Paws & Think is ringing in 2015 with a new Board President: longtime volunteer and lifelong dog-lover Brett Nelson. Brett is a partner at the law firm of Plews Shadley Racher & Braun, LLP where he has worked since 1999. Before attending law school he spent some time as a vet tech and a biologist, and he mentions that animals have always been an important part of his life. Brett is a Bloomington native and he and his wife, Lori, currently share their home with three rescue dogs: Gator, Boomer, and Lilly. Brett has been volunteering with Paws & Think since October 2013 and has been a member of the Board since February 2014.
As the Board President in 2015, Brett looks forward to continuing and expanding the work of Paws & Think through its many and dedicated volunteers. His primary goal is to communicate and achieve the strategic goals identified by the Board and the Executive Director and help ensure that all members of Paws & Think remain focused on an active pursuit of our shared mission. Brett notes that one of the things that drew him to Paws & Think was the concept of pairing shelter dogs with vulnerable youth to the mutual benefit of both through the Youth Canine program. One goal for this year is to refine and document the benefits of both the Youth Canine and the school reading programs. In order to achieve this and other important goals, the organization will need to focus on finding and training new volunteers as well as empowering those who are already involved with Paws & Think to step into more leadership roles.
In addition to chairing monthly Board meetings and facilitating the business of the Board, Brett likes to stay involved in the day to day activities of the organization. He sometimes substitutes at the Reading Buddy and Youth Canine programs and hopes to team up with his 8 month old Bernese Mountain Dog mix Lilly as a therapy dog after she recovers from a recent surgery. Brett fondly remembers a particular day at the Youth Canine program where a very excited canine team member greeted him by enthusiastically “watering” his shoe and pant leg. Brett cites the comedy of the moment as well as the living lesson of the importance of patience as one of the experiences that keeps him engaged with the wonderful work of Paws & Think.