President & Director
Career – Hospice Nurse for Middlesex Health
Deb founded the Cat Tales organization in 1999 from her passion of rescuing cats since the age of five. She has hand raised hundreds of kittens and puppies over the years. She completed 4 years of vocational agriculture education as a youth and gained even more experience working part-time as a veterinarian technician at a cat-only clinic. Deb’s full-time, 25-year career is as a hospice nurse.
Deb and her husband Michael have been married over 25 years. They currently live with 15 cats (most of them special needs) and one lucky dog named Maise.
Vice President (Board Member since 2010)
Career – Retired – Program Mgr & Dept. of Correction Liaison for State of Connecticut, DCF
Cat Tales volunteer since 2001 – oversees shelter medications, food, supplies as well as volunteering weekly.
I have volunteered weekly at the shelter for the past 22 years. Over the years, my spouse and I have fostered and adopted numerous rescues. We currently have 3 rescue cats with various medical issues, 1 semi-feral cat and 2 Siberian Huskies. I have always had a passion for all creatures, whether they are domesticated or wild.
Treasurer (Board Member since 2020)
Career – Retired – Middle School Math Teacher
My involvement with Cat Tales started over 20 years ago when my son decided to do his high school community service working at the shelter. I now serve as Treasurer for Cat Tales. There have only been a few years in my life that I lived without cats. Currently I live with 5 cats, 2 with diabetes, and the others with various other medical needs. I’ve lost count of the number of cats that I either adopted, fostered, and loved from Cat Tales!
Board Member (Board Member since 2019)
Career – Retired – Air Traffic Controller at Bradley Intl. Airport
Cat Tales volunteer since 2011 – Foster, adoption events, maintenance and weekly shifts
We adoped our first Cat Tales kittens in 2008 (went to meet 2, came home with 4). After losing Noel to FIP at 1 years old, we adopted another kitten, then another, and then decided to foster in 2011. Nearly 600 fosters later, we still enjoy it. When not tending to our own 6 cats and an ever changing kitten population, my wife and I enjoy live music and cruising.
Mark Russak DVM, CVJ
Board Member & Chair (Board Member since 2014)
Career – American Animal Hospital Association, Past President, National Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners, American Society of Veterinary Journalists Certified, and Retired Veterinarian living in Berlin, CT.
I’m widowed with children, 5 grandchildren, and 3 rescue furry babies.
I previously owned a companion animal practice in Berlin, CT for 25 Years and taught at the Veterinary College at Mississippi State University for 7 years. In addition, I am a National and International Veterinary Speaker.
Board Member (Board Member since 2017)
Career – Retired – Regional Network Manager for Western CT – Beacon Health Options (Connecticut Behavioral Health Partnership)
Cat Tales volunteer since 2016.
Cats are my passion, having had as many as eight at a time – all rescues. I have been on animal welfare boards since the 1980’s, with a specialty in volunteer management. In 2005, I was selected as one of 40 Ultimate Cat Lovers in the U.S. by CAT FANCY magazine and am a long-time member and award winning columnist of The Cat Writers’ Association.
Board Member (Board Member since 2023)
Career – Forensic Science Examiner, State of Connecticut Forensic Lab
I’ve volunteered since 2014, not long after I adopted my first guy, Jackson. When we lost him to cancer, my husband and I adopted two more from Cat Tales. Along with my husband and son, I raise chickens, love to be adventurous in the kitchen, and spend time outdoors. In my free time, I work part time at a local brewery!