Board Members

Joe Caruso - Chair
Joe Caruso is an acknowledged expert in the field of corporate governance with more than 12 years experience as a member/chair of numerous corporate and non-profit boards. He is currently a Senior Fellow for The Governance Center at The Conference Board and previously served as Executive Vice President and Corporate Secretary of the Guardian Life Insurance Co. Joe was a founding member of CCPT and has provided therapy for more than ten years.

Erick Spronck - Treasurer
Erick is a Licensed Certified Public Accountant in NJ and PA.  He is the owner and manager of ESCA Tax Services providing income tax preparation to the general public and a sister company, Spring Woods Accounting Services, which provides accounting services to small businesses.  Erick has three certified therapy dogs through CCPT and has raised puppies for Canine Companions for Independence.

Dr. Andrew Armani
Dr. Andrew Armani has been working in the Veterinary industry for the past 20 years; first as a kennel technician and progressed to owning and operating two small animal hospitals in Pensacola, Florida with his wife, who is also a veterinarian. His interests in Veterinary Medicine have grown to include the human animal bond, communication, culture development, and practice growth through understanding the Soft Side of the industry. He has taught several business communication courses and found a passion in teaching from his experiences in all walks of the small animal Veterinary world. Dr. Armani serves as a Professional Services Veterinarian for Zoetis. Sailing, hiking and mountain biking with his three young children and wife takes up much of his free time.

Joan Baer
Joan Baer is one of the co-founders of Creature Comfort Pet Therapy. She began her business career in IT, working for IBM and Silverline Building Products Corp, but later turned to raising her family and volunteering in many areas, including 13 years on the Board of Gill St. Bernard's School in Gladstone, NJ.  Along with her husband, Sandy, she raised 10 puppies for Canine Companions for Independence (service dogs for people with disabilities other than sight).  In 2002, Joan began doing pet therapy visits with her Golden Retriever, Cooper. A few years later, she began work running a pet therapy program for another organization. Today Joan is certified for pet therapy with her Golden Retriever, Sweet P.  Joan also loves to hike with her dog.

Sandy Baer
Sandy is a retired endodontist who was in practice for over 35 years. Sandy has helped to raise ten puppies for Canine Companions for Independence and is co-owner of one certified therapy dog.

Peter Brody, DVM
Peter received his degree in Veterinary Medicine from Ohio State in 1978 and began practicing  in New Jersey in 1979. In 1997 he formed Murray Hill Veterinary Associates in New Providence, NJ, with two partners and continues to practice there.  Dr. Brody lives in Gillette with his wife and border terrier and has two grown sons.


Kathleen ODonnell
Kathleen is currently the Rehabilitation Administrator at the Atlantic Rehabilitation Institute at Morristown Medical Center and has been a pet therapy provider with a number of dogs since 2001.

Laura Squier
Laura is currently Chief Financial Officer for Signet Financial Management, a wealth management firm in Parsippany, NJ.  Laura has more than 25 years of extensive experience directing finance, operations, change management, strategic planning and implementing initiatives to optimize operational efficiency.   Laura lives with her daughter Kelly, a college student, a cat named Stella, and her Bernese Mountain dog, Olive -- who is a certified pet therapy canine.  In her free time, Laura loves doing CCPT visits with Olive, being outdoors, reading or catching indie films and sporting events.

Mary Beth Cooney - Executive Director
Mary Beth is a seasoned administrator with more than 25 years of experience in non-profit management, event planning, volunteer facilitation, and fundraising. She has always been interested in holistic healing and is an active volunteer herself for her local Rotary Club. With her skills and experience, Mary Beth is carrying on the excellent work begun by our co-founders, Annie Murphy and Joan Baer, and furthering the growth of Creature Comfort Pet Therapy.  Mary Beth is certified for pet therapy with Coby, her family Shih Tzu.  Her favorite activities include hiking, biking, gardening and walking Coby and his mom, Maggie.