Dr. Guillermo Couto , President
Dr. Couto, internal medicine and oncology board-certified veterinarian recently retired from the Oncology/Hematology Service at the Veterinary Medical Center at The Ohio State University (OSU), has worked with Greyhounds and other sighthounds for over two decades, since adopting Clyde, his first hound, from the Wheeling racetrack. In 2004, Dr. Couto launched the OSU Greyhound Health and Wellness Program (OSUGHWP), creating an outreach and teaching effort that incorporated basic elements of shelter medicine.
Since then, Dr. Couto has been actively involved and dedicated to improving the health of sighthounds through education, and clinical research. To date, he has published more than 35 peer-reviewed articles on sighthound health. After his retirement from OSU, Dr. Couto helped establish the GHI to carry on the support and services provided by the OSUGHWP and to continue to improve sighthound health and education.
Brian Collins, Executive Director
Brian has 20+ years of diverse experience ranging from working as an independent contractor in the design field, B2C Marketing, and Business Intelligence. Brian’s unusual skillset includes: project management; budget creation, auditing and balancing; creative problem solving; developmental leadership with experience focusing diverse teams on a common goal. Brian regularly volunteers with Habitat for Humanity and The Cuyahoga Valley National Park Service and has been involved with the greyhound community since he and his wife adopted their first greyhound, Nellie, in 2002. Likewise, he has been involved with OSUGHWP since they lost her to osteosarcoma just a few years later.
Kristy Morris, Treasurer
Kristy holds a B.S. in Accounting and Finance from Indiana University, Kelly School of Business and has been working at Ernst and Young for the last decade. She has three greyhounds, Quest, Daville and Riley.
Heidi Peditto, Secretary
Heidi first fell in love with greyhounds in 1998 when attending a local pet expo fair and saw a few greyhounds at an adoption booth. Shortly thereafter, she welcomed her first greyhound “Tigger” into her home. Since then, Heidi has been owned by 5 retired racers over the last 19 years. “Rydell” is her current one, adopting him in September 2014, after he had a successful racing career.
Heidi has worked full time as an administrative assistant/secretary in various corporate environments for over 20 years. She recently retired from working full time to now working part time as a church administrative assistant. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering for Greyhound Adoption of Ohio, visiting a local nursing home and an assisted living facility doing therapy dog visits with Rydell, walking the dogs at her local dog pound, and continuing her other love – horses — by riding at a local horse farm. She was blessed to have owned an off-the-track Thoroughbred for 21 years.
Heidi continues her passion for greyhounds by learning and researching everything about them, educating people about the breed and promoting adoption..
Tina Kelly, Director of Events & Marketing
Tina has been involved with greyhounds as a supporter in one form or another since 2002. She adopted her first two greyhounds in 2003. In 2010 she wanted to place more focus and awareness on the Greyhound Health & Wellness and the Greyhound Community as a whole, so she co-founded Greyhound Trust & Alliance with her best friend and has sat as President since the launch. In past years she has been a Board member, Vice President, Fundraising coordinator, assisted in planning events and raise funds (Auctions). She has also owned and operated Happy Houndz Home, Greyhound Sitting Service for the last 7+ years. She has been owned by 9 greyhounds and currently has 4, Ducati, Royce, Measure & Jazz.
Janet Shaffer, Programs and Fundraising Director
Janet started Hope for Hounds in 2004 after discovering her greyhound Foxy had cancer. Hope for Hounds has raised a significant amount of money to raise awareness and funds for research on cancer in greyhounds. Janet also owns her own greyhound jewelry business, Casual Bling, and vends at greyhound functions where she meets and talks to many hound parents about Hope for Hounds and now The Greyhound Health Initiative. Janet is a former board member of Greyhound Supporters of the National Capital, Canada (GSNCR). Janet has been owned by greyhounds since 1999, and currently has 3.
Leslie Glynn, Manager of Communications and Public Relations
Now retired, Leslie worked 30+ years as an RN in Neurology and Neurosurgery acute and intensive care setting. She has worked as a volunteer with Greyhound adoption groups for 10 years and has had Greyhounds in her family since 1996 with her first actually coming from the UK. She has always been interested in the healthcare concerns of Sighthounds.
Suzie Collins, Creative Coordinator
Suzie has been the owner/artist at Skinny Hound Designs since she founded it in 2005. She is an accomplished illustrator and designer and produces a wide variety of merchandising and marketing material: decals, signs, magnets, banners (printed and online), illustrations, commercial signage, brochures, ads, etc. Prior to starting Skinny Hound Designs, Suzie worked 15 years as a designer for the largest commercial sign company in Cleveland, OH, where she regularly saw a project through from concept to completion. Currently, almost 90% of her art revolves around retired racing greyhounds, from product design to logos and marketing material for adoption groups. Suzie even created the logo design for The Greyhound Health Initiative.
Rachael Parrow, Program Director
Rachael grew up a military kid. The lifestyle of a military dependent has afforded her the ability live all over the globe and experience a variety of cultures and people. Rachael landed in Indiana with her extended family and still lives there today. Fast forward to 2009; introduction to Greyhounds. Upon adopting their first greyhound, Cody, Rachael and her husband Nate were introduced to the intriguing world of the retired racing greyhound. With that addition to the family it kicked open the door to a breed that they didn’t know much about and became instantly hooked. Determined to know more about the breed they began fostering as a family and quickly became more involved with the adoption group they adopted Cody from. Since then she has been a foster home to nearly 50 greyhounds, been an adoption group board member,committee volunteer for annual fundraisers, assists with in-home adoptions, and also volunteered on the committee for the Greyt Escape. Rachael is owned by 7 greyhounds: Isabella, Atom, Sally, Blackjack, Evan, Fannie and Anchor.
Courtney Kindler & Mandy Albert, Blood Bank Technicians
Courtney and Mandy have over 30 years of cumulative experience as veterinary technicians and they put that knowledge to good use running the daily operations of our blood bank; from drawing blood to shipping orders and from negotiating with vendors to making sure our donor dogs are spoiled rotten every minute they’re in our care. They are the heart and soul of The Greyhound Health Initiative’s Blood Bank.
Mitch Shaheen, Fundraising Advisor
A former registered stock and commodity futures trader, Mitch has been a private dealer of high quality modern and contemporary art for over 40 years. He has adopted 16 greyhounds, many with special needs, over the past 20 years and has made extensive fundraising efforts for greyhound adoption groups, animal rescue organizations and The LAM Foundation, a health organization to assist women in the fight against a debilitating lung disease. He is a co-founder of The Barkley Pet Hotel of Cleveland, Ohio and an active early investor in pet and art related companies
Freya Shoffner, Counsel
A graduate of Mt. Holyoke College and Suffolk University, Attorney Shoffner has been providing legal services to businesses and non-profit organizations for over twenty years.