Board of Directors

For a PDF copy of the GALA Baord history click here.

Steve Silverberg – Lewisberg, WV.
President

Term ending December 2022

After retiring from a career as a Firefighter in San Diego, CA and Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Steve Silverberg has been the owner of Lost World Caverns, in Lewisburg, West Virginia, for the past 21 years. Along with the one of the most beautiful caverns in the eastern U.S., the operation boasts the largest Rock, Fossil, and Gift Shop in that part of the country. The 15 acre property is surrounded by several thousand acres of beautiful pasture land. Our Llamas, horses, goats, and dogs are all here to greet the 30,000+ guests that visit each year.

Over the years, I have been active on many not for profit boards, including the Vice President of the Pennsylvania Llama & Alpaca Assn. (PLAA), for the past 4 years. I have a clear understanding of how non-profit boards should operate and the legal obligations that apply.

I have been a participant and volunteer with GALA every year since 2013, which was the year I got my first llamas. I believe that GALA has become the premier camelid organization in the industry. With an emphasis on educating llama owners, GALA gives us an opportunity to network with other owners, trainers, veterinarians, fiber experts and amazing vendors. I am honored and excited to be considered for a position on the GALA board. I believe that a strong board is made up of individuals with varied strengths, backgrounds and talents, who together, work to benefit the overall organization. Working with this board is an opportunity to give back the community that has always been there for me!

Steve can be reached at:  okeechobee_steve at hotmail.com

Andrea Parent-Tibbetts, Hyde Park, New York
Vice President

Term Ending December 2021

Andrea Parent-Tibbetts acquired her first two llamas in 2008 through a local rescue organization, Northeast Llama Rescue (NELR) Middleburgh, NY to guard their families 4H Dairy Goats. A few years later, she rescued three alpacas and two more llamas and started a 4H Youth Development Camelid club in Dutchess County, New York. After retiring as a school administrator with a background in Finance and Operations, she and her husband purchased a 25 acre 1850 farm in 2016 to expand on their agricultural dreams and build a business around Agritourism, with her family at Clover Brooke Farm. Being an active and engaged community member in many different areas, Andrea’s focus continues with youth in agriculture, showing camelids, public relations events and community service. As an educator and 4H leader (The Spitters Club), it is important to Andrea that youth always have access to agriculture to learn and sculpt their personal interests.

Having camelids in her life for over 10 yrs, has allowed her to network with individuals and organizations throughout the Tri-state area, around something very interesting too many. She is fortunate to live just 1 1⁄2 hours north of New York City allowing her access to a broad audience of interests associated with agriculture through animal therapy, agricultural education in the classroom and public relations media spotlights. These values have led her to practice leadership, open-mindedness and positivity within all of her efforts, mainly concentrated in Youth Development and Agricultural Preservation.

You can learn more about Clover Brooke Farm at https://www.cloverbrookefarm.com and she can be reached at cloverbrookefarm at gmail.com You can also find Clover Brooke Farm on Facebook and follow them on Instagram.

Katrina Capasso – Ballston Spa, New York
Treasurer

We established Dakota Ridge Farm in 1990 when we obtained our first llama and farm namesake, Dakota, as a wedding gift from Gary to Katrina. Since then, many more of these regal, magical and mystical creatures have arrived. From our herd of over 30 llamas and having up to as many as 30 boarders at one time, it has been a wonderful number of years with llamas! We also rescue and re-home llamas when needed. Our farm offers Pet Therapy to folks with special needs, Farm Tours, Llama Treks, and Educational Visits to folks traveling as far away as China, Japan, Australia, and all parts of the U.S. In 2012, Katrina was the proud recipient of the Linda Pierce Memorial Award. (The award is given to an ALSA member in good standing as well as being a volunteer and/or sponsor for local and national ALSA events. Additionally, the person must exemplify Linda’s exceptional attributes as a llama lover and show person with respect to dedication, perseverance, integrity, being a good role model, and striving to do their personal best while creating a positive experience for others in both their lives and in the show ring.) Dakota Ridge Farm was featured in the NY Times and on Good Morning America! Katrina is a former GALA Board member and worked for an accounting firm for 16 years. She’s now working on the farm full time.

Katrina can be reached at: llamawhisp at aol.com
Visit her website at: https://dakotaridgefarm.com/

Deb Gaskill – Enon, Ohio
Secretary

Term Ending December 2021

Debra Gaskill was an award-winning journalist for 20 years, writing for a number of Ohio newspapers and the Associated Press, covering the cops and courts beat.

Deb and Greg Gaskill began raising alpacas in 1999 in Enon, Ohio following Greg’s retirement from the US Air Force, soon after adding llamas to their herd. Debra  learned to spin, knit and weave with her fiber, then discovered performance classes, in addition to halter classes. She began the llama and alpaca 4H program in Clark County Ohio and for several years served as a 4H leader. Greg and Deb’s herd currently numbers 12 animals, down from 35 and still participates in Ohio shows.

She currently edits the GALA newsletter.  She is the author of 12 mystery novels.

Deb can be reached at: dgaskill at woh.rr.com

Audrey Lee – Keswick, VA
Director

Term ending December 2021

My husband , Ed, and I were introduced to llamas in 1993 and began our adventure with these remarkable animals with the purchase of 4 later that year. Over the next few years, through additional purchases and our own breeding program, our herd rapidly grew to nearly 50. My husband, a now retired physician, studied their veterinarian needs by attending numerous programs on health care and typical medical conditions which can plague llamas while I took responsibility for their day to day needs. We began showing our llamas in 1993 and have enjoyed not only the show circuit but also the wonderful people we met along the way. Though we limited our show experience to competing in halter classes, our granddaughter, who shares our affection for these animals, has begun training and showing the llamas in performances classes.

Our breeding program over the last 20 years had focused on:
1) preserving/improving sound conformation;
2) improving the quality of fiber;
3) maintaining the sweet disposition of our animals as above all else, llamas, for us, are companion animals.

Now that we are retired and have moved the herd to Charlottesville Virginia, our numbers have dwindled, down to 19. While our show days are over, Ed continues watching over the health needs of our geriatric herd and I am discovering the
rewards of learning about fiber arts. With more time to observe herd behavior, I find the sociology of the herd to be fascinating and with time to observe and study their social interactions, I am anticipating writing a children’s book “Llessons Llearned from Llamas”.

When I was approached about jointing GALA’s BOD, I was honored and thrilled at the opportunity to share what I have learned over the years and to give to others as many generously shared their knowledge with us.

Audrey can be reached at: bohnengela at aol.com

Deb Marcou – Dunbarton, NH
Director

Term Ending December 2022

Deb Marcou has been involved with Llamas for 12 years and has loved them from the moment they came into her life. She received her first Llama as a gift from her niece.  At that time, she had 3 goats, which her children showed in 4-H.

Deb has been an active member of animal science since 1976, which is when she got her first goats. She joined 4-H and began showing her goats as well as her pony, Rex. She has been a part of the 4-H family for over 42 years. She became a leader when she aged out as a youth. She is currently a superintendent for the 4-H llama show and past superintendent of the goat show for her county of Merrimack.

Deb’s community involvement doesn’t stop with animals. She is an active member within her town. She has been a member of her town’s volunteer fire department and explorer post; 36 years with fire and EMS and 7 years with the explorer post. Her love of educating children extends to sports and Dunbarton’s Parks and Recreation Commission. Her four years of service have been so rewarding as she has been able to celebrate the growth of the youth.

It would be a high honor for Deb to be selected as a member on the GALA Board of Directors. Her knowledge and willingness to collaborate with all members is what sets her apart from any other candidate. Her communication with others and compassion for llamas makes her a selection yielding results and continued success of GALA. She thanks you warmly for taking the time to read about her. Please remember to vote Deb Marcou for your next GALA Board member.

Deb can be reached at: debr57r12 at gmail.com

Meghan Cormire – West Redding, CT
Director

Term Ending December 2022

I was first introduced to llamas five years ago at Poverty Hollow Llamas in Connecticut. I began working as an intern and have been involved in all aspects of running a farm from the business side of things to shearing the llamas. I then became a member of GALA and have since attended three conferences. This year I have been fortunate to serve on the 2019 Conference Committee in addition to the other committees I serve on: The Llama Promotion Committee and the Youth Committee.

Professionally, I am pursuing stage management and technical theatre which requires good communication skills, note taking, organization, and patience. I believe I have all of these qualities from my years working in management and will be able to use these talents serving on GALA’s Board of Directors.

In the future, I also plan on seeking photography and videography professionally. I have participated in GALA’s photo contest run by Bob Wolfe at each year’s conference and many of my photos have been featured in GALA’s annual calendars. I have also used my photographic skills to create informational videos with the Llama Promotion Committee, such as “Humming Along With Llamas” promoting National Llama Appreciation Day.

Additionally, I am a lover of fiber. I am a self taught knitter and crocheter and I have recently been introduced to needle felting from Pat McKinney at a previous conference. Also from previous conferences, I have learned how to shear which I have been practicing for a few years. My next goal is to learn how to spin so I can one day create my own clothing entirely from my own hands.

Showing llamas is another great interest of mine. I have competed at the Big Eastern States Exposition with llamas I have trained in showmanship, halter, and performance classes. It’s incredible to see what other people can do with their llamas as well. I have the utmost respect for those who are able to turn their love of llamas into a career by competing in shows, and creating fiber, breeding, and trekking businesses. GALA is a wonderful organization filled with wonderful people who have inspired me to work towards a farm of my own one day. I hope I will be able to give back to GALA and the people who have taught me so much throughout the years.

Meghan can be reached at: cormierm13 at gmail.com

Pat McKinney – York, Pennsylvania
Director

Term Ending December 2020

My introduction to llamas began in 1998 when I obtained my first guard llama for my sheep and goat herd. I have always loved fiber and using it to make unique felted creations. As my appreciation for llama fiber grew, so did my llama numbers. My farm, Garden Gate Llamas, in York, Pennsylvania, now hosts nine llamas. My progression in numbers also included an appreciation for silky llama fiber, and the one classic guard llama has transpired into nine silky llamas. I am a retired high school health teacher and now continue my love of education by substitute teaching a few days a week with evenings reserved for family, the farm, and creating with fiber. Using camelid fiber has become my hobby which I love to share with others. I teach wet felting and needle felting classes for organizations and private groups, and continue to challenge myself by creating a unique type of wet felt which combines a variety of natural fibers, yarns, and silk into a fabric useable for fashion as well as crafts.

Pat can be reached at: gardengatellamas at gmail.com

Chuck Leach – New Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Industry Liasion

Chuck Leach, Jr. and wife Sonja (the llama lady) began raising llamas in 1989. Currently they have 88 llamas at their 106 acre farm in the beautiful hills of western Pennsylvania. Chuck was co-founder and first president of the Pennsylvania Llama and Alpaca Association (PLAA).

Chuck can be reached at: leach at llamalove.com
Visit his website at: www.llamalove.com

Tabbethia Haubold-Magge – Yaphank, New York
Director

Term Ending December 2020

Tabbethia can be reached at: tabbethia at liyarnandfarm.com
Visit her website at: www.LIYARNANDFARM.com

Paige McGrath – Charlottesville, Va.
Director

Term Ending December 2020

Paige can be reached at:  paigeink at aol.com