Meet the brilliant and compassionate individuals who make up our Executive & Advisory Boards, and are dedicated to achieving our goals.
Kristi Hoss Schiller likes to say she grew up “where the pavement ends and the Gulf of Mexico begins” in Freeport, Texas. After attending University of Houston majoring in Broadcast Journalism, she started her career in radio as an entertainment reporter. By 1992 “Lucy Lipps – the skirt with the dirt” was born at KLOL on “The Stevens and Pruett Show” and later hosting her own morning show, “Cruze with Lucy” on KTBZ -The Buzz. Immediately a television career followed on CBS Syndicated show, “Day and Date,” E! Channel and “Hard Copy.” By 1993 Kristi pioneered in the internet world with an entertainment based website. In 1997 Forbes magazine dubbed Schiller “Queen of the Internet.”
Around Christmas 2009 the idea for K9s4COPs was born after watching the news about a K9 losing his life on the job. After doing research on replacing this K9 Kristi realized there were many law enforcement agencies in dire need of K9s. Thus K9s4COP’s was created in June of 2010 and the first dogs were donated in April of 2011.
Along with K9s4COPs, Kristi finds satisfaction in philanthropy, serving on the board of the Contemporary Arts Museum, Children’s Museum of Houston and a Trustee of the Houston Ballet.
As an attorney in Houston, Judge Robert Eckels has enjoyed a career in public service and leadership spanning decades in the nation’s third largest county. He’s been a national leader on issues of homeland security, transportation, public finance, public private partnerships, the environment, and health care.
As County Judge of Harris County, Judge Eckels built the Harris County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management into a model for the nation. He also built the Houston Transtar Transportation and Emergency Operations Center into a global model of interagency partnerships. The center has enabled effective response to disasters and provided training and planning to mitigate damage and loss.
Judge Eckels has received numerous awards and national recognition. For his work during the hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Esquire magazine named him “Best & Brightest—Citizen of the Year” for 2005 for his exemplary leadership. “When the City of New Orleans evacuated to Houston, Harris County Judge Robert Eckels was an island of competence in the face of catastrophe,” Esquire wrote. American City and County magazine named Judge Eckels “County Leader of the Year 2006.” The National Conflict Resolution Center awarded him its National Peacemaker Award (2006) and the American Leadership Forum its Joseph Jaworski Award (2006).
Dr. Manuel Sanchez was born in the border town of Laredo, Texas. His love of animals was nourished through family pets and occasional ranch work. At the age of 6, he declared becoming a veterinarian as his life’s dream. Moving to the Texas Hill Country in his high school years facilitated a more rural experience, with FFA and 4H playing large parts in his continued desire to become a veterinarian.
Attending Texas A&M solidified his track towards Veterinary Medicine, and he finally realized that life dream by graduating from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M in 1997.
After graduation Dr. Sanchez worked in both mixed animal and small animal practices. He finally purchased his own clinic in 2002 in Angleton and soon after a second practice in Freeport Texas. He is active in both local civic and veterinary associations. His passion is his family and the outdoors.
Deputy Ted Dahlin has served in the Harris County Constable Office Precinct K9 Unit since June 2006. He has served in this precinct in the communications division and patrol division since October 1998. A native of Houston, Texas, and a graduate from the University of Houston Police Academy, Class 152, with academic honors in August 1998.
Deputy Dahlin, who was the inspiration for K9s4COPs, attended and completed a five week training course at Vohne Lich Kennels in Denver, Indiana, with first canine partner Blek, who was a dual purpose explosive/patrol canine. He attended and completed a three week training course at World Wide Canine, in Spring Branch, Texas, with canine Louis, a narcotics/patrol canine. Deputy Dahlin currently works a single purpose narcotics canine XSARA, a gift from K9s4COPs.
Sergeant Red is a native Houstonian who joined the Houston Police Department in 1980.
After completing the Houston Police Academy he was assigned to the Central Patrol Division where he completed his Field Training. He was then assigned to the Accident Investigation Division where he worked as an Investigator until 1989 when he transferred to the Tactical Operations Division, S.W.A.T. Team, where he was assigned to an entry team. He promoted to Sergeant in 2000 and was transferred to the Jail Division then to Central Patrol. In 2002 he transferred back to the Tactical Operations Division as a Sergeant assigned to the Patrol Canine Detail.
Sergeant Red has worked with three different canine partners, Zir his first K-9 was a German
Shepherd who was trained as a patrol and cadaver detection dog, Jet his second K-9 was a German Shepherd who was trained as a patrol and explosive detection dog, his current K-9 Natan is a German Shepherd trained in patrol and narcotics detection.
Ellen Spencer Susman has more than 25 years of experience in radio and television as a reporter, anchor, host, producer and moderator. She recently hosted and produced Balancing Your Life with Ellen Susman, an award winning television series that aired nationally on PBS. The program was groundbreaking in its mission to address the choices and challenges women face juggling career, family, marriage, and motherhood. The show was ethnically and professionally diverse and the guests offered solutions about work/life balance. BYL has won two Accolade Awards and was nominated for a Lonestar Emmy.
Susman edited a memoir based on her late sister’s life as a photojournalist in the Middle East. “Danger Pay,” was published by the University of Texas, in November 2008. Since then, Ellen has presented numerous readings and held book signings in Colorado, California, New Jersey, New York, and her home state of Texas.
Ellen frequently addresses women’s groups on the issues of career and family. Her firm, Ellen Susman Enterprises, Inc. specializes in creating, moderating and facilitating programs and seminars for the corporate marketplace. Susman is also a regular contributor to the Huffington Post where she blogs about work/life balance, women’s issues and animal rights.
Ellen currently serves on the Board of Directors for The American Leadership Forum, The Democracy Alliance, and The Texas Tribune. She also serves on The National Council of The Whitney Museum of Art, The Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, The Aspen Art Museum, and The University of Houston Friends of Women’s Studies. She is a member of the Alexis de Toqueville Society of the United Way, Women in Film and Television, and The National Speakers Association. Ellen is married to attorney Stephen Susman.