Carolyn Naoroz, Ph.D., President:

Carolyn Naoroz is the Body-Worn Camera Management Analyst for the Richmond Police Department and an Adjunct Professor of Criminology at Randolph-Macon College.  Formerly, Dr. Naoroz was a Research Assistant (contractor) at the National Institute of Justice in the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice assisting on the Law Enforcement Advancing Data and Science (LEADS) Program.  She holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration with a concentration in Criminal Justice from the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University and a M.A. in Criminology, Criminal Justice from Eastern Michigan University, and a B.F.A. from Fordham University. 

Dr. Naoroz serves as a City Council appointed member of the Richmond Community Criminal Justice Board and is President of the Board of Directors for Friends of Richmond K-9.  In her spare time, Carolyn can be found at the stable riding or with her German Shepherds, Max and retired K-9 Murphy (pictured).  You can follow the adventures of Max and Murphy living the "pup life in RVA" at @maxnmurphy on Instagram.

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Ceily Poh, Vice President:

Ceily Arrighi Poh grew up right in the heart of RVA, attending Saint Benedict's and Saint Gertrude's before gracing VCU with her presence.  Ceily's passion has always been animals, especially dogs, and a few years she and her husband, son, and adopted son ventured into pet nutrition founding Nature's Select of Central Virginia.  Ceily will be the first person to tell you how important your pet's gut health it and is always ready with a fundraising idea for Friends of Richmond K-9.

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Scott Kennedy, Treasurer:

Scott Kennedy is the Trade Mission Manager supporting the Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s Division of International Trade. With over 18 years of experience with VEDP, Scott’s expertise is in event management and marketing. Scott’s time is spent with Trade events both in Virginia and internationally, with some marketing as needed. Scott has previously served as an International Marketing Specialist, Marketing Assistant, interim-Global Network Manager, Promotions Manager, and Events Manager with VEDP-International Trade, developing research insights and publications to assist companies in identifying and entering international markets. Prior to joining VEDP in 1999, Scott worked in the Department of Social Services, as a DJ, and was in the Army.

Scott spend 13 years volunteering in the City of Richmond with the West End Volunteer Rescue Squad (now the Richmond Volunteer Rescue Squad). During that time he was an EMT responding to emergency calls throughout the City of Richmond. He also served in a variety of capacities – President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, Assistant Chief of Operations, Supply Officer and Vehicle Maintenance Officer.

Scott lives in Richmond, VA in the Mary Munford neighborhood.

Victoria Mansfield, Secretary:

Victoria Mansfield is currently a health program consultant, and works with health clinics in the Richmond, Virginia region. In her role as a consultant she  provides expertise in program design and grant proposal submission.  She is a doctoral student at the VCU Wilder School focusing on health policy and public health interventions, working towards her culminating dissertation looking at the training of providers in LGBTQ cultural competency. 

Victoria has worked in the health care sector in medical education for six years on both the accreditation and the clinical side. She is a loving dog mom, and avid fitness fanatic. 

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Jeff Merten:

Richmond native since 1969, Jeff has owned a local residential and commercial cleaning service and worked in the Restaurant and Country Club field for 10 years as a Kitchen Manager and Executive Chef, including  Buckheads and Richmond Country Club. He currently is Managing Director at Merten Enterprises LLC and DataDash YouTube Channel.  Jeff first met some Richmond K-9 officers and their canines through sponsoring a Va. Police Work Dog Association event in 2010.

An original board member, Jeff served as President of Friends of Richmond K-9 from January 2014 to December 2017.  He looks forward to continuing to work with all board members and volunteers to continue to support all the members of our courageous Richmond Police K-9 Unit. 

K-9 Officer Fred Bates:  

Fred Bates, a Virginia Military Institute graduate, has been working with the Richmond Police Department for 17 years. A former Narcotics Detective and Former Narcotics K-9 Handler, Officer Bates works with his K-9 partner,  Gunny, and works the streets as a Patrol K-9 Handler . Officer Bates hopes to bring more public attention to our K-9 unit and show what our dogs can do to protect the citizens of the Richmond Metro Area.

Danielle Naoroz Peters:

Danielle moved to Richmond in 1984 to attend Virginia Commonwealth University, pursuing a degree in Education.  Upon graduation, she taught for Richmond Public Schools at J.B. Fisher Elementary School.  Danielle and her husband are involved in a variety of organizations within the Richmond Community, including: the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the Richmond Jazz Society, James River Outdoor Coalition, Richmond Food Co-Op, Community Foundation, and Richmond BMW Riders.  They currently have the companionship of two dogs, two cats, and occasionally two beehives.  Danielle's interest in Friends of Richmond K-9 stems from her love of  animals and a desire to support the community and those who protect it.

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Meg Belcher:

Meg, an Indiana native, originally pursued a career in human emergency care as a flight medic. Following ground certification as an EMT-B through the Indiana University School of Public Health, it became clear that her heart found the most compassion in helping a more furry, four legged type of patient! Upon graduating from the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine as a Licensed Veterinary Technologist in 2010, Meg relocated to Richmond in acceptance of a position as an anesthetist and L.V.T. for an area equine referral and surgical hospital. Meg has since transitioned into a sales role with global veterinary pharmaceutical company, Zoetis and has covered both companion animal and equine territories alike to educate veterinarians, technicians, support staff and clients about Zoetis veterinary products and services offered for their patients and pets. In her free time, Meg enjoys running, kayaking, travel and just about any other activity that keeps her in the mountains, on a trail or near a river with her adventure cat “Gypsy”. 

Blythe Bowman Balestrieri, Ph.D.:

Blythe Balestrieri (née Bowman) is Associate Professor of Criminal Justice in the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government & Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University. 

Her research and teaching focus on jails and she is a member of the Wilder School's Transnational Fellow Program, which provides expert testimony on public safety issues to the General Assembly. She serves on the City's Criminal Justice Community Board and volunteers as a Neighborhood Assistance Officer with the Richmond Police Department. 

Blythe spends her free time riding her horse and dressing it up from time to time as a unicorn, and is unhealthily obsessed with her three dogs, Andrew, Vesper, and Viggo. Andrew is a prison dog from Pixie's Pen Pals (paroled 2010), Vesper is little sister to Carolyn Naoroz' GSD, Max, and Viggo is their litter 2.0 brother. 

Retired K-9 Officer Cliff “Puddin” Stone

Sergeant Stuart Hannah

IN MEMORIAM

Retired K-9 Officer Harry Pherson:

Harry Pherson was a retired Richmond Police officer of 29 years. He worked Patrol Division, Vice Division and the last 11 he worked in the K-9 Unit. During this time with the unit he worked a Narcotic Detector K-9. He also attained the position of Master Trainer with the Virginia Police Work Dog Association where he was active in the association certifying narcotic detector dog teams within the stave of Virginia. In 2004 Harry retired to a position with a private security firm as a trainer of Explosion Detector K-9's and spent time in the Middle East training dogs for the foreign nationals. In 2008, Harry retired completely and began traveling with his wife around the world and pursuing his interest in photography.

Harry became a member of the Friends of Richmond K-9 in an effort to help bring light to the work of the women and men of the Richmond Police Department K-9 Unit and their K-9 partners', and to support their efforts. Harry was an integral part of the K-9 Unit and Friends of Richmond K-9, as well as a cherished colleague and friend. He passed away in August of 2018. In honor of Harry, Friends of Richmond K-9 has renamed their annual 5k for K-9’s the harry Pherson Memorial 5k for K-9’s to honor his memory.