PresidentKirk was born and raised in Fort Collins, Colorado and received a BA in Environmental Engineering and is a graduate of the Global Social Sustainable Enterprise (GSSE) MBA program from Colorado State University. Kirk was project manager for Engineer’s Without Borders for a program in rural El Salvador for two years working with Rotary International and various government agencies to bring water treatment, capacity, and distribution to a village of over 500 people and is still an active member.Kirk’s passion for Animal House Rescue began several years ago with the adoption of Karma, formerly Beverly, and he has always looked for an opportunity to give back. When not backpacking with Karma, or traveling, Kirk can be found working for a small manufacturing company with a focus on growth and management. He plans to utilize his skills to help Animal House achieve its mission while strategically planning for the future.
Born and raised in Wisconsin, Jenna graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a BA in History, Religious Studies, and Classical Studies and from UW-Milwaukee with an MS in Nonprofit Management. Jenna works for the Boys & Girls Club of Larimer County as the Director of Development & Marketing. She also enjoys work as a QuizMaster for Geeks Who Drink, volunteers with Fort Collins Cat Rescue, is a member of the Larimer Chorale, a member of Kiwanis in Fort Collins and a graduate of Leadership Fort Collins (class of 2015-2016).
She has an amazing border collie, Monty, who takes her hiking each weekend, and a goofy cat, Calliope, who is the best snuggler. She loves to read, travel, is a vegetarian, crossfitter, and her favorite thing to do is visit her adorable niece and nephew, Sommer and Ericson, in Minneapolis.
Joellen’s inspiration to become part of the board for Animal House began with the adoption of Tony, a rescue Lhasa Apso. Since then, she has firmly believed that every dog deserves the chance to find a forever home and experience unconditional love. As a marketing professional, Joellen has extensive experience with campaign development, branding, copywriting, and messaging strategy. She uses these skills to help Animal House increase community awareness so they can give more dogs like Tony a second chance at a lifetime of love.
Having grown up in Georgia, Joellen fell in love with Colorado as a student studying marketing at Colorado State University. It was in Fort Collins that she met her husband, Sean, and ever since the couple has been happily soaking up the high-altitude sunshine, cycling, skiing, and golfing in their free time. She has had a life-long love for dogs, and currently two complete their family: Tony and America, also a Lhasa Apso.
Dilara Kiran received her B.S. in Biology from The College of William & Mary in Virginia and moved to Fort Collins in July of 2014 to begin the combined degree DVM/Ph.D. program at Colorado State University (CSU). In August of that year, she came across the Animal House booth at New West Fest where she immediately signed up to become a volunteer. Little did she know that she would adopt one of Animal Houses long-term residents, Tanner, two months later! It was through Dilaras adoption of Tanner that she saw the dedication of Animal Houses staff and volunteers. She quickly progressed from walking dogs to leading outreach events and mentoring new volunteers.
In 2017, when the opportunity arose to apply for the Board of Directors, Dilara jumped at the chance to continue to use her passion, drive, and commitment to further Animal Houses mission. Dilara is active in her graduate school and veterinary school communities, serving on a variety of conference organizing committees, task forces, and search committees. She currently holds leadership positions within the Graduate Women in Science Northern Colorado Chapter, CSU Student American Veterinary Medical Association Executive Board, Microbiology, Immunology, Pathology Graduate Student Organization, and is an active ambassador, peer tutor, and orientation leader for the DVM program. In her free time, Dilara enjoys playing the French horn in community ensembles and attends weekly Fort Collins board game meet-ups. Dilara is extremely excited to bring her skills to the Board and help Animal House grow in its new home!
Meredith began her career with Animal House in the trenches. She was enjoying her role as a dog walker and canine coach when she met Dora, an abandoned Border Collie. As a renowned dog trainer says, you do not get the dog you want, you get the dog you need. The needs of Dora catapulted her interest in all things rescue dogs, includingjoining the Board of Directors.
A Denver native, Meredith attended the University of Colorado and received a degree in Psychology. She returned to graduate school at Pace University in New York where she earned her Masters of Nursing. She practiced as a Family Nurse Practitioner for 20 years. Thinking real estate would give her more spare time (not), she has worked for The Group Inc. for the last 12 years.
Meredith helped coordinate the Rescues for Retirees program consisting of Animal Housealum dogs and their owners. This dedicated group of dogs and their owners went through a 6-week training class to prepare them to pass Pet Partner exam. This testing allowed them to be clearedto visit venues requesting dogs to help cheer up, teach, and support others whose lives are enhanced by the love and attention of a dog. This program continues so please contact her if you are interested!
Wendy grew up in small town in Illinois. Never allowed to have a family dog, Wendy “adopted” all of the stray dogs in her hometown (much to the dismay of her mother). It wasn’t until she moved to Colorado that she became a proud dog owner of her first four-legged love, Lexi. She said it was not love at first sight because she was mourning the loss of anotherdog (through the end of a relationship) when a friend took her to a local animal shelter. She came home with a 10-week-old puppy and you could not separate them if you tried!Wendy started volunteering at Animal House in 2011. Wanting to do more, she became a Board member in November 2015. Wendy hopes to bring to Animal House her varied experience in sales and finance. She currently works as a Financial Advisor at Edward Jones. She wants everyone to have the opportunity to experience the unconditional love that only a dog provides, and a rescue dog makes it all that more special!