at The Hole in the Wall Gang camp for five seasons. The camp serves children with life threatening illnesses. She currently volunteers her time to teach yoga to cancer patients and survivors at Northern Westchester Hospital. Neva lives in Cortlandt Manor with her husband and cat. They raised 2 children, and their dog Hudson, who lived to be 13 years old.

Linda Hogan

Director

Linda is a trusted executive coach and advisor with expertise in talent strategy development, team dynamics, talent assessment, change management and organizational design. She has been at Guardian Life Insurance Company for ten years. Linda has been at Guardian Life Insurance Company for ten years and is currently Vice President, Head of Employee Relations & Policy. She provides employee relations and policy expertise to ensure a positive, ethical, and inclusive workplace environment. Linda actively designs policies aligned to influence and evolve the company’s culture aligned with diversity, equity and inclusion goals and organizational transformation priorities. 

Linda holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, PA and has completed Executive Education programs at Babson College and Harvard University. She has certifications in DiSC assessment and Conflict Dynamic Profile. In addition to her Board role at BluePath, Linda serves on the Boards of the Pleasantville Community Scholarship Fund and the Pleasantville High School Parent Council. She resides in the suburbs of New York City.

Karen Kirby

Director

Karen lives in New Vernon, New Jersey with her husband, Jeff. They have four grown children, Morgan, Walker, Jane & Sam. In addition to BluePath, Karen currently serves on the Board of Cornerstone Family Programs in Morristown, NJ. Previous Board roles include St. Philip’s Academy, The Foundation for Morristown Medical Center & The Harding Land Trust. Karen is also involved with The Washington Association of New Jersey and on several committees at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. 

Karen is co-owner and co-founder of SNOLUXE, a company that makes custom neck warmers. She is an avid skier, tennis and paddle player and enjoys gardening. 

Jeff Moore

Director

Jeff Moore currently serves as the chief strategy officer for Independent Sector, supporting the organization’s critical strategic visioning efforts as it guides the sector to meet the future needs of democratic society. He is a senior leader with broad experience in the nonprofit field, government, and industry. He most recently served in an executive role in the health-systems research field.  

Jeff has served as a senior advisor to the Secretary of Defense and as legislative director to Congressman Thomas J. Downey (NY). In each of his positions, he has built critical partnerships and alliances that have accelerated organizational and mission success. Jeff considers his Distinguished Civilian Service Award, presented in 1998 by Secretary of Defense William Cohen, to be among his greatest career achievements. Cohen honored Moore at the end of his tenure in the Clinton administration for his contributions to the nation’s security and his unique ability to build bridges between U.S. government agencies, the U.S. private sector, and foreign governments.

Jonathan Nettelfield

Director

Jonathan’s multi-faceted background as an agency guy in London and New York (Leo Burnett and Ted Bates), a VP Marketing for global brands (Seiko and No Limits) and a senior PR executive (Hill & Knowlton) gives Jonathan a unique perspective on the whole spectrum of marketing communications.

A resident of the Hudson Valley, Jonathan has a record of involvement in community affairs, serving on many volunteer boards, all of which are concerned with improving the quality of life of residents and visitors. He is an avid outdoorsman and has hiked and paddled the Hudson Valley for 25 years, including several kayak trips between Troy and New York.

Staff

Dr. Jody Sandler

Co-Founder, President & Chief Executive Officer

Jody has been a practicing veterinarian since 1988. He graduated from the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine with his DVM after receiving his BS in Biology from Binghamton University. He was a staff clinician at a private veterinary hospital on Long Island for two years before becoming the first Director of Veterinary Services for Guiding Eyes for the Blind in 1990. He remained in that role until 2014, when he assumed the role of Chief Operating Officer in which he supervised 55 staff members and provided leadership in the strategic planning process and implementation of new programmatic initiatives.

After twenty-five years with Guiding Eyes, Jody co-founded BluePath Service Dogs, Inc., which focuses on providing service dogs to children with autism. Jody has co-authored numerous papers with researchers and clinicians at Cornell University, as well as with researchers at the San Diego Zoo’s Institution for Conservation Research. He has lectured at conferences at Cornell University, Virginia Maryland Veterinary College, and local veterinary medical association chapters. In 2013, Jody’s veterinary department was awarded the Virginia Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine’s Booker Willoughby Service Award. In 2016, Jody was recognized as the Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year by the American Veterinary Medical Association. 

Jody has served as a mentor for over 50 veterinary students from 11 different veterinary medical colleges in the US, and has been coaching youth soccer and baseball for the past 10 years. He lives in Hopewell Junction, NY, with Caroline, their four children, three dogs and four cats.

Michelle Brier

Co-Founder, Vice President of Marketing & Development

Michelle is an accomplished marketing and development executive with experience in national and local nonprofits, including the American Red Cross and Guiding Eyes for the Blind. At each of these organizations, she was involved in the strategic development and execution of business and fundraising plans and oversaw significant growth efforts.  Michelle has a deep passion for service dogs and their ability to profoundly transform people’s lives.

Michelle received three New York “40 under 40” leadership awards and was recognized by Nonprofit HR as a “Social Impact Woman to Watch.” She volunteers as an Emergency Medical Technician and provides training for first responders on working with individuals with special needs and handling service dogs in emergency situations. She has a BS in Business Economics from the State University of New York at Oneonta and lives in Bedford, NY.

Caroline McCabe-Sandler

Co-Founder, Vice President of Training Programs

Caroline was the founding director of an autism service dog program that placed 90 dogs with families since 2008. She began her career as a guide dog instructor and was certified as a master trainer in 2002. She then served as a training supervisor, providing leadership and guidance to junior staff and apprentice instructors.

In 1999, Caroline placed a guide dog named Salty, who navigated his way out of Tower One on September 11, 2001, saving his handler’s life. Caroline has presented at professional conferences and industry events throughout the country. She has also been invited to lecture about the impact of autism service dogs at Yale University, Cornell University, University of Pennsylvania, and Rochester Institute of Technology. She has a BA in English from Clark University. Caroline lives in Hopewell Junction with her husband, Jody, their four children, three dogs and four cats.

Megan Baker

Field Representative

Megan always knew she wanted to work with dogs. A Rhode Island native, she moved to New York after college where she began working with service dogs. In 2010, she became a professional guide dog instructor, training and placing guide dogs with individuals with vision loss.

Megan graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a B.S. in Animal Science. She lives in Nazareth, PA with husband, daughter, yellow Lab retired guide, and cat.

Brittany LaChausse

Service Dog Trainer and Facilities Program Coordinator

Brittany oversees BluePath’s Paws to Learn Program, in which service dogs in training visit various schools, residential programs, and day habilitation programs to socialize with a wide range of children, teens, and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities. The dogs benefit from practicing the skills they are working on in training and the individuals they meet benefit from the calming presence of the dogs as well as the sensory experience of touching, petting, brushing and walking with the dogs. 

Prior to her current role, Brittany worked as a professional pet groomer for almost 10 years. She received her BA in Psychology and began her career in Human Services at Greystone Programs where she worked as a residential manager and went on to become the Day and Employment Services Supervisor. Brittany continues to work part time in Greystone’s residential programs providing support to adults with developmental disabilities to develop social skills, learn daily living skills, and pursue the life they choose. Brittany lives in Fishkill, NY with her partner Brian, his two children, and his parents.  

Maureen Mellett

Trainer, Foster Program Manager

Maureen began her dog training career in 2004 as a guide dog instructor, placing expertly trained dogs with men and women with vision loss. She then spent seven years working with Caroline McCabe-Sandler training service dogs for children with autism. Prior to training dogs, Maureen was a middle school science and math teacher for five years. She worked in a variety of classroom settings including teaching children with special needs and with behavioral challenges.  She received a BA in Biology from Cornell University. Maureen lives in Patterson, NY with her released service dog. 

Kate Petersen

Trainer

Kate’s experience with service dogs began in 2004 when her family became volunteer puppy raisers. She began her dog training career in 2011 as a guide dog instructor and spent five years training and placing guide dogs with individuals with vision loss. After being introduced to autism service dogs, she was inspired by the incredible impact the dogs had on their families and has since fostered five dogs while they completed their training.

Prior to beginning her service dog career, Kate spent several years working with shelter animals in South Carolina and in 2009 spent a year as a training intern working with beluga whales at Mystic Aquarium. She has a BS in Marine Science from the University of South Carolina. Kate lives in CT with her husband, two sons, and a fun variety of pets and livestock.

Erica Stanzione

Director of Marketing & Development

Erica oversees the strategic and operational components of BluePath’s development initiatives. She fosters relationships with individuals, foundations, and corporations to support our life-changing work. Prior to her current role, Erica was the Director of Communications and Partnerships at the Alliance for Safe Kids where she was responsible for raising awareness and funds in support of drug and alcohol prevention. In the past, she served as the Events and Marketing Manager at Guiding Eyes for the Blind.

Erica began her career at the Jorge Posada Foundation where she fell in love with the nonprofit sector. She received her BS in Psychology from Mount Saint Mary College and her MS in Nonprofit Management and Philanthropy from Bay Path University. She lives in Westchester with her family.

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