Our Board of Directors

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Amber Bement


Term: 10/01/2017 - 09/30/2019

Amber Bement has been involved with UMGDR since 2014, when she adopted her first Dane. Since then, she has worked in nearly every area of the rescue and currently acts as the Vetting Coordinator in addition to her duties as President. She lives in Forest Lake, MN, with 3 Great Danes, 1 Golden Retriever, and 3 cats.


connie geiger


Term: 01/01/2017 - 07/31/2019

Connie joined UMGDR in January of 2015 as the Treasurer and brings 20+ years of nonprofit experience to the rescue. Connie is a lifelong animal lover, owner of large dogs, and supporter of the Animal Humane Society, from where the majority of her family was rescued. She lives in St. Paul with her husband, a Great Dane and a Great Dane-mix, and 3 cats.


jamie melius nelson


term: 01/01/2017 - 12/31/2018

Jamie joined UMGDR as the board secretary in January 2017 and comes from a background in administration, communications, and nonprofit management.  Jamie lives in Chaska, MN with her husband, their 3 cats and their lab-corgi mix rescue. They look forward to adding a Dane to their zoo in the future.


karen cucci

director of intake, foster Homes, and Transport

term: 02/01/2017 - 1/31/2019

Karen started volunteering with UMGDR in 2009, starting with home visits, and spending three years as a Placement Coordinator.  She has been on the board in her current role since February of 2014.  Karen has owned Great Danes most of her adult life and currently has a beautiful senior UMGDR foster fail, Clyde. Karen co-owns her own search business placing executive assistants and administrative support with corporations throughout the Twin Cities.  She lives in Minnetonka, MN with her husband, Great Dane, and two rescue cats.

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kathy Larson

Director of Home Visits and Adoptions

Term: 04/01/2017 - 03/31/2019

Kathy has been a volunteer since 2014. She began doing transports and home visits, then moved to Home Visit Coordinator and Lead Transport Coordinator before becoming Director of Home Visits and Adoptions. Kathy is a life-long animal lover. She has had Danes most of her life – all rescues except two. After living in Iowa the majority of her life, she and her wife, Wendy, moved to Woodland Park, CO in August of 2016, along with four cats, two Danes and one Pomeranian. 


Mary Videle

director of marketing and communications

term: 03/01/2018 - 02/28/2020

Mary has over 25 years of marketing experience and has spent most of her career at Wells Fargo leading the team that develops marketing campaigns for bank branches nationwide. Born and raised in MN, she lives in Edina with her husband, 14-year-old daughter, and a rescue dog and cat. Her family loves the idea of finding forever homes for animals that need them, since they know first hand what a wonderful experience it can be.


Brittian Bush

Director of Fundraising

Term: 06/01/2018 - 05/31/2020

Brittian has been with UMGDR since its beginning in 2008 and has also worked extensively with other rescues such as MARS and Save A Bull. An experienced foster and transport volunteer, Brittian is excited to turn her attention to UMGDR's fundraising and event planning needs. Her pack consists of her and her wife, Stacy, three children, three Danes and a pitbull.