"Working with our service dogs is pure magic: magic, for me, as well as the trainers, volunteers, and puppy raisers who watch the light bulbs light up in a puppy’s mind as they figure out how to open a door, turn on a light or go get help for their partner. The magic of seeing a service dog in-training ‘choose’ it’s partner and the difference it makes in the new partners life” - Linda Ball
Founder and Executive Director
PawPADs' Founder and Executive Director, Linda Ball, has spent over 30 years working in the social services and non-profit fields. She is an accomplished non-profit manager and professional dog trainer. A Minnesota native and a University of Minnesota Alumnus, Linda holds her M.S. Degree in Experiential Education and has served as guest lecturer at the University of Minnesota and the Mongolian National University.
In 2016, Linda was named an "Exceptional Business Woman" by the "Sun This Week" newspapers.
In 2005 Linda returned to the United States' from her GOAL-Ireland posting in Central America with the vision of creating a program utilizing the power of animals to create effective change. Thus was born Pawsitive Perspectives Assistance Dogs (PawPADs). Incorporated as a non-profit in 2007, PawPADs started its success on the Oregon Coast and in 2008 Linda brought the program back to her home-state of Minnesota. She is committed to creating life enhancing experiences and partnerships between canines and people facing the many challenges life can present with four paws and a pawsitive perspective!
Board of Directors
What Does PawPADs' Board Do?
Like most nonprofit Boards, it's primary responsibility is strategic and financial program oversight, along with fundraising/development activity.
They advise, govern, oversee policy and assist with the leadership and general promotion of PawPADs. They provide resources: financial contributions; contacts; personal,corporate, and community networking; professional in-kind services; and staff and volunteer appreciation. They are volunteers, puppy raisers, public relations experts, financial and business advisers, poop-scoopers and dog bathers. Their passion for our mission and personal and collective example is critically important to our success.
“I joined PawPADs back in 2011 as a volunteer and had the pleasure of increasing my role to board member in 2016. My background consists of a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work with 20+ year of experience in Human Resources. PawPADs' variety of training programs, their method of training (only positive reinforcement) and the difference that I have witnessed service dogs make in people’s lives are what keep me volunteering with this great organization.”
“Before accepting a seat on the board of directors, I volunteered at PawPADs for more than 4 years. I initially decided to volunteer to give back and help others, but I immediately fell in love with the mission, philosophy and passion of the volunteers and directors of PawPADs. Year after year I have been committed to give more and more back while gaining much more from the experience than I ever expected.”
“I bring the perspective of more than a decade experience in positive based dog training and over thirty years’ experience managing diverse work forces and volunteers. I understand – better than most – the challenges and issues facing our veterans and their families: I’m a Vietnam-era US Air Force veteran, come from a military “Gold Star” family, and am the son of WWII P.O.W. I’m a retired law enforcement officer/detective, and have served our Nation abroad, having lived or worked in Bosnia, Kosovo, Central America, and Afghanistan. I have a BA in Business Administration and an AA in Criminal Justice.”
Director and Constituent
“In early 2014 I was partnered with DAD Sage. The skills he has are exceptional and are a direct result of the commitment that PawPADs puts into each of the Service Dogs they train. I’m extremely proud to be able bring my skills as an entrepreneur and business person, as well as my passion for the lifesaving difference Sage has made in my life to the PawPADs Board table.”