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About Us

Board of Directors

Linda Lugo – President

Linda Lugo is the cofounder of ARRC. She was a graduate of Adelphi University in 1980 with a BBA in Accounting.  Linda is a Licensed Real Estate Broker since 1987, and she owns her own real estate company in Huntington, NY.  She was the President of the Long Island Board of Realtors, and she is currently the Secretary/Treasurer for the New York State Association of Realtors.  Her love for animals brought her to volunteering at the emergency pet shelter in Nassau County, Long Island in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.

Otto Lugo – Vice President

Otto E. Lugo is currently a Real Estate Broker/Owner with a mult-office operation in Long Island, NY.  He holds the coveted ABR, CIPS, CRB, CRS, and GRI designations.  He has over 30 years experience in Real Estate Management, Commercial/Residential/International Sales, and Property Management.  Otto has been a major supporter/fund raiser for Children’s Miracle Network, Circulo de la Hispanidad for battered housewives, and Long Island Veterans.  Otto looks forward to bringing his background and expertise to grow our organization throughout the country.

Anthony Forgione – Director

Anthony M. Forgione currently is a license real estate sales professional with Realty Executives after moving over from JP Morgan Chase NYC where he enjoyed a successful career for over 26 years recently as an Executive Director in Treasury Services for US Financial Institutions. Mr. Forgione has supported many various wildlife and humane societies throughout the years. He is also a sports, nature, cooking, & wine enthusiast. Mr. Forgione has always been a family man and has three children, Michelle who graduated from Pace University with a Masters in Education, Christopher who graduated from St. John’s University with a Degree in Sports Management and Jonathan who currently attends University of New Haven with a major in International Security.

Mark Sammis – Director

Mark Sammis is an agent at Realty Executives North Shore in Huntington, NY.  He received his BA from Duke University and went on to serve in the United States Marine Corps from 1975 to 1980.  Upon discharge he returned to his native Huntington to pursue a career on Wall Street with Lehman Brothers and to raise a family, Graig and Emily.  He is an avid animal lover, and has raised 8 dogs and 5 cats and has an emotional soft spot for distressed animals.  He loves to sail and golf and looks forward to donating time to this worthy endeavor.

Jo Ellen M. Cimmino – Managing Director of Animal Disaster Services and Training

Ms. Cimmino currently serves as the Managing Director of Animal Disaster Services and Training. Ms. Cimmino and a team of professional responders train local, state and private groups in Animal Disaster Response and sheltering techniques.

Her lifelong passion is to help animals and their owners become educated on how to prepare in the case of an emergency or disaster so that they may survive and recover from such an event.
As a Licensed Veterinary Technician since 1986 Ms. Cimmino brings forth a variety of first-hand knowledge from the veterinary medical field which includes but is not limited to small animal and equine  medicine, pet livestock, exotics including reptiles, avian and wildlife.  Her duties included emergency and critical care nursing, anesthesia and surgical nursing, as well as laboratory diagnostics, inventory control, and client education.

From 2005- 2012 she served as the Director of Animal Health Services & Education for a national animal disaster response organization where she worked directly in the field during disasters as well as educating volunteers on how to respond to animals in disaster situations on both the National and International level. She continued her work with supporting a local group of pet enthusiasts interested in disaster response from February 2012 –March 2013.

Disaster Experience includes:  9/11 Working with Search and Rescue dogs during the terrorist attacks on NYC, Hurricanes Ivan, Katrina, Irene, San Diego Wildfires, Tornadoes in Arkansas and Georgia, Flood Recovery  in Catskill NY., and winter Storm Alfred in Connecticut.

In 2012-2013 Ms Cimmino spent 90 days onsite at Nassau County’s Emergency Pet Shelter in Long Island during the Hurricane Sandy’s response and relief efforts.

Cimmino’s professional affiliations with organizations Ct. VOAD, NYSAVT, NAVTA,

New Milford CERT, Ct.SART.  She also has served on numerous positions for the New York State Association of Veterinary Technicians (NYSAVT) 1986-2002 from the Executive Board including President to the Governing Body including District Representative and Newsletter Editor.   In 1993 she was awarded the Outstanding Technician of the Year Award for NYSAVT.