RAGOM Board Members

RAGOM Board members

Board of Directors

Mark Crellin, Chair of the RAGOM Board

In addition to serving RAGOM as the Board Chair, Mark Crellin concentrates on strategic planning, finance, development, and marketing efforts. Both Mark and his wife Rosemary volunteer as transporters and fosters, and Mark is also a member of the Foster Help team.

Mark retired in 2012 from the HiRel division of Vishay Intertechnology, an electronics manufacturer, where he was Vice President of Sales and Marketing. Mark and Rosemary now live at their lake home and enjoy fishing, grandkids, and, of course, Golden Retrievers.

The Crellin family includes two sons, four grandkids, and two RAGOM dogs, Beau 15-201 and Tank 16-260; two 15-year-old cat sisters, Twinkle and Sweet Pea; and typically one RAGOM foster dog. Mark and Rosemary particularly enjoy fostering senior dogs and retired breeding females. They feel privileged to have adopted two other RAGOM dogs, Harley 12-384 and Sandy 14-070, who have gone to the Rainbow Bridge.

Term expires December, 31, 2017

Jane Nygaard, Founder and Director

Jane Nygaard founded RAGOM in February 1985 and continues to serve as a Board member. She regularly visits schools and scout groups to educate children about properly interacting with dogs and the responsibilities of caring for a dog, including the importance of microchips and training.

Jane is a retired nanny who cared for children in their homes while their parents traveled and has kept in touch with her former charges as they have graduated college, married, and had children of their own. 

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 trashcan 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 two classmates. After Ford died in May 2015, Jane adopted Doc (Baxter) 15-210 from the first group of Turkish Goldens that RAGOM helped to rescue and bring to the United States.

Teresa Varney, Director

Teresa Varney's board activities focus on strategic planning and organization sustainability. She is also active on the transport, home visit, and foster teams. 

Until late 2016, Teresa worked in the corporate world as a Human Resources management professional. She is currently exploring a second career in specialty retail. 

Teresa's household consists of husband Bill, RAGOM alum Copper, Beamer the Schnoodle, cats Digit and Mocha, and kitten Nala. Teresa and Bill split their time between Maple Grove and Battle Lake.

Term expires December, 31, 2017

Patty Larson, Director

Patty Larson is currently a RAGOM Board member, Director of Operations, Hotline team lead, and a foster family. She began volunteering for RAGOM in 2009 and has served in all operational capacities including transport, intake, home visits, placement, and events.
 
Patty is also the Central Region Representative for the Golden Retriever Club of America National Rescue Committee. She is a retired attorney and specialized in Juvenile Law. 
 
Patty and her husband are "almost empty nesters" with a daughter who graduated college in 2015 and is out on her own, and a son who is currently in college but home for summers. Family also includes two Goldens, Sammie and Sahara 11-305. Patty cherishes summer weekends at the family cabin, spending time with family and friends.

Term expires December, 31, 2018

Marti Jones, Director

Marti Jones volunteers as a Board Director and focuses her efforts on growing awareness of RAGOM’s mission, handling communications and media relations, and supporting fundraising efforts. She believes RAGOM volunteers, adopters, donors, and supporters are the "best in the world" and cares deeply for RAGOM's beloved Goldens.
 
Marti's portfolio of public-good, life-changing efforts spans 20 years in communication and marketing. She has developed and implemented multifaceted, groundbreaking campaigns for world-renowned organizations such as the American Red Cross and Mayo Clinic. Marti taught public relations at the University of Minnesota and educated the public regarding relief efforts after 9/11 and during the Iraq War and Minnesota's 35W bridge collapse. 
 
Marti earned her master’s degree in public administration and affairs from George Washington University and her bachelor’s degree in communications and psychology from Augustana College in Minnesota. She is also a board member of Serve Minnesota. Marti shares custody of a spirited Golden Retriever named Stella whom she adores and spoils.

Term expires December, 31, 2018

Laura Buck, Director

In addition to fulfilling a RAGOM Board Director role, Laura Buck volunteers on the Application Screening team, visits with potential adopters in their homes, and fosters RAGOM dogs. Laura is employed by Arthur J. Gallagher as an Employee Benefits Consultant.

She enjoys snow skiing, water skiing, running, golfing, travelling, and spending time at the family lake cabin. Her family comprises her boyfriend and two rescued Golden Retrievers, Clancy and Champ.

Term expires December, 31, 2019

Sheila Rawski, Director

Sheila Rawski volunteers as a RAGOM Board Director and is an active member of the Transport, Home Visit, and Foster teams. She has also participated on the Application Screening team and volunteered at Goldzilla and other events. As a Board member, she is passionate about supporting RAGOM volunteers and recognizing their unending service and dedication.

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 husband Peter, their Newfoundland Maksymilian, Saint Bernard Tallulah Mae, and cats Baron Von Buttons and Harley.

Term expires December, 31, 2019

Officers

Kate Heezen, Secretary

Although Kate Heezen volunteers as secretary for the RAGOM Board, as a foster, as the Application Screening team lead, Rescue Email team lead, and a member of the Home Visit team, she also works as a scheduler in a busy radiology clinic.

In her free time, she enjoys hiking and camping with her husband Ben and their dogs Buddy 15-168, a RAGOM Hound mix, and Lucy, a Golden Retriever. Lucy earned her first AKC Tracking Dog title in October 2016 and joins the family during pheasant hunting trips on their land in South Dakota.

TBD, Treasurer

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