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BOARD & STAFF


What PAWS does would not be possible without the dedication and hard work of our team. Each manager, staff person and board member plays a role in helping each Assistance Dog Team be successful.

Paws with a Cause

  • PAWS

    BOARD


    Meet the team guiding PAWS
     

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  • PAWS

    MANAGEMENT


    Meet the leaders of our organization
     

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  • PAWS

    STAFF


    Meet the people helping make it all possible
     

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  • Executive Committee

    Libby Child, Board Chair
    Mark Hunting, Esq., Vice Chair
    David Christensen, Secretary
    Douglas J. Dok Jr., Esq., Immediate Past Chair/Treasurer
    Jose A. Hernandez, Board Member at Large 
    James C. Hesseman, Board Member at Large
    Frank Jeffreys, Board Member at Large

    Full Board

    Charles Archie, Jr.
    Carol Danhof
    James Nichols
    Judye Reed
    Faye Richardson Green
    Michael Slack



    National Advisory Committee

    Larry Bennett
    Sarah Holland
    Gerald House
    Ronald Koscierzynski
    Paul Lane, PhD
    Don Meyers
    Craig Niemann
    Lane Phalen
    Barbara Rapaport
    Curt Reppuhn
    John D. Swaney
    Phil Tower
    Stephen M. Turner
    Barbara Washington
    Heidi Wasserman
    Pamela Werner
    Dan Wiljanen
    Gary Wilkes
    Richard Ziebart

     


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    Paws with a Cause

    PAWS MANAGEMENT

     

    “PAWS is a family. We’ve always been a family and always will be one.”

    Karen, PAWS Director of Human Resources

    CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER,  Michael D. Sapp, Sr.

    PAWS Co-Founder and CEO has over 34 years of experience in the Assistance Dog industry. Mike guides the day to day operations of the organization, including acting as a resource in temperament testing, client services and research and development. He is skilled in all aspects of the training and placement process, as well as administrative and financial processes and procedures. With 41 years of experience personally training dogs and 5 years apprenticing for other instructors, he's become an expert in the industry. He assisted the State of Michigan in drafting legislation related to Assistance Dogs and helped establish four other Assistance Dog organizations across the country.

    DIRECTOR OF ADVANCEMENT,  Joe Dulin

    Joe leads PAWS' development initiatives based on the creation and implementation of an open system of philanthropy. He brings to PAWS more than 30 years of experience as an executive leading nonprofit organizations in West Michigan focused in education, the arts and human services. His career in the nonprofit sector includes 22 years as the Managing Director of Circle Theatre and 3 years as the Director of Development at the Ronald McDonald House of Western Michigan. Joe completed his undergraduate and graduate studies at Indiana University.

    OPERATIONS DIRECTOR,  Dave Harris

    Dave oversees and directs the day to day operations of the Breeding, Foster Puppy, Client Services and Training departments, including the support departments of Building Care, Veterinary, Grooming and R&D. Dave's professional experience includes working in Organizational Development involving area redesign, team building and structure. He spent 15 years in Training & Development and also worked as a Safety & Training Director, Human Resources Manager and Production Supervisor. He also brings experience in process improvements and lean manufacturing principles.

    HUMAN RESOURCES DIRECTOR,  Karen A. Sapp

    Karen's 23 years of experience help PAWS create an environment where employees feel valued and fulfilled by their work. She aligns PAWS' corporate culture, leadership and structure with business strategies. This includes helping to develop the organization's vision and mission, planning and maintaining business objectives, creating corporate policies and facilitating effective interpersonal communication. She also implements recruitment and retention strategies, evaluates work-related issues, determines effective remediation methods and trains staff in effective communication techniques. Karen pursued her Business Management/HR Management undergraduate studies at Davenport University. Her professional experience includes years as a Legal Assistant for several local attorneys.

    FINANCE DIRECTOR,  Teri Crosby

    Teri directs and coordinates PAWS' financial management according to standards accepted in the United States. She directs and prepares financial analyses of operations for the guidance of management and the Board of Directors. Teri also manages multi-state tax filings, quarterly and year-end tax filings. She has over 25 years of finance experience. Teri pursued her undergraduate studies at Aquinas College in Accounting/Finance. Her previous career experience includes Beene Garter and Echelbarger, Himebaugh, Tamm & Cummins, P.C.

    DIRECTOR OF ADMINISTRATION,  Portasue Hendrickson

    Portasue directs, plans, coordinates and supervises the administrative functions of the organization. This includes maintaining communications from PAWS clients and supporters, developing and implementing policies and procedures to assure clarity, consistency and maximum efficiency. She maintains PAWS' legal compliance throughout the country, accreditation through Assistance Dogs International and acts as Recording Secretary and liaison for the Board of Directors. Portasue has over 25 years of administrative and customer service experience, having worked in the banking industry and legal offices prior to joining the PAWS staff over 18 years ago.

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    Paws with a Cause

     

     

    Office Staff

    Mary Blain, Community Engagement Coordinator
    Kim Blozinski, Mail/Shipping Receiving
    Marilyn Boes, Presenter
    Lori Bright, LBSW, Client Relations Manager
    Aubrie Bruinsma, Development Events Coordinator
    Becky Canale, Field Rep Relations Coordinator
    Deb Davis, Community Outreach Manager
    Mary Dine, Administrative Assistant
    Kelsey Haldane, Development Administrator
    Carol Manshaem, Receptionist
    Paula Pasma, Fund Development Coordinator
    Annette Prentice, Donor Communications Manager

     

    Training Staff

    Sara Crockett, Apprentice Trainer
    Mike Hanna, Program Process Quality Manager
    Barb Kozminski, Senior Staff Trainer
    Emily Martin, Apprentice Trainer
    Anna Rhea, Apprentice Trainer
    Katie Ruiz, Staff Trainer
    Shari Tolan, Apprentice Team Leader

     

    Canine Staff

    Dawn Bohan, National Breeding Program Coordinator
    Connie Bowne, Canine Liaison
    Carol Dobos, Equipment Stitcher/R&D
    Linda French, Regional Foster Puppy/Client Services Representative Southeast Michigan
    Debby Gaylor, Canine Administrative Assistant
    Dawn Hunter, Foster Puppy Assistant, Southeast Michigan
    Julie Thorington, National Foster Puppy Coordinator
    Donna Venner, Canine Administrative Assistant

     

    Animal Care Staff

    Dr. Jeanne Klynsma, Staff Veterinarian
    Theresa Peck, Licensed Vet Tech

    Jackie Koloseik, Groomer

     

    Building Care Staff

    Kevin Thiel, Building Care Supervisor
    Crystal BeVier
    Amy Brooks
    Doug Hollebeek
    Sara Jager
    Heather Miller
    Alecia Novotny
    Michael VanLent
    Diane Williams

     


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