Aiko Tan, Robert Heinrich, Mei Tang, Amie Chapman, Brittany Jarabek, Lindsay Valenzuela.
Janie Heinrich, Denise Chalnick Marquez, Pam Allen, Ayami Hiroshige.
Pam Allen, Board Member and Secretary, has always had a passion for education: she established and ran two tutoring programs in college, one for underperforming students and one for gifted students in local public and Catholic schools; she was an Assistant Dean of Admissions for Pomona College; she brought the Junior Great Books Program and Odyssey of the Mind to her children’s public school district and was a leader and coach in both for four years; she has taught 3rd/4th grade, conflict resolution workshops to adults working with children, and French at the high school and college level; she ran the volunteer tutoring program at Boulder High School for four years; and she was a private tutor for 17 years. She maintained a varied tutoring practice that changed with the seasons: during the summer, she worked intensively with rising seniors on preparing for their SAT and ACT tests and did some college essay coaching; and during the school year, she tutored a range of subjects, including middle and high school math , study skills for students who don’t perform well on class tests, strategic reading of textbooks, and French. Each year, she was also a coach for a handful of high school and college students with ADHD and other executive functioning issues, as well as general academic overwhelm. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in French Literature from Pomona College and her Master of Arts degree in French Civilization from the University of California. She is an original member of Boulder Educational Services and a founding member of Indie Ed, a collaborative community of Independent Educators.
She and her husband have two wonderful adult sons and a daughter-in-law, all of whom are currently digital nomads, traveling and working in the western U.S. and Southeast Asia. Since retiring from tutoring two years ago, Pam spends time creating with fiber and volunteering with Habitat for Humanity's Disaster Corps and Mobility Service Dogs West Coast Project. She lives in Boulder, Colorado with her husband and wonderful hiking and backpacking dog companion, Toby.
Aiko Tan, Board Member- Fundraising & Public Relations, MBA and is the Executive Director, HomeAid Los Angeles Aiko worked as a senior neuroscience research associate at UCLA’s Brain Research and Neuropsychiatric Institutes. She has co-authored several peer-reviewed scientific journal articles focused on opioid addiction research. Aiko holds degrees in Biology from UCLA, Biotechnology from CSUSM, and a Healthcare MBA from UC Irvine’s Paul Merage School of Business. From there, she was a co-founder and board director/officer of the Illumination Foundation (IF) www.ifhomeless.org, a nonprofit agency focusing on breaking the cycle of homelessness for families and individuals in Orange County. For 8 years, she served as the Board Secretary and Governance Chair. As the Executive Director of Healthcare for IF, Aiko directed strategic initiatives and oversaw the launch and operations of several of the innovation projects at IF focusing on healthcare for the homeless, which included building the Recuperative Care program from a pilot program at one motel site into now one of the largest Recuperative Care programs in the nation. She also oversaw the Buena Park Community clinic and the Access OC Free Surgery program (www.accessoc.org). Aiko currently works as the ED for HomeAid Los Angeles (www.homeaidla.org), a nonprofit focusing on rebuilding the lives of LA's homeless through housing, community outreach and awareness.
Janie Lynn Heinrich, Co-Founder, Board Member-President, is a multipotentialite with a rich background in child development, arts and crafts, nutrition and food, healing, movement modalities, and volunteerism. Janie grew up in a confectionary business making delicious treats, designing gift baskets, and arranging flowers. Janie raised four children into adulthood who are all responsible, educated, happy, kind-hearted, employable, exploratory, and contributing members of society. She currently is loving up with delight the next generation of five grandchildren . Since the 1980s, Janie has been a community and school volunteer Art Docent, Great Books Leader, PTA and Board member, Art Council member, Science Exploration Program Leader, Museum Grade School Docent, Elementary Programming instructor, and High School Art & Theatre Advisory Board member. In the 2000s, Janie developed, taught, and created "Villages of the Ancient Civilizations," a Hands-On-History program for students which connected arts, history, traditions, and food in a hands-on learning approach for children in the sixth grade. Suffering an injury to the nerves at the base of her spinal cord, left hip bursa, and left rotator cuff in 2010, Janie was told, by her medical teams, she would use a wheelchair the rest of her life. Janie did not accept this diagnosis; instead, she pursued alternative methods of healing, including food, nutrition, yoga, and other movement modalities. This led Janie to study at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition school in New York to become a certified health coach. Janie has since teamed with individuals to help them incorporate healthy food choices, movement modalities, and meditation, as they refine their daily routines (with their medical team on board), regaining their health and wellness. Janie and her clients maintain balance with food, herbs, essential oils, Asea, massage, meditation, movement, and Yoga. She keeps an active voice for the local homeless population. Today, Janie practices what she teaches and is currently walking with aplomb alongside her Mobility Service Dog. She is an Advisory Board Member of the Yoga Nonprofit Foundation twotreewellness.org, bringing coping tools to students in the Public School System. Janie is the Co-Founder of Mobility Service Dogs-West Coast Project and involved in educational outreach to the community, finding puppies, matching puppies to puppy raisers, while developing the Puppy Raisers’ Manual. Janie enjoys life with Bob, Phoebe(retiring Service Dog), and Beckett (Service Dog).
Robert Heinrich, CPA., Chief Financial Chair, is a Certified Public Accountant who has been in private practice since 1980. Robert primarily works with healthcare professionals, community clinics, long-term care facilities and non-profit organizations. Currently, he is active on the boards of 21 non-profit organizations. Robert has worked extensively with setting up, organizing and obtaining IRS approval of nonprofit organizations. The NPO’s he works with focus on at-risk youth, arts and music education, healthcare and nutrition and homelessness. While this work addresses the technical skills related to the setting up and operating of an NPO, Robert’s life experience related to disability, pain management, and healing through the use of meditation, biofeedback therapy, yoga, acupuncture, nutrition and alternative healing methods are the higher motivation to be involved with this project. Robert lives with his wife Janie, Phoebe (Retired Mobility Service Dog), Beckett (Mobility Service Dog), and Talker the parrot.
Ayami Hiroshige, Co-Founder and the Advisory Board Advocate Chair, is a Pasadena, CA native who enjoys yoga, reading, visiting museums and finding new parks to explore. With an extensive background in business and her former work with the Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce, Ayami combines her passions of supporting small businesses and helping the community. She has a BA in Organizational Management from the University of La Verne. Ayami is the founder of LA Yoga Addicts, an organization of like-minded yoga enthusiasts that supports the local community. When she is not working or undertaking special projects, she enjoys spending time with her boyfriend, their kids and two dogs.
Brittany Jarabek, Board Member, Development and Special Projects, is a San Francisco based, non-profit professional with a rich background in grant writing, juvenile justice, printmaking, art history, yoga and meditation, travel, and the great outdoors. As a grant writing professional and non-profit consultant, Brittany specializes in providing creative solutions, grant writing services, freelance writing, and program metrics management for non-profit agencies. Brittany obtained her Masters of Art from McGill University in Montreal in Art History with an emphasis in early modern print culture. She is a printmaker, photographer, preschool outdoor educator, travel lover, and Francophile. Brittany is involved with Sonrisas Dental Health Inc, The Beat Within, Homework Central of San Mateo, and Sustainable San Mateo County. She is an animal lover since the tender age of two, when she met her first canine pal, a Collie lovingly named Princess Dumbo Dog. Brittany now calls the Sunset District of San Francisco home, where she lives with her husband, two daughters, and two poodles, Sawyer Blue and Maya Coco.
Denise Chalnick Marquez, the Advisory Chair for Dog Training, began her career in pet sitting, child care, and then teaching. She has spent time tutoring and teaching Montessori with school-aged children. She has a Master's Degree in special education, and has worked with children and adults with physical and cognitive challenges.
Denise began her training journey with family pets and service dogs. She is a Canine Good Citizen certified dog trainer with a certification in SATS Perception Modification.
Denise volunteers and consults at 4 Paws 4 Patriots, where she works as a Senior Dog Trainer. There, she teaches and guides veterans to train their own dogs in obedience, directional training, task training, and community/public access training so they can become ADA Compliant Certified Service Dogs.
Mei Tang, Board Member and Yoga & Movement, is a pharmacist and a certified yoga instructor, who began her pharmacy career over 20 years ago, and started her yoga and meditation practice in 2015. Her love of yoga and time of reflection at the yoga studio helped her through a difficult time in her life. Always a lifelong student, she aspired to gain more knowledge about yoga and became a certified yoga teacher through CorePower’s teacher training program.
As a pharmacist and healthcare provider, she firmly believes in the many health benefits of yoga and meditation. In 2017, she founded Two Trees Wellness (twotreeswellness.org) with the mission to help people, especially under-served populations-children and older adults- improve mental and physical health through meditation and yoga.
Mei holds a medical degree in pharmacy from University of Colorado and a MBA from University of California, Irvine. She lives with her two teenage children and enjoys travel, reading, sports, outdoor activities, and spending time with family and friends.
Lindsay Valenzuela, Board Member, Treasurer & Education, has always had a passion for helping people and Animals. Since 2014, Lindsay has worked as a Physical Therapist Assistant in the Inland Empire. Her focus is on empowering geriatric patients to heal and improve their health through physical rehabilitation and lifestyle choices. Every six weeks, Lindsay travels to Mexicali to help a local orphanage to cook and feed the children lunch. Biannually, she travels to Mexicali and Tijuana with Wheels for Humanity to get disabled children and adults into much-needed wheelchairs. Lindsay is an avid traveler with a passion for photography and activism. She is active in the LGBTQ community and works to open the eyes of the Seventh Day Adventist church towards embracing rather than condemning LGBTQ individuals. Lindsay lives in Highland with her roommate and her three canine pals Noodles, Storm, and Rogue.
-Grateful for their time, energy, AND support-
Past board members and Advisory chairs
Gifford Myers, Jody Anderson, Joel Heinrich, Ruth Miille, and Amie Chapman.
Gifford Myers, Board Member and Artist & Creative Designs, is not one of your old-school potters. Trained initially as an architect and operating ostensibly as a ceramist since the early 1970s, he has created work that has encompassed painting, public art, and sculpture. Stylistically, his art runs a restless gamut from fetish minimalism to cartoonish funk.
Gifford studied at and graduated from Berkeley and UC Irvine. At UC Irvine he was Professor Emeritus of Art Sculpture, Ceramic Sculpture, Painting, and Drawing. Has shown his work using lead, wood, bronze, aluminum, fiberglass, industrial tiles, and found objects infused with clay can be found in Public Collections around the globe, with three large scale public art murals in Pasadena. Gifford has shown in Solo and Group Exhibitions throughout the world.
Gifford is combining his love of canines and their natural love of him with creative and experimental engagements with clay. He will bring an amazing layer to MSD-WCP’s. Gifford lives with his rescue dog Jackson. Gifford served on our board March 5, 2018-March 12, 2019. Thank you, Gifford, I miss your witty comments, command of the English language, your artistic brain, and you showing up!
Gifford, our artistic fun-loving eccentric board member, and friend. His love of dogs and desire to help the mobility impaired community brought artists together advocating for both, using the power of the visual arts. His genius, artistry, and ability to think outside the box have made a lasting impact for those served by MSD-WCP. In his honor, we will continue partnering with the artist community that he so loved and cherished using the power of the arts to educate and share our vision. We are deeply grateful for Gifford’s time, energy, and creativity on the board. So it is in his memory and spirit that we have established the Gifford Myers Memorial Fund 11/30/1948-03/11/2019. Gifford Myers Obituary
Jody Anderson, RN -the Advisory Chair Human’s Health & Wellness, is a Registered Nurse and Integrative Health and Nutrition Coach. She serves as the Community Nurse Activator in Algoma, WI, a small rural community of approximately 3,100 people. Jody also owns a private health coaching business, Succeed Health, LLC. With 25 years of nursing experience, Jody brings a broad skill set to her community and health care organization, spanning from acute care, chronic disease management, lifestyle medicine to population health management. She received her BSN from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, and is also trained through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine- Integrative Health and Lifestyles Program and Wellcoaches® program. Her passion for promoting health and well-being has taken her outside the walls of the clinic and hospital settings to working side by side with fellow community members, urging them to “take back their health! ”
Jody serves as a team leader within the Live Algoma Coalition, which was awarded the 2017 RWJF Culture of Health Prize. Through community activation and organizing, Jody leads the Healthy Individuals team in her community, a cross-sectoral group of community members who focus on promoting and supporting healthy lifestyles to improve health outcomes. Jody has gained knowledge and lived-experience for her work as a member of 100 Million Healthier Lives and SCALE 1.0 initiatives. Beyond the role of nursing, her work has involved the engagement of diverse stakeholders, promotion of health equity and incorporation of improvement science into coaching individuals and small groups.
Most importantly, Jody is a wife, mother of 6 children, and a loving companion to her dog Huck, a 3-year-old labradoodle. Served MSD-WCP 2018. Thank you, Jody! She continues being available for consultations.
Joel Heinrich, Advisory Chair Mobility Service Dog Basics, Education, and MSDiT Sitter, is passionate about the arts, gardening, and animals. Joel is a Los Angeles based singer-songwriter currently leading the band Rubaiyat. Joel’s other projects include Little Brown Kitty, Black Ass Humans of the Neon Future, RatRios and The Oarsmen. Outside of music, Joel is an academically trained actor and director making his directorial debut in San Francisco with the production The Sister, which he co-wrote with Hunter Noack of Pink Martini. Joel lives in Highland Park and enjoys woodworking, gardening, and shooting mini-films. He has a well-trained canine pal Runt and rodent friends Marcy and Doc. Served MSD-WCP 2018. Thank you, Joel! Continues doing advisory.
Ruth Miille, Board Member and MSD-WCP's First Puppy Raiser, is retired and lives in Prescott Valley, Arizona for only the last six months. She just finished RV traveling the entire United States and into Canada during the previous four years. Ruth says the U.S. is an awesome country, and that she enjoyed visiting all Presidential Libraries and most State Capitals. She was so glad for the unique opportunity to complete a life dream.
Before that, Ruth raised three children of her own and now has four grandchildren that she visits in Nevada where she lived for over 20 years. She also worked during those years in the accounting field.
Ruth loves all animals and has worked with and trained many Therapy Dogs, all belonging to her. She was registered with each of her partners either through Delta Society (now Pet Partners) or ITA (International Therapy Dogs) and is still a member of the national R.E.A.D. Program, Pets Helping People, in Utah. Ruth shared her pets (both dogs and a cat) with nursing homes, hospitals, Veterans Homes and children in schools and libraries, mostly in Colorado and Kansas where she lived. She was also a puppy raiser for KSDS in Kansas and had a successful graduate dog (a Labrador) that now works in a school with a Counselor and with Autism children. Ruth has had the opportunity to visit the school and watch the dog work with the staff and children, a very heartwarming experience.
Ruth, MSD-WCP’s first puppy raiser, (Jan-Dec. 2018) puppy raising Sir Baldwin, MSD-WCP’s first puppy. . There are numerous postings on Sir Baldwin's adventures and travels available for reading and generating laughter. Ruth lives in with Karl, and a kitty named Oreo. Served MSD-WCP February 9, 2018- January 17, 2019. Thank you, Ruth! Continues interacting with the puppy raisers.
Amie Chapman, Dog Health & Wellness and Board Member, has had a passion for dogs since she was 9 years old and is inseparable from her Tibetan Terrier named Samantha. After college, she became a registered veterinary technician and has been saving animals ever since. Amie started service dog puppy raising in August 2002 and has raised 17 puppies since then. She is the Co-founder as well as the host of Growing Up Guide Pup which is a web series that raises awareness about service dog puppy raising. Rescue work is also a passion of hers, especially when it comes to orphan puppies and kittens. Over the last 20 years, Amie has fostered over 40 kittens and 15 puppies that were under the age of 8 weeks old and separated from their mothers.
Amie strives to learn something new with each and every puppy that she raises and hopes that she can inspire others to do the same and demonstrate the importance of giving back. She is always trying to better her communication and understanding of canine language, and returning that knowledge to the community is very important to her.
When Amie is not running GUGP, working as a RVT, or working with a service puppy in training, she likes to spend time with her husband Matt and her two dogs: Ricki, a career-changed guide dog, and Ozzy, a rescue terrier mix that she saved from parvo. Served MSD-WCP February 10, 2018 - March 15, 2019. Thank you, Amie!