Heidi became involved with DVGRR in 2004 and currently serves as Board President. She is a serial DVGRR adopter of senior Goldens and Golden mixes, having brought 11 DVGRR seniors into her home over the past few years. Heidi spends her time enjoying her canine family of senior rescue dogs, including those from DVGRR, and a very sweet cat. She also writes grants for DVGRR to help fund various projects supporting Golden Gateway and the DVGRR mission.
“I have had Goldens and other dogs for many years and was initially drawn to DVGRR because of their focus on this wonderful breed. Once I adopted my first DVGRR Golden, Molson, in July 2004 and got involved, I met the most dedicated, professional group of people I ever had the privilege to work with. The quality of the leadership and staff at DVGRR and the depth of thinking that goes into everything that they do is well beyond anything I was expecting.
“For me, volunteering my time and skills to DVGRR allows me to give back to an organization whose strategic vision and daily execution of so many vital services makes a difference to the dogs that I love in a meaningful way, so I am proud to be a part of this important work.”
Frank Fabian is the owner of Wm. W. Fabian & Son, Inc. He became a volunteer with DVGRR in 2009 and is also a 50-year member of the Newtown Fire Association and serves on the Board of Directors of the Pickering Manor Nursing Home. Within DVGRR, Frank is active with Meet & Greets, transportation and as an occasional handyman, in addition to his role on the Board of Directors. His hobbies are antique fire trucks and Lionel trains. Frank and his wife share their home with three Goldens.
Frank’s reason for serving and volunteering with DVGRR? “It is a special place, and it is such a pleasure to work with a group of people who all have a common goal and work together providing a better life for displaced Golden Retrievers and dogs with ‘hearts of gold’.”
2nd Vice Chair
Barry Edwards is a strategic consultant serving an international client base of API and pharmaceutical manufacturers, developers, marketers and distributors with respect to the U.S. generic and specialty pharmaceutical markets. He provides practical and strategic insight drawn from over 35 years of progressive industry experience with leading companies. Barry and his wife, Sue, currently include Sapphire as part of their family. Sapphire, their fourth DVGRR-adopted Golden, is originally from Puerto Rico.
“We began supporting DVGRR over 15 years ago as we were so impressed with the work they were doing. I became a volunteer around 2006, as a transport driver, and found it very rewarding as a way to give back something to this wonderful breed. In that role, I’ve done local pickups and transports, several runs to South of the Border for dogs from Florida and the NC20 run. Having been elected to join the Board of Directors of DVGRR in 2012, I am working hard to continue to contribute to DVGRR, its mission, and goals.”
Peg Kiebach worked at Reading Alloys for 36 years as an Accounting Supervisor. Now retired, she volunteers for the Womelsdorf Ladies Auxiliary, Meals on Wheels, and as Treasurer of DVGRR. She shares her home with her husband and two dogs and enjoys watching her grandkids play baseball and basketball.
“When I see a newly adopted DVGRR dog sitting in the car ready to ‘go home,’” explains Peg, “it reminds me of why I am proud to be a DVGRR supporter, adopter and volunteer. Special care is given to each dog relinquished to DVGRR by an excellent staff, who all work together as a team from intake through adoption.”
Maurice Furlong was a commissioned United States Naval Officer through NROTC at Villanova University and served on Active and Selected Reserve duty for 12 years. Subsequently, he’s worked in various capacities in U.S. flag maritime companies since 1988 and is currently employed by Wilmington Tug, Inc. in Wilmington, DE. He has also served on the Ports of Philadelphia Maritime Society Board of Governors. His outside interests are in politics, international relations, shooting sports, rugby football, and cooking.
Maurice has been a DVGRR adopter and supporter since 2005. In that time, he has adopted four DVGRR Golden Retrievers (Brandy, Gertie, Tucker, and most recently, Maggie). Prior to that, he had adopted a very special Golden named Dickens that sparked his interest in the breed.
“Golden Retrievers are my favorite breed of dog,” says Maurice, “and my Goldens have made me a better person. I support DVGRR because it is a truly marvelous organization that provides new beginnings for all these great dogs when they fall on hard times, and I want to contribute and share that joy with others. I am privileged to work with and know this outstanding group of people (staff, volunteers, supporters, and my fellow Board members) who daily make a huge positive impact on the lives of others.”
Scott Blatt is the Director of Advertising for Redner’s Market’s Inc. based in Reading. He is a deacon at his church and a member of AEP (Amputee Empowerment Partners) which helps fellow amputees adjust to changes in life style. Being involved with DVGRR since 1996, he has volunteered to help park cars, take shifts to exercise dogs, cook for events and was a past board member. He can be found cooking and socializing at the grill during most Meet & Greets. Scott and his wife Sue have adopted a total of 7 Goldens including the 3 currently in their home – Peanut, Sadie and Razzle. Many of the Goldens they have chosen to adopt had challenging behaviors or backgrounds that required special care. Golden Retrievers are perfect therapy dogs which is another love for Scott & Sue.
What has attracted Scott to DVGRR? “I love being a part of such a progressive organization that finds homes for Golden Retrievers (my favorite breed). The organization is very accepting of many varied types of people and I believe they have grown tremendously because of that fact. No one is afraid to roll up their sleeves and get to work to benefit the dogs. To see how far DVGRR has come in recent years is amazing. DVGRR dogs have so much personality and make me laugh every day. You will know which dog to adopt because they choose you”
Kate Katchen is an attorney and partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP in Philadelphia. She focuses her practice on complex litigation, primarily in the areas of healthcare/managed care and insurance. Kate began volunteering at DVGRR in 2006, after she and her husband lost their first Golden, Bogey. She was a member of the Board from 2007 to 2011, and rejoined again in 2014. Kate also was the co-Chair of DVGRR’s Golden Gala from 2008 to 2012, and has done grant writing, dog walking, Kong® stuffing, and kennel cleaning at Golden Gateway! Kate and her family have adopted two Goldens from DVGRR – Butch in 2006 and Myles in 2012. She and her family live in Philadelphia.
“Everything about DVGRR is first class. It is such a privilege to work with such a dedicated, passionate, forward-thinking group of people. I’m so glad to be able to play a small part in helping DVGRR maintain its leadership in the rescue community and plan for its future!”
Renee Hashinger is a 25-year veteran of the Vanguard Group, where she works investigating client privacy and fraud cases for Vanguard’s Institutional clients. Renee has been involved with DVGRR since 2006 when she adopted her first Goldens (Princess Ann and Kamoo) and currently with Amy, Prince Charles, Princess Ann and Trixie all from DVGRR. Now you can find Renee volunteering at almost all the DVGRR events, conducting home visits, transporting Goldens, Bingo caller and running the annual DVGRR Golf outing.
Renee’s reason for serving and volunteering with DVGRR? “Well, it’s pretty simple, I love dogs, this organization and what they do to give a Golden/mixed Golden a better life. Those things together you just can’t go wrong. DVGRR is a special place, with special people doing special things for Goldens and Golden mixes. Everyone at DVGRR has one goal: to work together to care for and love the dogs until they find their forever homes. I can only hope that I can fill the shoes of those people who came before me and continue contributing to DVGRR’s mission.”
Mary Strzelecki is a Strategic Planning Manager at DuPont in Wilmington, DE. She became involved with DVGRR in 2005 as a volunteer and adopted two wonderful dogs, Max and Missy in 2007 and 2013. She is now the proud owner of two-year-old Delilah, who she adopted when she lived in Virginia and volunteered with the Golden Retriever rescue, SEVA GRREAT. She and Delilah spend their free time getting outdoors to run, hike, and hopefully master Delilah’s dock diving.
“I started volunteering with DVGRR when I lived in Lancaster and although I have moved several times since then, including out-of-state, I have always stayed involved with DVGRR because of the wonderful work they do with and for these amazing animals. I still refer to Golden Gateway as my ‘happy place’ because every time I am there to help in either a large or small way, I leave with a full and happy heart knowing that I have helped to make a difference for these dogs. I am so excited to be part of the Board and work with a great group of caring people who are sincerely focused on doing what is best for the animal, and are finding new and creative ways to make their lives better.”
Bill Burland is a retired educator and healthcare administrator who currently is a substitute teacher in his local school district. Bill has been involved with DVGRR since 2008 when he adopted Murphy (formerly Rex). Bill has volunteered at a number of DVGRR events, conducted home visits, helped with transportation of dogs, worked at Meet & Greet the Goldens events, and served on the Golden Gala committee.
“When I adopted my Golden, I was extremely impressed by the thoroughness of the process and the way my wife and I were treated by the DVGRR staff. I realized that this was the kind of organization I would enjoy working with and representing. My experiences with DVGRR since then have confirmed my original impressions, and I am looking forward to working with the other members of the DVGRR Board.”