Board of Directors
Julie Walters, President
Julie Walters is an enthusiastic believer in the human-animal bond. She met Rick Yount when he initially sought to establish WCC in the metropolitan area. She quickly offered support to promote WCC’s goals to use canine therapies and service dog training to promote mental and physical recoveries for veterans. Her family includes a brother and two nephews who are retired military pilots.
Julie works with the ASPCA, supports the PAWS Sanctuary in California and the South Florida SPCA for domestic horse rescue and rehabilitation. Julie is also allied with the Natural Resources Defense Council to promote environmental protection and restoration of the natural world. She worked to establish an annual prize for environmental activism at Dickinson College to expand public awareness of the pressing need to protect the world we inhabit and all the creatures that share this world.
Earl Strimple, DVM, Vice President
Dr. Earl Strimple is a pioneer in the field of Animal Assisted Therapy. During his three decades of successful veterinary practice in Washington, D.C., he founded People Animals Love (PAL), an animal therapy foundation that brings the healing power of the human-animal bond to people at nursing homes, mental health facilities, hospitals, libraries and schools. In addition, PAL offers year-round, after-school and summer enrichment to lower-income children living in Southeast D.C.
Joshua Stueve, Secretary
Joshua Stueve is a Senior Communications Advisor and Spokesman at the U.S. Department of Justice. From 2014 to 2021, Stueve was the Director of Public Affairs at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA). From 2010 to 2014, Stueve served as the Public Affairs Officer for the National Intrepid Center of Excellence at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Stueve served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1998-2007, spending five years as an infantryman and four years in public affairs. He is a proud graduate of Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, Camp Lejeune’s School of Infantry, the Defense School of Information, and The Ohio State University. Stueve is the proud father of three daughters and lives in Old Town Alexandria with his wife and their spoiled rotten dog, Amos.
Terrie Bates is President of Water Resources Consulting, Inc., which provides environmental and water resource professional consulting services on local, state, and federal planning initiatives. Prior to that, she spent 35 years as an executive manager for the South Florida Water Management District working on environmental restoration, water quality improvement, water supply protection and flood control operations. Terrie holds a Bachelor of Science in Forest Resources & Conservation from the University of Florida with a major in Wildlife Ecology and an MPA from Florida Atlantic University. Terrie was an early supporter of Warrior Canine Connection, discovering the organization through explore.org and the Holly Half Dozen live cam. She was a founding member of the Extreme Puppy Watchers (EPWs), the nationwide, grassroots support group for WCC and regularly assists in organizing EPW events and fundraisers. She is the proud Puppy Parent for former WCC service dogs-in-training Captain and Piccone and is currently raising WCC’s Jane.
Rosemarie Kraus is the breeder caretaker of WCC’s Megan from the Welcome Home litter. Rosemarie was born and raised in Chicago, attended Marquette University and received her degree in marketing from Loyola University. She, with her husband and partners, founded Mission BBQ. They have three grown children and live in Ellicott City, Maryland.
Lawrence V. McBean
Larry McBean is the director of the Medical Technology Team at Peduzzi Associates, Ltd., where he utilizes a broad background in military medical operations, Federal logistics and procurement, medical device integration and legislative affairs on behalf of the firm’s clients. His experience with medical research and development, as well as Combat Casualty Care, spanned nearly three decades of Federal Government service. Larry completed military service as a Combat/Flight Medic/Cardiac Tech in 1998 with the U.S. Army Medical Department and holds a B.S. in Health Care Administration and an M.S. in Health Care Management. Larry is an active member of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) and sits on the National Defense Industrial Association’s (NDIA) Homeland Security Executive Board. He is also a recipient of the Stockholm Challenge Medical award and Order of Military Medical Merit, Army Medical Department. He is a Lifetime member of the Dustoff Association (Army MEDEVAC association).
Spencer Milo is a medically retired U.S. Army combat Veteran and Purple Heart recipient, who served in both OIF/OEF. He is now the Director of Veteran Programs, Communication and Development for the Marcus Institute for Brain Health, a medical institute focused on serving Military Veterans and retired athletes with primarily mild to moderate brain injuries, post-traumatic stress, depression and anxiety. Prior to that, he served as an Area Manager for Hire Heroes USA for three and a half years. Spencer is a passionate advocate and spokesman for Veterans and Veterans’ issues. His work with Veteran service organizations also includes serving on the Board of Trustees for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund as an Honorary Co-Chair, The George W. Bush Institute’s Military Service Initiative (MSI) and many others. He has a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs and he currently resides in Castle Rock, Colorado with his wife, two children and his two dogs.
Kyle D. Richards, Ph.D
Kyle Richards currently works as a manager at Kearney & Company, where he provides workforce development and strategic initiative support to the USAF and to the Department of Homeland Security. He is also the chairperson for Kearney & Company’s Community Service Committee, having led more than 50 unique charitable or service-based initiatives over the past two years, including endeavors for Warrior Canine Connection, the American Red Cross, the American Cancer Society, Special Olympics, New Hope Housing, Food for the Poor, Northern Virginia Family Service, The Fishing School, Carpenter’s Shelter, and many more. Previously, while pursuing his doctorate in Organizational Communication from the University of Kansas, he worked at The University of Kansas Medical Center on the Kansas Telehospice Project, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant-based study examining the efficacy of telemetry-based medical service delivery to the indigent and the rural poor.
Ben Stone has over 20 years of experience in both associations and the aerospace & defense industries, holding a diverse set of senior leadership roles. Ben is currently the Senior Vice President for Operations at the Aerospace Industries Association where is leads the Association’s revenue-generating activities. Prior to joining AIA, Stone was Head of Business Development for Renewables & Storage at Enel Green Power North America. He also spent 10 years with Leonardo SpA’s aircraft division.
In addition to his not-for-profit and industry experience, Ben comes from a family with deep roots of service in the armed forces. His two grandfathers served during World War II, his father served in Operation Enduring Freedom, and two of his brothers are currently on active duty and in the reserves.
Rick Yount, Founder and Executive Director
Rick Yount has served in the field of social services for 30 years. He has involved animal-assisted therapy in his practice for the past 22 of those years. Rick holds a Bachelor of Arts from West Virginia University and a Master of Science in Assistance Dog Education. He combined his social work knowledge and experience with his service dog training background to develop a novel intervention to help Service Members with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Rick pioneered the first therapeutic service dog training program at the Palo Alto, California Veterans Hospital in 2008.
Rick’s new program concept, involving Veterans with PTSD in the training of mobility service dogs for fellow Veterans, has yielded very positive results. He has presented the program concept at forums including the VA National Mental Health Conference and the International Society of Traumatic Stress Studies.