2022 Jack Warnock Award Winner and National Board of Directors Regional Volunteer Awards 

2022 Jack Warnock Award Winner and National Board of Directors Regional Volunteer Awards 

In 2000, our national board of directors established a national volunteer award given yearly to one volunteer from each of our six regions. The highest honor is the Canine Companions Jack Warnock Award, a tribute to longtime volunteer and graduate Jack Warnock.

This prestigious award acknowledges exceptional volunteerism at Canine Companions. We are pleased to recognize the 2022 Jack Warnock Award winner, volunteer Diesta Gundacker of Winter Park, Florida, as well as congratulate the five regional winners.

Diesta came to Canine Companions because she wanted her children to experience giving back to the community in a way that would be tangible. In 1999, she received and raised her first Canine Companions future service dog, Tempo. Nearly 25 years later, she is raising Sota, her 17th puppy. Read more about Diesta.

Catherine Rupp exemplifies years of dedicated service to Canine Companions. Catherine became a Canine Companions volunteer in 2009 as a volunteer puppy raiser in Chicago, Illinois. Read more about Catherine.

Debbie Byrne has been a volunteer for Canine Companions since 2017, when she began raising her first puppy, Thistle. Since then, she has expanded her volunteerism to serve our mission in countless ways, exemplifying Canine Companions core values and supporting her community. Read more about Debbie.

Sheryl has been a passionate, hands-on volunteer. She serves at graduation brunches; assists with volunteer appreciation events; volunteers as a photographer at events; serves as a puppy sitter; helps at graduation and puppy matriculation; and attends and supports DogFest events. Read more about Sheryl.

Laura began volunteering for Canine Companions in 2011 when she began raising her first puppy, Fame. Since then, with the help of her family, she has raised six puppies. In addition, she is also a breeder caretaker, with her third puppy Laura raised, Noki, being her first breeder dog. Read more about Laura.

Eva LaMere is president of Austin Williams, a nationally recognized marketing agency that volunteers their resources to develop Canine Companions branding. Eva is currently the vice president of the Northeast Region Advisory Board. Read more about Eva.