* Indicates that they are currently serving on the Board of Directors
ABOUT Josephine DeAngelis – President*
Josephine and her Bulldog Lucy and Tessa are advocates for reading appreciation in our community and the value and freedom it holds. They have quite the following at local libraries.
They hope to increase the joy of reading by engaging children to read to Lucy, Tessa and our Angel Readers.
Lucy has over 325 visits and her stories can be found on Facebook and YouTube at Lucy’s Library.
The newest addition to her family is her rescue Tessa, an American bulldog mix. Tessa has become a therapy dog as well in 2021 and is quite the happy pup.
Josephine is retired from working in cardiac safety for clinical trials where she performed critical analysis and presented to sites worldwide. She has instructed dance classes to children for 11 years both competitive and for enjoyment. When not working, she, Lucy and Tessa can be found in her garden with her husband Jerry.
For the past 8 years, Josephine and her dogs attend rally classes weekly at the Canine Academy.
As President her main goal is to bring members together so that we can continue to bring the benefits of comfort and joy to our community.
As a CGC evaluator and therapy evaluator for Angel on a Leash she values the importance of on going training for handlers and their champions and provides mentorship to all members.
ABOUT Michelle Sparling - VP and acting Secretary*
Michelle is the Vice President of AOAL. Currently Michelle is also filling the role of secretary as we search for a permanent secretary.
Michelle searched for a dog for many years. Being allergic to most fur babies, she was thrilled to discover she was not allergic to the Portuguese Water Dog breed and welcomed Maverick to the family. Being an active dog, Michelle knew Maverick needed a job to do and pursued therapy work. Maverick became a therapy dog in September, 2019 and has been involved in children’s reading programs. Michelle is eager for the pair to explore more therapy work opportunities. In Maverick’s spare time, he enjoys visiting with all of his neighbors both human and dogs alike, going for long walks, jumping in big piles of leaves, romping through creeks and walking in the snow.
Michelle works for Networks for Training and Development, Inc., a training and consulting non-profit with strong ties to the disability community.
ABOUT Ellen Idelson - Treasurer*
Ellen is an accountant by trade. She will be retiring in April from the Philadelphia ophthalmology firm where she has been working for the last 18 years.
Ellen has been an active volunteer for a number of organizations including the New Jersey based ARF (Animal Rescue Force) and docent for Graeme Park, the only existing provisional governor's mansion in Pennsylvania.
Ellen has a connection to AOAL through her husband Ira, the AOAL website administrator, and their dog, Thor. It was Ellen's urging that prompted Ira to get Thor certified for therapy work. Ellen is a Champion Support member.
We welcome Ellen to AOAL
ABOUT Diane Mell– Membership Coordinator*
Diane has a background in kinesiology and athletic training. For the last 30 years, Diane has been involved in the figure skating world as a coach, instructor and trainer. She has worked with USFS and Team USA through the years.
Diane has been an active member in AOAL since 2021. Diane and her energetic golden retiever, Remy enjoy visiting various assisted living facilities, schools, hospitals and the New Castle DE Air National Guard base. Remy’s favorite visits are those that include children. Little humans are his absolute favorite.
When Diane isn’t on the ice or volunteering for AOAL, she and her husband, Jason are busy running marathons and ½ marathons in every state in the USA.;
ABOUT Debbie Crosley – Event Coordinator*
She has recently retired from NJM Insurance Group and now can focus on her favorite things, her 4 dogs,volunteering among a lot of other interests.
With her therapy dogs Killian and Falcor they had been seen in parades, nursing homes, colleges, hospitals and community events. She is now in training with her new candidate Reina for therapy dog as well as her puppy Great Dane Zelda. They have been going for walks and visiting local stores for socialization.
As an event coordinator she is looking forward to working together with the board bringing more activities for all our members to participate in and show off to the community the work our therapy dogs do.