Board of Directors

The Capital K9s Board of Directors consists of area volunteers who oversee the fundraising efforts to support the Madison Police Department K9 Unit. Funds are raised by conducting community events and special appearances, as well as from corporate,business, and individual donations.

Julie Tessmer assumed the role of President of Capital K9s in 2017.  She joined the Board in October 2013 after volunteering at a fundraiser. Julie’s love of German Shepherd Dogs led her to get involved with Capital K9s. She has two wonderful GSD companions, Banyan and Zeck, a retired Army 1st Sgt working dog. She is the State Law Librarian at the Wisconsin State Law Library and also serves in the United States Navy Reserve JAG Corps as the Command Master Chief.

Carol Grob is one of the founders of Capital K9s. She became involved in creating the organization in 2004 through a retired law enforcement officer who knew of her experience providing legal counsel to nonprofit organizations. Carol was also a co-founder of the first Dog Paddle at Goodman Pool. Carol has been practicing real estate and business law in south central Wisconsin for three decades. She is currently a shareholder in the Madison-area law firm, Bartelt Grob, S.C., located at 6300 University Avenue. Carol’s weekend mates are a pair of Golden Retrievers. 


BJ Bethke served as Capital K9s President in 2015 and 2016. He has been a member of the Capital K9s board of directors since 2011. BJ was introduced to Capital K9s in 2008 when a board member came to him for a solution to getting the dogs safely out the pool for the second Labor Day Dog Paddle at Goodman Pool. Being an accomplished carpenter, he used his own dogs as test subjects and developed the ramps that are in use to this day. He is the Facilities Manager for the University of Wisconsin Foundation, and a breeder of Champion Labrador Retrievers.

Ruth Clark joined the Board of Directors in 2017.  She currently serves as the primary care veterinarian for canine “Carl.” She has previously donated her time to the canine unit teaching emergency procedures and first aid to the officers and paramedics who support the unit.  She considers it an honor to be able to serve the local community through this organization and looks forward to the challenges and opportunities it brings.   Ruth is married to a Madison Police Officer and lives with their 2 children, a German Shepherd, two cats and a growing flock of chickens.  In her spare time Ruth enjoys cooking, gardening, traveling and relaxing in or on the water. 

Calico Schmidt joined the Capital K9s board in 2017.  She is a veterinarian at UW Veterinary Care and has had the privilege of helping to care for several members of the K9 Unit in the past.  When she is not working, she enjoys reading, crafts, hiking, prairie restoration, and spending time with her husband and family: 2 kids, 2 dogs, 2 cats, a lizard and some fish!

Holly Courtney
joined the  Board in 2018. She is an attorney at Michael Best & Friedrich LLP. She is a member of the Employment Relations Group in the Madison office. Holly received her J.D. from the Marquette University Law School and her undergraduate degree from University of Wisconsin-Madison. You can find her and her dog, Dottie, strolling around the Williamson-Marquardt neighborhood or playing at the Quann dog park whenever they get a chance.

Amanda Reese joined Capital K9s in 2016, after meeting members of Capital K9s and the MPD K9 Unit while employed by one of Madison’s emergency veterinary practices.  To date, she has spent the majority of her career as legal counsel and HIPAA Privacy Officer to UW Health and its clinical joint ventures (both in-house and while practicing with Michael Best & Friedrich); she now serves as the HIPAA Privacy Officer for the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She currently volunteers with Capital K9s, Oakwood Lutheran Homes, the UW Department of Orthopedics Development Advisory Board, and the UW Odyssey Project. When not working or volunteering, Amanda enjoys sharing free time with her “pack” — which includes her 16-year-old human son as well as a bloodhound, two german wirehaired pointers, and a pitbull. 

Josh Lippman joined the board in August 2015. He is a longtime web developer and designer, who currently owns Lippman Media in McFarland, WI. As an avid dog lover, he owns 2 Great Danes and a Chiweenie. Josh took a personal interest in Capital K9s in 2014 while creating its website and attending the K9 CSI.