Dr. William Perkins – Chairman of the Board
Dr. William D. (Bill) Perkins serves as the Chairman of the Board for Patriot PAWS. After graduating with a Ph.D. from the University of Washington (Seattle), he did his postdoctoral fellowship and faculty appointment in pathology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Perkins’ expertise in oncology and clinical medicine led him to several senior leadership positions in global pharmaceutical companies through the years. He is now retired from the healthcare industry, living in Texas and devoting his time to Patriot PAWS.
Lori Stevens – Founder and Executive Director of Patriot PAWS
Ms. Stevens has more than 20 years of dog-training experience, an entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for helping others; Lori Stevens became the founder and Executive Director of Patriot PAWS. Since 2006 when the organization was founded, Stevens has provided numerous disabled veterans with dogs trained to fit and assist their needs. She has also partnered with the TDCJ to train prison inmates to train these service dogs. Before Patriot PAWS, Stevens was the owner of Country K9 Academy. She is a graduate of the Karen Pryor Academy and has also had experience working at THSD, PETCO, and Lone Star Assistance Dogs. Along with being a certified pet dog trainer, her attendance and participation in numerous workshops truly shows how dedicated Stevens is to these animals and the people receiving help from them.
Mike L. Kovar – Treasurer
Mike graduated cum laude from Texas State University in 1984 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. Following graduation he worked for the Big 4 accounting firm Ernst & Young for five years in both their Houston and Dallas offices, specializing in auditing. Subsequent to this, he has served over twenty-three years in the private sector, the last twelve at Fossil, Inc. where he is currently the company’s Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer. His responsibilities include oversight of the company’s global financial, compliance and investor relations functions. Mike is a registered Certified Public Accountant and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants. Mike also serves on the Board of Directors of Fritz Industries, a private company based in Mesquite, Texas. Mike and his lovely wife, Jana, have two daughters, Kyleigh and Kaity. Mike enjoys watching and participating in all sports, hunting and fishing, the beach and spending time with his three lovely girls.
William R. Cecil – Board Member
Bill Cecil served 6 years as Mayor from May 2005 until May 2011 after serving 5 years on the Rockwall City Council. Bill currently serves on several boards to include the Alliance for the Arts, Patriot Paws and the Rockwall Rotary Club. He continues to dedicate a great deal of time supporting the Arts and Historic Preservation in our community. He retired from the Air Force Reserves in December 2002 as a Lieutenant Colonel after 38+ years of regular and reserve service. He also retired in June 2005 from the Department of Defense as Deputy Commander of the Defense Contract Management Office at Bell Helicopter after 32 years with the Defense Contract Management Agency. He is a graduate of Langston University and majored in Business and Administrative Management as well as post graduate credit from the Defense Systems Management College in defense systems management. Bill and Becky celebrated their forty-sixth wedding anniversary in June 2011. They are the proud parents of Renee, Jack and daughter-in-law Angela, and have two grand children, Garrett and Rylie.
Clay Rankin – Board Member
Clay Rankin joined the U.S. Army in 1979 as a military police officer. During his distinguished career with the Army, he was deployed in both the Gulf War and Operation Iraqi Freedom; he has received several accommodations, including the Bronze Star for Valor. In the civilian sector security and law enforcement, Clay was awarded and presented the Medal of Valor by the city of Northglenn, CO. Throughout his career he has continued his education to include a Masters Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Colorado and more recently he attended the Entrepreneurial Boot Camp for Veterans with Disabilities at Florida State University.In 2008 after medically retiring from the military, Clay Rankin began a new chapter in his life as an Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2) Advocate. As an advocate, Clay utilized his leadership and team-building skills to provide personalized support to severely wounded, injured and ill soldiers and their families. As a severely wounded soldier himself, Clay knows what soldiers and families need and how to help them get it. With assistance from his service dog, Harley, Clay has discovered that having a disability does not impact his ability to help others.In August 2010, Clay Rankin left his position as an Army Wounded Warrior Advocate and has since focused his energies on volunteering with numerous non-profit organizations throughout the United States that focus on serving the Wounded Warrior population. Serving his military brothers and sisters by identifying services and devices to make disabled veterans safe so they can still be productive members of society is important to Clay. Helping them to realize that although they may be severely injured, their lives are not over, they can continue living full lives.
Dr. Rhonda Phillips Black – Board Member
As the owner of Country Friends Veterinary Clinic in Royse City, Texas since 1996, Dr. Rhonda has cared for the dogs of Patriot Paws since the organization’s beginning. She is a perfect fit for this board. She has known Lori for over 20 years and continues to care for the assistance dogs as they progress through the program. Dr Phillips graduated from Oklahoma State University School of Veterinary Medicine. Along with Patriot PAWS, she has served over 12 years with the Royse City Independent School Board, serves on the Royse City ISD Education Foundation Board, and the City of Royse City Animal Shelter/Control Board. She is a member of the First United Methodist Church of Royse City and volunteers with the youth ministries. Dr. Phillips is also a member of the American Animal Hospital Association, the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Texas Veterinary Medical Association. She is married to Pete and has 3 children, Ryon, Colby and Maggie.
David Margulies – Board Member
David Margulies has been at the forefront of some of the major issues facing business, government agencies and non-profits since founding The Margulies Communications Group in 1986. He was the spokesperson and managed worldwide media relations when Oprah Winfrey was sued by Texas cattle interests. He has also managed media relations for a number of other high-profile cases, including litigation by Anna Nicole Smith against his clients, the heirs to the estate of the late J. Howard Marshall II.David and his team of professionals at The Margulies Communications Group also help clients build their businesses with positive media stories, innovative marketing programs, community involvement and cause marketing.
Elaine Ford – Board Member
Elaine Ford is a CPA professional skilled in the acquisition, development and management of residential assets. Her professional experience includes Vice President, Hillwood Communities where she manages investments in master planned, mixed use residential developments and Controller, Hillwood Communities where she manages and reports on the financial position of the Hillwood Communities Division. Elaine also has extensive experience serving on other Board of Directors in the community.
Randy Chambers – Board Member
Randy Chambers is VP, Regional Operations for Petco Animal Supplies, Inc. Randy has more than 40 years of retail management experience. Since joining Petco in January 2008, Randy has been responsible for overseeing retail operations for Petco in the Southwest Region which encompasses eight states and Puerto Rico. Randy and his wife, Debbie, have two grown daughters and live in Garland, TX. Randy is the proud pet parent of a standard poodle named Elvis and a cat named Tiger.