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Board of Directors

Retired, Senior Vice President, Corporate Development at Convergys

Helena Brooks
Board Chair, Finance Committee

Helena joined the 4 Paws Board in December of 2014. In her professional life, Helena works at Convergys, a global call center provider, as the senior vice president of corporate development. She is in her 27th year of service with the company.

On the board, Helena is a member of the Operations Committee, which focuses on ways to support the organization in the streamlining of various workflow processes, so the organization is prepared for future growth. In her personal life Helena is the mother of two children, a daughter in medical school, and a son who works in the finance group for a company in Cleveland. Her husband’s sons are also grown, and live on opposite coasts, one in Rhode Island, and the other in Los Angeles. Helena also has an autistic niece who is now an adult, and Helena realizes what a great help a 4 Paws dog would have been in her childhood had Helena known about the organization.

With the children grown, Helena and her husband share their home with their beloved 4 Paws Fab Flunky.

Mark Thomas

In 2018, Mark began volunteering at 4Paws for Ability and was immediately drawn to its mission and the people who accomplish it, and of course the dogs. He volunteered in many ways, but felt a calling to use his experience to help 4 Paws with the campus development, demolition and building remodeling.

Mark brings tremendous experience to 4 Paws. He is a retired Fire Chief from Beavercreek Township Fire Department after a lifetime of service as a first responder. He has a wide variety of safety certifications and has served as a fire safety educator at Sinclair Community College, and has also obtained a commercial real estate license. He shares his wealth of knowledge with 4 Paws as our campus expansion project manager, having served in the same capacity for multiple municipal building projects.

In March 2019, Mark was appointed to the 4 Paws Board of Directors and managed the campus development and construction of future training buildings. in June 2021, Mark accepted the role of Executive Director and his background has been critical as 4 Paws moves forward to the future. In October 2022 Mark retired from his role of Executive Director and rejoined the board in addition to his ongoing additional volunteer activities with 4 Paws. Mark lives in Beavercreek with his wife, Betsy, and their Fabulous Flunky, Talbott.

Jason Snyder (picture coming soon!)
Fundraising Committee

Jason joined the 4 Paws for Ability Board of Directors in the summer of 2021. In his professional life he is an associate attorney at Ulmer & Berne LLP. Jason focuses his practice on resolving construction disputes and assisting clients in all phases of construction projects. He represents public and private owners, contractors, architects, and engineers in construction-related matters. Jason also assists with catastrophic loss cases and has experience representing plaintiffs and defending companies in personal injury and wrongful death tort litigation. Jason graduated from Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, PA. He obtained a MA in Applied Philosophy from Bowling Green State University and his JD from University of Cincinnati Taft College of Law.

Jason lives in Cincinnati with his wife Ashley, daughters Gemma and Willa, and poorly trained white west highland terrier Baxter.

Hannah Carver
Systems and Community Outreach Committee

Hannah joined the 4 Paws Board in March of 2021 after experiencing firsthand how amazing service dogs can be for a family. Growing up, her younger brother who is deaf and has cerebral palsy and social learning disabilities, had service dogs. Beyond helping him physically, the dogs were such an amazing bridge for the family, helping her brother interact with other kids.

In her professional life, Hannah is a Branding & Communication Consultant serving a variety of clients, including those in the nonprofit, healthcare, hospitality and retail sectors. Prior to working in consulting, she worked as a journalist in Lexington, Kentucky, and Cincinnati. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from Northwestern University.

Hannah married her husband, Mark, in 2017, and they have a golden retriever named Sammi, who shares the same birthday as Hannah.

Beth Cesta
Fundraising and Community Outreach Committee

Beth began volunteering at 4 Paws in August 2018 as a result of meeting 4 Paws service dogs at church. After talking with the clients, who also volunteer, she began serving 4 Paws in numerous ways, primarily the Puppy House. Beth joined the Board of Directors in March 2019.

Beth brings more than 30 years of healthcare and legislative experience through her former responsibilities of; commercial and government contract negotiation, advocacy, practice management and revenue cycle enhancement. During her fifteen (15) years with TeamHealth (formerly Premier Physicians Services, Dayton, OH) she served as Vice President of Government and Payer Relations until November 2018.

Beth has been actively engaged with profit and not for profit healthcare organizations as a passionate advocate at both the state and federal level. She was a member of the Board of Directors for Emergency Department Practice Management Association (EDPMA) for 7 years and served a 2 year term as Chairperson of the Conference Planning Committee. She also served as Chairperson of the EDPMA PAC and CoChair of the State Regulatory and Insurance Committee. In 2015, EDPMA honored Beth’s passionate advocacy for Emergency Physicians and dedication to the members of the organization by presenting her with the prestigious EDPMA Meritorious Service Award.

Beth and her husband Joe live in Lebanon, OH. They have 3 adult children, 5 grandchildren and a 8yr. old English Springer Spaniel, Isabella.

Madeline Hutchinson
Systems and Fundraising Committee

Madeline joined the 4 Paws Board in March of 2021. In her professional life, Madeline leads a portfolio of programs called Tech for Social Good at JPMorgan Chase focused on lifting up communities around the world by leveraging the power of people and technology. In her role, Madeline manages a global volunteerism program to help nonprofits get access to technology to address their biggest challenges. Prior to this role, Madeline worked as a business manager in the Investment Bank, supporting securitized products and municipal bonds. In her personal life, Madeline is married to her husband Michael, and they enjoy traveling and building a variety of community-based entrepreneurial ventures. Madeline is also the proud aunt to 3 of the cutest puppies you will ever meet!

Owner, Business and Technology Consulting Firm

John Jolley
Fundraising Committee

John developed a love for animals growing up on his family’s horse farm in central Ohio, which included a small herd of cattle… and dogs! In addition to the family dogs, which were often his partners in crime and adventure, his family also spent a number of years fostering for a Seeing Eye Dog Program. After receiving his Bachelor’s Degree in Actuarial Science and Applied Mathematics from The Ohio State University, John enlisted in the United States Armed Forces. During this time John became fascinated with the capabilities of military working dogs, specifically the German Shepherd Dog (GSD). After leaving the Armed Forces, he went on to earn an MBA and to establish a career in strategic consulting, including technology. In the early 2000’s the family found their first GSD from a professional K-9 breeder and had the opportunity to work with an experienced K-9 trainer (and officer) to train Gus in personal protection and volunteer early responder tracking. The Jolley family quickly fell in love with the breed. John currently owns his own business and technology consulting firm based in a central Ohio suburb. He is husband to one and father to five (three human and one all black, partially coated GSD, Max). John currently serves as a 4 Paws board member and chairs the Fundraising Committee.

Randy Lytes
Human Resources Committee

Randy joined the 4 Paws Board in August 2020 and serves on the HR Committee. In his professional life, Randy works for Allstate where he serves as Inclusive Diversity & Equity Business Analytics Lead Consultant. Outside of Allstate, Randy does contract work for a local organizational development consulting firm known as Rice Education Consulting.

In his personal life, Randy loves volunteering, serving on the board of directors for two nonprofit organizations and leading a small networking group for young HR/DEI professionals known as Aspiring People Partners. Randy’s educational background includes degrees in Psychology, Business Administration and HR Management. Randy loves all people and animals and is happy to be a part of an organization that brings value to both.

Julie George
Fundraising and Human Resources Committee

Julie started volunteering and puppy raising for 4 Paws for Ability in 2015 after a family member had gone through a long process to receive a service dog. She was excited to help children and veterans through puppies and was looking for a meaningful volunteer opportunity – she immediately fell in love with the 4 Paws mission. 

In her professional life, Julie is a Partner and Executive Recruiter with Gilman Partners in Cincinnati. She has been with the firm for over 25 years and heads up the firm’s Manufacturing, Operations and Supply Chain Practice as well as the Engineering Practice. Julie received her bachelor’s degree in Organizational Behavior and Human Resources from Miami University of Ohio. She also serves on the board of the European American Chamber of Commerce Cincinnati chapter. 

Julie and has two adult children, Alex and Kevin and lives in Cincinnati with her husband, Scott and their 2 golden retriever “Fabulous Flunkies”, Shungun and Pervis.

Linda Davis
Governance and Fundraising Committee

Linda joined the 4 Paws Board of Directors in December of 2021.  She is a member of the Governance Committee and Fundraising Committees.  

In her professional career, Linda held numerous civil service managerial positions at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in the fields of Logistics Management and Program Management.  Her work was focused on the acquisition, sustainment, and modernization of numerous military weapon systems. She has a B.A. in Business Administration & Management and has an M.S. in Acquisition Logistics.  

With over 36 years of federal service, Linda retired from the Base in 2014 and began searching for local volunteering opportunities.  In February 2015, she heard about 4 Paws for Ability on the local news and, coincidentally, saw 4 Paws socializers with puppies at The Greene the following day.  Linda inquired about 4 Paws volunteering opportunities and began working immediately.  She is a huge dog lover and knew she had finally found the perfect volunteering job.  Linda volunteers weekly at 4 Paws. She is passionate about her job of helping puppies become comfortable during their initial handling and first bath processes.  

Linda loves to share her excitement and dedication to the 4 Paws for Ability mission whenever an opportunity presents itself.

Tanya Mahon Gantzer
Systems and Human Resources Committee

Tanya is one of our newest board members, joining in January 2022.  She is recently retired, having spent most of her career in marketing research and the call center industry.  Her final professional role was in the building of a non-profit, Education at Work. There she served as Chief Development Officer of an organization whose mission is to provide a path to college graduation with less debt and the skills needed to be successful in a post-graduate workplace.  Over the course of seven years as the leader of sales, account management and marketing the entity moved from a negative bottom line to $20M in revenue.  As a key member of the executive team she wore many hats while building a marketing brand which attracted new clients (revenue source), universities (call center locations) and a student population served by the mission.

On the board, Tanya is a member of two committees.  As a member of the Systems Committee she will provide input into website design and functionality, customer relations management, and social media. As a member of the Human Resources committee Tanya will bring her years of people management experience to bear on personnel, recruiting and training related matters. In her personal life Tanya is a wife, mother of one, stepmother of two, and pet owner of two Siamese cats and a Golden Doodle.

With a year of retirement under her belt, Tanya was looking for a way to give back in the non-profit space.  The mission of 4 Paws for Ability struck a chord with her. She gained first-hand experience as to what goes into training a puppy when she adopted her puppy in 2021.  Understanding the impact a well-trained dog has on a deserving family made it an easy choice to join the board.

Kathy Barnes
Finance Committee

Kathy joined 4 Paws Board in March of 2021.  She is the Chair of the Finance Committee. In her professional life, she is Chief Financial Officer at Skylight Financial Group.  She manages all forecasting and budgeting for the firm, as well as oversees the preparation of all financial reporting. Cincinnati native Kathy Barnes graduated from Miami of Ohio with a degree in sports medicine and has been with an agency of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) since 2001.

Kathy has a son with Bainbridge Ropers Syndrome who has a service dog himself.  Her name is Mimosa.  Their family also has a client companion named Kahlua.  Their dogs have made such a huge impact in their lives. 

Kathy remains very active with her community, supporting organizations like the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and serving as treasurer on the board of the Skylight Foundation. Outside the office, Kathy is a cross-fit enthusiast who enjoys cheering on the Bengals and spending time with her husband Bobby and their children, JJ, Lexi, and Chase.

Kimberly McNeer
Human Resources Committee

We are excited to add board member Kimberly McNeer to our team. Bio coming soon.