Joy St. Peter is the Founder and Director of The Joys of Living Assistance Dogs (JLAD), a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. She launched JLAD in 2004 after attending the Assistance Dog Institute's (ADI) Service Dog Instructor Training Course in Santa Rosa, California, led by Dr. Bonnie Bergen (inventor of the Service Dog concept).
When asked what her motivation was for starting JLAD, Joy said, "I love dogs! I love the connection between people and dogs. I'm passionate about facilitating that connection -- about enriching someone's life and giving that person the freedom of mobility that we so often take for granted."
Within the first two years as a non-profit, Joy inspired the committed service of 15 volunteers, including 12 puppyraisers, and the support of 6 local business sponsors. Joy is committed to raising public awareness around issues surrounding service dogs, and their importance in the lives of those who enlist their special training. In 2006, she graduated her first class of trained dogs. Joy also trains pet-dogs for individual owners, and conducts seminars and presentations on dog-related topics to schools, service clubs and other community organizations.
Joy has earned a reputation among her family and friends as someone who loves animals -- of all kinds -- and who, if anyone, would always be the one to find that stray dog (or it find her) or that orphaned cockatiel on the side of the road (whichreally happened). In 1995, Joy took a Canine Companions for Independence dog into her home and with it an understanding that working with service dogs was what she ultimately wanted to do.
When asked what her vision for JLAD was, Joy replied, "I'd like to have a chapter in Portland and Eugene, and I would like to teach service dog trainers through a Trainer Apprentice Program. I would like to see JLAD earn a reputation for producing high-quality dogs -- the best in the industry."
Her professional affiliations include:
Kellye met Joy while raising her yellow lab puppy and taking puppy classes. They soon became friends and Kellye was approached by Joy to be a puppy raiser. Kellye helped raise three dogs for JLAD, and now, in addition to serving on the Board, does respite care, as needed, for the full-time puppy raisers.
North Eugene High School: Architectural / Mechanical Engineering and Business Administration
Lane Community College: Alternative Energy and Resource Conservation
University of Oregon: Physics and English
Gary is a 3rd generation Oregonian with deep roots in the Northwest, born in Eugene, Oregon. He is a lifelong learner; ever questing for a deeper understanding of life and all of the mysteries that entails. He experiences life through work and family, which continues driving his ongoing education through rich employment and volunteer experiences.
His career path over the last three decades has been full of experimentation and exploration:
- Youth Employment Counselor, Lane County, Oregon (1975)
- Aide: Elementary School Level, Veneta, Oregon (1978)
- Electrician’s Apprentice, Eugene, Oregon (1979)
- Film Sound Engineer, International Film and Video – Central and South Europe (1980)
- Childcare Specialist, University of Oregon (1981)
- Reforestation Specialist, Oregon and Washington State (1982)
After a life changing experience with cancer in 1995, Gary shifted his focus away from his love of aviation towards a more person-centered path. In 1997, he relocated to Central Oregon, and over the next 10 years started and sold two successful small businesses (wood boat building and retail/wholesale window coverings). It was there in the high desert that his passion for the work of non-profit organizations began to bloom.
For two years he worked with the Deschutes Children’s Foundation as an operations manager and executive assistant to the Executive Director and witnessed firsthand the powerful economic and social influences that not-for-profit organizations carry.
In 2006, seeking a better cultural environment for his deaf daughter, Gary's family relocated back to the Willamette Valley, where he found an opportunity to exercise his corporate and business background with a large non-profit organization that serves adults with developmental disabilities. He is currently an Executive Manager with Partnerships in Community Living (PCL) based in Monmouth, Oregon. He guides the organization’s business, community and fund development operations. PCL is a cutting edge, state contracted service provider, with an annual revenue of $20mil, employing 650 support specialists, throughout five counties statewide in Oregon, serving 250 people with disabilities in their homes and at their jobs.
Gary currently sits on two non-profit boards; The Joys of Living Assistance Dogs and The Ability Foundation, based in Clatsop County. Additionally, he is an active member of the Salem Chamber of Commerce and The Nonprofit Association of Oregon, along with sitting on four state advisory committees that review and recommend state disability service administrative rule changes to the Oregon State Legislature.
In addition to her military service, Bonnie has worked for the State of Oregon for more than 31 years, primarily in commercial motor vehicle safety. She is a nationally certified instructor in commercial motor vehicle safety inspections. As statewide training coordinator for Oregon's truck inspection program, Bonnie is responsible for training both law enforcement and Oregon Department of Transportation employees. Bonnie is the recognized state expert in this field.
Bonnie enjoys not only her work but also a host of hobbies that include horseback riding, reading, walking, and riding as a passenger on husband’s motorcycle. Whenever she is able to do so, Bonnie is also an avid traveler and camper.
Bonnie first became aware of The Joys of Living Assistance Dogs while volunteering with the American Legion. Both organizations had booths at a Salem function called "Stand Down," a place for veterans to go for assistance. After a brief talk with Joy St. Peter, Bonnie became a puppy petter, quickly moved on to puppy raiser, and is now a valued member of the Board.
Lori began her work in the state government as the Member Services Coordinator in the Oregon State Senate majority office to the Community College Association. She served as the Director of Operations and Legislative Director to the Oregon School Boards Association and, in 2007, as the Legislative and Public Affairs Specialist. She has a strong reputation as a knowledgeable and highly effective advocate, communicating concisely and strategically, while inspiring movement on both sides of the legislative isle.
Lori's legislative lobbying and policy experience include work in: Public Employee Retirement System, charter schools policy and funding, education K-14 policy and funding, on-line education, healthcare, public contracting, and impact of business and education with a personalized understanding of the timber industry.
As an active member of her community Lori has coached boys and girls basketball teams, and served in leadership capacities for the Dallas Trinity Lutheran Church.