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.

L-R: Julie Tessmer, Carol Grob, BJ Bethke, Josh Lippman, Holly Courtney, Kelly Magyera, Amanda Reese, and Board Administrator Colleen Savage Not Pictured: Ruth Clark

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. 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 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 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. 

Kelly Magyera joined Capital K9s in Spring of 2018. She works for Law Enforcement Services as a Senior DNA analyst at the Wisconsin State Crime Lab. 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, Kelly took an interest in Capitol K9s from a retiring 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.

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.

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.

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. 

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” — which includes a bloodhound, a german wirehaired pointer, and a blue nose pitbull. 

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 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.

Virginia Kressin joined the Board of Directors in February of 2019.  While she may be a new  Director, she’s no stranger to Capital K9s:  she’s engaged to one of the Madison Police Department’s K9 handlers, Officer James Donnell, (and his current four-legged partner, K9 Krahnie) — and has donated her time as a photographer for Capital K9s since 2015.  When not taking pictures, Harley riding, fishing, or playing hard Up North, Virginia  works at UW Credit Union helping her clients reach their financial goals and dreams.

Virginia considers it an honor to volunteer her time and talents to the men, women, and K9s who bravely serve and protect our community!