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Since 2011 Great Lakes Westie Rescue, Inc. has served the geographical areas of northern Indiana, Michigan, northern Ohio, and northeastern Illinois. GLWR is incorporated in the state of Indiana and is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit public charity. We have three members that serve as our Board of Directors.

President – Judi Sierer

Judi brings 20 years of Westie ownership and 10 years of experience in Westie rescue activities. Many of you have talked to Judi as she makes reference checks and follows up on initial applications with phone interviews. Judi's love and enthusiasm for all Westies is a driving force behind GLWR.


Secretary – Denise Sunkel

Denise has owned Westies for over 18 years and has served Westies in rescue for over 11 years. Denise has a volunteer's heart, as she also serves on the Board for WestiMed. Denise's love of Westies and her desire to volunteer have brought her to this position. Most of you will know Denise from her extensive work on the annual Westie Lake Walk in Valparaiso, Indiana.


Treasurer – Paula Fike

Owning Westies for over 17 years, owning cousin Cairns, and serving in rescues in both breeds, has given Paula a solid background in understanding this terrier breed. Admiration of the breed, their intelligence and their feisty love of life, has brought Paula into the volunteer program with a passion for mill dogs and their plight. Many of you will remember talking to Paula when starting the application process and when coordinating transport efforts.

GLWR, Inc. also has an Advisory Panel, with members being appointed by the Board, to head committees and coordinate activities of the rescue for fundraising, promotions, and the execution of all activities needed for saving our beloved Westies. Each of our advisors brings a unique set of experiences and skills to GLWR. Our Advisors are: 

Beverly Ressler

Most of you will know Beverly as the co-founder and driving force behind Central Ohio Westie Rescue for many years. GLWR and Central Ohio Westie Rescue completed a merger in late 2011. Beverly graciously agreed to remain as one of our advisors due to her extensive and valuable experience in rescue, as well as her knowledge of financial policies and management strategies. We gratefully welcome all of Central Ohio's volunteers to our ranks and appreciate the efforts they have already made to step up and help us with the Westie Lake Walk, transports, fostering and home visits. We look forward to offering a successful Westie Rescue program with Beverly's help and guidance.


Marcia Qualls

Already a Westie owner, Marcia is a one of those hard core rescuers, she always says "ok, how can we make that happen!?!" Marcia supports GLWR in all areas from promotions to fostering, to doing home visits and completing adoptions. We are indebted to Marcia for her love of Westies, passion for the mill dogs, creative ideas and enthusiasm.


Lou Putnam

Lifelong dog lover, Lou joins our team bringing her expertise in marketing communications and event planning to the group. Unable to foster because she already has two Westies, Maggie (a GLWR adoptee) and Wesley along with two black Labradors, Bogie and Birdie, Lou volunteers her time and energies by helping with updates to the GLWR website, our Facebook page and anything else we ask her to do!


Mike DeFreeuw

Mike has experienced “unconditional terrier love” since rescuing his first dogs over 35 years ago. Mike and his wife Patti have always had at least two dogs in the family… currently they share their home in Fort Wayne with a Westie and two Scotties. For over seven years, Mike served on the Board of Directors of the Allen County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ACSPCA). During his time on the board he led the marketing and fundraising/events committees and served as the ACSPCA’s elected Board President for two terms. An original organizer of the Northern Indiana Pet Expo, he has helped that event grow into one of the largest pet-friendly events in the State. Each year Mike also volunteers to emcee the Humane Society of Whitley County’s annual fundraising auction.

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