CENTRAL POINT, OR ‒ In late May Dogs for Better Lives’ (DBL) Young Professionals Board (YPB) – Pacific Northwest secured Alison Cavaner and Mariah Kurpuis as its latest members. Alison and Mariah are joining an already dynamic and growing board made up of professionals from across Oregon and Washington State.
“We’re excited to have both Alison and Mariah join the YPB – PNW and know with their skillsets, energy, and passion for the mission, they will help to elevate DBL’s exposure in the region to the next level,” stated CEO, Bryan Williams.
As DBL continues to grow and expand on its mission to better the lives of those with disabilities, pairing them with an Assistance Dog, they are cultivating in tandem, the next generation of leaders in Washington’s Puget Sound and larger Pacific Northwest region, further engaging in and championing DBL’s mission and vision.
“The YPB team is looking forward to working with Alison and Mariah, as we continue to grow and make our presence known in the region,” stated YPB Chairman, Corey Wise. “In following DBL’s strategic plan in further establishing its regional and national reach, the Young Professionals Board (Pacific Northwest) is playing a critical role in assisting with community outreach and engagement, further extending our reach into the region.
The DBL Young Professionals Board (YPB) is comprised of like-minded individuals in their 20s, 30s, and 40s that have a passion for dogs and giving back to people with disabilities in their communities. Members are engaged in helping to market the mission of DBL, participating in outreach events, as well as planning and fundraising through a variety of initiatives.
With the support and guidance of the regional Young Professionals Board in Washington’s Puget Sound, DBL will host a yet-to-be-determined signature event, engaging donors, clients, and community partners. Eventually, we will have Young Professionals Boards across the country, working to support each of our planned satellite offices. Currently we have satellite offices in Washington, California, Arizona, and New Hampshire.
Alison Cavaner is a College and Career Advisor at Project Youth+, a non-profit located in Southern Oregon. Through the College and Career Advisor role, Alison mentors underrepresented youth with the goal of helping them make their way through high school and into college and careers.
Alison was born and raised in Northern California, but made the move to Southern Oregon with her family in high school. After high school graduation, Alison headed to Southern Oregon University where she received a Bachelors in Business Marketing. Alison has spent most of her professional career working for Southern Oregon local non-profits; Alison has a background in non-profit management, grant writing, fundraising, volunteer management, event planning, and youth mentorship.
“The Dogs For Better Lives mission is something near to my heart,” stated Alison. “Since hearing about the organization years ago, I always knew I wanted to be involved somehow and I am so excited to have found a way – the Young Professionals Board! I am looking forward to working with likeminded professionals who are all so jazzed to support such a special organization.”
Alison has rescued three dogs in her adult life, all with special needs. In addition to her love for dogs, Alison has a brother with autism. She is passionate about the work being done by the organization and the impact they are making.
Mariah Kurpuis is a Customer Success Manager at a software company in Wenatchee, WA and is also a Certified Child Life Specialist.
Mariah grew up in Burlington, WA and attended Central Washington University where she competed her bachelor’s in Family and Child Life before moving to California to attend Azusa Pacific University to obtain her master’s degree in Child Life. Through her scholastic career, she received hands-on experience working with children and their families dealing with a large array of healthcare stressors at Seattle Children’s Hospital, Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital, and Miller Children’s Hospital of Long Beach.
While in graduate school, Mariah saw first hand the impact animals can have in the lives of those who are struggling with physical, emotional, and mental stressors and hurdles. As a result, she became a certified pet therapy handler through the American Kennel Club so she could volunteer alongside the pet therapists within settings such as children’s hospitals (Dexter obtained his certification from the AKA in 2018, which they were both very excited about). This has played a large role in Mariah sharing the mission and passion behind DBL.
Outside of her professional life and academics, she is an avid baker, interior designer, movie watcher and traveler. She currently resides in Wenatchee with her husband and three dogs Dallas (Pomeranian Yorkie), Dexter (Mini Aussie) and Penny (Bernese Mountain Dog).
Alison and Mariah joined the Young Professionals Board – PNW in May 2021.
To learn more about the Young Professionals Board – Puget Sound, and/or to submit your application for consideration to the YPB, please visit… https://dogsforbetterlives.org/young-professionals-board/.[Read full news release as PDF here]