Board of Directors

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

L-R: Julie Tessmer, Carol Grob, BJ Bethke, Josh Lippman, Holly Courtney (former member),
K9 Carl, Kelly Magyera, Amanda Reese, and Board Administrator Colleen Savage
Not Pictured: Lara Wild

Josh Lippman assumed the role of President of Capital K9s in 2019. He joined the board in August 2015. He is a longtime web developer and graphic designer who currently owns Lippman Media in McFarland, WI. An avid animal lover, he has 4 dogs and numerous reptiles & amphibians. Josh took a personal interest in Capital K9s in 2014 while creating its website and attending a “K9 CSI” event.

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 Capital K9s’ first Dog Paddle fundraiser 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 in Middleton. 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 during Dog Paddle dog swim events at the 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. BJ and his wife raise champion Labrador Retrievers.

Kelly Magyera joined Capital K9s in Spring of 2018. She works for the Wisconsin State Crime Laboratory’s Law Enforcement Services division as a Senior DNA Analyst. She first observed and engaged with a K9 officer while working on a case years ago. Then, after fostering dogs with different non-profit associations, she took an interest in Capital K9s through a former board member. On a nice day she enjoys walks or playing with either one of her current two foster dogs: Milton, a terrier mix; or Brella, a beagle.

Susan McDonald joined Capital K9’s in January 2021. She is a long-time Madison resident and retired attorney.  She first became aware of the organization in October 2013, after attending a ‘Capital K9’s CSI’ program at the police training facility on Femrite Drive, where she was amazed by the stories of long scent tracks that the K9 officers could perform.  She became a regular volunteer at the Dog Paddle events, which were much enjoyed by her dogs, most recently a beautiful yellow Lab named Rafa.  Unfortunately, Susan is currently (and hopefully temporarily) dogless, and enjoys tennis, hiking, anything outdoors and her grandchildren.

Amanda Reese joined Capital K9s in 2016.  She is a health law attorney currently working for the University of Wisconsin-Madison as its HIPAA Privacy Officer. When not working or volunteering, Amanda enjoys sharing free time with her family and their “pack” of large dogs — which includes german shepherds, a bloodhound, a german wirehaired pointer, and several pitbull terriers. 

Julie Robinson served as Capital K9s President 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 a wonderful GSD companion, Banyan, and previously adopted a retired Army 1st Sgt working dog, Zeck. She is the State Law Librarian at the Wisconsin State Law Library recent retiree from the United States Navy Reserve JAG Corps where she served as a Command Master Chief.

Lara Wild joined the Board of Directors in March of 2020. She worked as an attorney in the states of Oregon and Washington before transitioning into court management. Lara moved to Madison to serve as the Clerk of Court for the Western Dist. of Wisconsin Bankruptcy Court.  After relocating, Lara found Capital K9s when looking for ways to support her new community. She is excited to be part of an organization that supports local law enforcement and her new neighbors. In her spare time, Lara and her rescue mutt Frank like to hike, snowshoe, kayak, ride bikes, and explore the beautiful parks and wonderful restaurants Madison offers.

Leah Cronan joined Capital K9s in January 2021. She is a molecular microbiologist turned product manager for Promega, a biotechnology company in Fitchburg. Leah has been a dog owner since 1987 and can’t imagine her life without one. In her “spare” time, she enjoys baking, backpacking, embroidery and sewing, learning languages, and making eye-roll-inducing puns.