Board of Directors

Nola Ewers, Board President
Nola 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.

In addition to her involvement in long-range planning, fundraising, and public relations for CHAMP, Nola is an active volunteer. She and (Retired) Education/Therapy Dog Sere participated in both Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) and Animal-Assisted Activities (AAA) in a number of locations in the community. Currently, Nola and Education/Therapy Dog Moe make numerous presentations to schools, businesses, social, and civic organizations, and enjoy working with our students who are preparing for the arrival of their own service dogs.

Nola is a Founding Member of CHAMP, and is a member of our Friends Group.

Martin Walsh, Vice-President
Marty received his undergraduate degree, magna cum laude, from Saint Louis University’s John Cook School of Business with a Double Major in Economics and Finance. He received his law degree, and a Dual Concentration in Business Transactions and Taxation, from Saint Louis University School of Law. Martin is admitted to practice law in California, Nevada and Missouri.

Martin’s legal practice encompasses a broad range of corporate legal services, including a thorough understanding of a transaction’s underlying business, tax and economic arrangements. Martin often serves in an advisory capacity, guiding entrepreneurs from concept to formation, financing, growth through mergers and acquisitions, operation and exit strategies. Martin’s practice has spanned the country, with a specific focus on venture capital, private equity and emerging growth companies in Silicon Valley and beyond. In addition, Martin serves on the advisory boards of various other technology companies.

Away from practice, Marty enjoys spending time with his wife and three boys.

Diane Buhr, Board Secretary
Diane 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
Anne is a Certified Public Accountant working at Stone Carlie & Company, L.L.C., a St. Louis-based accounting, business consulting and wealth advisory firm. She serves as a Manager in the Tax and Wealth Advisory areas where she works on individual income tax planning and compliance, wealth advisory client relationship management and portfolio monitoring. Prior to joining Stone Carlie, Anne worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers. She earned her Bachelor Degree in Accounting and Masters of Accountancy from the University of Missouri – Columbia.

In addition to being a Board Member of C.H.A.M.P. Anne is a member of the United Way Early Childhood and Education Allocation Panel. She enjoys spending her free time with her fiancé and Boston terrier, Gus.

Karen Felton, Board Member, has had a varied career centering on her interests in children and animals. Ms. Felton studied art and also received training in animal care while working full-time and attending the University of Kansas.

Karen is an active and supportive leader, having worked as a motivational speaker for Weight Watchers for six years before resigning because of a chronic degenerative neurological disease. She continues her involvement in the community through her role as a spokesperson for C.H.A.M.P. Assistance Dogs, Inc., and as a Sunday School teacher.

Karen is a service dog user. She and Public Access Service Dog Gidget have been partners since January 2002.

Lon Lowrey, RPh, Board Member, is a retired Director, State and External Affairs for Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation. He and his wife Cher graduated from our 2010 Therapy Dog class with their Golden Retriever Mr. R.I.P. (a rescue, found in a cemetery, hence the name) and from our 2011 Therapy Dog Class with their gorgeous Basset-Yorkshire Terrier Fergie. Lon, Cher, and RIP visit nursing homes and hospitals across the area and also visit at a hospice in Illinois.

Lon is a very active CHAMP volunteer and has helped with numerous CHAMP events, including representing CHAMP at speaking engagements, presentations, events and fundraisers. Lon is also an active volunteer with the USO and the Asthma and Allergy Foundation.

Jennifer Kuehnle is a Board member and a CHAMP client. She taught elementary/middle school for 15 years in University City before joining eMINTS (Enhancing Missouri’s Instructional Networked Teaching Strategies) where she has developed strategies and materials to assist classroom teachers in creating classroom learning communities where team work and real world problem solving combine to develop life long learners. She now specializes in bringing special needs students into the classroom as valued learning partners.

Jennifer has a Masters degree in Instructional Technology from the University of Missouri in Columbia and a Masters degree in Special Education with the focus in Autism.

Angela Pearson, Board Member
Angela Pearson is a Vice President and Director of Trust and Estate Service with BMO Private Bank. Angela 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 joined BMO Private Bank in 2011 and has had 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.

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

Bob Zangas, Board Member
Bob 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.