Board of Directors
Melissa Simko – President
Melissa was an SAP ERP consultant and currently owns multiple Sit Means Sit franchises. Her passion for working with dogs began at a very early age, working alongside her father. Melissa is an AKC Evaluator. Her devotion is in tracking missing canines, with her dogs. Together, they have brought home numerous lost dogs. Melissa was an independent Therapy Dog Handler for many years and her passion is Alzheimer units and Hospice. She shares her home with Loki, FaRook and FarZen, which are all Leonbergers. Ekko is a Long Haired Shepherd, with whom she trained and tested for the GO TEAM in 2016. She also has a Belgian Malinois named Taboo. Melissa continuously expands her dog training knowledge and is eager to help the GO TEAM flourish.
Kendra Amidon-Sanford – Vice-President
Kendra’s journey to the GO Team comes from her passion to give back and serve others. She is a native of Colorado, who, in 1990 earned a BA in Secondary Education from Adams State College and is an AKC Evaluator. Kendra is a dog lover who has had many special dogs throughout her life. Professionally, Kendra is a strong leader with 23 years of diversified learning and development experience that includes people management, training delivery, eLearning, and site start up. She is skillful in building high performing teams and developing/ maintaining strong partnerships with key stakeholders. She handles 2 GO TEAM dogs (Hope and Harmony) and coordinates GO TEAM events for the Southern California Coastal region.
Heather Becker – Treasurer
Dr. Heather Becker is a Nebraska native. She earned a B.S. in Veterinary Science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and earned a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine. from Kansas State University. She is currently employed full time as an associate emergency veterinarian at Animal ER Care, located in Colorado Springs, Colorado. In addition, she is co-owner of Animal Emergency Medical Training, which provides small animal first aid and CPR training to firefighters, first responders, police K9 units, search and rescue teams, dog boarding facilities, and pet owners (her Go Team dog Mercy is a co-trainer; she is the demonstration dog for taking vital signs and practicing bandage placement!) Heather appreciates the opportunity to donate her time and expertise to the Board to support The Go Team’s Mission.
Brittany Bobak – Secretary
Brittany graduated from the University of Oregon with a Bachelor of Science in business administration, with a concentration in sports management. Her schooling led her to work in the Olympic Movement. While working at USA Hockey, she led the Club Excellence program. Club Excellence is an online platform designed to provide youth hockey organizations with tools and resources to govern their organization while providing athletes with age-appropriate programming. She now works to support to the strategic initiatives of the US Olympic Committee. Brittany was introduced to the Go Team while training her dog Stinson, an eighty-five pound pointer mix who loves to play Frisbee and go swimming.
Tim Abenroth – Director
Tim 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. Tim has over 20 years in the field and has owned his own computer consulting business since 2012. In addition to his IT experience, Tim brings significant nonprofit board experience to GO TEAM. Tim was one of the very first members to undertake and pass GO TEAM training with his dog, Sissy, back in 2014. Tim wants to support and expand GO TEAM training of dog/handler teams so they can impact the communities where they volunteer.
Debbie Griffin – Director
Debbie 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 with their Golden-doodle, Brinkley. Debbie served as Board Vice President, Apr 2018-Mar 2019.
Claudine Shank – Director
Claudine Shank is a decades long Colorado resident with a BS in Nursing and an MS in Nurse Anesthetist; she holds a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) credential, and uses her education and experience to give back to her community. Along with working as a CRNA, Claudine holds a variety of additional roles and responsibilities as well. She is Girl Scout Troop Leader; a Team Manager for a competitive soccer team; a school volunteer; and ,of course, she spends the rest of her volunteer time with the GO TEAM.
Steven Schlonski, President (Apr 2018-Jun 2019)
Pam Nash – Treasurer (Apr 2018-Mar 2019)
Carla Albers – Secretary (Apr 2018-Mar 2019)
Bill Lehman – Director (Apr 2018-Mar 2019)
Mary Kaye Podschweit – Director (Apr 2018-Mar 2019)