Board Members

Lori Podolski


Lori has had Golden family members for the last 25 years. She started volunteering for Golden Retrievers in Need (GRIN) in Cleveland, OH, with a focus on fund-raising.

Lori’s position with Novelis moved the family to the Atlanta area, where she continued her journey donating her time to GRRA in November 2014.

“I was drawn to GRRA because of the passion their volunteers have in rescuing these wonderful dogs and I’m proud to be a part of this great organization”. The first role that Lori tackled was becoming an Adoption Consultant (AC). “I’ve always liked matchmaking for humans, but I’ve had better success for retrievers and families” She has been involved in fostering and home checks and in 2017 became the Director of Dog Ops. Lori and her husband, Ed, reside in Woodstock, GA with their Pyrenees rescue, Ollie, Golden rescue, Mya and newest family member Gracie from GRRA.

Amy DeCesare

Director, Special Events

Amy first learned of GRRA in 2011 from friends that had adopted from the organization. After losing their first golden retriever Tahoe at an early age of 4, she and her husband were eagerly looking for another golden retriever, as they fell in love with the breed. Rescuing was the way to go their friends had told them. So, they tried it… They adopted their first Golden retriever, Parker in 2011 from GRRA. He had been a beautiful golden retriever abandoned chained to a fence with a note asking for someone to take good care of this sweet boy. Unfortunately, a year and a half later, Amy and her husband lost Parker, due to a serious heart condition. That did not stop them from having more goldens. To date, they've adopted 6 thanks to GRRA. In 2014, Amy decided she needed to do more to help these wonderful rescue dogs find love and their furever homes...even if only for a short time, so she began volunteering with GRRA. As the shelter intake coordinator for several years, she states it was "One of the hardest but rewarding things she's ever done. Although we cannot save all the dogs that need our help, we help those we can…One dog at a time. " Amy and her husband currently live in Alpharetta with their two goldens – Kate(11) and Cedar(2).

Carolyn Waters

Director, Community Events

I have always had a Golden Retriever in my life since 1983. 15 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 38 dogs in the past, and currently have one Senior Golden Retriever who was a previous foster. Member of GRCA. 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

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 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


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.

Kristin Allpere

Director, Rescue Operations

Kristin and her family have been involved in Golden Rescue since 2015. Kristin oversees several teams that support our GRRA orphans on their path to finding their forever family. As Director of Dog Operations, she is responsible for and supports GRRA's foster, medical, and training teams. She also enjoys helping with home checks for adoptive and foster applicants. Kristin's first rescue passion lies in fostering; her family (including 3-year-old Golden and 12-year-old mix-breed) loves being able to provide a safe, temporary living environment for orphans in need of a foster home.

Lana Kollross

Director, Placement • Secretary

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.

Marie Cole

Director, Volunteer Recruitment

Marie has been a member of GRRA since 2004. She is currently the Director of Volunteer Recruitment. She loves working with new and existing volunteers to find the right spot for them in GRRA. She co-chaired the committee to create the 2018, 2019 & 2020 GRRA calendars as well as the GRRA note cards. This endeavor included a talented team of volunteers. You will usually see Marie at the monthly Meet & Greet Event at the Volunteer Table or one of the many GRRA Events throughout the year.

As an Adoption Consultant, Marie enjoyed working with new adoption applicants. She has also been heavily involved in Meet & Greet Events, Fundraising events at Lucky's or Rescue Romp, Taxi, Intake and Home Check teams.

As a native Atlantan, Marie lives in the City of Brookhaven with her husband and two rescued dogs. They are active members in their neighborhood HOA and several other non profit 501(c)(3) organizations.

Michelle Thackray

Vice President

Growing up with a golden retriever instilled in Michelle a deep love for this happy-go-lucky breed. After initially volunteering at adoption days, Michelle knew she’d like to be more involved at GRRA. While serving as the Vice President, she hopes to increase awareness about GRRA throughout Atlanta and continue making strides in their fundraising efforts.