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 (former member), Carol Grob, BJ Bethke, Josh Lippman (former member), Holly Courtney (former member),
K9 Carl, Kelly Magyera, Amanda Reese, and Board Administrator Colleen Savage


Susan McDonald joined Capital K9’s in January 2021 and assumed the role of President of Capital K9s in late 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 K9s CSI’ program at the police training facility on Femrite Drive, where she was amazed by the stories of long scent tracks the K9s could perform.  She became a regular volunteer at 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.

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 practiced 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 has been a member of the Capital K9s board of directors since 2011, and served as the organization’s President in 2015 and 2016. He was introduced to Capital K9s in 2008 when a board member asked him to develop a solution to getting dogs safely out the water 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 became aware of the work of MPD’s K9 officers while working on a case years ago. Then, after volunteering 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.

Amanda Reese joined Capital K9s in 2016.  She is a health law and privacy attorney currently working for Epic Systems Corporation. 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, several pitbull terriers, and a Rhodesian ridgeback. 

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.

Taylor Holewinski joined Capital K9s in 2021. She is a Wisconsin native but moved to Madison to be with her fiancé, who has worked for MPD since 2017. She first became aware of the organization when her fiancé joined the K9 unit and ultimately knew this was something she wanted to be a part of. Taylor is an anesthesiologist assistant and currently works for the University of Wisconsin Hospital. In her free time she enjoys working out, going to the family cottage, and snowmobiling.