We are excited to introduce our newest members of the WCC pack, who bring a wealth of experience and passion to our mission. Join us in extending a warm welcome to these dedicated individuals as they help us serve our Veterans.
Jennifer Ashley, Events Coordinator
We welcomed Jennifer Ashley to the WCC team at the end of August as our new Events Coordinator. In her role, she will be the mastermind behind the planning and logistics of all the events WCC hosts and participates in throughout the year. With our involvement in hundreds of events each year, Jennifer is primed to stay very busy.
Before joining WCC, Jennifer supported both the International Services and Service to the Armed Forces lines of service at the American Red Cross. Inspired by the monthly visits from the therapy dogs at Walter Reed, she was drawn to work with an organization that included service dogs in its mission to aid recovering Service Members and Veterans. When Jennifer saw a job opening at WCC, she said it felt like serendipity; she instantly knew she had to apply.
Jennifer shared, “I know how strong the animal-human connection is, and this position married my previous role of providing military support with my love of animals, so it was a total win-win.”
Jennifer earned her bachelor’s in business management and a minor in human development & family studies from the Pennsylvania State University. She has more than 10 years of experience working and volunteering for non-profits where she developed her skills in event planning, stakeholder engagement, development, volunteer management, and communication strategies.
Outside of work, Jennifer, a huge animal lover, enjoys spending time with her best buddies, rescue dogs Duke and Moby, 6 and 8, playing tennis, and getting creative with all kinds of arts & crafts projects.
Lisa Kilmer, Service Dog Training Instructor
Lisa Kilmer joined the WCC team as a Service Dog Training Instructor in September at its University of Pennsylvania program location in Philadelphia. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience working with animals with her, as she previously worked as a zookeeper. In her role, she had the opportunity to really dive into the training world by working with creatures big and small.
Several years ago, Lisa turned her attention to dog training and has had the opportunity to work with dogs of all ages, breeds, temperaments, and behaviors through private lessons, as well as group settings. She realized her passion for working with dogs and loved helping others form a long and lasting bond with their dogs. She’s excited to be taking that experience to help train service dogs while working side by side with Veterans.
“Dogs just don’t have a judgmental bone in their body,” said Lisa Kilmer. “They’re patient and understanding and in tune with human emotions. And they’re funny, too.”
Lisa is a graduate of Rider University, where she received her bachelor’s in environmental science.
Outside of WCC, Lisa and Bindi, her trusty Golden Retriever, who is a certified therapy dog, can be found volunteering with Angel Readers, a local volunteer group that offers a program called Angel on a Leash, where kids read to dogs and in the process, can overcome anxiety and nervousness while reading, as well as their fear of dogs. In addition to Bindi, Lisa also has a second dog, Spike, a Lab/Pit mix. When not working, she enjoys hiking and spending time at the beach.
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