The GO TEAM Board of Directors is a group of non-paid volunteers from a wide range of backgrounds. What do we share in common? We are all experienced therapy dog handlers and are all committed to supporting GO TEAM members around the country. To Email all of the Board please Click Me:
Steven Schlonski, USAF Retired – President
Steve is a native from upstate New York and settled in Colorado Springs following a 21-year career in the U.S. Air Force as a space operations officer and systems engineer. Today, Steve is a full-time systems engineer supporting the U.S. Air Force at Peterson Air Force Base. He holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in Mathematics and minor in Computer Science from Potsdam State University of New York and a Masters Aeronautical Science degree from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. He and his wife Lori joined Go Team in 2014 after teaching their female Yorkie-Poodle named Pepper. While Pepper made training easy early on, she has grown in popularity and demand for all ages alike and now keeps us very busy. We call her the “rock star” because once in a while she’ll be recognized in public and we here a shout from across the way in a high pitch “Hey look…it’s Pepper”. Pepper regularly works at a local psychiatric hospital and the East Branch of the Pikes Peak Library Paws to Read program. She is active in a myriad of other Go Team activities throughout the year when called upon to serve.
Debbie Griffin Vice-President
Debbie is a native of Minnesota (Minneapolis). She became a Colorado transplant when she attended University of Denver, earning a BA in Elementary Education. Debbie subsequently earned a Masters in Computer Education from Lesley University. She taught K-6 (primarily 5th and 6th grades) for 33 years. Debbie has been involved with figure skating for 56 years. For the last 40 years, she has been a member of the Broadmoor Skating Club and Denver FSC. She served as treasurer of the latter. Debbie has volunteered nationwide as a Senior/Gold/Sectional judge for singles, dance and pairs tests and competitions. Debbie and her husband, Rich, are both seasoned GO TEAM members, attending one of the first GO TEAM trainings in 2014. Their Golden-doodle, Brinkley, is a regular therapy dog at Paws to Read events and a local psychiatric hospital. And, of course, he does a lot of work at ice rinks, helping young skaters to calm nerves as they wait for skating tests or competitions. Debbie is eager to help the new GO TEAM nonprofit continue the good work of its predecessor.
Pam Nash – Treasurer
Pam brings a wealth of financial and accounting experience to the GO TEAM board of directors. She started early, at age 16, keeping books for a small business in Michigan. Pam went on to earn a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a concentration in accounting from Walsh College of Accountancy and Business Administration. She served as a police reserve officer with the Detroit Police Department and worked on the treasurer’s staff at General Motors. Since 1996, Pam has run her own business specializing in accounting and bookkeeping services for small businesses. Her expertise includes nonprofit work and encompasses everything from basic accounting and payroll services to more involved tax advice and financial business structuring. She has been an active volunteer and was one of the first handlers to go through GO TEAM training with her two English Yellow Labs, Ace and Bo. While they attend many GO TEAM events throughout the year, the IAFF Fallen Firefighters Memorial event and the Bob Telmosse Christmas Give-Away are must attend events for Pam and her dogs.
Carla Albers – Secretary
Carla comes to the board of directors as a long-time dog lover, experienced therapy dog handler, experienced nonprofit board member, and, as she likes to joke, a “recovering lawyer.” Her board experience started in 1986 when she and like-minded musicians formed a 501(c)(3) nonprofit community orchestra, the Pikes Peak Philharmonic. She was principal cellist for 26 years and served numerous terms on the board. Carla currently serves on the boards of a local business condo association and the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region (HSPPR). Long time Golden Retriever lovers, she and her husband, Mark (another GO TEAM member), currently have 3-yr-old Indiana Jones. Her grown children refer to him as the spoiled only child. GO TEAM training has given Carla, Mark, and Indy the skill set to volunteer in a wide array of settings. Indy’s strength is working with kids, whether at the local elementary school he visits each week, or crisis counseling sessions at schools when students have died, or when visiting cadets at the USAFA during finals stress busters week. Although not looking to add another board position to her plate, she is excited for the opportunity to help expand GO TEAM so others can experience the joy of therapy dog work.
Tim Abenroth – Director
Tim provides a varied background and useful expertise to the GO TEAM board. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Pastoral Ministries and Bible and Theology from Nazarene Bible College in 2017. He is currently pursing a Masters program in counseling through Colorado Christian University. Of particular help to GO TEAM is his experience in IT. Tim has over 20 years in the field and has owned his own computer consulting business since 2012. He is the person to thank for the wonderful new GO TEAM website. He will continue to work on it over the coming months as we add additional features to support our GO TEAM members. In addition to his IT experience, Tim brings significant nonprofit board experience to GO TEAM. His experience and “counseling” background make him an invaluable team member during board meetings. Tim was one of the very first members to undertake and pass GO TEAM training with his dog, Sissy, back in 2014. Although he is busy with GO TEAM volunteering, masters’ studies, and planning for his upcoming wedding, Tim committed to serving on the board of directors because he wants to support and expand GO TEAM training of dog/handler teams so they can impact the communities where they volunteer.
Bill Lehman – Director
Bill graduated from Colorado State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management. He was recruited out of college by a home improvement center and began a 15-year stint in the corporate world. As store manager, he was responsible for all aspects of the business: budgets, financial outcomes, hiring, firing. It was not unusual for him supervise a staff of 150. In 1999, Bill left corporate life and opened his own business, a fence construction company. For the last 18 years, he has been responsible for all aspects of running a small business. Bill first understood the power of therapy dog work when he took yellow lab, Sadie, to visit a family member in the hospital. While the family member clearly benefited from Sadie’s visits, Bill was unprepared for the reactions of other patients and visitors at the hospital. Time and again, he was stopped and asked if Sadie could come visit someone. Bill and Sadie are regular visitors a local psychiatric hospital. He loves the feedback and smiles on the faces from the patients and staff there. Although Bill’s business and volunteer activities keep him busy, he understands the power of therapy dog work and wants to use his business expertise to give back to GO TEAM through service on the board of directors.
Mary Podschweit – Director
My journey to GO TEAM was a bit out of the ordinary. I used to be very active in sports and coached volleyball for over 21 years (which I liked because I could yell at people!). I was a wife and mom of two beautiful girls. Then, on November 21, 2013, I suffered a pulmonary embolism. A blood clot from my sprained ankle traveled to my lungs. After coding three times, I showed no signs of life. My family was told I was most likely brain dead. I started showing signs of life on November 23, but I have no memory of anything until December 3rd, when I responded to my husband singing to me in the hospital. Since then, I have had to relearn pretty much everything. I was on a wait list for a service dog when we saw a beautifully behaved dog at the mall. We found out they trained at Sit Means Sit dog training. After talking to trainers there, Teddy came into our lives. I was still learning how to walk freely so initially, my husband did most of Teddy’s training. Then we met trainer Nancy Trepagnier. She insisted I work with Teddy so he would learn to go at my pace and follow my commands. From there, we progressed to GO TEAM training. Now I have a new purpose in life. Some of my favorite GO TEAM volunteering involves visiting universities and brain injury groups with my dual-purpose service/therapy dog. I am passionate about the GO TEAM because I know first-hand what a blessing it has been to me. I’m excited to be on the GO TEAM board and offer my unique perspective to this amazing group of volunteers.