Meet the team behind HAVEN.
As a co-founder of HAVEN and a dog trainer I have been able to use my skills to effect a change in the lives of veterans and the dogs who together become a service dog team. Currently I have two professional certifications in training. My interest in working with veterans and dogs began when an opportunity arose to observe service dog training on a military base in California. Several years after that HAVEN became a reality.
Thomas Franco is a talented and seasoned executive with over 30 years of experience leadership. He brings a wealth of expertise with particular strengths in areas such as teaching, coaching and mentoring. After 3 combat tours in Saudi Arabia, Iraqi and Afghanistan, Thomas has a strong understanding of veterans concerns and needs when it comes to Combat veterans transitioning from a military community to the civilian community.
Thomas entered the Marine Corps in 1985 where he had earned a BS in Social/Criminal Justice. His last duty station was Marine Barracks Washington D.C. where he met and learned from those veterans served in Korea to those who served in Afghanistan. Bringing all this knowledge to the HAVEN program will help the program to flourish and continue to better serve those who served.
Dealer Sales Account Representative – Harley-Davidson Motor Company 1980 – 2004
Adoption Counselor / Animal Care Technician - Wisconsin Humane Society 2001 – Present
Chuck currently assists potential adopters in meeting their future companion animal, giving the clients the information necessary to set them up for success. Prior to working at the Wisconsin Humane Society, Chuck assisted Harley-Davidson dealers with their Motorcycle orders and attending motorcycle rallies and shows in selling featured proucts. As an animal advocate and son of a Military Veteran, Chuck assists as a BOD member in the HAVEN group, providing information about shelter procedures and available dogs for Veterans to adopt as their Service Animal. Chuck also volunteers at HAVEN events, and offers ideas to grow opportunities HAVEN wants to provide our Military Veterans.
Grace Garoutte-Mohammed is an adjunct psychology professor and has a Masters in Counseling. Grace has served on several nonprofit boards and has years of experience working with veterans and their families. She served as the Wisconsin Dole Caregiver Fellow with the Elizabeth Dole Foundation from 2017-2018, advocating for the caregivers of wounded and ill service-members and veterans.Her husband trained his service dog, Radar, through HAVEN. She loves HAVEN's mission and is excited to help HAVEN continue to grow.
Vince has a BA in Communications from UW-Stevens Point and a BA in Visual Communications (Graphic Design) from UW-Milwaukee. Including keeping track of the finances, Vince has crafted the look of HAVEN Inc.
Katinka Hooyer is a Medical Anthropologist and researcher in the Center for Healthy Communities and Research, Medical College of Wisconsin. The focus of her research is on Veteran mental health and reintegration. She collaborates with Veterans to study how their experiences with non-clinical, adjunctive therapies, like HAVEN, provide opportunities for healing moral injury and military trauma. Her community-engaged practice uses the arts/humanities as a pathway to convey difficult experiences and translate research for the public.