Board of Directors

Nola Ewers, Board President and Advanced Trainer, received her B.S. degree in Engineering Management from the University of Missouri - Rolla. She has volunteered with several organizations serving children and adults with disabilities since 1988. She left the Boeing Company after 16 years in the Business Management group to devote her time to C.H.A.M.P. Assistance Dogs, Inc.

In addition to her involvement in long-range planning, fundraising, and public relations for C.H.A.M.P., Inc., Nola is an active volunteer. She and (Retired) Education/Therapy Dog Sere participated in both Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) and Animal-Assisted Activities (AAA) in a number of locations in the community. Currently, Nola and Education/Therapy Dog Moe make numerous presentations to schools, businesses, social, and civic organizations, and enjoy working with our students who are preparing for the arrival of their own service dogs.

Nola is a Founding Member of C.H.A.M.P., Inc., and is a member of our Friends Group.


Board Member Karen Felton with Public Access Service Dog GidgetKaren Felton, Board Member, has had a varied career centering on her interests in children and animals. Ms. Felton studied art and also received training in animal care while working full-time and attending the University of Kansas.

Karen is an active and supportive leader, having worked as a motivational speaker for Weight Watchers for six years before resigning because of a chronic degenerative neurological disease. She continues her involvement in the community through her role as a spokesperson for C.H.A.M.P. Assistance Dogs, Inc., and as a Sunday School teacher.

Karen is a service dog user. She and Public Access Service Dog Gidget have been partners since January 2002.

Lon Lowrey, RPh, Board Member, is a retired Director, State and External
Affairs for Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation. He and his wife Cher
graduated from our 2010 Therapy Dog class with their Golden Retriever Mr. R.I.P.
(a rescue, found in a cemetery, hence the name) and from our 2011 Therapy Dog Class with their gorgeous Basset-Yorkshire Terrier Fergie. Lon, Cher, and RIP visit nursing
homes and hospitals across the area and also visit at a hospice in Illinois. Lon is
a very active CHAMP volunteer and has helped with numerous CHAMP events,
including representing CHAMP at speaking engagements, presentations, events
and fundraisers. Lon is also an active volunteer with the USO and the Asthma and Allergy Foundation.

Jennifer Kuehnle is a Board member and a CHAMP client. She taught elementary/middle school for 15 years in University City before joining eMINTS (Enhancing Missouri’s Instructional Networked Teaching Strategies) where she has developed strategies and materials to assist classroom teachers in creating classroom learning communities where team work and real world problem solving combine to develop life long learners. She now specializes in bringing special needs students into the classroom as valued learning partners.

Jennifer has a Masters degree in Instructional Technology from the University of Missouri in Columbia and a Masters degree in Special Education with the focus in Autism.

David Durbin, Board Member is currently Director, Research and Regulatory Affairs for SSM Health Care at their corporate offices in Creve Coeur, Missouri. Captain Durbin retired from the U. S. Naval Reserve with thirty years' commissioned service, both active and reserve, at which time he was serving as an appellate military judge on the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals. He retired from the state of Missouri in September 2007 when he was serving as Director of the Division of Regulation and Licensure of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

Selected accomplishments include: serving as Deputy Department Director for Senior Services and Regulation, Senior Attorney for senior services issues in the Office of General Counsel, Assistant Court Administrator and Legal Counsel for the Circuit Court of Jackson County, Appellate Defender, Western District, for the Missouri State Public Defender System, and the Chief Appellate Attorney for the Jackson County Public Defender.

David and his wife Linda are long-time animal lovers and have shared their home with a variety of companion animals over the years.