Staff Leadership

Gerry DeRoche

Gerry DeRoche

Chief Executive Officer

Working with the Management Team and the Board of Directors, Gerry has overall responsibility for the daily operations of NEADS. In addition he works to develop and implement strategies for the long term success of the organization. He joined NEADS in 2010 after a career as a banker and consultant. “My goal was to work for a not-for-profit with a social purpose. I feel privileged to be part of an organization that helps people achieve a greater degree of independence one World Class Service Dog at a time.”

Nate Photography,

Cathy Zemaitis

Chief Development and Programs Officer

Cathy joined NEADS in 2012. As the Chief Development and Program Officer, she has the honor of working with donors, supporters, vendors and an amazing staff to secure funding for NEADS’ present and future. “I am constantly amazed and humbled by the people who make it possible for us to bring our dogs to those who truly need them. It is because of their generosity that we are able to do what we do best…raise, train and match World Class Service Dogs.”

Nate Photography,

Kathy Foreman

Director of Prison Development

As NEADS Director of Canine Development, Kathy oversees the day-to-day management of the Hawkins Canine Center as well as its strategic direction. The Manager of Training, who has responsibility for our training program, Prison Pup Program (PPP), trainer strings, and strategic planning for our training operations, reports to Kathy. Kathy has been with our organization for 38 years.

Nate Photography,

Audrey Trieschman

Director of Communications and Workforce Engagement

Audrey joined NEADS in 2017. As Director of Communications and Workforce Engagement, she works to strengthen external communications to get the word about this amazing community of staff, volunteers, donors, clients, and World Class Service Dogs as well as working to continually enhance the internal culture. “I am in awe of what the NEADS community accomplishes every day and am thankful for the opportunity to tell the story of these amazing, highly trained Service Dogs and the lives they change.”


Erin Toomey

Manager of Training

Erin joined NEADS in 2008. As the Manager of Training, she oversees the trainers, on-campus string training, and the Prison PUP Program, and continuously collaborates with the Raiser Operations and Client Services staff. The favorite part of her job is watching newly matched clients successfully complete client training with their new dogs. “As they drive out of the driveway, I always think ‘mission accomplished!’ Changing lives through the power of a dog.”


Kara Milotte, MSW, LICSW

Manager of Client Services

Kara joined NEADS in 2023. As Manager of Client Services, she is responsible for matching eligible clients with their life-changing Service Dogs through the NEADS comprehensive intake and evaluation process.  With her specialized background in social work, Kara is equipped to handle inquiries about programs, review applications, interview potential candidates for Service Dogs, facilitate the matching process, and assist clients in preparing for on-campus training. "I am thrilled to be part of the NEADS team. It is an honor to be part of such a well-respected organization that improves the lives of so many.”

Kate Puppies

Kate Albertini

Manager of Breeding and Puppy Development

Kate started out as a volunteer in the Early Learning Center before joining the NEADS staff in 2017. In her role as Manager of Breeding and Puppy Development, she oversees the NEADS breeding program and the early socialization program for puppies from birth until the time they leave the Nursery to begin their Service Dog training journey with a Puppy Raiser or inmate handler. “It brings me such joy to create a solid foundation for each puppy at the beginning of their lives so they can continue on to be agents of life change for our clients.”

Heather 2

Heather Romanoff

Manager of Raiser Operations

Heather joined NEADS in 2022. As the Manager of Raiser Operations, she oversees the NEADS network of volunteer Full-Time and Weekend Puppy Raisers throughout New England as well as leads the Raiser Operations and Medical teams. She enjoys the full process needed to create successful programs and experiencing program evolution through the successful growth of new generations of NEADS Service Dogs in Training. “I am overjoyed that my analytical and project management skillsets are used to help Puppy Raisers assist NEADS in our mission to change lives.”

Board of Directors

Chair of the Board
Geoff Worrell

Sue Feit

Graham Chevry


Jill Mongeau Gaines

Harry Grey

James Hicks

Meghan Kelly

Carol Krauss

Shannon O'Brien

Executive Cabinet

Terri Bright, Ph. D., BCBA-D, CAAB, MSPCA-Angell Animal Medical Center
Martha Coakley, Of Counsel Foley Hoag, LLC
J. Stanley Edwards, LandVest/Christie's
Nicole Ferreira, National Development
Cris Haverty, Lasell University
Abbey Henderson, CFP® RLP® CPCC® CAP® AEP®, Abaris FInancial Group
Phyllis LeBlanc, President, Harbor Sweets (Ret)
Alicia Lenahan, Esq., Common Ground, Charlottesville VA
Lynn Levey, University of New Hampshire