Our Board of Directors

Angela Pearson, Board President

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Angela Pearson, CTFA, is a Senior Vice President and Senior Relationship Strategist with PNC Wealth Management.

She specializes in providing customized trust and estate administration for high net worth individuals and families as part of an overall personal wealth management strategy. She has over 22 years’ experience in the financial services industry.

Angela earned a paralegal certificate from St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley, a BS from the University of Missouri –St. Louis, and a MBA from Fontbonne University.

Angela received the Certified Trust and Financial Advisor (CTFA) designation, and is a graduate of Cannon Financial and Coro Women in Leadership.

She is active in the community where she serves on numerous planned giving advisory councils. She is an active member of the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis. Angela's served as the Chair of CHAMP's major fundraiser, Hooray for Howl-E-Woof Dog Pageant, in 2014, 2015, and 2016.

Angela enjoys spending time with her family, friends and her Shih-Tzu, Bo.

Bob Zangas, Board Vice President

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Bob Zangas is the president of Anchor Health Care. Bob has a BS degree from North Carolina State University and an MBA from the University of Missouri St. Louis. Bob worked for the Corning Glass Company for 15 years in Sales Management and as a department supervisor. Bob has 25 years’ experience as the owner of a Private Duty Home Care Agency.

Bob has been a member of the Rotary Club of St. Louis for twenty one years and served as the President of the Rotary from 2001-2002. In addition, Bob served as a Director for the William Proffitt Foundation for ten years, a six year board member of Memory Care Home Solutions and has been an active member of the West St. Louis Chamber of Commerce for two years.

Diane Buhr, Board Secretary

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Diane Buhr is the Executive Director of the Special Education Foundation. During the past ten years, under Diane’s direction, the Foundation has grown from an annual budget of $40,000 to $500,000 and increased its outreach from minimal scholarships and summer camps to major programs and services for students with disabilities. Today, the Foundation reaches more than 5,000 children and youth with disabilities through its programs.

Diane attended the University of Arizona and received a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Pathology and received a Master of Science in Communication Disorders from St. Louis University plus 30 graduate hours in education, administration and communication.

Diane has always been very active in the community. A few of her activities include: Leadership St. Louis, Class of 1991, she served as the President of the Missouri School Public Relations Association and Commissioner of St. Louis County Human Rights Commission, St. Louis Congressional Awards Committee, the president of the board of Easter Seals, and served the United Way Allocations Committee and other committees and board positions.

Diane is pictured here with her beloved Havanese, Bentley.

Anne Phelps, Board Treasurer

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Anne Phelps is a Certified Public Accountant working at BDO USA, LLC. She serves as a Senior Manager in the Core Tax Services and Wealth Advisory Departments where she works on individual income tax planning and compliance, wealth advisory client relationship management and portfolio monitoring. Prior to joining BDO, Anne worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers and Stone Carlie. She earned her Bachelor Degree in Accounting and Masters of Accountancy from the University of Missouri - Columbia.

In addition to working with CHAMP, Anne has served on United Way Allocation Panels in the past. She enjoys spending her free time with her husband, baby boy Miles and Boston Terrier, Gus.

Jillian Anderson, Board Member

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Jillian Anderson is Chief Attorney for Policy & Development and Chief of Sex Crimes & the Child Abuse Unit, St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

As a prosecutor in St. Charles County and formerly in St. Louis City, Ms. Anderson’s career has focused on special victim unit prosecution in the areas of sex crimes, crimes against children and domestic violence. She is an adjunct faculty at St. Louis University Law School teaching Trial Advocacy I and Advanced Trial Advocacy. Ms. Anderson received her Bachelor of Arts from Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida in 1996. She received her Juris Doctor from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. in 2001. Ms. Anderson also worked in private practice for law firms in St. Louis and the Washington, D.C. area, during which time she litigated cases in a wide range of practice areas including employment discrimination, civil rights, contract disputes, premises liability and product liability.

Ms. Anderson lives in St. Charles County with her husband Rick and their two children. Ms. Anderson’s involvement with CHAMP Assistance Dogs began through a partnership to develop a courthouse dog program for St. Charles County. The courthouse dog program provides highly-trained and selected facility dogs to provide comfort and support to sexually and physically abused children involved in the criminal justice system. CHAMP’s courthouse dog initiative is a profound positive step in minimizing the trauma of these children.

Geraldine Auger, Board Member

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Gerry joined the Board in April 2016. She retired in June 2013 after a 35 year career in Human Resources, most recently as Vice President, Global HR Programs for Energizer Holdings, Inc. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University.

Gerry also served as a Board member for the Humane Society of Missouri and Support Dogs, Inc. where she was a member of the Development Committee. She and her therapy dog Trudy spent 7 years visiting hospice patients and skilled nursing facility residents across the area. Gerry is pictured with her German Shepherd, Max.

Nola Ewers, Board Member

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Nola Ewers received her B.S. degree in Engineering Management from the University of Missouri - Rolla. She has volunteered with several organizations serving children and adults with disabilities since 1988. She left the Boeing Company after 16 years in the Business Management group to devote her time to CHAMP.

Nola is an active volunteer at CHAMP. She is Director of our Assistance Dog Program, makes numerous presentations to businesses, social, and civic organizations, helps teach therapy dog class (with Education Dog Deja), and particularly enjoys working with the offender-trainers at our prison program in Vandalia, MO as well as our students who are preparing for the arrival of their own service or facility dogs. Nola and Facility Dog Jersey (pictured here) help comfort young victims of abuse in forensic interviews, or when they testify against their abuser in court.

She is a Founding Member of CHAMP Assistance Dogs, and a past president of our Board of Directors.

Lucie Hughes, Board Member

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Lucie Hughes is a community volunteer who joined the CHAMP Board of Directors in 2015. Lucie has been active on special events committees, served as a sponsor for Hooray for Howl-e-Woof and wants to make a difference in the lives of people with disabilities. Lucie is pictured here with her two Labrador retrievers. She is very devoted to their care and well-being and is very supportive of the CHAMP mission.

Jennifer Kuehnle, Board Member

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Special Programs Coordinator & Instructional Specialist at eMINTS National Center.

Jennifer is an educator who instructs teachers on new classroom technology and techniques. She has a Masters of Ed, Special Education with Focus on Autism, and Masters of Ed, Educational Technology. Jennifer’s expertise has helped CHAMP staff and volunteers better understand autism and other disabilities, plus she’s used her instructional expertise to enliven the less exciting portions (rules and regulations) of our therapy dog classes, gaining the unending thanks of both students and staff.

Jennifer is also a service dog user, and is partnered with CHAMP Public Access Service Dog Woody.

John Marbarger, M.D., Board Member

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Dr. Marbarger recently retired as the Chairman of Cardio-Thoracic Surgical Services at Mercy Hospital and as the Physician Liaison for the Mercy Health Foundation. Dr. Marbarger serves on the Mercy Health Foundation Board, the Enterprise Bank Medical Advisory Board and on the Board of Care and Counseling.

TUG is a “selfie” retirement present and was named after a boat seen on Lake Michigan in Door County. His “mother” Sharon, believes that at one year, he is showing great potential to be a master paper shredder. MILLIE, TUG’S adopted sister is a ball of energy and supports the concept that TWO is better than ONE!

Jill Vallow, Board Member

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Jill Vallow is a community volunteer and "dog person" extraordinaire, who was "born with dogs" and has had them every moment of her life, to date, four Dachshunds, five Border Collies, three Brittany Spaniels, two Beagles, a German Shorthair Pointer, a Miniature Poodle, and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Currently her pack includes Oliver, a Havanese, Stewart, a Beagle-Sheltie mix and her CHAMP Therapy Dog Newman, a Labrador Retriever.

Jill and Newman graduated from the CHAMP Therapy Dog classic 2013. She immediately organized a CHAMP Booth for a community event in Edwardsville and has given her heart and considerable energy and creative talent over to CHAMP ever since. She and Newman make therapy visits to Mercy Heart Hospital, SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center, Six Mile Regional Library in Granite City and the Edwardsville Public Library; and are active in the CHAMP Educational Program.

Jill and her husband Mark live in Edwardsville, very happily near their daughter Ellie, son Adam and daughter-in-law Katie and adorable grandson, Rhett.