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 2021, she was the Director of Volunteer Recruitment for two years. She has 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 30th year of GRRA, let's all work together to fully vet and place even more dogs in 2021 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 attended 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. 16 years experience in Golden Retriever Rescue. I joined GRRA in Nov 2017. I have worked on the Intake Team, Dog Wrangler, Events, Merchandise Store, Social Media and Fundraising. I Came to GRRA Nov 2017. I have fostered over 39 dogs in the past, and currently have one 3 year old that I fostered through surgery and rehab, and just adopted March 2021. I lost my two Senior Golden Retrievers in 2020. Retired from Real Estate in 2017 after 27 years. Married 38 years, one adult son who is also a dog lover. Hobbies are tennis and travel.

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.

Dan Williams avatar

Dan Williams

Treasurer

Dan is the owner of an accounting firm, Padgett Business Services, in Marietta, GA and a CPA with over 25 years of private and public accounting experience. He is a graduate of the University of Georgia. He and his wife Sharie are active members of Church of the Apostles in Atlanta. Dan is also on the Board of Directors of Camp Gideon, a non-profit, Christian camp and retreat facility for children. He and his wife, Sharie became involved in GRRA in the fall of 2014 when they searched and found the perfect golden retriever named Bear. Bear is a significant part of their family and is also an office greeter and chief marketing officer for their accounting firm. They have two "other" children Daniel and Karly.

Deborah Osborn avatar

Deborah Osborn

Director, Volunteer Recruitment

Deborah became involved with GRRA after adopting her first rescue golden, Dakota. Since that time she has volunteered as an Adoption Consultant, Home Checker, Treiver Taxi, Intake and foster. Her first foster was an injured golden whose family couldn't care for her. That was in 2011. She still stays in touch with the forever family. After that she was hooked on fostering and she and her husband, Steve, have spent many hours traveling around Georgia transporting dogs and having meets and greets for foster dogs. Deborah and Steve live in the Northeast Georgia mountains where they moved after retiring in Florida. They currently live with four dogs, Dakota, Bryce and Sugar who are GRRA dogs and Saphira, who came to them after being abandon in the woods as a puppy. Deborah enjoys traveling, knitting, reading and hiking in the woods with Bryce. The other dogs would rather wait on the deck.

Lana Kollross avatar

Lana Kollross

Director, Placement

Lana joined GRRA in 2018 and brought with her years of experience from other rescues to include Intake, Fostering, Foster Coordinator, Social Media, and Home Checks. "I have been involved in rescue for many years and there isn't anything other than family that I am this passionate about. I am honored to be involved in helping save Goldens!"

In 2019 she joined the Board of Directors as Secretary and in 2020 continued on the Board as Director of Placement and Intake.

Originally from Wisconsin, Lana and her husband, Steve, escaped the cold and came to Atlanta in 1986 and raised their 2 boys (Tom, 30 and Max, 27) in East Cobb. Lana works part time doing administrative work in a medical office. Their 13 year old Golden, Buster, provides continuous joy in their lives.

Laurie Lemmons Murphy avatar

Laurie Lemmons Murphy

Secretary

Laurie began volunteering with GRRA in May 2019 as an Adoption Consultant. She has volunteered at Adoption Day, now Meet & Greet, and Rescue Romp. In March 2020 she became Adoption Consultant Manager. She is a graduate of the University of Georgia and an avid fan of the football team. Laurie's husband is a big Georgia Tech fan and they joke that someone sleeps on the couch once a year.

Wanda Prater avatar

Wanda Prater

Director, Rescue Operations