Ron McDade, President
Ron has enjoyed a nearly 30 year career in healthcare performance improvement, and is honored to have spent that career improving the quality, safety and cost of local healthcare providers. He is an Industrial Engineer by training (Penn State University), and holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Maryland. Ron also serves as President of the Institute of Industrial Engineers’ Society for Health Systems, a national professional organization of his colleagues.
A long time dog lover and healthcare professional, Ron takes great satisfaction in the work of Fidos For Freedom, in particular, seeing the human-canine partnerships that develop – whether between our assist clients and their dogs or between our therapy dogs and their customers.
Diane Bernier, Vice President
Diane Bernier is employed by the Federal Government and has been involved in many Combined Federal Campaigns over the years.
Diane has received two Hearing Dogs from Fidos. She has been a Fidos volunteer since the 1990’s. She currently is on the Board of Directors, sits on the client review committee and is a member of the Client Services Department, plus volunteers in many other capacities .
She currently lives with her Hearing Dog, Moxie and her cats Ziva and Gibbs.
Karl Fetscher, CPA, Treasurer
Karl is currently a Manager in the Transaction Advisory Services group of RSM, LLP, the fifth largest accounting firm in the United States, specializing in healthcare related transactions. Prior to RSM, Karl worked for the assurance practice of Ernst & Young, LLP for four years. Karl holds Bachelors degrees in both Finance and Management from the University of Delaware (’08) and a Masters in Accountancy from the University of Virginia (’09).
Terry Portis, Secretary
Dr. Terry Portis is director of the Center on Aging at Anne Arundel Community College (AACC) and teaches in the psychology department. He supervises 205 faculty and staff who serve 4,100 students each year.
Dr. Portis has presented dozens of workshops and written numerous articles on marketing, program design, psychology of disability and health, personal development and technology.
Prior to coming to AACC, Dr. Portis was executive director of the Hearing Loss Association of America.
Terry’s wife Denise has been a client at Fidos for Freedom since 2006.
Judy Cannon, Member
Judy Cannon is a native Washingtonian. She attended Johns Hopkins Nursing School in Baltimore and received her Neonatal Nurse Practitioner education at Georgetown; she worked for Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC for almost 25 years.
Since retiring she volunteered as an assistant to the nurse in an elementary school health room for about 8 years and then found Fidos and was hooked. She trained her two shelties for AKC Obedience competition; both earned their CDX (Companion Dog Excellent) and Therapy Dog Titles.
She joined Fidos in 2001 as a Therapy Dog Team. Her second dog passed her test and became a Therapy Dog at 6 months of age; she often works with our “Dogless Handlers.” Judy and her dogs have done over 500 visits and Demonstrations for Fidos in the last ten years.
Currently she is a member of the Board of Directors, a Therapy Dog and DEAR (Dogs Educating and Assisting Readers) Team, and a Trainer working with the Prison Dog Program; and volunteers in many other capacities. She enjoys being part of the Fidos family and finds it a rewarding way to spend retirement.
She lives with her dog, Cobalt, who keeps her very busy.
Rick Wilson, Member
Rick is currently the Director, Enterprise Cyber Defense at Intelligent Decisions Inc., a cybersecurity consulting company. Rick retired from the National Security Agency in January, 2014 after 34 years of service. At NSA, he was a member of the Senior Executive Service and held technical leadership positions in counterintelligence, cybersecurity and information security. He has also served as a professional staff member for the United States Senate Subcommittee on Terrorism in the 105th Congress. Rick began his government service in the United States Air Force.
Joining NSA in1980, Rick’s first assignment was as a cryptographic system design engineer. His final assignment was as the Director’s Special Assistant for Cyber. He has received numerous commendations and awards from the Secretary of State, Director of Central Intelligence, Secretary of Defense, Secretary of Homeland Security, Director of NSA, Members of Congress and professional and industry organizations.
Rick was elected to the Laurel, Maryland city council in 2002. Now retired from elected office, he remains very active in his community serving at various times as an appointed member of the Laurel City Planning Commission, Emergency Services Commission, Chairman of the Laurel Boys and Girls Club Task Force, and an occasional columnist for the Laurel Leader newspaper. His wife Joanne is a 20 year volunteer puppy raiser for Fidos for Freedom and besides a couple of dozen service dog puppies, they have also raised two children. Mary, is a Public Radio reporter and Steven, serves in the United States Marine Corps.
Kim Rau, Member
- 32 years with the City of Laurel, Maryland
- City Clerk for 19 years
- Deputy Clerk for 7 years
- International Institute of Municipal Clerks (IIMC) Member since 1990
- IIMC Mentoring Committee Member
- IIMC Region II Director
- Maryland Municipal Clerk’s Association (MMCA) President (3 terms), served as Vice President and on several committees
- MMCA Clerk of the Year – 2009
- Maryland Municipal League Board of Director’s
- Charter Member of Patuxent Toastmaster’s, Laurel
Mary Nekola, Member
Mary received her doctorate from the University of Illinois and post doctoral training at Harvard Medical School. She did research at Tulane Medical School, presented numerous papers, published manuscripts and received a grant from the Ford Foundation. When Mary moved to the National Institutes of Health, she was selected for special training in administrator. She retired from NIH as Chief, Scientific Review Office, National Institute on Aging. Her office reviewed grant applications and contract proposals totaling millions of dollars. She has volunteered at the National Zoo since 2006 where she interacts with visitors and school groups. Mary is on the board of directors of two home owner associations and is an officer on both. Mary is a dogless handler at Fidos for Freedom and looks forward to working with the Dogless Handler and Sponsorship Programs.