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CENTRAL POINT, OR – In late May, Dogs for Better Lives (DBL) learned that their application to the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business Fellows Program (Seattle, WA) had been approved and was honored with two board fellows accepting. This is the second time that DBL is participating in the Board Fellows program with the University of Washington, after successfully working with former fellows Aradhana Gupta and Hannah Thornton in FY 2022-23.

Fellows Katie Hanschen and Matt Brannon have joined DBL’s national board for the 2024-25 academic year and will focus on a few key projects to benefit the national nonprofit. Projects are still being finalized, though expect that they will target opportunities in marketing, development, and operations, that ultimately review, analyze, and improve current processes. Katie and Brannon will also actively participate in a few the national board’s committees

“The board is delighted to add Katie Hanschen and Matt Brannon as fellows for the 2024-25 academic year,” stated board member and mentor, CarrieJo Hoelzel. “We hope to use their combined experience and skills, along with the most current teachings at University of Washington Foster School of Business, to guide our activities and complete initiatives that strengthen Dogs for Better Lives.”

The timing of fellows Katie and Matt joining DBL’s national board comes during a critical period, as the nonprofit is experiencing significant growth and a need to thoughtfully expand, while looking at operations and marketing efficiencies and where we can continue to improve processes.

“We’re very excited to be partnering with the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington and their Fellows program,” stated CEO Bryan Williams. “Katie and Matt are two talented graduate students who will bring fresh perspectives to our National Board as we continue to focus on growth, scale, and diversity.”

Katie Hanschen

Katie Hanschen
Katie Hanschen is a Seattle, WA native with a deep passion for animals, travel, and exploring national parks. She studied Environmental Science with an emphasis on geography and economics at Willamette University and is currently pursuing an MBA from the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington. Katie brings a wealth of experience and a unique perspective to her professional endeavors, currently working as a consultant for Microsoft while attending graduate school.

Previously, Katie honed her project and people management skills in roles at Amazon and Google. She has extensive experience in international finance, acting as a liaison between global stakeholders to execute complex projects, and using data analytics and modeling to communicate insights cross-functionally. Her ability to streamline processes and solve data puzzles effectively has been a hallmark of her career. Katie currently lives outside Seattle with her husband and two bunnies.

“Joining Dogs for Better Lives is a remarkable opportunity to gain insight into nonprofit board functions while supporting a mission of immense value,” stated Katie. “I am eager to leverage my experience to contribute to an organization dedicated to enhancing independence and quality of life for community members through the incredible support of assistance dogs.”

Matt Brannon
Matt was born and raised in Seattle, WA but has spent much of his career moving to different cities throughout the country. One of which was Memphis, TN where Matt and his wife Rachel adopted their dog, Brynn. Matt and his wife love to travel, enjoy the outdoors, and visiting our national parks.

Matt Brannon

Matt is currently pursuing his MBA at the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington. Matt’s undergraduate education was completed at Azusa Pacific University with a BA in Business Administration. Matt has gained his professional experience at the manufacturing company, Parker Hannifin Corporation.

Matt has held roles in sales, marketing, and operations of different manufacturing facilities during his time working for Parker Hannifin. Some of his experiences include working with customers to expand business opportunities, optimizing process plans, and improving manufacturing efficiency.

“The opportunity to contribute to an organization like Dogs for Better Lives is an amazing opportunity to learn how the organization is utilizing dogs to impact lives,” stated Matt. “I am very excited to have the opportunity to utilize my professional experience where possible to help out at this amazing organization.”

Matt and his wife currently live in Issaquah, WA with their dog Brynn and two tabby cats Orville and Wilbur.

To learn more about DBL’s National Board of Directors and/or with inquiries in joining the board, visit… https://bit.ly/2BrQZfU. You can also visit DBL’s profile on cariclub or BoardLead to learn more.

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