Meet Our Board of Directors

Deb Bagley
President & Director 

Career – Hospice Nurse for Middlesex Hospital

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 for 26 years. They currently  live with 15 cats (most of them special needs) and one lucky dog named Maise.



Deb Collins
Vice President (Board Member since 2010)

Career – Retired – Program Mgr & Dept of Correction Liaison for State of CT, DCF

Cat Tales volunteer since 2001 – oversees shelter medications, food, supplies as well as volunteering weekly.

I am involved with the Middlesex Habitat for Humanity – Board member, secretary and current chair of the Family Selection committee.  In addition I am a member of South Congregational Church and a former Deacon and Co-chair.  I currently have four adopted cats from Cat Tales.



Karen Spotts
Treasurer (Board Member since 2020)


Cat Tales volunteer since ……



Becky (Czlapinski) Sullo
Secretary (Board Member since 2013)

Career – Director of Research & Development for the Pain Research, Informatics, Multimorbidities, Education (PRIME) Center at VA Connecticut Healthcare System.

Cat Tales volunteer since 2010 – Oversees TNR program, assists in special event planning, website updating, and grant writing.  I have one rescue dog and two rescue cats at home – with one of them being adopted from Cat Tales.  I have always loved animals since I was little – One can say I get along better with animals than humans!  I love being out in nature and enjoying really good locally sourced food.



Stephen Hiscock
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.  Some 400 fosters later, we still enjoy it.  We not tending to our own 7 cats, 5 adult fosters and an ever changing kitten population, my wife and I enjoy life 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- live in Berlin, CT.

I am widowed with 2 Children and 3 grandchildren.  I have two pets currently due to vigorous travel schedule.

I have 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.



Greg Simpson
Board Member (Board Member since 2017)

Career – 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.


Amy Velasquez
Board Member (Board Member since 2017)

Career – Environmental Compliance Analyst for Regional Water Authority in New Haven

Cat Tales Volunteer since 2000 – foster mom, bottle/can redemption, spaghetti dinner coordinator

I have four rescues at home (two from Cat Tales) in addition to six foster cats. The cats take up a lot of my time and I’m very lucky that my husband is super supportive. I also like to garden and trying new restaurants.