Summer 2021 Newsletter
FRESH FACES ON THE CVA BOARD
As part of our growth and outreach strategy, CVA is expanding its Board of Directors and Advisory Council, bringing new perspectives, ideas, and expertise to the organization. Current Board Member Andrea Dobras is assuming the role of president while Jessica Rubin is on leave.
Andrea Dobras, Interim President
Andrea has been active in animal welfare since 2006, when she joined Our Companions Animal Rescue during the early stages of the organization’s development. Working mainly with feline adoptions, rehoming, hoarding cases, and behavioral issues, she also served as secretary on the Board of Directors for three full terms. In 2007, she received the ING Volunteer Excellence Award and in 2016, an official citation from the General Assembly for her service to the organization.
More recently, Andrea has been active in her community, establishing a grassroots effort to end the waterfowl hunting on the Quinnipiac River in New Haven. She worked tirelessly with the local residents and politicians to build momentum on this long-term problem, resulting in the official ban of waterfowl hunting in the area. This campaign sparked her interest in politics, allowing her to combine this new-found passion with her love of animals.
Andrea is the Executive Director of the New England Resident Service Coordinators, a 501c3 organization that specializes in bringing education and training to housing professionals. She lives in East Haven with her partner and her family of rescue animals which currently include 2 cats and a White Capped Pionus parrot.
Ilene always knew that when life allowed, she would channel her energies to pursuits that improve the lives of animals; she just didn’t know it would be as a member of the CVA Board! Starting out as a volunteer in 2019, Ilene jumped right in, becoming actively involved in the organization and then joining the board.
With a unique blend of strategic communications experience and political savvy, Ilene brings a distinctive perspective to the CVA Board. In addition to serving as press secretary for political campaigns and the CT General Assembly, she developed public education and awareness campaigns across multiple industries during her tenure as a marketing communications agency executive. She was also instrumental in advocacy efforts leading to passage of CT’s law – the first in the nation – protecting women’s reproductive rights. Early in her career, Ilene covered the State Capitol as a journalist. She is still a news junkie at heart and enjoys a good public policy debate.
A life-long animal lover, Ilene lives in North Haven with her husband and two cats – both of whom were less than cooperative in posing for a photo!
Amy began advocating for animals as a grassroots activist. Over the past three years she has supported the fight to end the use of wild or exotic animals in the circus in Connecticut. She has also partnered with Fur Free Connecticut to support a bill to prohibit the sale of retail fur, a groundbreaking proposal for the state.
Amy is a lifelong Connecticut resident and has received all of her education in the state. She graduated from St. Joseph’s High School in Trumbull, received her undergraduate degree from Southern CT State University and her MBA from Sacred Heart University. She lives in Oxford with her husband, two children, 2 cats and 6 hens.
Kathy has been involved in animal rights issues for the past 10 years. She originally got involved at the grass roots level fighting to close retail puppy mill stores in New York and Connecticut. She has worked with CVA for several years and was also a member of the Advisory Board.
Kathy is a CPA and has more than 35 years of experience as a financial executive in publishing and media. She most recently was the CFO at New England Newspapers, Inc., and was previously at Gannett/USA Today. She spent the majority of her career at The Taunton Press in Newtown, CT after working for Simon & Schuster in NYC.
Kathy lives in Brookfield with her daughters, Emily and Jamie, and her three pups.