RAGOM Board Members

Meet our Board of Directors & Officers

Board of Directors


Jackie has been a RAGOM foster and volunteer since 2018. She also quickly took on the caring role of whelp and fostering two 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, hiking, exploring, and relaxing.

Jackie’s professional background 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


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 being a part of the dogs’ journeys and working with the amazing volunteers and families.

Kristin’s background is in nonprofit 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 ensuring excellent care and service delivery.

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


Jenna’s relationship with RAGOM began in 2022 when she adopted Tonka as part of the Foster-To-Adopt program. As Jenna 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’s worked with many companies to strengthen the overall business environment. She’s excited to bring her expertise to the Board as RAGOM continues to evolve and innovate new solutions.

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

Term expires: December 31, 2025

Jenna Niedz's dogs
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 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.


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 cardio and strength equipment manufacturer. As a finance professional, she brings 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 returning 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

Jordan Rozenfeld's dog
Elayne Sexsmith's dog


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. Along with all the dog activities, Elayne enjoys gardening, traveling, and studying art history.

Term expires: December 31, 2024


Peggy started volunteering for RAGOM during the 2012 Goldzilla event, shortly after adopting Zena, their first RAGOM Golden. She volunteers on the Placement and Transport  Teams and is a member of the Goldzilla Planning Committee.

Peggy retired from 3M after 35 years in various 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 traveled as much as they can during retirement.

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

Peggy Spofford's dog
Sheri Stover's dog

Sheri Stover, Board Chair

Sheri joined RAGOM as a Home Visit (HV) volunteer and trained new HV volunteers. 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


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



Kelly is a long-time volunteer and fur dad to many pups, including Golden Retrievers and Cocker Spaniels. In addition to serving as Treasurer, Kelly has expertise in rescuing dogs from puppy mills and auctions. Kelly uses that insight and a lot of patience to help the dogs he fosters live the golden life.

In his personal life, Kelly is an accountant and has a hectic spring with taxes and budgets for his day job and RAGOM. Once tax and financial audit season are over, Kelly and the pups enjoy time in the woods and on the lake, kayaking and taking in the beauty of MN lakes. After summer, you’ll likely find Kelly and a pup or two at RAGOM’s Goldzilla event-meet him at the Wine Pull tent.

Heather Casperson, Secretary

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 with her 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.

Operations Leadership


Allyn may be new to RAGOM and golden retrievers, but she brings years of fundraising and nonprofit marketing to her role. Her black and tan coonhound Ruby keeps her on her toes, and they love learning new things together. Ruby loves to zoom in her backyard and take naps in the sun (when the weather in the midwest cooperates).

Allyn’s professional work includes direct mail program management, grant writing, and donor stewardship. She grounds her fundraising practice in the principles of community-centric fundraising. Allyn holds a certificate in Non-Profit Management from the University of Iowa.

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 as part of daily life. Shortly after adopting Mia, Mary became a foster and has also volunteered with the Hotline, Home Visit, Transport Coordinators, and Mentoring teams, as well as the annual Goldzilla event.

She brings executive leadership to the Executive Director 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.