Jeff Lamberti received his B.A. and M.B.A. from Drake University and J.D. from Drake University Law School. His extensive work experience has included President and Managing Shareholder at Lamberti, Gocke & Luetje, P.C., and President and Lead Investor of Iowa Barnstormers. Not only has Jeff been involved in the work place, his political experience and community activities are impressive as well. He has served as an Iowa State Senator, President of the Iowa Senate, Chair of the Iowa Appropriations Committee, Iowa State Representative of the 65th District, Chair of the Iowa House Judiciary Committee. Jeff also serves on On With Life Foundation Board, Pacific Battleship Center Board and Youth Homes of Mid-America Foundation Board. Additionally, Jeff serves on the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission.
Meet the Team
Puppy Jake Foundation's team is made up of leaders dedicated to our country and our veterans. We are animal lovers, entrepreneurs, Iowans and patriots. Meet the Puppy Jake team members and read their story.
Becky Beach, KPA-CTP, ABCDT
Rebecca Beach (Becky) is a fundraiser, event planner and consultant. In early 2013, Becky founded Puppy Jake Foundation. Becky is from a long line of military service and patriotism. Both of Becky’s grandfathers served as doctors in WWII, her father as a doctor in the U.S. Army, and her husband as active duty in the Vietnam War. Her love of animals led her to become a Certified Trainer from the Animal Behavior College (ABC). She and her husband, Charlie, reside in Des Moines, IA with their dogs.
Becky’s wide and diverse range of clients in her political career has included Senator Charles Grassley, President George H.W. Bush, President George W. Bush, Lamberti for Congress and others. Her political career began in 1978 while serving as Personal Assistant to Barbara Bush for four years. She is currently on the Finance Committee for the George W. Bush Library Center in Dallas. After working in the Reagan and Bush administrations, Becky returned to her home state of Iowa in 1993. Becky’s current projects, in addition to Puppy Jake Foundation include Terrace Hill Restoration project, On With Life capital campaign, The Iowa Barnstormers, and Pacific Battleship Center (USS Iowa).
Her dog training professional affiliations include:
- Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA-CTP) Graduate 2015
- Karen Pryor "Puppy Start Right" course, Graduate 2015
- Animal Behavior College (ABC) graduate 2015
- Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT), member
- National Security Roundtable (NSRT), Command and General Staff College, April, 2012
- TAGteach International Certified Primary Level Certification, 2015
- TAGteach International Certified Level 1 Certification, 2015
Mike Pietig has worked in the Insurance and Securities industries in compliance and operational capacities for over 20 years. He received a Bachelor of Science from Iowa State University and an MBA at the University of Iowa. Mike has achieved industry designations including an AAPA and ACS. He also holds both a Series 7 and 24 FINRA Securities Registrations.
Mike is currently the AVP of Agency Services for two Life Insurance carriers; Midland National Life Insurance Company and North American Company for Life and Health. In his role, Mike leads a 75 employee team responsible for agent onboarding, contracting review and the payment of commissions to various distribution partners. Previous leadership roles include Annuity Suitability, BD Contracting, Special Projects, New Business and Client Retention.
Siobhan Harman is a founding board member of Puppy Jake Foundation and serves as the board’s Treasurer. She also assists the board with governance, policies and procedures. She is a real estate professional with Kum & Go and an Adjunct Professor at Grand View University, teaching real estate related courses in the business school. She has been an active community volunteer for more than 25 years for many worthy organizations. She was a member of the Business Record 40 Under 40 Class of 2005 and a member of the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute Class of 2003-2004. She has a BA from Boston College and an MBA from Suffolk University. Siobhan resides in Des Moines with her three daughters and West Highland Terrier.
Steve Boesen, Lieutenant Colonel (USA, Retired)
Steve is a retired U.S. Army infantry officer with 28 years of service to the nation. He has been a leader and commander of infantry formations to include Rifle Platoon, Rifle Company (Mechanized Infantry, Headquarters Company (Mechanized Infantry) and Rifle Battalion. Staff assignments include Rifle Battalion Operations Officer, Infantry Brigade Combat Team Operations Officer and Camp Dodge Joint Maneuver Training Center Operations Officer.
Steve deployed three times in the Global War on Terror to include Multinational Force Observers Mission 45 (peacekeeping operation 2003-2004), Sinai, Egypt and twice to combat in Afghanistan as a Combat Advisor Infantry Team Chief (2007-2008) and as an Infantry Task Force Commander of Task Force LETHAL (1-168 Infantry) (2010-2011).
Highlights of his awards and decorations include: The Bronze Star Medal (2 awards), the Meritorious Service Medal (5 Awards), the Ranger Tab, the Combat Infantryman's Badge and the Expert Infantryman's Badge. Steve is also a graduate of the U.S. Army War College (2014) with an MS in Security Studies. He resides in Ankeny, Iowa with his wife, Anne and is the father to Zach, Ally and Ben.
Simon Conway is a talk show host and broadcaster. His show is heard on multiple Iowa radio stations including his home station, the iconic News Radio 1040 WHO - the most decorated radio station in American history. He handles Afternoon Drive from 4-7pm each weekday.
Hailing from London, England, Simon has run a number of very successful businesses including a Corporate Communications Company in England and property management and real estate brokerage companies in Florida. Before any of that, he was a journalist in both Israel and England.
Simon became involved with Puppy Jake Foundation almost from the very beginning and has held a number of highly successful fund raisers as well as contributing to raising awareness of PJF.
His other charitable works include children’s cancer charities and the Pacific Battleship Center where he is a member of the Board of Trustees.
Dave has retired as both a US Army attack helicopter pilot and a Boeing 757 International Captain for Northwest Airlines. Dave spent most of the last few years piloting US Department of Defense special mission aircraft in the “Sandbox”. With a unique perspective on the world that comes from thousands of hours at 41,000 feet, his ability to explain complex aviation questions in simple terms has earned him guest commentator spots on most major TV and radio networks. Dave is an avid supporter of his fellow veterans in need and is a proud member of Puppy Jake Foundation Board of Directors. Dave and his wife life in Runnells, Iowa.
Jon Ledinsky is a Vice President with CBRE|Hubbell Commercial and is recognized as a leading broker in the Greater Des Moines market. Jon has been involved in over 500 lease and sales transactions since 2004.
Jon is currently a board member of the Puppy Jake Foundation, a Junior Achievement volunteer and Birthday Cakes for Homeless Children Program volunteer. Jon has worked/volunteered in the past for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Boys and Girls Club and the American Red Cross’s Signature fund raising event, Heroes of the Heartland.
Jon graduated from the University of Iowa with a B.A. in Economics. Jon and his family reside in Des Moines.
Robin grew up in Iowa and found her love for dogs at a very young age. Her father is an avid hunter so there were always dogs in the house. She graduated college with a degree in dental assisting and moved to south Texas where she worked as a dental assistant and lived for 9 years. Her love of family brought her back to Iowa to live and work.
Robin was one of the first fosters for Puppy Jake Foundation. She raised Tank, a very handsome black Lab. Tank was not placed and Robin adopted him. Robin and Tank continued to volunteer with the organization. Robin and Tank attended speaking engagements to spread the word about PJF and participate in fundraisers.
In her spare time Robin enjoys running, lifting weights, bicycling and mountain climbing. Robin works as a personal trainer. Robin, her husband Dave, Tank and a yellow lab named Ramsey live in Cumming.
Jeff Link works as an Iowa-based entrepreneur, lawyer and communications consultant with a deep background in government and politics at the state and federal levels in the U.S. and abroad. Link’s experience in government, paid media strategy, data analytics, public opinion-research and crisis communications and offers a strong background for clients. Link’s work in campaigns has dovetailed with his experience in government. Link was the first staff member of Gov. Bill Clinton’s campaign in Pennsylvania in October of 1991 while working for Pennsylvania’s Speaker of the House, Robert W. O’Donnell. Clinton secured the nomination in 1992 with his win in Pennsylvania and went on to win the White House in November carrying Pennsylvania in the general election.
After successfully managing Sen. Tom Harkin’s (D-IA) 1996 reelection campaign, Link served in Washington, D.C. as Sen. Harkin’s Chief of Staff from 1997 until 1999. In 1999 Link returned to Iowa to obtain his law degree from Drake University. He graduated in 2002 with honors and won the National Moot Court Championship in New York City in 2001.
During law school, Link founded Link Strategies, served as the Gore-Lieberman 2000 state director in Iowa which defeated George Bush by 4,144 votes out of 1.3 million cast. Link also led Gore’s efforts from 1997-2000 to win the Iowa Caucus and secure the nomination against Sen. Bill Bradley (D-NJ). Link managed Senator Harkin’s 2002 reelection campaign while finishing law school in May of 2002. Senator Harkin was reelected to a fourth term in November 2002. In 2008 Link served as Deputy Director of Paid Media and Research to the Obama for America Campaign. In that role, he coordinated all paid media and polling in 25 states including seven battleground states (VA, NC, FL, CO, NM, NV, MT). President Obama won 6 of these 7 battleground states in 2008.
In addition to directing the message development through polling, focus groups, web tests and ad testing in these target states, he directed the advertising strategy and media mix with TV and cable buys, created state-specific ads, direct mail and collateral materials. Also, Link managed the Spanish language messaging for the campaign through advertising, polling and focus groups.
Link’s political work has also taken him to Aruba, where he managed the opposition party in Aruba’s parliamentary elections. The election, held in July 1994, saw the opposition party, the Aruba Volks Party (AVP), win a plurality, form a government and elect Henry Eman as Prime Minister. In 2009 Link again advised the AVP during the parliamentary elections and successfully saw Mike Eman elected as Prime Minister in September. Adding to Link’s international experience, he worked in Ukraine as the advisor to Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko’s campaign for President in Ukraine. In 2009 Yulia was successful in advancing to the run-off election held in 2010. Link advised the Hungarian Socialist Party during their parliamentarian elections, conducted public opinion research for President John Mahama’s successful election in Ghana (2012) and for Raila Odinga in Kenya (2013).
Dr. Nancy Peterson, DVM
Dr. Peterson has dedicated her career to improve the health, comfort and longevity of animals that have given her so much. Born and raised in Altoona, Iowa, Dr. Peterson received her veterinary training and degree from Iowa State University. In 1981, she became an associate of Ingersoll Animal Hospital and became owner of the facility in 2005. Dr. Peterson teaches dog obedience classes at the Des Moines Obedience Training Club and competes with her dogs in obedience, agility, tracking and hunt tests. Dr. Peterson serves on the board of Puppy Jake Foundation, and is the veterinary advisor to the Foundation.
Amy Price began her military service enlisting in the Army Reserve in 1991. She received her commission as an Army Nurse Corps Officer from the Drake University Reserve Officer Training (ROTC) program. She served on active duty from 1995-2000 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC and at Fort Leavenworth, KS where she was selected as the Army Nurse of the Year. Price transferred to the Iowa Army National Guard in 2000.
Price has served in a variety of positions to include the Medical Operations Officer on the 71st Civil Support Team – Weapons of Mass Destruction (CST-WMD), Recruiting and Retention Battalion where she served as the Operations and Training Officer and the Officer Strength Manager; Suicide Prevention Program Manager and PRO (Prevention, Resilience, Response and Outreach) Branch Chief; 294th Medical Company (Area Support) Commander and Deputy State Surgeon.
She has been serving as the Director of Health Services since November 2015. She leads a staff in managing programs supporting the medical readiness of the Iowa National Guard's 7,000 Soldiers and has executive level oversight of the Iowa Guard's medical readiness, health system services, occupational health and behavioral health.
Price is a graduate of Kuemper High School in Carroll, IA and received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree from Grand View University in 1995 and her Masters of Science Degree in Health Care Administration from Trident University in 2015. Her military education is extensive with her highest military education completed is the Intermediate Level Education, including the Advanced Operations Course. She was recently selected for the Army War College, which she will start in 2018.
Price serves on the Board of Directors for the Puppy Jake Foundation and Prevent Child Abuse Iowa as well as the governor-appointed Armory Board. She is passionate about healthy living and serves on the Healthiest State Initiative and as the Chairman of the Iowa Army National Guard Physical Resilience Working Group.
Josh Schoenblatt learned about the Puppy Jake Foundation shortly after it was started in 2013. After hosting Puppy Jake Foundation at Drake University for a several events, he decided to join the organization as a volunteer. He currently is a foster family to a Golden Retriever, LEGEND. Josh was born on the east coast in New Jersey and lived most of his life in Illinois. After graduating from Drake University with a political science degree, entrepreneurship minor, and a leadership concentration, he became more involved with the foundation. Along with his educational background, Josh brings a "can do" mentality to the organization. Outside of Puppy Jake Foundation, Josh works at Flynn Wright as a Media Buyer. Josh lives in West Des Moines, IA.
Julie Stewart has been an integral part of the Prairie Meadows corporate management team. As assistant director of marketing, she successfully led the marketing and advertising programs during the introduction of casino gaming. Thereafter in 1996, she was elevated to the position of marketing director. As Prairie Meadows expanded its corporate giving, Julie was chosen in 2006 to direct the newly created Community Relations department. Julie earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri. She is an honorary member of 40 Under 40, and a graduate of the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute’s TLP\CLP programs and Leadership Iowa. She has been involved with countless organizations and served on the board of many non-profits throughout Des Moines.
Forrest LaPrade is currently a sophomore at Roosevelt High School. At Roosevelt, he is on the soccer, swimming, and cross country teams, serves as sophomore class Vice President, and is a member of Best Buddies. Forrest enjoys taking his dog, Inkwell, on therapy dog visits. Forrest brings youth and enthusiasm to his position as Youth Advisor to Puppy Jake Foundation. Forrest helped plan the Inaugural Puppy Jake Walk at Grays Lake in Des Moines in 2013.
Arika Hammond is currently a Freshman in Cherokee, IA. Her parents are June and Tracy Hammond.
Arika enjoys dancing, singing, and performing with the Cherokee Community Theater. She is also a member of the CMS Student Council, Cherokee County Sharp Shooters (Archery 4-H Club), and Cherokee County Cavaliers (Horse-based 4-H Club). Arika has a passion for animals and loves caring for her Bichon (Theo), Snowshoe cat (Simon), her pony (Rosie), her horse (Scooter), and a host of farm cats.
Arika is proud to be a part of Puppy Jake Foundation and enjoys telling others about its mission at various fundraisers and veteran events in Northwest Iowa and Southeast South Dakota. Her volunteer efforts have helped raise several thousand dollars for Puppy Jake Foundation.
Carley is a 6th grader at Fairfield Middle School in Fairfield, Iowa. Her parents are Troy and Jody Seeley.
She enjoys Cross Country, Track, Golf, Dance, Tae Kwon Do, Student Council, 4-H, Theater, Drama Club and Art. She also spends a lot of her time with her bulldog, Bella.
Carley has been involved in several fundraising efforts and awareness activities for Puppy Jake Foundation in the past five years.
Ben is a junior at Roosevelt High School. He became involved in Puppy Jake Foundation in 2012 when he raised several hundred dollars through a hot chocolate stand. “Veterans are an extremely important part of the country. They served our country and we need to help them as much as possible. My late grandfather served as a journalist and stepped on a landmine and had a tough time recovering. Knowing the Puppy Jake Foundation helps, it encourages me to keep volunteering. Well, plus working with dogs is extremely fantastic.” In addition to volunteering for Puppy Jake Foundation, Ben plays baseball and runs cross country and track. He also broadcasts varsity basketball games for Roosevelt. His parents are Jeff and Lisa Russell of Des Moines. He has a younger brother and sister and a golden retriever named Josey.
Maggie graduated Loyola University Chicago with a degree in Spanish and Ethics & Moral Philosophy and moved back to her hometown of Des Moines a year later. Maggie’s fondness for charitable work began when her dad started volunteering with the Salvation Army on a weekly basis and was encouraged by her mom, a retired administrator with the Des Moines Public Schools. Her love of Labrador retrievers comes from her last dog, a Chocolate Lab mix named Biff. This all made Puppy Jake Foundation a perfect fit. Maggie and her husband reside in Des Moines with their bulldog, Boo.
Kari grew up in southern Ohio and moved to Iowa after graduating from the Ohio State University and becoming a registered veterinary technician. She is excited to help Puppy Jake Foundation in their support of our military veterans. Kari is also the trainer for the pilot program in Cedar Rapids, IA.
Kari became interested in dog training after getting involved with Puppy Jake Foundation. The puppy that she raised (Charles) was placed with his veteran in May 2017. She completed the Dog Trainer Professional course from Karen Pryor Academy May 2017. She also has experience working with animals in a veterinary setting and has grooming experience.
● Certified Training Partner, Karen Pryor Academy Graduate (2017)
● Karen Pryor Academy Foundations course (2016)
● American Kennel Club (AKC) S.T.A.R. puppy evaluator
● American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Evaluator
● Registered Veterinary Technician (2011-present)
● Associate of Science (Veterinary Technology) Columbus State Community College
● Bachelor of Science (Animal Sciences) The Ohio State University (2006)
Erin started her dog-training journey at the young age of ten, when she enrolled her grandmother’s beagle, Julio, in a local 4-H dog project. Dog training and canine behavior has since become her passion. Erin has continued to enhance her training education and canine knowledge. She has taken countless seminars and workshops over the past ten years from various trainers and leaders in the field. Erin has participated with her five personal dogs in competition obedience, agility, K9 Nose work®, and lure coursing, and she has been teaching group classes since 2008. Erin is excited to part of the Puppy Jake team and use her skills to help give back to the veterans that have given us so much. Erin has recently joined the staff of Karen Pryor Academy as Communication Director.
Erin holds a Bachelors of Science from Iowa State University College of Business, with a major in Marketing and a minor in Journalism. Topp worked for Blackwell Publishing/John Wiley & Sons, Inc. for eight years, assisting in the publishing of professional veterinary reference books. Erin continues to assist the Story County Veterinary Clinic, and has since the age of 18.Erin's professional affiliations include:
- Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA-CTP) Graduate 2015
- Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed 2013
- Association of Professional Dog Trainers (ADPT) since 2013
- American Kennel Club (AKC) S.T.A.R. puppy evaluator
- American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Evaluator
- C.L.A.S.S. Certified Instructor
- Story County 4H Dog Project Superintendent
- Decades of volunteer experience working with animal shelters and rescues
Nora has been involved with Puppy Jake Foundation since December 2014. She is the Retreat Coordinator and sets up all of the quarterly training retreats. Nora grew up on a farm and has been an animal lover all her life. She is an avid equestrian and competes in the sport of eventing with her spotted draft mare, "Bad Medicine". Nora is passionate about expanding her knowledge of dog training and takes every opportunity she can to learn new techniques and disciplines. Currently she is training her English Lab, Frances, in AKC Trick Dog and AKC Tracking. Nora lives in Huxley with her cats Norman, Patches and Cookie, and her dogs Frances, Max, Warlock and Seely.
Professional affiliations include:
Puppy Jake Foundation trainer, 2016-present
Puppy Jake Foundation Retreat Coordinator 2017-present
Kennel Assistant at Canine Craze Performance Center, 2016-present
Studied Animal Sciences/Veterinary Medicine, Iowa State University
After training several of her own dogs over a 25-year period, Lorraine decided to volunteer as a foster for Puppy Jake Foundation, a non-profit that raises and professionally trains service dogs for wounded military veterans. Her first dog with Puppy Jake Foundation was Clarence, who was placed with a veteran in January, 2014. While training Clarence, Lorraine also worked with three puppies as a Special Forces Trainer. After placing Clarence, she then took in Ray to be his foster. Shortly thereafter she agreed to foster George as well. A few months later George was re-careered but she was able to work with Ray until his placement with his veteran in September, 2016. One week later, Loyal was ‘paroled’ from the prison program and Lorraine began as his foster with placement with his veteran scheduled for March, 2017.
In addition to being a foster, Lorraine has also volunteered her time as an assistant trainer for multiple PJF litters. Later this year she will be filling in for a few months as a substitute trainer.
Lorraine is a graduate of Animal Behavior College’s Dog Trainer certification program and has completed a three-day and a six-day seminar with Tellington T Touch. She hopes is currently working on her certification in T-Touch. Lorraine has also volunteered several hours at Animal Rescue League in Des Moines and A. Heinz 57 Animal Rescue in De Soto, IA.
Lorraine’s dog training professional affiliations include:
•Animal Behavior College (ABC) graduate 2016
•Various Tellington T Touch workshops and seminars
•Animal Rescue League, Des Moines,IA
•A. Heniz 57 Rescue, De Soto, IA
Janice Rosenberg is fulfilling a lifetime bucket list of becoming a dog trainer. She has studied with Puppy Jake Head trainer, Renee Jetter for over 6 years at Canine Craze with her Australian Shepherd, Butters. She has also worked with agility trainers, Scott Jetter, Jenny O'Brien Konior, and Renee White.
Last spring, she attended the Ken Ramirez seminar sponsored by Puppy Jake Foundation highlighting Karen Pryor Clicker training. Janice is now enrolled in the Karen Pryor Academy for Professional Dog Trainers and expects to become certified in the spring.
Janice and her husband Kent live in West Des Moines, IA.
Brenda works at Kemin Industries in Des Moines. She and her husband Bob have been involved with dogs since 1990 when they started showing basenjis. She also became involved in lure coursing and obedience. After moving to Minnesota, Brenda was active in training and working their German shepherd in search and rescue. Brenda and Bob now live in Ankeny with their two sons, Dakota and Jake. They share their home with two German shepherds, Mac and Gypsy, and a basenji, Nikon. With the help of her family, Brenda is excited to work with Puppy Jake Foundation to support our veterans by fostering PARKER.
Vicki has been proud to be a part of the Puppy Jake family since 2014 and she is now a foster mom to beautiful Hazel (aka the "Little Princess"). After retiring from Wells Fargo, she felt she needed a way to give back to our veterans who have sacrificed so much for us. Puppy Jake Foundation is the perfect way to do this! Vicki lives in Des Moines with her husband, Bill, and their Sheltie, Connor.
Kris Dobesh has just finished raising NICOLE, who was placed with her wounded Veteran in May 2018. Kris learned about Puppy Jake Foundation at a program to her PEO chapter shortly after PJF's inception. It is an ideal organization to marry up 3 of her great passions: the privilege of being a Patriotic American, coming from a long line (2 grandfathers, dad, uncle and brother) of Veterans/returning the favor of SERVING Veterans who so willingly protect her freedoms, and PUPPIES! Kris is an avid Cyclones fan where Nicole gets exposure to season football and basketball games, the annual Big XII basketball tournament and a road trip to an away Big XII football stadium each fall. In Kris' professional life, she serves as a mortgage loan specialist for Premier Lending Alliance, where providing home loans for Veterans is also a privilege. Kris is married to Rick and lives in Ames with their daughter. She currently helps with any and all puppies that need some help!
Brian, Angie and Jennifer
With the help of their daughter Jennifer, Angie is the Foster for RUSTY and Brian is the foster for PJ. Angie is the Head Cook at Dowling Catholic High School, Brian is the Business Manager at Iowa Catholic Radio as well as a part time accounting professor at two local universities. Jennifer is a sophomore at Dowling High School. Angie first became involved with PJF in early 2015 as a puppy sitter for Bucky. The entire family believes that they owe a debt of gratitude to veterans and look forward to the life changing effect RUSTY and PJ will have when they graduate.
Ashley and Derrick
Derrick and Ashley are both college students. Ashley attends ISU for agricultural engineering and Derrick is attending Iowa for his bachelors in nursing. Roxi attends school with Ashley most days but gets time off with Derrick 1 to 2 days a week. Classmates love to see her when she is in class. Both love going to football games and can't wait until Roxi is old enough to come along! They also love to travel and see and do new things whenever they can. Most of the time we try new things around Des Moines like new coffee shops for studying, restaurants, and events like ZooBrew, farmers markets, and sporting events. With any luck Roxi will get to go to a Buccaneers, Wild, Blackhawks, and Barnstormers game soon.
Sara is a manager at Wells Fargo, where she works with the best team on earth! She originally got involved with PJF when she coordinated multiple fundraisers for Puppy Jake through the Wells Fargo annual Community Support Campaign, and before she knew it, she found she was raising the adorable fluffy monster known as Max the service dog. Sara is actively involved in her community, and has always championed veterans causes, so she is thrilled that she and her 7 year old daughter have this opportunity to give back to those who have done so much for our country.
Erin is a junior at Southeast Polk High School. She enjoys baking, singing and putting a smile on other people's faces. Along with her parents she is raising Skippy, an energetic, lovable golden retriever.
Kim has been a Registerd Nurse for over 30 years with a speciality in surgical intensive care, heart/kidney transplant coordinator and electrophysiology at Iowa Heart. Kim has always had a dog in her life to help buffer the stresses in society. She has been involved in agility, NADAC, and dock diving. Her dogs held certifications with PetPartners which involved engaging autistic children with their therapies. They were also certified with the national Animal Assistive Crisis Response (AACR). She said "My #1 bucket list is to train a service dog for a veteran. I feel honored with this opportunity and am truly humbled by their service. Thank you Puppy Jake!"
Stefan and Mary
Mary and Stefan enjoy donating their time and energy to Veterans organizations. Mary is the State Coordinator for Missing in America Project. Mary and Stefan are Patriot Guard Rider volunteers and currently fostering Warner a very sweet, high energy boy.
Christy and Bryan
Christy Dimit and Bryan Stamper are the foster family and trainers of Lake. Lake was named after Ssg Chad Lake. With great sorrow and honor, Ssg Chad Lake passed away fighting in the Iraq War in 2005. Christy and Bryan found their vocational calling to train a service dog with a desire to give back to their country through helping a veteran live life more comfortably back at home. They also love helping other people in any way they can as well as learning about dogs and how to better train and read their body language. Christy will graduate with a B.A. in April of 2018 in hopes to become a therapist in animal-assisted therapy, and Bryan hopes to land a career in veterinarian or engineering.
Rob & Shannon
Both Shannon and Rob work for Wells Fargo where they discovered Puppy Jake Foundation and wanted to get involved. Each have family members who are veterans and want to give something back to those that mean so much and have done so much for us all. They have been together for nine years and married for three. They have four wonderful boys and a beautiful female black lab of their own. They both love spending time outdoors and going places with their Labrador retriever.
Dr. Ara Robinson
Dr. Robinson grew up in Southwest Iowa. He completed his undergraduate studies at Drake University, medical school at Des Moines University, and his adult psychiatry residency at the University of Iowa. He has experience with child/adolescent, adult and geriatric patients in both the outpatient and inpatient settings. His primary practice, Iowa Psychiatry, is located in Urbandale, Iowa.
Jennifer Hirakawa is from Ewa Beach, Hawaii were she attended Pearl City High School, Academy of the Pacific, and Graduated from Kaimuki High School in 1988. Jennifer attended De Anza College, in Cupertino, CA where she enlisted in the Army in 1990 as a military police officer.
Jennifer retired from the Army in May of 2012 with the rank of Master Sergeant (MSG). Jennifer’s military career included many postings and positions, to include Military Police patrol, Team Leader, Squad Leader, Platoon Sergeant, Military Police Investigator, Military Police K-9, Training NCO, Military Police Customs NCO, Recruiter, Deployed Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, Equal Opportunity Advisor, and the Senior Enlisted EOA for the Iowa National Guard. Jennifer was stationed at Ft Eustis, VA; Berlin, Germany; Schweinfurt, Germany; Fort Carson, Colorado and the State of Iowa. During Jennifer’s career she deployed multiple times for both short and long deployments (IFOR, SFOR, OEF) and others.
Jennifer’s love for animals and specifically dogs and horses came early in her life when her parents got her a German Shepard from Hawaii Protection Dogs. Jenn began working with her dog (JP) and volunteering at the Hawaii Human Society when she was in middle school walking the dogs, and learning from the trainers there and HPD. Jennifer continued to work with and train dogs during her military career while stationed in Germany and in Colorado.
In 2012 after Jenn retired from the Army, she graduated from the Animal Behavioral College with Honors and began training dogs and humans to help them form a better human-canine bond. Jenn has worked with all different breeds and temperaments, including working with Service Dogs. Jennifer is excited to be part of Puppy Jake Foundation’s staff working with Military Organizations in the capacity of Military Outreach Coordinator. As a veteran herself she understands the loopholes, dilemmas, and issues that veterans may have navigating the military and VA systems. She looks forward to helping Veterans achieve their goals of independence and hopes to help veteran organizations understand the benefits that service dogs bring to fellow veterans.
- Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT)
- International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC)
- Truly Dog-Friendly Coalition of Trainers
- Pet Professional Guild (PPG)
- Committee member of the Winterset Dog Park
- American Kennel Club (AKC) S.T.A.R. Puppy Trainer and Evaluator
- American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Certified Evaluator
- APDT Canine Life and Social Skills (C.L.A.S.S.) Trainer
- APDT Canine Life and Social Skills (C.L.A.S.S.) Certified Evaluator
- Co-Founder of the Iowa Modern Dog Training and Behavioral Trainers Network
- Co-Founder of Adventure Dogs of Iowa
- Life Member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW)
- Life Member of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV)
- Many other veterans groups and organizations
Josh Schoenblatt graduated from Drake University as a Politics Major with a Entrepreneurship Minor. His Entrepreneurship Minor focused on communicating ideas for start-ups. Using those lessons and a entrepreneurship mantra of “do the doable”, he decided to also take on a communications role for the organization. Josh currently runs the official Puppy Jake Foundation Twitter (@puppyjakefdn) feed and has been on hand to give multiple radio and television interviews as the organization grows.