Meet the Team

Ryan Puzzo (Co-founder)

When former US Army Sergeant Ryan Puzzo returned home from his deployment to Afghanistan in 2010, after serving in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, he went from protecting the lives of his comrades as a truck commander during convoy operations, to being honked at for sitting too long at a stoplight. To cope with the stressors of daily life now as a civilian dealing with PTSD, Ryan turned to fishing.

Ryan started Rifles to Rods with his long time friend, Gerard McAllister, who was also a testament to the healing powers of fishing.  When not putting in time for Rifles to Rods, Ryan can most likely be found on the water with a fishing rod in his hand. 

Gerard McAllister (Co-founder)

Gerard is a photographer, videographer and self-proclaimed fishing addict. 

 

"'The tug is my drug.'  After being prescribed painkillers for a back problem, I found myself slipping down the deadly slope of addiction," says McAllister.  "Fortunately I turned to fishing and found it to be great therapy, both in helping me to get clean, and also to deal with the day-to-day pain."

 

As a small form of appreciation for the brave acts of selfless service to our country, Gerard is on a mission to share both the joy and the healing power of fishing with our nations veterans.

Dimitri Karpouzis (Board Member)

Dimitri is a proud member of the Board of Director’s since its inception and his efforts in promoting the advancement of  this admirable cause is in his own words “the very least I can do for the rights, privileges and freedom afforded to me by the men and women who proudly served this country.”

Dimitri is possibly one of the most genuine people you will ever meet, his attitude and approach to life help further our efforts to get veterans on the water and fishing!

Carolyn Lister (Board Member)

A local community relationship builder and non-profit business leader, Rifles To Rods welcomes Carolyn to our Board of Directors. Carolyn’s expertise include marketing, fundraising and special events. Coming from 2 generations of veterans, Carolyn has a passion for helping others using her life-coaching skills and holistic healing methods.

carolyn@riflestorods.org

Andrew Fazekas (Board Member)

Surfcasting enthusiast, Andrew Fazekas or Andy as we know him, lights up a room when he enters and surely knows how to make an impression on everyone he meets.  Andy, an Army veteran served two tours in Afghanistan.  Like other's involved in Rifles to Rods, Andy is a testament to the healing powers of being on the water.  Which one day you can read in his memoir From Camo to Waders: How Fishing Saved My Life.

andy@riflestorods.org

Ashley and Chris Alberini (Advisory Board)

Rifles to Rods had to the pleasure of taking Ashley and Chris out on a float down the Deerfield River, with the Harrison Anglers.  It was after that day they both decided they wanted to take part in our mission and get more veterans out fishing.  Chris is a Marine Corps vet who served in Iraq and Ashley a former Army Medic who also served in Iraq.  Together they co-own their boat, they call the "Infidel", which is based out of the Cape Cod area

Steve Bisson (Licensed Mental Health Clinician)

While the main focus of RTR is to offer veterans a coping mechanism that doesn't involve conventional therapy, we do have a Licensed Mental Health Clinician on our team, in case veterans want an extra set of ears to vent to, without the pressures that usually accompany therapeutic services.

Steve is a laid back down to earth type of guy and fits in perfect with our approach to "therapy".

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Contact

Rifles to Rods

Po Box 133

Ashland,MA 01721

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© 2017-2019  Rifles to Rods

501(c)(3) non-profit for veterans

EIN  Available Upon Request