Rachel McPherson

President/Founder

rachel headshot1 smallRachel McPherson, a native Mississippian, is the Founder and President of The Good Dog Foundation. She brings her experience as an entrepreneur and community activist to Good Dog.

As the President, Rachel assures the organization’s long-range strategy achieves its mission of increasing awareness of the healing properties of the human-animal bond through certified therapy dog visits. She leads the organization’s program, organizational and financial plans with the Board of Directors and staff. In its seventeen years of existence, Rachel is responsible for Good Dog growing from a small start-up with 3 therapy dogs to a nationally-recognized leader in certified therapy dogs with close to 1,000 teams.

Prior to founding Good Dog, Rachel was an Academy Award-nominated producer for film and television. Rachel has recently created Love Kind Wellness, a social networking website for both human and animal health. Rachel is also active in numerous professional and cultural associations, serving as a leader in fundraising, development, event planning, and production efforts. She is an active board member for the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation. Having been inducted into the Alumni Hall of Fame at the University of Mississippi, Rachel is the past chair of the Ole Miss Women’s Council. She is a founder and coordinator of the Way Up North in Mississippi Picnic, held annually in New York’s Central Park. Rachel previously served on the boards of New York Methodist Hospital, the Berkeley Carroll School, and the Prospect Park Alliance.

Originally having set out to produce a documentary on therapy dog services, Rachel fell in love with the work, stopped making the film, and founded Good Dog. Under her leadership, Good Dog helped change New York State law to allow therapy dogs into health care facilities. Today, Good Dog teams interact with hundreds of thousands of people in need during visits to hospitals, nursing homes, social service and community organizations, and educational facilities in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.

Rachel lives with her husband, two children, and two dogs, including Yazhi, a Good Dog, in New York City.

Bruce Fagin

VP of Strategic Planning & Institutional Advancement

Bruce Portrait jacketBruce Fagin is Good Dog’s Vice President of Strategic Planning & Institutional Advancement. He has extensive experience in nonprofit and for-profit leadership.

As a strategic planning and fundraising consultant, Bruce has helped such organizations as National Geographic, Carnegie Hall, Paul Taylor’s American Modern Dance, The Occupational Physician’s Scholarship Fund, New York Public Radio, City University of New York, and the Alliance for Downtown New York where he was a founder of the River To River Festival after 9/11.

Earlier in his career, Bruce served as Deputy Director of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Before that he was an editor, marketing executive and publisher for the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. specializing in the development and marketing of electronic databases. Subsequently, he worked with venture firm Rho Management creating marketing, funding and branding strategies for startups in information technology, among them Ovid Technologies, developer of a global medical database search engine.

Mr. Fagin received a B.A. in International Studies from The Johns Hopkins University. Among his childhood caretakers was his German Shepherd, Timber.

Carly Goteiner

Director of Administration

Carly Goteiner

Carly Goteiner is the Director of Administration at Good Dog, where she is excited to help both humans and animals with her passion and hard work.

In her role as Director of Administration, Carly coordinates the annual operations plan and budget implementation.  She also ensures the office is functioning smoothly, maintains the website, provides logistical support for events, handles human resources, and serves as a liaison to the Good Dog board.

Carly is an animal lover and an ardent proponent of animal rescue.  Before joining Good Dog, Carly was active in animal welfare in both New York (Sean Casey Animal Rescue, Bideawee), and Massachusetts (Ellen M. Gifford Shelter).  She still enjoys volunteering for SCAR, her local Brooklyn shelter.

Carly received her BA from Brandeis University in Massachusetts, and is currently studying for her Master of Public Administration at Baruch College.  When she’s not at school or working, she enjoys playing soccer and reading.  A native Brooklynite, Carly still lives in the borough with her cat, Dory.

William “Bill” Ross

Treasurer/Finance Manager

Bill RossWilliam “Bill” Ross is the Finance Manager at The Good Dog Foundation.

Bill brings with him extensive and diverse non-profit experience in both the accounting and business fields.

Previously, Bill was the Business Manager for a private elementary school on the Upper West Side of Manhattan dedicated to the belief that special needs children who have mild to moderate learning, language, and/or emotional issues can succeed and build vital academic and social foundations.

Prior to that he was the Controller for a multi-service community center in the Bronx whose programs included adult fitness and education, Head Start, Universal Pre-Kindergarten afterschool programs and daycare, youth and teen programs, summer day camp and senior centers.

His experience also includes working as the Controller of a charitable agency in Dobbs Ferry that served approximately 10,000 children and families in the New York metropolitan area each year.  The organization helped society’s most vulnerable children become educationally proficient, economically productive, and socially responsible members of their communities.

For more than a decade, in the Bronx a block from Yankee Stadium, Bill supervised the Accounting Department for the first residential health care facility in New York established for families and children with AIDS.

Bill and his wife, Terry, share their home in Pompton Lakes, New Jersey with a frisky Wire Fox Terrier named Sherlock.

Jocelyn Gully

Visit Coordinator

jocelyn headshot

Jocelyn is the Visit Coordinator at the Good Dog Foundation. A great believer in the healing power of dogs, she is excited to utilize her community organizing skills and passion for all things canine to improve the lives of people in need.

Once current volunteers have graduated and become fully certified, Jocelyn guides each team in deciding what types of facilities to visit and coordinates visits between the facilities and volunteer teams. She is the first point of contact for all of Good Dog’s facility partners, from creating partnerships to placing teams where they are needed most.

Jocelyn’s previous experience includes animal welfare work at Dupont Veterinary Clinic and the Washington Humane Society in Washington, DC. She also spent time as a Community Organizer with both the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer and Organizing for America, President Obama’s reelection campaign.

Jocelyn lives in Brooklyn with her boyfriend, Evan, and their Australian Shepherd/Boxer mix named Yaz (after Boston Red Sox legend Carl Yastrzemski).

Heather White

Director of Programs and Training

Heather is the Director of Programs and Training at The Good Dog Foundation. Heather has been Good Dog’s Westchester and Fairfield Executive Trainer for the past 8 years and has been truly honored to have worked with so many wonderful Good Dog teams in her region. In her new role, Heather works closely with the office staff and Good Dog’s trainers to continue to enhance programs, training, and the volunteer experience. Heather has a Master’s in Social Work from Hunter College, winning Hunter’s Jacob Goldfein award for her Master’s Thesis, “Optimizing Animal-Assisted Interactions within Psychiatric Facilities”.

Heather also holds a certificate in Animals and Human Health from the University of Denver’s Graduate School of Social Work, a certificate in Treating Animal Abuse from Arizona State University, and is involved in Animal-Assisted Crisis Response.

When she’s not working towards her certificate in Veterinary Social Work from the University of Tennessee or volunteering at a local therapeutic equestrian center, Heather enjoys trialing in Rally Obedience and spending time outdoors with her two dogs; Dooley, a mixed breed, and Thomas, a German Shepherd Dog.

Alexander Thompson

Marketing Manager

Alexander_Headshot_8.bw editAlexander Leslie Thompson is the Marketing Manager at The Good Dog Foundation. He spent many years working in arts non-profits as a creative consultant, community builder, and cultural organizer.

As a marketing and development manager/consultant he has worked with Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion, Mare Nostrum Elements Dance Theater, and Culturebot in addition to a number of individual artists. He spent two and a half years as the Associate Artist Program Manager at New York Live Arts, where he also served as the Interim Director of Education and Engagement. In addition he has been an Associate Producer with ArKtype and a guest lecturer at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, the Juilliard School, the New School, and Bard College.

His passion for the arts extends into the volunteer realm, where he has spent four years on the Dance/NYC Junior Committee, serving two years as the Vice-Chair and Chair, respectively, and three years on Doug Varone and Dancers’ Junior Board.

He is thrilled to be joining an organization with so much heart that works so hard to help people heal.