Executive Board & Staff

Who We Are

Animal Cancer Foundation’s Directors voluntarily provide outstanding executive leadership and professional acumen in business, research, finance, marketing, public relations and law.  Many of the members of the board have had a personal experience with cancer in their pet and human family members and understand the community they serve.

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    Gerry with Dogs

Gerald S. Post, DVM, MEM, DACVIM
Founder & President

I founded Animal Cancer Foundation more than 20 years ago, as The Ruth & Sam Newman Initiative, in California. Named in memory of my grandparents “two people who cherished life and whose love, compassion and understanding of all things human and animal will always be remembered.” I realized during my residency in veterinary oncology at the Animal Medical Center and spending time at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center that cancers in pets and people were very similar. I wanted to harness the power of comparative oncology, studying cancers in pets to help people, and to help increase the speed of cancer research.

I truly believe that the collaboration and knowledge gained between human and veterinary oncologists through comparative oncology can be used to cure many cancers not only in animals but humans as well.

Dr. Post was most recently the Medical Director at The Veterinary Care Center in Norwalk, CT. He has his undergraduate degree from Cornell University and postgraduate degrees from the University of Minnesota and Duke University.

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Loni Edwards
Board Member

I bring to the Board my combined love of dogs with years of legal and business knowledge. I was inspired by the social-media popularity of my late French Bulldog, Chloe, to create The Dog Agency in 2015, as the first talent management agency to focus on pet influencers. The Dog Agency also produces the annual PetCon for pet lovers from around the world.

Loni is a graduate of Harvard Law School.

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    Karen Labarre's dogs Bode and Ira

Karen Labarre
Board Member

I joined the Animal Cancer Foundation because their mission to help pet and human cancer were near and dear to me. Having had Bernese MT Dogs most of my adult life, I have seen how far the treatments have come. All the dogs I have had had some form of cancer during their life. The advancements in veterinary oncology have made the treatment more readily available to pet parents.
My career has focused on animal nutrition having earned a bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from Iowa State University. Most of my time has been spent educating veterinarians and pet parents about the advancements in diet and the impact that quality nutrition can play on their dogs and cats.

  • Dr. Victoria Carmella, DVM, FFCP (Veterinary)

    Dr. Victoria Carmella with Dog Olivia

Victoria Carmella, DVM, FFCP
Board Member

Dr. Carmella, known to her clients as Dr. Vickie, grew up in Fairfield County, CT prior to matriculating at Wheaton College (MA), where she majored in Psychobiology with a double focus in Environmental Studies and Anthropology. Dr. Vickie graduated Magna Cum Laude from Wheaton College and was awarded the Julia Lange Fellowship for excellence in science. She then continued to pursue her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Ross University and completed her clinical studies at Auburn University, a premier referral University.

Dr. Vickie began practicing small animal veterinary medicine in 2007 and has spent a significant amount of her career working in pet nutrition, as well as in small animal clinical practice. In addition, Dr. Vickie is a USDA accredited and Fear Free® certified veterinarian. Being passionate about small animal medicine, Dr. Vickie most enjoys developing relationships with her patients, to whom she provides veterinary care throughout all of their life stages. In her spare time, Dr. Vickie enjoys spending time with her family, which includes 4 four-legged furry children, Osi, Ellie & Tiki (three spirited Labrador Retrievers) as well as Tilly (a sassy Chihuahua mix), her three human children, and her husband.

Several years ago, Dr. Vickie lost her own dog, Olivia, to cancer. That experience, as well as her many experiences supporting patients in clinical practice through their journeys with pet cancer, has fueled her passion for supporting cancer research. Dr. Vickie was welcomed to the board of ACF in 2022.

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Renee Alsarraf, DVM, DACVIM (Oncology)
Board Member

I joined the Animal Cancer Foundation as their mission is near and dear to my heart.  As a veterinary oncologist, I have fought cancer in animals for three decades.  I started multiple medical oncology practices, radiation therapy practices, and performed numerous clinical trials.  While in veterinary school, I started the university’s Pet Loss Support Group.  The human-animal bond is paramount in so many aspects of our lives.  In 2018, I developed the “c-word” and underwent extensive care.  Having experienced cancer from both sides of the exam table, I have learned a tremendous amount. Some of this knowledge I put into my book Sit, Stay, Heal: What Dogs Can Teach Us About Living Well.  But it is the Animal Cancer Foundation that fuels my passion, expanding help to people and animals.  ACF takes the human-animal bond out one step further, as both species can aid each other in the quest for a cure.

Renee graduated from Michigan State University’s Veterinary School in 1991. Currently, she works at the Animal Medical Center in NYC.  Renee mentors MSU’s Veterinary School students and is on the vet school application review committee, has structured and offered internships, and is on the Cooperman’s Scholars Committee. She lives in Montclair, NJ with her husband, son, and bossy 8-year-old female Boxer named Dusty.

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Barbara Cohen
Executive Director

I joined Animal Cancer Foundation as Executive Director in 2009 because the mission to unite pet and human cancer research resonated with me. As a decade-long volunteer with golden retriever rescue, I had witnessed how many dogs were fighting the same cancers that friends and family had also contracted. I was amazed at the information veterinary oncologists had acquired in their care for our pets that wasn’t being tapped by oncology research for people. I want to change that so that both pets and people benefit from the breakthroughs of collaborative research.

Barbara received her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and certification in the Community Health Program from Tufts University. She earned a Masters of Science in Secondary Education/English from Long Island University/CW Post.

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    Wendy Lee and Coby

Wendy Lee
Director of Marketing

I joined Animal Cancer Foundation in February 2016 after learning the similarities of cancer in people and pets. The mission of uniting pet and human cancer research for a cure struck a chord with me as unfortunately, far too many of us have had cancer impact our lives. I have not been immune to its reach— family, friends and pets—and I wanted to be part of something today that will make a difference for countless tomorrows. Over the last few years, I have been privileged to be part of an amazing organization funding the most groundbreaking and innovative research as it pertains to comparative oncology.

Wendy received her Bachelor’s degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She earned her MBA from Northeastern University.

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Michael Poiani
Past Board Member | Treasurer

I proudly joined Animal Cancer Foundation as Treasurer in March 2021. ACF’s mission of uniting pet and human cancer research resonates deeply with me as cancer has been an unfortunate presence in my life, impacting both family members with two and four legs. As a finance professional (CPA), it is not often I get to make direct and positive impact in the world on a daily basis and that’s why I am excited and honored to have the opportunity to contribute and support ACF’s financial strategy in our race to cure cancer.

Michael currently leads Technical Accounting and Financial Reporting for Upstart, an organization working to expand access to affordable credit, based in San Mateo, CA. He is a Certified Public Accountant and holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Accounting from the University of Florida. Go Gators!

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Jennifer Teitler
Past Board Member | Secretary

Since my first pet bird Pretty Boy, I have always had a love of animals and an appreciation for the bond we share with them.  I was excited about becoming involved with ACF because it’s an organization that takes this bond to another level, by using research to explore the similarities humans and animals share when it comes to cancer.  I have seen too many loved ones – family members, friends and beloved pets – suffer with a cancer diagnosis and it’s exciting to be part of a board whose members share a common passion of finding cures for cancer and ending this terrible disease.  I live in NYC with my husband, son and three cats Babka, Latka and Coco and enjoy the simple pleasures of petting, pouncing and purring.

Jennifer is currently a Senior Vice President, Director at M Booth, an integrated marketing agency. She is a graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder and studied international relations in Paris.

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Matthew Vuolo, Esq.
Past Board Member | President

I’m a dedicated animal lover and I believe strongly in ACF’s mission to help bring an end to cancers that afflict both humans and animals. While at Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP as a litigation associate, I represented several community-based clients pro bono, including Animal Cancer Foundation. I developed a strong relationship with the ACF Executive Board which inspired me to submit my candidacy for the Board after my tenure with Dewey.

Matthew is currently Assistant General Counsel at Aon Risk Solutions in New York. He holds a JD from Rutgers School of Law and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Rutgers University Graduate School while holding both his BA and BS degrees from Rutgers College.

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David C. Levine, MD, FACS
Past Board Member | President

I served as President of Animal Cancer Foundation Board of Directors from 2007 to 2014 and am delighted to return to the Board as an advisor. I strongly believe ACF can facilitate the development of far more effective treatments for cancer in both our pets and people through innovative research in comparative oncology.

My wife and I currently live in Connecticut with our incredible Labrador Retriever, Luke. We have three adult children and one grandchild.

David is Assistant Professor of Surgery (Retired), Hofstra University School of Medicine; Assistant Dean, Clinical Education (retired), New York College of Osteopathic Medicine; former board member of Nassau Physician’s Foundation, and former Director, Medical Student Education, Dept. of Surgery, North Shore – LIJ Health System (Northwell Health). He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a postgraduate degree from SUNY Buffalo School of Medicine.

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Jonathan Peris
Past Board Member | Treasurer

I joined the ACF Board after losing my 10.5 year old Golden Retriever, Leo, to cancer after six years of fighting the disease. Since then, I have become passionate about animals and the groundbreaking work of this organization. I am also an advocate for protecting people’s health. I encourage everyone to leave time for personal fitness and fulfillment. Away from the office, I enjoy the personal rewards of supporting various philanthropies not only serving as an ACF Board Member, but through my participation in competitions such as triathlons.

My affiliation with ACF has allowed me to expand the reach of my health advocacy efforts to pets, as well. I couldn’t be more thrilled by this opportunity to serve both people and pets.

Jon is currently a Private Wealth Advisor at Stifel and founder of Skyline Investments. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Cornell University.

John R. Considine
Founding Board Member

Animal Cancer Foundation Mourns the Passing of Founding Board Member, John R. Considine Animal Cancer Foundation is saddened to announce the passing of founding Board Member, John R. Considine. John passed away in Connecticut on June 24, 2020 after battling a long illness. He leaves his loving wife and ACF’s dear friend of more than 25 years, Kelly (O’Reilly) Considine.

Gerald S. Post, DVM, MEM, DACVIM (Oncology), Founder and President of the Board of Animal Cancer Foundation, said, “John and his wife Kelly were instrumental in helping Animal Cancer Foundation from its infancy. Like so many other scientific organizations, we benefited from John’s invaluable guidance over the years. As was typical of John, he was able to combine his skills in industry, his tremendous storytelling ability and his innate warmth and concern to be an effective ambassador for the causes he served, especially those related to the animals who shared his and Kelly’s lives. I will personally and professionally always miss our dear friend and mentor and offer my sincere condolences to Kelly.”

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