PRESIDENT AND FOUNDER
A lifelong volunteer and caretaker of animals, Saralyn Tartaglia first started to see the benefits of Dogs of Service during her college years, when she began to regularly volunteer at local animal shelters. During the last seven years, she has volunteered with animal groups and fostered some two dozen dogs and cats in need. She also gained invaluable information about caring for animals with different personalities and temperaments, the inner workings of animal shelter systems, and the therapeutic benefits animals can bestow on their human companions.
Saralyn earned a communications and marketing degree from the University of Pennsylvania and the Wharton Business School, which helped her succeed in a number of management roles throughout her career. The skills learned throughout her career have enabled her to lead Dogs of Service and strategically work with other veteran service organizations to build a community for all veterans.
Andrew Barcello, DIRECTOR
Mr. Barcello is a volunteer director. His qualifications include graduating with a J.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Law, and a B.S. in Marketing from the University of Connecticut. Mr. Barcello is admitted as an attorney in the State of California, where he advised entertainment, start up, corporate, and non-profit clients. Through his client work, Mr. Barcello is well versed in the legal and business issues facing growing companies and non-profits, as well as corporate level matters that need to be resolved.
He has volunteered for many animal rights organizations and through firsthand experience is specifically aware of the issues facing Los Angeles based shelters and rescue organizations. Additionally, he has been involved in several programs that train dogs to become service animals and serve those suffering from mental issues.
Sarah Etheridge-criswell, Director
Mrs. Etheridge-Criswell is a volunteer director. She has an extensive educational background, including a PhD. in Epidemiology and Community Health Education from Walden University, a Master of Arts in Anthropology from California State University, a B.A. in Political Science and Anthropology from Texas A&M, and published research work. She has over 7 years’ experience as a college anthropology professor currently at College of the Canyons, and has conducted independent research, including studies on deforestation and the effects on chimpanzees. Mrs. Etheridge-Criswell is uniquely passionate about animal welfare, being involved with animal welfare organizations for over 10 years including Best Friends and Gibbon Conservation Center. Additionally, she serves on the board of directors for Brightwater, a non-profit focused on water and conservation efforts
Brendan O’Connell, Director
Brendan founded Boco Digital Media, LLC five years ago with the intention of creating digital products and service primarily for the biotech and pharmaceutical industries. Brendan is an award-winning multimedia writer/producer/director. For 25 years he has been involved in visual and interactive media in many industries. For the last 16 years he has focused on health care, primarily in the pharma/biotech. Every project he develops concerns itself with how people take in, process, encode, and retrieve information and how technology can enhance each step along the way. Brendan has lead countless creative and technical teams in the pursuit of more engaging and relevant training deliverables. His client list is extensive but recent clients include Genentech, Merck, Janssen Biotech, Janssen, Teva, BMS, Takeda, Boerhinger Ingelheim and Clovis Oncology. Additionally, Brendan supports various charities and groups. He joined Dogs of Service because of his belief in the synergy of joining two areas of great need in the community.
Stephen McCarthy, Director
Mr. McCarthy is a volunteer director. With over 25 years’ experience in marketing/marketing operations, Stephen is co-founder of Brave Dog, the innovative award competition management services agency which helps its cable channel and agency clients to strategically enter and win major creative award competitions such as The Emmys, The Clios, The Cannes Lions, The Shorty Awards, PromaxBDA, etc. Prior to establishing Brave Dog, Stephen was EVP at PromaxBDA, the worldwide association of entertainment marketers, promoters and designers. Throughout his 12 years there, he had primary responsibility for the all aspects of the PromaxBDA Promotion, Marketing and Design domestic and international award competitions. Under his management, the modest sized program burgeoned into what became one of the largest award programs for television promotion, marketing, and design in the world.
Yusef taiwo, Ambassador
Yusef is the Founder and President of The Taiwo Fund, a Non-Profit Organization designed to improve education in developing countries around the world. In 2014, Yusef directed the North Star School Bus Project, a crowd-funded initiative which purchased a bus for North Star School in Accra, Ghana. Yusef also established a writing scholarship at the school to promote creative thinking, which in its first year awarded a full year’s paid tuition for the top student writer. Yusef holds a Bachelor's degree in Global and Strategic Management with a Minor in Economics from the Pennsylvania State University. Yusef served for eleven years in the US Army Reserve, obtaining the rank of Captain and has served on deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. Yusef is also a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioner under the world renowned Ribeiro Jiu Jitsu. His first dogs were named Rambo and Terminator.