Board Members

Marie Cole avatar

Marie Cole

President

Marie has been a member of GRRA since 2004. She joined the organization after rescuing her first Golden Retriever. Prior to being elected as President for the years 2021 and 2022, she was the Director of Volunteer Recruitment for two years. In addition, she was also been a member of the following teams: adoption consultant, merchandise sales, Meet & Greet (formerly Adoption Day) events, fundraising events, foster, intake, ROMP, taxi "triever" and home check. Along with a talented group of volunteers, she produced the GRRA calendar for the years 2018, 2019 and 2020. In this the 31st year of GRRA, let's all work together to fully vet and place even more dogs in 2022 than ever before. GRRA IS ALL ABOUT THE DOGS!

In addition to her involvement with GRRA, Marie is on the food ministry board at her church, feeds the homeless in downtown Atlanta, volunteers for Totes 2 Totes (benefitting foster children in GA) as well as several other non profit organizations.

Before her retirement, Marie spent 40+ years in commercial real estate development. She has always lived in Atlanta except for when she was enrolled at UGA and Fort Benning (when her husband was in the military). In fact, Marie married her high school sweetheart. They live in the City of Brookhaven with their two rescued dogs.

Carol Swenson avatar

Carol Swenson

Vice President

Carol joined GRRA in 2018 and has over 17 years of experience in Golden rescue work. Her passion is fostering for goldens and she has fostered more than 300 dogs. In addition to fostering for GRRA, she served on the advisory board for two years, has updated the policies and procedures, has updated training documentation and provided training classes for adoption consultants and dog consultants.

Carol and her husband Don moved to Atlanta in 1991 from Washington, DC. While in Washington, Carol was co-owner of a company that provided IT installation and training for the Defense Department. Once she moved to Atlanta, she became a consultant to the pharmaceutical industry providing software training and documentation.

Carol and her husband spend as much time as possible traveling outside the country to see the world and enjoying visiting children and grandchildren within the U.S. Some day when they are not traveling as much they hope to stop fostering and have their own “stay-at-home” dog.

Carolyn Waters avatar

Carolyn Waters

Director, Fundraising

I have always had a Golden Retriever in my life since 1983. I have been in dog rescue since 2005. I joined GRRA in Nov 2017. I have worked on the Intake Team, Dog Wrangler, Events, Merchandise Store, Social Media and Fundraising. I have fostered over 41 dogs in the past, and currently have one that I fostered through surgery and rehab, and just adopted March 2021. Retired from Real Estate after 27 years. Married with one adult son who is also a dog lover. Hobbies are tennis, travel and keeping Golden Retriever's safe from harm.

Cory Deppen avatar

Cory Deppen

Director, Technology

Cory joined GRRA in 2011 after reading about the need for a volunteer to fill the Webmaster role in the newsletter. Eager to play a part in helping with website updates, Cory jumped right in and was recognized as Volunteer of the Month for June 2011. Since then, Cory relaunched the website for the organization and stays busy maintaining and adding new features to it as the needs of the group change.

In his current role, Cory is leveraging his passion for technology by developing and maintaining the website that offers many benefits to both volunteers and visitors to grra.com. Additionally, Cory works closely with other volunteers in the various roles within GRRA to understand their reporting and communication needs and ensures data in the current CRM system is accurate to aid in the decision making and communication processes across the organization.

Cory lives in Acworth, GA with his wife Christine and seven cats - Maggie, Molly, Mama, Four, Five, Hunter, and Mackenzie. Outside of GRRA, Cory enjoys bicycling if he can be torn away from a computer.

Lori Podolski avatar

Lori Podolski

Treasurer

Lori started volunteering with GRRA in 2014 as an Adoption Consultant and subsequently become involved in many areas of the rescue. In 2017, she served on the board as Director of Dog Ops for two years and in 2019, she served as President for another two.

Lori has her degree in Finance from the University of Western Ontario and has 30+ years of experience working within a variety of corporate frameworks focusing on reporting, budgeting, accounting, and policy and procedure implementation. For the last 15 years, she’s been employed at a large international corporation and is currently in the Manager, Corporate FP&A role.

She’s had at least one golden in her life since 1993. Currently, she resides in Woodstock Georgia with her husband Ed and her three rescued furbabies: Goldens, Mya and Gracie and Great Pyrenees Ollie. Hobbies include vacuuming.

Susan Swartz avatar

Susan Swartz

Secretary

Susan joined GRRA after moving from the northeast in 2006, where she was a volunteer with DVGRR. She started doing home checks and fostering. Roux was her first GRRA adoption "foster failure", later to be followed by Teddy and now Bradshaw. To date Susan has fostered over 40 dogs for GRRA. She has also worked on the annual GRRA "Rescue Romp" celebration. Susan took on the role of Adoption Day Coordinator in 2008 and continues to enjoy meeting the GRRA foster dogs and the potential adopters each month.

Taylor Lee avatar

Taylor Lee

Director, Intake

Taylor became involved with GRRA in 2014 when her boss had a family member who had a golden that needed to be rehomed and she asked her if she could help. Taylor elaborated, "I researched golden rescues and immediately found GRRA and contacted them. Within 24 hours a volunteer called me and within one week sweet Jack went to his foster. I was amazed at how quick and attentive GRRA was and I could tell that this rescue was the "real deal." It did not take much time for her to sign up to volunteer due to my admiration for the passion and selfless volunteers that work with GRRA.

Taylor was recognized for volunteer of the month in August 2015 because she was a dedicated volunteer who worked as an Adoption Consultant matching families with GRRA's goldens searching for their forever homes. She served as the designated Adoption Consultant for applicants looking to adopt senior dogs. Senior dogs hold a special place in Taylor's heart and she works tirelessly to make sure that the GRRA "golden oldies" find wonderful retirement homes. In addition to that important job, Taylor is also a foster, a home check volunteer, a retriever taxi driver (including intake).

Taylor resides in Gainesville,GA with her GRRA senior Alphie who is 10 and Jackson her yorkie 10 as well and Bailey who is 6 years old and a maltipoo. Taylor is an addictions counselor for felony probation out of Hall county and when not working full time she dedicates her time to GRRA.