4 Paws for Ability announces new Executive Director

June 14, 2021

Board Member Mark Thomas to assume role after leading 4 Paws for Ability through its
most recent campus expansion


The 4 Paws for Ability Board of Directors announced today that Mark Thomas has been
appointed Executive Director of 4 Paws for Ability. The Board of Directors extends their
sincere gratitude to Karen Shirk, Founder, for her two decades of service to children and
veterans in need of service dogs.


Mark Thomas, a 4 Paws board member since 2019, has been a public servant for 30
years, serving on the Beavercreek Fire Department and as chief for seven years. In
2018, he began volunteering with 4 Paws and was immediately drawn to its mission, the
people who accomplish it, and of course, the dogs.


Mark has been integral to the 4 Paws campus expansion project, which was approved
by the 4 Paws Board of Directors in March 2020 to best meet the needs of the growing
4 Paws program. At the start of the project, Mark generously volunteered to serve as
general construction manager. In that role, he continues to lead the project towards its
successful completion, working closely with 4 Paws leadership to align this project as
part of the overall campus plan.


“Mark has been instrumental to getting this much-needed expansion completed,” said
board chair Helena Brooks. “We look forward to seeing his expertise lead 4 Paws into
its next chapter.”
In assuming his new role as Executive Director, Mark succeeds Karen, who founded 4
Paws in 1998.
“We are very grateful to Karen for her dedication to 4 Paws over the past two decades
and will continue to build on her legacy” said Brooks.