RAGOM Board Members

Meet our Board of Directors & Officers

Board of Directors

Sheri Stover's dog

Sheri Stover, Board Chair

Sheri joined RAGOM as a home visit (HV) volunteer and has served on their leadership team to train new HV volunteers for the roles. In addition, she enjoys volunteering on the Goldzilla planning team, including fundraising, foster dog parade emcee, and media spokesperson.

Professionally, Sheri trains leaders to be more effective in their roles, helps teams create and accomplish their goals, and ensures groups are inclusive and welcoming to all.

Sheri, her husband, and their adopted RAGOM dog, Murphy (20-074), hike and travel as a trio.

Term expires: December 31, 2023

JACKIE MCFARLAND, VICE CHAIR

Jackie has been a RAGOM foster and volunteer since 2018. She also quickly took on the caring role to whelp and foster two litters of puppies. She adopted Moose (19-241) from her last litter and has two additional resident Goldens to help mentor the foster dogs.

Her family spends as much time as possible at their cabin in northern Minnesota, where they hike, explore, and relax.

Jackie’s professional background is in operations management helps strengthen RAGOM’s processes and documentation needs. Her expertise also guides the organization through succession and business contingency planning.

Term expires: December 31, 2023

Jane Nygaard's dog

JANE NYGAARD, FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR

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 who she continues to stay in touch with 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 (Baxter) 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.

MARY MCGOWAN, DIRECTOR

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 as part of daily life. Shortly after adopting Mia, Mary became a foster and has also volunteered with the home visit, transport coordinators, hotline and mentoring teams, and the annual Goldzilla event.

As a Sr. Director with UnitedHealthcare Global, she brings executive leadership to her Board role stemming from thirty years of progressive senior leadership in Information 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.

Term expires: December 31, 2024

Mary McGowan's dogs

KRISTIN NARUKO, DIRECTOR

Kristin has been a volunteer with RAGOM since 2006 and joined the Board of Directors in 2021. Kristin has volunteered in many areas of RAGOM throughout the years and enjoys not only being a part of the dogs’ journeys but also working with the amazing volunteers and families.

Kristin’s day job and background is in non-profit operations, and she is currently the Vice President of Provider Operations for The National Marrow Donor Program / Be The Match. Kristin is passionate about making things as efficient and easy as possible while still ensuring excellent delivery of care and service.

In her free time, Kristin 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 a Great Pyrenees mix, Rufus, and a horse, Ember. Kristin also serves on the Associate Board of the Minneapolis Women’s Health Leadership TRUST.

Term expires: December 31, 2024

SHEILA RAWSKI, DIRECTOR

Sheila participates in many volunteer roles, including transport, home visit, foster teams, and application screening team. She also volunteered at Goldzilla and other events.

Sheila is passionate about supporting our village of RAGOM volunteers and recognizing their unending service and dedication. As a foster family since 2013, Peter and Sheila have been blessed to have welcomed many dogs into their home and hearts as a part of their journey to a forever family.
Sheila has worked for the City of Minneapolis for more than 20 years and is currently a housing inspector in North Minneapolis.

She shares her life and home with her husband Peter, Gia (Baby 21-132), cats Harley, SkyBoy, and Igor. Beauregard (Duke 08-100), Maksymilian, Tallulah Mae, kitty Buttons, Otis (19-052), and Missy (19-051) continue to reside in their hearts and watch over their family and fosters from the Rainbow Bridge.

Term expires: December 31, 2022

Sheila Rawski's dog
Jordan Rozenfeld's dog

JORDAN ROZENFELD, DIRECTOR

Jordan began volunteering for RAGOM as a transport coordinator and recently took on the role of accounts receivable manager.

During the workweek, Jordan works as a senior financial analyst for Life Fitness, a premier manufacturer of cardio and strength equipment. As a finance professional, she brings needed expertise to RAGOM’s financial operations.

A Midwesterner from birth, Jordan grew up in Deerfield, IL, and Madison, WI with a loving family made complete by their golden retriever and yellow lab. After graduating from Boston University and moving back to the Midwest, Jordan followed her passion for rescuing dogs. In 2019, she was introduced to RAGOM’s work and adopted her spunky pup, Piper (19-119C).

When not volunteering or playing with Piper, Jordan travels, cooks, and spends time with friends and family.

Term expires: December 31, 2023

ELAYNE SEXSMITH, DIRECTOR

Elayne started in RAGOM as a transporter but quickly jumped in to foster and now is a mentor for new fosters as well. 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 and 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 as well. Along with all the dog activities, Elayne enjoys gardening, traveling and studying art history.

Term expires: December 31, 2024

Elayne Sexsmith's dog
Peggy Spofford's dog

PEGGY SPOFFORD, DIRECTOR

Peggy started volunteering for RAGOM during the 2012 Goldzilla event, shortly after adopting Zena, their first RAGOM Golden. She now volunteers on the Post Adoption team, the Goldzilla Planning Committee and does transports.

Peggy retired from 3M after 35 years in a variety of jobs, from internal auditing to supply chain business information management. In retirement, she has volunteered for a number of organizations, including the humane society and in the surgery department of a local hospital. She and her husband, Neil, have been traveling as much as they can during retirement.

In addition to traveling, they enjoy spending time with their third RAGOM dog, Ivy (17-084TD), and with 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

JOE ZANDLO, DIRECTOR

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 year 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 on at UST to complete his Doctorate of Education in Organization Development.

Joe resides near Brainerd, MN with his Bernese Mountain Dog, Raygan – who diversifies his portfolio of Golden Retriever fosters. Together they enjoy playing in the snow, napping by the lake, barking from the pontoon, and one chews bones while the other one plays golf.

Term expires: December 31, 2024

Joe Zandlo's dog

Officers

Kate Heezen's dogs

Kate Heezen, Secretary

Kate volunteers as secretary for the RAGOM Board. She also works on the Rescue email team, the Post Adoption Team, and does Home Visits.

Kate works as a scheduler in a busy radiology clinic. In her free time, she enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband, Ben, and their dogs Buddy 15-168, a hound mix adopted from RAGOM, and Lucy, a Golden Retriever. Kate and the dogs especially enjoy hiking Minnesota’s many state parks, and volunteering at or participating in AKC Tracking events.

leadership

Amy Lake's dog

AMY LAKE, DEVELOPMENT AND MARKETING DIRECTOR

Amy’s involvement with RAGOM began when her family adopted Rasta in 2012. Rasta earned the coveted “Most Mischievous Dog” designation by her RAGOM foster mom, who has fostered over 200 dogs. Rasta’s skills included sneaking kitchen utensils into the yard, hiding her medicine in the furniture, and unravelling the toilet paper roll throughout the house. She was perfect.

Amy brings many years of nonprofit experience to the role. She is a graduate of the Humphrey School’s Nonprofit Management master’s program and earned a fundraising certificate from St. Thomas and a CFRE designation. She loves bringing her nonprofit experience to RAGOM to help dogs in need.

Nicole Stundzia's dogs

NICOLE STUNDZIA, DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS

Nicole started as a transport volunteer for RAGOM in 2016. Shortly after, she started volunteering on the placement & hotline teams, doing home visits, fostering and vet checks. Nicole has a soft spot for retired breeders and International dogs.

Professionally, Nicole works at Mayo Clinic as an Administrative Assistant in Information Technology. Outside of RAGOM, Nicole can be found spending time with and spoiling her “fur-kids”: Louie, her horse of 26 years, 5 dogs, Lucy, Daisy (16-067TD), Thor (21-045A), Sophie (21-100), Vinny, and her two cats, Bubbles and Pebbles.