About Us – Our Staff and Board Members

STAFF

Carey Bradshaw, Executive Director

Carey Bradshaw assumed the role of Executive Director for Therapy Dogs of Santa Barbara in 2023, following a nine-year tenure as a board member and volunteer. With a rich background in corporate management and organizational development through her business, Creative Butter, Bradshaw brings valuable expertise in program development, strategic planning, and community engagement. Her leadership is pivotal in broadening the organization’s influence and efficacy. Residing in Carpinteria, California with her family, Bradshaw remains an active therapy dog team volunteer alongside her Golden Retriever companion, Dandelion.

Karen Lee Stevens, Director of Wellness Programs

Karen Lee Stevens, the Founder and former Executive Director of Therapy Dogs of Santa Barbara, is a Santa Barbara native and has dedicated the past six years to teaching Mindfulness in local schools as part of the organization’s Wag Well program. Karen’s aim is to nurture self-awareness and emotional regulation skills in children, empowering them to navigate their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Through these teachings, Karen strives to cultivate empathy, kindness, and positive relationships, fostering a supportive and inclusive environment that nurtures social-emotional growth and encourages healthy communication among children. Karen continues to contribute as a volunteer with the organization, accompanied by her therapy dog, Buffy.

Jody Williams, Director of Development & Marketing

Residing in Solvang, Jody Williams brings a wealth of experience in nonprofits, event planning, social media, and marketing. She is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE), one of the highest certifications in the Nonprofit Development profession. Her background includes serving as the Assistant Director at The Elverhøj Museum in Solvang and currently holding the role of President & CEO of the Solvang School Education Foundation. With a deep-rooted passion for education and philanthropy, Jody brings an unwavering commitment to her role. Her affinity for dogs and the unique human-canine bond that positions them as our cherished companions further fuels her dedication. Jody’s Labrador Retriever, Sunny, is one of our therapy dogs and he loves visiting schools and organizations where he gets to interact with lots of people.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Aja Forner, Board President

Aja Forner serves as the Development Coordinator at Girls Inc. in Carpinteria, leveraging her expertise in nonprofit management and a deep commitment to nurturing the connection between humans and animals. With a strong background in strategic planning and community engagement, Aja plays a pivotal role in expanding the impact and reach of Therapy Dogs of Santa Barbara’s programs and services. Residing in Carpinteria with her family, she is currently training her one-year-old Poodle, Scout, to become a therapy dog.

Spencer Strom, Board Treasurer

Spencer Strom, a Sr. Regional Sales Manager at BEGA since February 1995, holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Marketing from California State University, Long Beach, graduating with honors. Apart from his professional role, Spencer, alongside his wife Kathy, volunteers with Therapy Dogs of Santa Barbara since June 2022, bringing their dog Cali to help fulfill TDSB mission to empower people to live more fulfilling lives through the human-animal bond. From 2002 to 2019, Spencer and Kathy actively participated in the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation, fostering puppies for training and becoming Lifetime Care Providers for two search dogs, inspiring their current involvement in therapy dog activities.

Lynne Bosnack, Board Secretary

Lynne Bosnack, Human Resources Director at Travelzoo, holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Relations from Syracuse University. Lynne, who shares her time between New York and California, recently joined the board of Therapy Dogs of Santa Barbara as Secretary. She looks forward to contributing to the success of an organization whose work inspires, teaches, and brings joy to the community, partners, and businesses they support.

Alexandra Benjamin, Board Member

Alexandra Benjamin, a Computer Analyst at the Santa Barbara Unified School District, held the position of Board Secretary for the past six years and is now a Board Member at large, dedicated to our mission and programs. Residing in Santa Barbara, she enjoys the company of her French bulldog, Winnie.

Kim Lieberman, Board Member

Kim Lieberman, a retired educator from the Chico Unified School District, has been a committed volunteer with our organization for the past decade. Throughout her involvement, she has consistently shown a steadfast commitment to fostering children’s literacy, mental health, wellness, and humane education in our community. Kim’s deep passion for supporting therapy animals and her unwavering dedication to community service perfectly align with the core values upheld by Therapy Dogs of Santa Barbara. Residing in Santa Barbara with her family, she actively volunteers alongside her Golden Retriever companion, Rogue.

Our Mission

To empower people to live more fulfilling lives through the human-animal bond.

Our Values

Empathy 

Empathy allows us to play a positive role in helping others become empowered to live more fulfilling lives and create a mission focused, dynamic organization for our board, staff, and volunteers. Our dedicated team members not only care about each other, we care deeply about the children and adults we serve in our community!

Integrity 

Our team believes in always being open, honest, and truthful in all our endeavors. Integrity is at the heart of everything we do and we are committed to building trust by saying what we mean, matching our behaviors to our words and taking responsibility for our actions.

Stewardship

Our staff and board of directors are dedicated to governing the organization with care and loyalty and doing our part to create a strong, vibrant community through our steadfast commitment to our constituents, our partners, and our donors.

Transparency

We know and understand our mission, vision, direction, and decisions and we freely share that information on our website and on financial reporting websites such as Guidestar.com.