52 Ash Street West Newbury, MA 01985
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Board of Directors

Mary Martin, President and Founder

NEER North’s president and founder, has been involved with horses for over 40 years. After serving as a board member of a Rhode Island-based rescue, in 2005, she started her own Massachusetts rescue in 2008, which received 501c3 status as New England Equine Rescue-North, Inc., in 2011. A licensed riding instructor and member of multiple horse-related organizations, Mary works with other equine rescues locally and nationally to advocate for equine welfare and to raise public awareness of and support for rescue activities.

Denise Mootafian, Chairman of the Board

Denise has been volunteering at NEER North since March of 2016. She began riding at the age of 9 as a 4-H member, then later rode low level hunter as well as eventing. During this time Denise owned and trained a number of horses and ponies, all green, while riding with and working for Olana Laffey at Evenstride, LTD.  Denise is an established local Realtor and hopes to bring her real estate business sense, sales management skills and horse experience to NEER North in a way that can help the organization and, most importantly, our local equines in need.

Dr. Derek Cavatorta, DVM, PhD, Director

Dr. Derek Cavatorta is a large animal veterinarian and owner of Black Brook Veterinary Services, based in Hamilton, MA.  He grew up in Rowley and attended Triton Regional High School.  He earned his B.S. degree in Animal Science from the University of Massachusetts before completing veterinary school and a PhD in Immunology from Cornell University.  Dr. Derek finds his work at NEER very rewarding and enjoys providing medical assistance for horses in need.

David Biese, Treasurer

Dave and his wife, Ann, adopted their horse, Ginger, from NEER and have been NEER supporters for years.  Dave has held senior finance, accounting and administrative positions in various companies for over 30 years.

Sarah Robinson, Director and Feed Fund Manager

Sarah has been a friend of NEER North since 2001. She has served as Pentucket Pony Club’s D.C., is a member of the West Newbury Riding and Driving Club and a lifelong equestrian. Sarah donates her services as an animal communicator to NEER North’s rescues.

Caitlin Swofford, Board Secretary

Caitlin has volunteered to support the NEER North Events team since 2016, co-chairing the annual auction from 2017-2018. In her professional life, she manages a team of software developers for a consulting company and is the head of the corporate giving program. She is skilled in project management and technology operations, with experience supporting finance, sales, marketing and IT. Caitlin was a licensed wildlife rehabber in the state of Massachusetts before moving to New Hampshire and she is passionate about helping animals of all sizes, with an especially deep, lifelong love for the four-legged equine variety!

Elizabeth Liacos, Director

Liz Liacos has been a supporter of NEER North since 2013, when she adopted her first horse from NEER, Maude, a draft cross and later that year a disabled thoroughbred, Trooper.  In 2018, Liz also adopted, Molly, a NEER mini.  Maude has passed on but Trooper and Molly reside at Brook Haven Farm in Chester, New Hampshire, which Liz opened as an equine retirement sanctuary in 2018.  They are joined by six other horses that have permanently retired at the sanctuary due to age, illness or disability.