Board Members and Officers
John Burnham DVM
John is the President and Founder of Soldier’s Best Friend (SBF). He is also a member of the SBF board. John’s professional experiences with numerous military personnel and their pets showed him a very loving and intense human-animal bond. It was obvious how important these pets were to the well-being of our military heroes.
John’s goal has been to assemble a team of committed volunteers military and civilian to help acquire, place and train the service dogs for our veterans at no cost to them. He also wanted to acquire many of the dogs through local rescue organizations thus helping our pet overpopulation problem. John is a native Arizonan. He attended Northern Arizona University and Colorado State University where he obtained his doctorate of veterinary medicine. Dr. Burnham has been actively practicing veterinary medicine in Arizona since 1983. He is married with 2 adult sons.
Elaine is the Vice President of SBF. She is involved in veteran communications, answering phones, fundraising and administrative duties.
Elaine feels very strongly about our veterans – her father, husband, both brothers and son were all veterans. She is retired and spent 27 years with a large local company, most recently in human resources management.
Teri deMars ia a professional counselor currently employed by the Veteran’s Administration providing clinical services to combat veterans, their spouses and families. Teri has many years in the counseling field and has been serving as a clinician with the VA’s Post Traumatic Stress Clinical Team since 2001.
Working with SBF, then, is a natural extension for her passion, and obligation to the wounded warrior, providing the Veteran with yet another avenue to both heal and to transform through the relationship with her/his partner- the service dog.
Jill has over 20 years of military service. She is the President of the National Guard Association of Arizona and is a former executive board member and current member of Mahnah Club of the East Valley. She and her family share their home with several rescued animals and she is proud to support our Nation’s wounded warriors and Soldier’s Best Friend.
She and her family share their home with several rescued animals and she is proud to support our Nation’s wounded warriors and Soldier’s Best Friend.
Carrie is the Executive Director of the Dorrance Family Foundation. Carrie is a recognized leader in the philanthropic and business community and has over 12 years of executive level experience. She has directed and managed teams of high-level and executive community volunteers and leaders in strategic, business and event planning, as well as high-level fundraising and board development. Carrie is very excited to help SBF & to aid our military members readjust into civilian life.
Carrie was born and raised in Iowa and has lived in Phoenix, Arizona for over 20 years. She attended Arizona State University, where she graduated with a degree in psychology with a focus on organizational behavior.
Some of her professional and community affiliations past and present include Valley Leadership (graduate Class XXIV), Central Phoenix Women, Arizona Endowment Building Initiative, Planned Giving Roundtable of Arizona, Madison United Preservation Committee, and the University of Arizona Master Gardener program. Carrie also volunteers with conservation organizations and the University of Arizona Master Gardener program.
Jim McDonald DVM
Dr. Jim McDonald has been a practicing veterinarian in Arizona for 28 years. Since returning to his home state after graduation from Colorado State University in 1984, Jim has served on the boards and committees of both state and national veterinary organizations.
These positions have included the Board of Directors and Executive Board of the Arizona Veterinary Medical Association, and the Public Policy Committee of the American Association of Equine Practitioners. He is currently the Alternate Delegate to the American Veterinary Medical Association for the state of Arizona. He currently owns EIEIO Professional Services, a mobile, predominantly equine practice. Jim is married wand has 3 adult daughters he is also an Arizona native. Jim is honored to be helping SBF.
Jan is actively involved in many areas of SBF activities ranging from administrative duties to active participation in public events. Jan thoroughly enjoys watching the development of the human-animal bond between the veteran and their canine companion. She is honored to help our military members achieve such a trusting relationship with their service dog.
She has lived most of her life in Phoenix and is a graduate of Northern Arizona University where she obtained her degree in fashion merchandising and marketing. She has worked in the retail industry and currently is working at Acoma Animal Clinic in Administration.
Jan is married to John Burnham and has 2 adult sons that actively help with SBF events.