RAGOM Board Members

Meet our Board of Directors & Officers


Elayne started in RAGOM as a transporter but quickly jumped into foster and now is a mentor for new fosters. She’s also part of the Intake team, working to match incoming dogs with a foster family who can help the dog get ready for its forever home.

Elayne recently retired as a health care administrator with the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City. She looks for ways she can use those business skills to assist organizations through active membership and board participation.

Elayne and her husband, Fred Page, have an active and welcoming pack of goldens and typically have a foster. Along with all the dog activities, Elayne enjoys gardening, traveling, and studying art history.

Term expires: December 31, 2024


Kristin started with RAGOM in 2006 and joined the Board of Directors in 2021. She has volunteered in many areas of RAGOM throughout the years and enjoys being a part of the dogs’ journeys and working with amazing volunteers and families.

Kristin’s background is in nonprofit operations, and she is currently the Vice President of Provider Operations for NMDP. Kristin is passionate about making things as efficient and easy as possible while ensuring excellent care and service delivery.

In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family (husband Michel, daughter Ellie, and son Luca) and friends, traveling, and horseback riding. Kristin’s current furry family includes two dogs, Rufus and Rory, and two horses, Ember and Taz. Kristin also serves on the Associate Board of the Minneapolis Women’s Health Leadership TRUST.

Term expires: December 31, 2024


Heather works as a municipal advisor to state and local government clients and has done so for more than 25 years. She brings her public finance experience and decades-long experience on

other professional organizational boards. Heather graduated from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.

Born and raised in Brooklyn Park, MN, she has two daughters and welcomed Golden Retriever Lola into the family in 2021. Together, they enjoy taking walks, playing endless hours of catch, and swimming in the lake in the summer.

Term expires: December 31, 2024


Ross began his relationship with RAGOM in the fall of 2019 when he and his fiancé adopted their Goldendoodle, Spencer (19-179), in what can only be described as a love-at-first-site experience. 

A native of Duluth, MN, Ross holds degrees from the University of Michigan and the University of Iowa College of Law. He is an associate attorney at Shuttleworth & Ingersoll, P.L.C. in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he specializes in representing doctors, hospitals, nurses, and nursing homes in their professional malpractice cases. Ross also serves as secretary on the board of Central Furniture Rescue in Iowa.

You can find Ross watching Michigan football and basketball outside the office, teaching spin classes, shooting trap, and spending time outdoors with Spencer.

Term expires: December 31, 2026


Dr. Cat Angle began working with RAGOM after joining the veterinary team at Rum River Veterinary Clinic in 2013. In 2020, she became the clinic owner and has continued the clinic’s support of RAGOM.

Dr. Angle adopted her first RAGOM dog in October of 2023. Duke was welcomed into the family after bonding with him at Goldzilla. Duke settled into life with his two human and two cat sisters. Dr. Angle loves to read, spend time with her family, go to their cabin, and bake with her daughters.

Dr. Angle received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Master of Public Health from the University of Minnesota. She has a particular interest in toxicology, nutrition, and internal medicine. Dr. Angle applies her veterinary and public health training to identify ways to reduce risks and optimize the care and well-being of RAGOM dogs and those caring for them.

Term expires: December 31, 2026


Amy’s first engaged with RAGOM in 2008 when she adopted Murphy (Bruiser 08-057). That RAGOM adoption was followed by another in 2016 when Stanley joined the family. After two great adoption experiences, Amy decided to support RAGOM differently, and she and her husband became Fosters in 2022. So far, they have fostered four puppies. One of those puppies, Seamus (Bixby 23-031), decided he was already home and became their third RAGOM dog.

Amy has worked in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry for thirty-four years. She has held various roles in sales, account management, and sales management. Amy is also an active volunteer with their lake association and another water quality group. Her leadership and strategic planning experiences support RAGOM as it continues to evolve.

Amy and her husband live in the Brainerd Lakes area of north central MN. When not working, you can usually find them and their pack (Seamus and English Springer, Lucy) on the pontoon in the summer or out snowshoeing in the winter. She also enjoys baking, gardening, and traveling with her husband.

Term expires: December 31, 2026


Susan has been a passionate RAGOM advocate since 2006, when she and her husband adopted Lovey Howl, the family’s first rescue. After 15 ½ wonderful years with Lovey, her family welcomed Truly Scrumptious in March 2022, whom they describe as a tornado of love.

Susan brings over twenty-five years of experience in multi-channel strategies, communication, marketing and sales, and business growth. Her expertise ranges from counseling C-suite and senior leadership across various industries to streamline communication, sales, and marketing divisions to work together and support an organization’s growth goals. She has a proven track record of success developing effective, scalable programs that facilitate holistic business management, stakeholder communication, omnichannel and content marketing, go-to-market strategies, and data analysis and visualization.

At home, Susan and her husband happily revolve their free time around Truly, which includes Truly’s favorite things – adventurous walks, visits to dog parks, and playing tug-then-hug with one of her toys.

Term expires: December 31, 2026

Mary McGowan's dogs


Mary’s relationship with RAGOM began in 2007 with the adoption of golden girl Mia from a large North Dakota puppy mill rescue. The joy Mia brought to her family inspired them to support rescue efforts. Mary became a Foster shortly after adopting Mia and has since volunteered with the Intake and Adoption Teams, as the Board Chair, and annually at the Goldzilla event.

She brings executive leadership to the Executive Director role from thirty five years of progressive senior leadership in Technology and Operations. Mary’s experience includes process design and improvement, strategic planning and program development, large-scale implementations, and managing organizations through change.

In addition to their love of dogs, Mary’s family enjoys traveling whenever possible, hiking, biking, beekeeping, and spending time with rescue dogs Beau, Maggie, and Shelby.

Jenna Niedz's dogs


Jenna’s relationship with RAGOM began in 2022 when she adopted Tonka as part of the Foster-To-Adopt program. As she and her family navigated that program, she noticed improvement opportunities – no surprise, as that’s what she does for a day job!

Jenna is a Director of Internal Audit & Financial Advisory for Protiviti, a global consulting firm. Her projects focus on understanding processes and the controls that make them successful and mitigate risk. Jenna has worked with many companies to strengthen the overall business environment. 

Jenna and her husband are doodle and retriever lovers and have two Goldendoodles – Tonka and his big-little brother, Narvey.

Term expires: December 31, 2025

Jane Nygaard's dog


Jane founded RAGOM on February 14, 1985, and continues to serve as a Board member. She regularly visits schools and scout groups to educate children about properly interacting with and caring for a dog, including the importance of microchips and training. Jane is a retired nanny who cared for many children with whom she has continued to stay in touch over the years.

With the help of her husband, Hank, Jane has fostered more than 1,000 dogs. After Hank died in 1999, Jane adopted Ford (Gabriel) 04-258, who was found in a trash can and weighed just one pound when RAGOM rescued him. Ford flourished and became a support dog, sitting with children in reading programs, attending funerals to support grieving families, visiting hospital patients, and comforting students who had lost their classmates.

After Ford died in May 2015, Jane adopted Doc 15-210 from the first group of Turkish Goldens that RAGOM helped rescue and bring to the United States. Doc went to the Rainbow Bridge in 2019. Jane adopted Leo 19-162 in February 2020. He is RAGOM’s first dog rescued from Korea.


Peggy started volunteering for RAGOM during the 2012 Goldzilla event, shortly after adopting Zena, their first RAGOM Golden. She is a Foster and volunteers on the Placement and Transport teams.

Peggy retired from 3M after thirtey-fiv years in various jobs, from internal auditing to supply chain business information management. In retirement, she has volunteered for several organizations, including the humane society and the surgery department of a local hospital. Peggy and her husband, Neil, travel as much as possible during retirement.

In addition to traveling, they enjoy spending time with their fourth RAGOM dog, Bentley 22- 177, and their daughter and grand-dog Nugget 19-057. They also have three cats: Sasha, Sully, and Zoey. If there is any time left after making all their animals happy, Peggy loves to bake and read. Neil is also a Home Visit volunteer, and their daughter is on the Goldzilla Planning Committee.

Term expires: December 31, 2024


Missy has been a RAGOM volunteer since 2015, starting as a Foster and moving into marketing. Missy also served a term on the Board of Directors from 2019 – 2021, ending as Vice Chair. A significant career project took her away from the Board for a term, but she is returning to help continue advancing RAGOM’s mission.

While Missy doesn’t have any Goldens, she has a passion for the breed and RAGOM’s mission. She resides in Southern California with her rescues: Shepherd mix Dolly and Chihuahua mix Tika.

Missy’s diverse background in marketing, business operations, technology, and political campaigns will help RAGOM continue to expand its fundraising and advocacy efforts.

Term expires: December 31, 2026

Joe Zandlo's dog


Joe has been a RAGOM supporter for five years and has helped three young dogs transition from their life of breeding to being socialized and adopted into loving homes. He was introduced to the Golden Retriever life when he got his first dog, Ranger, for his golden birthday twenty years ago.

Joe brings decades of experience building businesses to the RAGOM board, having worked as a coach and business development consultant to financial advisors for 20 years. He earned an MBA in Finance from the University of St Thomas and continued at UST to complete his Doctorate of Education in Organization Development.

Joe resides in Brainerd, MN, with his Bernese Mountain Dog, Raygan, who diversifies his portfolio of Golden Retriever fosters. He and Raygan also welcomed Gia into their home in 2022; she was a RAGOM international rescue from South Korea. The three enjoy playing in the snow, napping by the lake, barking from the pontoon, and taking turns being the boss of the house.

Term expires: December 31, 2024