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, age 2 and Zeck, a retired Army 1st Sgt working dog who is 12 years old. 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. Julie is the President-Elect.
Kristen Fuhremann has been on the board of Capital K9s since 2005. She served as President until 2015 and is currently serving as Treasurer, a role she also filled in the past. Professionally, Kristen’s is Director of Professional Programs in Accounting at the UW-Madison Wisconsin School of Business.
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.
Kathy McGee is a native of the U.P. Michigan and after high school, attained a Vet Tech degree and worked in that field for several years. She returned to school to obtain her Bachelor degree from Purdue University (with a major in Animal Sciences) and went on to earn a Masters degree in Business, also from Purdue. After 35 years in the business world, Kathy retired and is now active in many non-profit organizations in the Madison area including Capital K9′s.
Cynthia Schuster joined Capital K9s in 2015. She brings with her extensive volunteer and community engagement experience. Previously a talk show producer and fill-in host at Wisconsin Public Radio, she’s now the Public Information Officer at the Madison Fire Department. She’s served as the producer of the nationally-syndicated radio show Calling All Pets hosted by Patricia McConnell and Larry Meiller, and was a veterinary assistant at the Green Bay Animal Emergency Hospital. Her involvement in the Madison Police Department’s Citizens Academy sparked her interest and involvement with Capital K9s. She’s been the Volunteer Coordinator for the Wisconsin Book Festival since 2009 and is a past president of Friends of Madison Student Radio. She’s also an active volunteer at 91.7 FM-WSUM, the Atwood Community Gardens, and the Dane County Community Restorative Courts. In what free time she has, she enjoys traveling, taking in the performing arts, recreational sports, and continuous learning of all kinds.
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!
Mike (Miguel) Marshall joined the Capital K9 Board in August 2015. Prior to, Miguel served with the United States Air Force, went on to retire from IBM as a Senior Manager & currently helps his wife Holly at a bakery. In addition to his spouse and 2 daughters, he’s had 4-legged kids most of his life. He’s also a volunteer at the 2 dog parks in his hometown of Verona. You can meet him there, at Dane County Farmers’ Market or at any of the upcoming Capital K9 events.
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.
Elizabeth Kirchstein was introduced to Capital K9s at the CSI program in 2013. Seeing the dogs and handlers in action was educational and amazing and from that point on she was hooked! She is employed at National Guardian Life Insurance Company in Madison and serves as the Corporate Giving Administrator and Executive Assistant to the CEO. Elizabeth joined the Capital K9 Board of Directors in late 2015 and is now serving as Secretary. Elizabeth said, “I want to see the K9 program continue to grow and know that, through our fundraising efforts, their needs will be met. The need will always be great for the services of the K9s and police officers.” Elizabeth has 2 daughters and recently married Ken. She and Ken live in Cross Plains.
Ramona Gasper joined the board of Capital K9s in January 2016. Her interest in supporting the organization was piqued after she volunteered for the Dog Paddle and attended a K9 CSI event. As the daughter of a law enforcement officer she has a deep affinity for all those who serve in the protective services. Ramona is employed as an executive assistant with UW Colleges. Some of her many interests include being an active volunteer, attending cultural events, supporting the arts, and travel.