Meet The Team

Patriot Affairs and Veteran Outreach

Tom Lennon, Captain USN (Ret)

Captain G. T. (Tom) Lennon, Jr. USN (Ret) is a former Naval Aviator who served for over 29 Years. He was in the VS community flying the S-3A Viking. He had command of VS-28 and had over 700 carrier landings and 5,000 military flight hours. He was Navigator, then Executive Officer of the USS Forrestal CV-59. He commanded the USS Trenton LPD-14 and was involved in operations in Somalia. His last assignment was as Professor of Naval Science atThe Ohio State University. He then was the Senior Naval Science Instructor at Franklin Heights HS NJROTC for 18 years. After retiring he volunteered with Veteran Companion Animal Services for 2 years filling the role of Patriot Affairs lead. He became Interim Director of VCAS February 28, 2022.
Program Coordinator

Lisa Frank

Lisa is a positive reinforcement dog trainer. She has experience in nonprofit and administrative work. Her skills and knowledge fit the VCAS mission and we are thrilled to have her in this role. At home, Lisa is a wife, mom and dog mom to an adorable Goldendoodle, Lilly.
Volunteer and Events Coordinator

Kym Ashford

Kym has a Master's degree in marketing and communications and 20 years of public and private sector experience. Kym was inspired to start volunteering with VCAS once she learned about the organization's mission. Her father is a retired Army Reserve veteran and she has always held strong respect for our military and wanted a way to help support our veterans. Kym and her husband Anthony have three children: Anthony, Avieon, and Alyna along with their beloved dog, Cage.
Founder and CEO Emeritus

Dr. Heather Lane

Dr. Lane is a veterinarian by training and is passionate about the life-changing benefits dogs bring to our veterans and military families.

Dr. Lane is a veterinarian by training and is passionate about the life-changing benefits dogs bring to our veterans and military families. Dr. Lane holds a Master of Public Health and is board certified in a specialty that encompasses both human and animal health. Having a background in human and animal health provides a unique perspective for supporting both veterans and dogs through the process of companion animal ownership. Several generations of her family have served in the armed forces and she is grateful for the opportunities to now serve the veteran and military family community.
Alumni Lead

Gary Coffield

Administrative Coordinator

Pam Blosser

As the Administrative Coordinator, Pam leads the day-to-day administrative operations, allowing VCAS to grow in capacity and best serve our veterans and dogs.

As the Administrative Coordinator, Pam leads the day-to-day administrative operations, allowing VCAS to grow in capacity and best serve our veterans and dogs. Pam came to VCAS with a wealth of experience. She was employed by Chemical Abstracts Service for a little over 33 years as a division assistant to the VP of Technology Services before retiring. Pam, her husband Jeff and rescue dog Missy live in Delaware, Ohio. As a rescue dog owner, Pam has compassion for our 4-legged friends and the mutual benefits to both people and animals through the human-animal bond.
I'm With Abe Club Lead

Robin Lennon

Patriot Affairs Lead

Alan Kaufman

Alan Kaufman comes to Veteran Companion Animal Services after retiring from the United States Army and completing 32 years of military service.
He has been volunteering with VCAS for almost a year now. He was inspired to start volunteering with VCAS once he learned about
their mission. His daughter, Kym Ashford, is the VCAS Volunteer and Events Coordinator and decided that “I couldn’t let her have all the fun and
honor with helping our Veterans!” “I needed to find a way of paying it forward as well. Serving my country was one of the most rewarding things I had done in my life, and after retirement, there was a huge hole that needed filling. What better way to fill that hole than by taking two things very important to me; our nation’s veterans and the love and companionship of a dog and assisting the two to find each other!” Outside of VCAS his family keeps him busy. His wife, Pharol and him have two children, along with six grandchildren and four grand dogs.

Board of Directors

The Veteran Companion Animal Services Board of Directors provides oversight and leadership by adopting sound, ethical and legal governance and financial management policies that allow VCAS to best serve veterans for years to come. The board also plays a key role in fundraising so that VCAS can achieve its mission.

Chair, U.S. Army, 82nd Airborne

Bryan Pritikin, JD

Bryan is an attorney at Carlile Patchen & Murphy LLP, a Columbus, Ohio law firm and a member of the firm’s Litigation Group. Bryan focuses his practice on complex civil and commercial disputes. He is a graduate of The Ohio State University and Capital Law School, where he founded the Military Law Society. Bryan is also a former Paratrooper previously assigned to the 82nd Airborne in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Within VCAS, he serves as the Legal Chair and supports veterans as the Deputy Chair of the Patriot Affairs Committee. Bryan has a passion for supporting veterans and their families and helping them fight mental illness and the associated stigma. VCAS allows him to couple that with his love for dogs. Bryan says that one thing that is immediately noticeable with VCAS’ mission is the passion that comes from the Board and Committee members as well as the volunteers to help others in need.

Lori Bunker

Lori works as an Accounts Payable Coordinator and Office Manager for the Buckeye Management Company. She has been in this field for over 30 years. Lori is also an active member in the biker community, which has a passion for giving back. The biker community supports veteran and children initiatives by raising awareness and hosting a variety of fundraisers to support such causes. Lori is a proud mom to her daughter – a Bowling Green graduate with a degree in Special Education and a behavioral therapist for children with Autism. Lori is also a past 4-H member, an organization she is also passionate about.

Kevin Gadd, U.S. Air Force, Chief Master Sergeant (Ret)

Kevin Gadd is a serial technology entrepreneur and retired Chief Master Sergeant with 23 years of Air Force and Air National Guard service. Chief Gadd served in various technology and leadership roles during his distinguished career including Communications Superintendent, Combat Communications Team Leader, Unit First Sergeant and program director for the national Mission Driven Mentoring program. Kevin also served as Commercialization Director for the Central Ohio region's IT startups while working at Tech Columbus. He then went on to start Venture Highway, a technology platform for teaching entrepreneurship. He has written several online textbooks on entrepreneurship and taught entrepreneurship at Ohio State, Columbus College of Art and Design, and Dar Al Hekma University. He has an undergraduate degree in German from Ohio State and an MBA from Franklin University. Kevin currently serves as the state director for Apprenti, a national nonprofit helping veterans, women, and people of color get into technology careers through registered apprenticeship.

Debi Johnson

Debi Johnson was elected to the VCAS board in 2020, serving on the Fundraising Committee. Debi joined VCAS in 2019 as a volunteer, seeking a new opportunity to support her community in two of her areas of passion: rescue dogs and veterans. Debi is currently a Senior Vice President and Commercial Implementation Director for Huntington National Bank, holding a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from Ohio Dominican University. She has over 20 years of experience in the financial industry, most recently in strategic planning and delivery. Debi has a long history of fundraising and event planning for local non-profits, a skillset that she is leveraging for VCAS. During her free time, Debi enjoys cooking, volunteering with a local dog rescue, and spending time with her husband and fur babies.

Krista M. D. La Perle, DVM, PhD, Diplomate ACVP

Dr. Krista La Perle is a Scientific Director in Global Pathology within Drug Safety Research & Evaluation at Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, working remotely out of their Cambridge, Massachusetts location. She is a veterinarian with a PhD and board certification in veterinary anatomic pathology. Prior to joining Takeda, Krista had a 20-year academic career, most recently for 13 years at Ohio State University where she was engaged in biomedical research as well as teaching and mentoring veterinary students, residents and graduate students. She is very active in her professional societies, including as a previous Board Director and 2018 President of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists. Her passion for honoring veterans and families for their service and sacrifices is attributed in part to her paternal grandfather, a World War II veteran in the US Army 4th Cavalry Regiment. She has been involved with VCAS since 2019. In addition to military veteran causes, she volunteers her time for the Breast Cancer Fund of Ohio and local homeless outreach initiatives. She has a feline fur baby, Puck, and her hobbies include Columbus Blue Jackets hockey, scuba diving and riding her motorcycle with the Columbus Chrome Divas.

Gary Coffield

Gary is retired having worked 30 years in Corporate America. He was a COO with a company that is focused on providing IT solution to Community Banks. Gary has also held senior level positions with a leading provider of IT solutions to the automotive industry. His business focus and experience includes: Marketing, Sales, Customer Service, Product/Project Management, Business Development, Management and Human Resources. Gary is part of a military family, with his father, brother, son and grandsons serving the military. He is a patriot who is passionate about supporting veterans and shelter dogs. He has volunteered with many organizations and has successfully assisting them grow attain their mission goals. His focus with VCAS is to provide his experience in growing the mission of the organization and increasing the mission outreach of assisting as many veterans and dogs as possible.

Nasandra Wright, MPH, RS

Nasandra Wright, M.P.H., R.S., is a dedicated and experienced environmental health professional who is committed to developing and improving the delivery of food safety initiatives at the state, county and local levels. After spending nearly two decades working in the private sector and in public health, including stints as a Public Health Commissioner, Environmental Health Director, Project Manager, and Food Safety Specialist, Wright forged alliances and built support among various stakeholders in order to maximize the health and wellness of all persons within their communities. She seeks to strengthen food safety awareness and best practices within underserved communities. Wright understands that inspiring teams to provide exemplary service requires a passion for helping individuals and entities become empowered as a result of collaborative ideals and by focusing on reaching shared targets.

Mark Kline, CPA

In his career, he was a CFO | Controller with managerial and in depth experience in accounting and finance for manufacturing, retail and non-profit, in addition to Big 4 public accounting experience. Strengths noted from work performed in financial reporting and disclosures, financial modeling, treasury management, P&L management, cash flow management, operational management and supervision, auditing and compliance, advanced Excel skills, IT departmental oversight, use of ERP systems (QuickBooks, PeopleSoft, SAP, Great Plains) along with international work in the Far East and Mexico. Mark has a proven record of adding value by going above and beyond position responsibilities.

Anne Petit

Anne M. Petit of Galloway was reappointed as the Superintendent of the Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing in 2011. Petit returned to the role after having served from 2002-2005 under a previous administration. As Superintendent, Petit oversees numerous commissions and programs, including the Ohio Real Estate Commission, Ohio Real Estate Appraiser Board, Ohio Home Inspector Board, Ohio Cemetery Dispute Resolution Commission, and Video Service Authorization programs. Since 2018, additional programs have been added under the Division of Real Estate’s umbrella, including manufactured home dealers, brokers, and salespersons, land professionals and a grant program for Ohio’s non-profit cemeteries.

Previously, Supt. Petit was Vice President of faculty and regulatory compliance programs for an Ohio college. She also served as Director of Constituent Inquiries for Governor Taft and was Administrator for the Secretary of State’s campaign finance division during the Taft SOS administration. She also held positions with the former Diamond Savings & Loan in Findlay and Mid-American National Bank in Toledo.

Supt. Petit is also active on the national level where she served as President of the Association of Appraiser Regulatory Officials (AARO) from 2015-2016 and the international level, where she served as the 2019 President of the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO). She is the only regulator to serve as president for both organizations.

Michael Carrell

Mike Carrell is Assistant Vice Provost and Chief of Staff for the Office of Student Academic Success at Ohio State where he leads administration and operations for a 500-person staff serving 60,000+ students at Ohio’s land grant flagship university. Previously, he created and led the university’s Office of Military & Veterans Services for 10 years and worked both at the state and national levels to advance efforts for military-connected students. He co-chaired the Ohio Department of Higher Education’s Strategic Military Implementation Team that guided state efforts to support Veterans in all 37 public institutions of higher education and co-founded the Big 10 Academic Alliance Military & Veterans group to do the same across the Midwest.

Mr. Carrell is a retired Air Force Colonel, spending his career in Air Defense operations, education, and various base & HQ staff assignments. He holds multiple graduate degrees and completed his post-graduate fellowship at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He is very active with Veterans organizations and foundations across central Ohio and nationally, and is passionate about the mission of VCAS to benefit veterans through the human-animal bond. He is grateful for the opportunity to serve and make a difference in veteran’s lives.

Gary Mohler