Meet the Board

Annie Carricato, President

A member of the Machestic’s since 2007, appointed to the Board of Trustees in 2008.
My business career history relative to BOT management includes:
8 years serving Administratively, Federal Government, Dept. of Defense, West Point, NY.
9 years Business Manager of Cornwall Community Theatre and subsidiaries, a non-profit 501 c3.
9 years Conference Representative, ARE Inc, VA Bch, Responsible for 30 conferences yearly including program design and marketing.
Other interests, Certification as Mission in Life Coach, Transpersonal Hypnotherapist, Healing Touch Intl Practitioner.
Married to James 45 years, 4 adult children, 6 grands. I Love paddling with all our sisters and encouraging and empowering others. 10 years BC survivor.

Carol Watchler (Past Board President)

Carol first paddled with Machestic Dragons in the summer of 2005 at the encouragement of people at the Breast Cancer Resource Center and attended my first race with a few members of our team at Hartford in September. I have had the pleasure and honor of paddling with our team or with a group of our members at our international breast cancer survivor festivals in Caloundra, Queensland, Australia, in 2007, in Peterborough, Ontario, in 2010, and recently in Sarasota, Florida.

I am happy to be a paddler as well as a drummer and have lots of experience steering the boat in practices. My love for being active on the water goes back to my sailing experience with my family during high school years. I am exhilarated by the challenges on the water and the teamwork of dragon boating.

I was welcomed on the Machestic Dragons Board in late 2007 and took the role of treasurer from 2008 through 2011 when the presidency was vacated and I stepped into that position. I was elected for a two year term of president in January 2012 and have served in that position since then.

I am a retired high school teacher and work hard to balance my time with our team and my other volunteer responsibilities—primarily leadership in GLSEN Central New Jersey

Debby Kelly

Debbie Kelly has been on the Machestic Dragons team since spring of 2013, and just completed her first year as a board member. She is a 9 year breast cancer survivor. Her activities on behalf of the Machestics have included being on the Membership Committee, helping with public relations for the 2014 Paddle for Pink and participating in the 2014 International Breast Cancer Dragon Boat Festival in Sarasota, Florida.
Debbie is an historic preservation consultant whose work includes the creation of the New Jersey Women’s Heritage Trail. She also sits on the boards of the Chesterfield Township Historical Society and the New Jersey Historic Trust. She lives in historic Crosswicks village with her husband Brian, daughter Maeve and son Braden.

Judith Arnold

A breast cancer survivor (5 years out now), I was born and raised in Ohio, and hold an undergraduate and graduate degree from colleges on the East coast. I had planned to specialize in cancer research, but advanced coursework required projects dissecting animals that I viewed as “pets” – a deal-breaker that squashed my long-held goals. My career plans radically changed directions and I worked as a writer (technical and marketing) and ultimately a Publications Director in both the private and public sectors before starting my own consulting firm some 25 years ago using my then-proven talents.
Of some importance to my role with the Machestic Dragons has been my focus on nonprofits for the last 20 years, which has also included some post-graduate work and recently serving as an Adjunct Prof. in the Nonprofit Management program at Mercer County College. Specifically, I helped to further develop the Nonprofit program and taught a number of courses, notably Grant Writing and Fundraising (Intro and Advanced) and Marketing and PR. I joined the Machestics in late 2009, just as I was starting the recovery process from several cancer surgeries but right before an horrific auto accident in which I sustained a couple of injuries that have prevented me from active participation in the dragon boat.
I have just completed my 4th year on the Board and have focused on Development; in that regard, I have written a number of successful grant proposals, created an Advisory Board of respected leaders throughout the community, organized several fundraisers, encouraged business sponsorships and contributions, and initiated an active, growing outreach in the medical and public arenas. I am most often seen with my camera in tow snapping pictures throughout the year. Last year, I joined with another BCS Board member to take an intensive course to become qualified as cancer coaches – an effort that seems very compatible with the Machestic Dragons’ mission. While our nonprofit has made substantial strides in the last few years, there is still work to be done in growing our organization efficiently and effectively and in making a difference for breast cancer patients and survivors!

Linda Cannon

Linda Cannon has been with the Machestic Dragons for five years with four years as a board member. I am a CPA and bring extensive financial experience to the Organization. I do all of the financial reporting and Federal and State filings. I have assumed the day to day responsibility of Treasurer until the Organization can find an official Treasurer for that position. My experiences with the Machestics have included handling the merchandise table at festivals and at PFP.

Gina Savadge

Gina Savadge has paddled with the Machestic Dragons for four years, and during that time has served on the Race Committee and as the team Captain for two races, including Paddle for Pink. She also joined the team in Sarasota, Florida in the fall of 2014 to participate in the International Breast Cancer Participatory Survivor Dragon Boat Festival, and assisted in organizing practices leading up the race.
Gina’s husband, Carl and her two children are also part of the Machestics’ family as members of the Machestic Dragons’ mixed team.

Judy ViaCava

Judy ViaCava is a breast cancer survivor and has been a Machestic Dragon since 2013. Judy was appointed a position on the board at the end of 2013. Judy’s involvement since being a member of the team has been to provide the entertainment for Paddle for Pink, help to organize the new Membership Committee, which was instrumental in helping to recruit new members from the Breast Friends group from Bucks County, PA. Judy also helped to raise funds by being on the committee to organize the first wine tasting event, “Dragons d’Vines”, which successfully supported the BCS team going to the International Breast Cancer Survivor Participatory Dragon Boat Festival in Sarasota 2014.

Judy is a certified life coach, specializing in Cancer Coaching and for over 20 years Judy has owned and operated a successful massage therapy business. Judy is the mother of 2 adult children, who both volunteer at Paddle for Pink; son Dylan, as a dock worker and daughter Chelsea as a paddler or drummer in the boat. Judy now lives in Washington Crossing, PA with her pet bulldog, Munson. When Judy isn’t in the boat or working she is usually at the barn helping take care of 5 horses, and riding her favorite thoroughbred, Contessa.
is a breast cancer survivor and has been a Machestic Dragon since 2013. Judy was appointed a position on the board at the end of 2013. Judy’s involvement since being a member of the team has been to provide the entertainment for Paddle for Pink, help to organize the new Membership Committee, which was instrumental in helping to recruit new members from the Breast Friends group from Bucks County, PA. Judy also helped to raise funds by being on the committee to organize the first wine tasting event, “Dragons d’Vines”, which successfully supported the BCS team going to the International Breast Cancer Survivor Participatory Dragon Boat Festival in Sarasota 2014.

Laurie Roe (Administrator)

Laurie “Roe” performs as administrator to the Board of Trustees in a non-elected, non-voting capacity and works on the Paddle for Pink Committee along with many organization related tasks. Roe joined the Machestic Dragons in 2011, has enjoyed paddling in many events including the International BCS Dragon Boat Festival in Sarasota, Florida, with 106 teams from around the world!
Roe recently completed the classroom portion of the United States Dragon Boat Federation Fundamentals of Dragon Boat Coaching, and plans to steer and assist coach the Machestics BCS competitive team in 2015 to complete her official certification.
Roe was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2000 as a single mom on her child’s (Kelsey) 4th birthday. They have a great time together hiking, biking, kayaking and playing racquetball. Kelsey has paddled with the Machestics, volunteered time as a drummer at Paddle for Pink and designed the team’s dragon mascot. Roe celebrated 14 years of survival last November, is grateful for finding the Machestic Dragons and will appreciate them even more when Kelsey goes off to college in September 2015.

Marie Ortega-Nanos

I have been involved in cancer research since 1983 when I accepted a research scientist position in oncology research at Mt. Sinai Medical Center, NYC. My husband (Steve) & I met & lived there until we had our first child. We moved to Mercer County in 1987 where I am currently employed with Bristol-Myers Squibb. We both love paddling and have enjoyed kayaking together for many years.
My involvement with cancer awareness and support programs began in 1994 as a participant in Race for the Cure. In 2013, I found out about Paddle for Pink and was part of a mixed team (Motley Crew). I loved every minute of it and then joined the Machestic Dragons in 2014. As a Machestic supporter, I have also participated in local races with the Machestic’s mixed team.
I started and captained a new women’s team (Onco-Dragons) for Paddle for Pink 2014 and I have now started a second new team for Paddle for Pink 2015.
I see myself being involved with dragon boat racing for the rest of my life. I fully support & believe in the Machestic Dragons’ mission statement. I hope for the opportunity to bring my energy & enthusiasm to the Board & to be part of the growth & future of the organization.

Susan O’Malley

Susan O’Malley was diagnosed with breast cancer in December of 2013 and joined the Machestic Dragons in the spring of 2014. For the past 20 years, Susan has been employed by a nonprofit affordable housing provider in Princeton. Working in the nonprofit sector gives Susan an understanding of the challenges that a nonprofit board faces and also with the unwritten rule that everyone must be prepared to wear numerous hats.
Susan was pleased to join the team in Sarasota Florida this past fall to participate in the International Breast Cancer Participatory Survivor Dragon Boat Festival.
Susan lives in Lawrenceville, NJ and enjoys reading, yoga and hiking but her favorite pastime is spending time with her children and grandchildren.