The New York State Probation and Parole Association was initially established in 1967 as a Professional Association comprised of line staff working in Probation and Parole.  The Parole Officers decided to separate and the Officers of the New York State Probation Officers Association continued its professional and grassroots efforts. 

Thomas J. Callanan (NYC) was the first President of the Association.  He relocated to California and in 1985 was appointed Chief Probation Officer of Riverside County Probation Department and served until 1997.  However, he remains in touch with the Association by sending in a yearly letter of encouragement and donation to his legacy board and membership.

The following is a history of the New York State Executive Committee:

1st President –  Thomas Callanan (NYC) 1967 

                              Jack Afonso, Treasurer (1967 –  ) (Nassau County) 

2nd President – Sidney Strober (New York County) 

                             Jack Afonso, Treasurer (1967 –   ) (Nassau County) 

3rd President – Edmund Wutzer, (Rensselaer County) Onondaga (DCJS) 

                             Jack Afonso, Treasurer (1967 – ) (Nassau County) 

4th President – Martin Lambert (Nassau County) 

                             Jack Afonso, Treasurer (1967 – ) (Nassau County) 

5th President William Fritsch (Suffolk County) 

                             Jack Afonso, Treasurer (1967 – ) (Nassau County)                            

6th President – Anthony Czarnecki (Westchester County) 

                             Jack Afonso, Treasurer (1967 –   ) (Nassau County) 

7th President – Stephen Fesh, Jr. (Chemung County) 

                             Robert Oeser, Vice President (New York County) 

                             Robert Nunz (New York County) Dave Nemec, Secretary (1982 – 2004) (Broome County) 

                             Jack Afonso, Treasurer (1967 –  ) (Nassau County) 

8th President – Robert Oeser (New York County) 

                             Robert Nunz, Vice President (New York County) 

                             Dave Nemec, Secretary (1982 – 2004) (Broome County) 

                             Jack Afonso, Treasurer (1967 – ) (Nassau County) 

9th President – Robert Nunz (New York City) filled Robert Oeser’s President position in 1982 when Robert Oeser transferred to the New York State Division of Parole. 

                             Dave Nemec, Secretary (1982 – 2004) (Broome County) 

                             Jack Afonso, Treasurer (1967 – ) (Nassau County) 

10th President – James Brearton (Westchester County) 

                               Francis Timko, Vice President (Westchester County) 

                               Dave Nemec, Secretary (1982 – 2004) (Broome County)   

                               Jack Afonso, Treasurer (1967 – ) (Nassau County) 

11th President – James Piersanti (Suffolk County)  

                              Michael Thompson, Vice President (Suffolk County) 

                              Dave Nemec, Secretary (1982 – 2004) (Broome County) 

                              Jack Afonso, Treasurer (1967 – ) (Nassau County)  

12th President – Diane Feit (Albany County)  

                               William Bishop, Vice President (Westchester County) 

                               Dave Nemec, Secretary (1982 – 2004) (Broome County)            

                              Jack Afonso, Treasurer (Nassau County)  

  • Diane Feit was the first woman elected President to the Association. 
  • While Diane Feit was President, she recruited Wayne D’Arcy of Rennselaer County to join the NYSPOA. Wayne D’Arcy soon became the NYSPOA’s Legislative Chair. In June 1993, the late and great Senator Catherine M. Abate held a major criminal justice hearing in Albany, largely focusing on Probation. Wayne D’Arcy had the pleasure of working with her aide, Diana Foti, to organize the hearings and suggested people who should be approached to testify. Wayne also testified. Of note, Senator Abate ran in a primary against Elliot Spitzer for Attorney General, during this period. It was the only time in NYSPOA history that we endorsed a candidate and made a contribution to her campaign. She was a tireless supporter of Probation, having previously been Director of Probation in New York City. 

13th President – Bernadette Giambra (Monroe County) 1993 

                               Anthony House, Vice President (Erie County)  

                               Dave Nemec, Secretary (1982 – 2004) (Broome County) 

                              Jack Afonso, Treasurer (1967 – ) (Nassau County) 

14th President – Wayne D’Arcy (Rensselaer County) 1996 – 2000 

                               Gerry Zimmerman, Vice President (Cattaraugus County) 

        • Gerry Zimmerman was promoted to Director of Cattaraugus County in 2000 and resigned from his position  on the NYSPOA executive committee. Sheryl Zuna (Dutchess County) then became Vice President.  

                              Dave Nemec, Secretary (1982 – 2004) (Broome County) 

                              Jack Afonso, Treasurer (1967 – ) (Nassau County) 

  • In June of 1997, Governor George Pataki appointed NYSPOA President Wayne D’Arcy to the New York State Probation Commission, and he continues as a member as of 2019. 

 15th President – Sheryl Zuna (Dutchess County)  

                               Karen Birch, Vice President (Putnam County) 1999 – 2003 

        • 2000 – 2006 Health and Safety Committee Member of APPA representing NYSPOA  

                               Dave Nemec, Secretary (1982 – 2004) (Broome County) 

   16th President – Karen Birch (Putnam County) 2004 – 2006 

  • During 2006 Karen Birch accepted the position as Director of Madison County Probation Department and subsequently resigned from her position as the NYSPOA president.   

                                  Joseph Rinaldi, Vice President (Westchester County) assumed the NYSPOA Presidency when Karen      Birch stepped down in 2006  

                                 Mike Sharbaugh, Secretary (Cattaraugus County) 

                                 Barbara Rivandeneyera, Treasurer (Suffolk County) Robin Onufrock(Suffolk County) 

        • Both Barbara and Robin were instrumental in bringing on all of their Suffolk County POA members to also be NYSPOA members which continued until May 2019.   

17th President – Joseph Rinaldi (Westchester County) 2007 – 2009  

                              Mark Pisano, Vice President (Ulster County) 

                              Mike Sharbaugh, Secretary (Cattaraugus County) 

                              Robin Onufrock, Treasurer (Suffolk County) 

        • This NYSPOA Executive Committee obtained 501c3 status for the organization 

18th President – Mark Pisano (Ulster County) 2010 – 2013  

        • President Pisano authored and the NYSPOA board approved/adopted on January 31, 2013 a NYSPOA Code of Ethics for NYSPOA Executive Board members 

                               Kevin McKay, Vice President (Albany County) 

                              Mike Sharbaugh, Secretary (Cattaraugus County) 

                              Robin Onufrock, Treasurer (Suffolk County) 

19th President – Kevin McKay, (Albany County) 2014 – 2017 

                              Mike Sharbaugh, Vice President (Cattaraugus County) 

                              Joseph Wargo, Secretary (Jefferson County) 

                              Lisa Geier, Treasurer, (Erie County)  

        • Under Kevin McKay’s Presidency, the Executive Board agreed to consider other locations for its annual training conferences, beginning in 2014 when it was held in Niagara Falls, New York. During his term the conferences were held in Albany, Niagara Falls (twice), and Syracuse.   

20th President – Joseph Wargo, (Jefferson County) 2018 – 2019 

                               Gladys Larson, Vice President (Tompkins County) 

                               Tonya Kilby, Secretary (Cattaraugus County) 

                               Laura Provost, Treasurer (Clinton County)  

21st President – Gladys Larson, (Tompkins County) 2020-2021

Rosario “Russ” Zocco, Vice President (Monroe County)

Pamela Cole, Secretary (Orange County)

Laura Provost, Treasurer, (Clinton County)



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