Richard Katz is Executive Director of Pet Therapy Advisers, a California non-profit corporation located in Los Angeles. After retiring from a 35 year Human Resources career, he pioneered and implemented therapy dog handler courses taught at selected community colleges and city parks and recreation departments.
These short-term, non-credit courses teach dog owners looking for the least cost and quickest way to pass the live therapy dog behavioral and written tests. Richard is passionate about animal therapy services and the societal benefit of increasing the number of certified handlers, targeting specific populations, and expanding the range of therapy environments and types of facilities.
Richard and his Standard Poodle, Rudy, is certified to provide therapy dog services for disaster relief, having obtained the highest “complex” rating from Pet Partners. Rudy and Richard have provided therapy dog services for a variety facilities including the UCLA Health System, Los Angeles Airport, dependency rehabilitation agencies, colleges, hotels, and community agencies to name a few.
Richard holds a B.A. in Business Administration from UCLA and an M.A. in Industrial Relations from University of Minnesota and has been an educator and corporate training director for over 20 years.
Jena Williams had a longing desire since high school to work with animals and become a veterinarian. But life took Jena on different journeys before reaching her destination.
Her first detour was to work for a large insurance brokerage firm where she met her future husband who owned several construction companies. She learned the business, obtained her contractor’s license and assisted her husband in growing the construction company.
In 1977, Jena started a “temporary labor” contracting firm where she supplied skilled temporary laborers to other contractors. In 2001, Jena sold the business to once again seek out her desired love and initial passion working with animals. But, as life has it, her love for animals was again put on hold: she purchased an Italian deli where her entrepreneurial spirit continued to live on. Jena sold the deli in January, 2016 vowing not to be detoured again.
She became heavily involved with her local SPCA, taking in disabled stray animals until she rehabilitated them, found loving forever homes or kept them for a full life.
Jena sought out and found a one night college course instructed by Richard Katz on “How to Become a Certified Therapy Dog Handler”. Her vision became very clear after taking this course and proceeded to qualify with her Labra-Doodle “Tucker” to work at L.A.X. for the P.U.P. Program-(Pups Unstressing Passengers), Hoffman Hospice Home, and Brookdale Senior Living Center.
She continued her certification journey and became qualified to teach the first ever R.E.A.D. dog program in Central California, working for Quailwood School in Bakersfield, Ca. R.E.A.D. , operated in over 10 countries, enhances children’s’ reading skills by providing a therapy dog for the child to read to. Jena also owns and rides cutting horses as a hobby developing a true sense of trust between horse and rider and has won numerous riding competitions.
Jena is finally where she belongs and has longed for her whole life, working with animals and giving back to her community. Her heart is filled with fulfillment, joy and compassion.
Ronald Kaufman is a seminar leader, keynote speaker, author, and executive coach specializing in effective communication skills, employment, job search and career guidance.For over 15 years, Ron has been conducting workshops on topics such as: “Presentation Skills,” “Job interviewing,” “Negotiation,” “Media skills,” “Goal Setting,” “Time Management,” and “Stress Management.” His workshops are customized, fast-paced, upbeat, and very interactive, giving participants real-world tools and techniques they can begin using immediately. Ron’s clients include Microsoft, Sheraton Hotels, ITT, Nestle, Xerox, Dole Foods, Transamerica, Disney, Santa Monica College, IBM, Metropolitan Water District, Baxter Labs, and Texas Instruments.
Ron has worked with Richard Katz for over a decade on various projects, including career conferences and three-day job search and self-esteem workshops. He shares Richard’s vision of empowering others through education and training. Ron has seen where just one idea, one new skill, or one new technique, can make a huge difference in a person’s career success.
Prior to becoming a consultant, Ron was involved in various aspects of the entertainment industry. This included film production, acting, and writing and producing the feature film “Everyday.” After doing film production, he was an Executive Vice-President doing product placement and promotions with all the major studios. He worked on over 700 films including “E.T.,” “Ghostbusters,” and “Rocky III,” negotiating the placement of clients such as Budweiser, Cadillac, Frito Lay, Panasonic, Gatorade, and MasterCard.
Ron is the author of the acclaimed book “Anatomy of Success,” which is based on his goal setting, motivation, communication skills, and self-esteem workshops. He is also a contributing author for the book “The Wisdom of ASTD-LA,” with his treatise on how to get and stay motivated. He has a degree in Marketing, a Master Certification in NLP, and is a certified trainer in “Presentation Skills.”
He also contributes to the community by donating workshops to various nonprofits such as Samoshel, Path, Turning Point, Chrysalis, LA Youth at Work, Forty Plus, CAEYC, and New Directions for Veterans. At LA Youth at Work, he conducts the “Train the Trainer” workshops as well as facilitating “Job Search” workshops for youth.
Joanne Underwood of JS Professional Services has worked with Pet Therapy Advisers founder Richard Katz since 2010, and currently provides website content management and email marketing services. Joanne’s services include website content management, email marketing, conducting webinars, event planning, desktop publishing and graphic design, database management, and proofreading and copyediting. Her administrative and project management expertise comes from twenty-plus years in human resources, college student services, home education and volunteering.