Veterans Served for Us, Now We Serve for Them
Serving Veterans The Right Way
K9s For Warriors serves our veterans as honorably as they served their country. Our lifelong program is provided to Warriors at no cost and is designed to deliver maximum benefit with minimum administrative costs. We are proud that generous supporters trust us to do the right thing with their contributions, and we have received widespread recognition for our stewardship. Impacting the lives of veterans will always be our greatest reward. Their continued participation in the program is the only validation we need.
Our Leadership Team
K9s For Warriors boasts an experienced executive team with backgrounds ranging from the U.S. Army to the White House. Every member oversees a different aspect of our organization, but each is focused on our mission of ending veteran suicide and returning Warriors to a life of dignity and independence.
As CEO of K9s For Warriors, Diamond is responsible for the organization’s executive management and strategic vision. Under his leadership, K9s For Warriors has grown to be the nation’s largest provider of Service Dogs for disabled American veterans and the largest Service Dog agency in the world using primarily rescue dogs. Before leading K9s For Warriors, Diamond was a litigator at two international law firms. He also served as a federal prosecutor for the U.S. Department of Justice, specializing in public corruption and financial fraud prosecutions. Before earning his law degree, he served as Briefing Director for California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and as a Deputy Associate Director at the White House for President George W. Bush. He was working in the White House on 9/11 and, ultimately, served as part of the startup staff for the U.S. Office of Homeland Security.
Diamond is a national advocate for American veterans, focusing primarily on combat-related PTSD, traumatic brain injuries, military sexual trauma, veteran suicide, and veteran homelessness. He has been instrumental in leading the organization’s involvement in legislative efforts that would require the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to establish a grant program that would provide a Service Dog to qualifying military veterans suffering from military-related trauma. In 2016, he helped found the Association of Service Dog Providers for Military Veterans (ASDPMV), endeavoring to raise Service Dog standards and outlaw fake “Service Dogs”. In 2017, he conceived and helped found “Service Dog Pass,” the nation’s first nationally recognized credential for legitimate Service Dogs.
Locally, Diamond has served on the Neptune Beach City Council, where he focused on property rights and passed local legislation to end the use of fake “Service Dogs,” which now serves as a national model. In 2019, he was elected to the Jacksonville City Council, representing the Jacksonville beaches. As a city council member, he founded the nation’s first community-based veteran suicide prevention initiative, called “The Fire Watch”. He earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of San Diego School of Law, graduating Cum Laude, and completed his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Michigan. He enjoys spending time with his family and can often be seen running on the beach with his rescue dog, George, the Chief K9 Officer at K9s For Warriors.
- Leadership Jacksonville (2014)
- Leadership Florida (2015)
- Presidential Leadership Scholars (2017)
- Jacksonville Business Journal “40 Under 40” (2017)
- Pet Age “40 Under 40” (2017)
- Jacksonville Business Journal “Ultimate CEO” (2018)
- National Association of Veterans and Families, “Champion for Veterans” Award (2018)
- Maverick Pack “Future40” (2019)
As Chief of Staff and General Counsel of K9s For Warriors, Dodson serves as the chief personnel manager and legal advisor. She feels blessed that her diverse legal and management experience has allowed her to help K9s For Warriors carry out its mission. She most enjoys helping Warriors navigate federal and state laws pertaining to Service Dogs, along with advocating against disability discrimination and restrictions around public access. Otherwise, her responsibilities cover a broad range of personnel, finance, business, contract, risk management, and general legal compliance and services. She draws on her wealth of litigation and client counseling experience when providing support to every department and team of K9s For Warriors. As an AV-Preeminent-rated attorney, she has earned the respect of her peers, clients, and the judiciary, in the courtroom and in the boardroom, where she has represented corporations, individuals, employers, employees, the State of Florida, plaintiffs, and defendants.
Throughout her 25-year legal career she has tried more than 70 civil and criminal jury trials to verdict, including labor and employment law cases, federal diversity actions, commercial and contract law cases, actions on insurance contracts, will and probate contests, along with civil rights, personal injury, medical malpractice, and wrongful death cases. She has been a partner in two highly regarded local law firms and most recently – prior to joining K9s For Warriors – served as the Managing Director of the State Attorney’s Office. There, she tried first-degree murder cases while providing counsel directly to the elected State Attorney and managing all aspects of the largest law firm in Northeast Florida (350 government employees).
As a native of Jacksonville, she is committed to giving back to her local and legal community, and was especially excited about being selected to the 2020 Leadership Jacksonville Class. She is honored to currently serve as Chair of The Florida Bar Code and Rules of Evidence Committee on appointment by The Florida Bar President, after chairing and serving on many committees for The Florida Bar and the Jacksonville Bar Association. She is a Master of the Bench in the Chester Bedell American Inn of Court, has served as the Past President of the Jacksonville Women Lawyers Association (JWLA), received the JWLA Women of the Year Award, and continues to provide pro bono counsel to other nonprofits and indigent clients.
As an avid outdoorswoman, Dodson is passionate about protecting our natural resources for generations to enjoy, which led her to serve on the Board of the Public Trust Environmental Legal Institute of Florida, where she is currently the Secretary. She spends her spare time on her horse property surrounded by three protected preserves she calls the crown jewels of Jacksonville where she plays with all of her four-legged children, including a German Shepherd from K9s For Warriors (Chase), an Australian Cattle Dog (Blue), three horses (Blaze, Apache, and PC), and three cats (Lakota, Apache and Winchester). Growing up as a competitive athlete and an experienced skydiver, she now limits herself to the non-impact sports of golf and shooting sporting clays.
Cricco has spent the last decade successfully leading marketing departments for world-renowned nonprofits and arts institutions, with previous campaigns featured by the Wall Street Journal and Advertising Week. He is passionate about utilizing the power of data to shape effective marketing campaigns.
Before joining K9s For Warriors, he was the principal and founder of Attract Research, providing marketing research and consulting services to museums and nonprofits around the country. He equipped these organizations, including the Whitney Museum and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, with marketing insights that boosted engagement and revenue.
Prior to starting his own firm, he worked as the Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum in New York City. As the museum’s first senior marketing hire, he grew the department by four times in two years and exceeded annual revenue goals between 2-9% each year of his tenure. Prior, as VP of Marketing at Running Subway Productions, he managed marketing for various live entertainment productions. Consistently sparking a “must-see” sentiment while helping to sell out event venues, he also garnered critical acclaim in publications like the New York Times.
Earlier in his career, Cricco helped launch ERM Research, a boutique market research firm focused on the entertainment sector, where his passion for data and analytics began. He holds a B.A. from New York University and an M.B.A. from New York University Stern School of Business, where he specialized in marketing. He is a New York City transplant, and although he misses his local Italian deli and not needing a car to get around, he wouldn’t trade the Florida sun to get those things back. He loves spending time with his family and is an avid traveler. His favorite city thus far has been Tokyo. Tel Aviv and Rio De Janeiro are next on the list.
As CFO of K9s For Warriors, Zach is responsible for the financial performance of the organization. Before joining K9s for Warriors, he spent ten years serving in senior data and research, operations, and finance roles in the public education sector. He most recently spent six years leading the finance and operations functions of KIPP Jacksonville Schools, a non-profit network of public charter schools committed to preparing students from the North and Westside for college and life. Prior to serving in education, Zach spent four years working for McMaster-Carr Supply Company, a national industrial supplies distributor. He held leadership positions in finance, sales, and warehouse operations.
Zach served on active duty as a logistics officer in the United States Army from 2000-2005. He deployed in support of both Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom.
As a transplant to Jacksonville, Zach is committed to positively contributing to his adopted home. He currently serves as Treasurer of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Jacksonville Board of Directors and is a member of the Leadership Jacksonville Class of 2019.
Zach earned his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and completed his B.S. from The United States Military Academy. He is married to Amanda, a nursing education specialist at the Mayo Clinic. They are the proud parents of two rescue dogs, Feather and Bindi, who enjoy long walks, playing with their toys, eating too many treats, and sleeping. Zach enjoys outdoor activities and is an avid runner and reader. He and Amanda enjoy traveling, and especially love spending time in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.
K9s For Warriors is a founding member of the Association of Service Dog Providers for Military Veterans, a national coalition of fellow nonprofit Service Dog providers for military veterans. The coalition’s primary purpose is to maintain or exceed Service Dog organization standards and use strength in numbers to advocate for policy reform that supports Service Dogs as medical equipment for invisible wounds. Each participating organization maintains its own brand identity.
K9s For Warriors is also the founding member of The American Service Dog Access Coalition (also known as Service Dog Pass). Service Dog Pass is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to reducing the burdens faced by disabled individuals while traveling with Service Dogs. Service Dog Pass prioritizes collaboration, with the goal of building the broadest possible coalition of Service/Guide Dog providers and access providers to end the use of fake and poorly trained “service dogs” while simultaneously raising Service Dog training standards.
K9s For Warriors is a founding member of The Fire Watch. The Fire Watch is Northeast Florida’s fight to end veteran suicide. We are uniting our War Fighters and allies to swiftly activate local assets, stand watch, and build a life-saving network. To date, no city, county, or state has ever reduced its veteran suicide rate, and this effort will be the first of its kind in the country.
A Mother’s Love That Started a Movement
Shari Duval founded K9s For Warriors in 2011. Her vision was to train shelter dogs as Service Dogs and pair them with veterans afflicted with military-connected traumas. When her son, Brett, a civilian K9 police bomb dog handler who served in Iraq, came home with PTSD she realized he was only himself when with his dog. Doctors couldn’t help her son, but she found that a Service Dog could. Shari found a new mission in life: to put all her time and resources into helping restore the life of her son, and the lives of returning combat veterans through the use of Service Dogs.
For Shari, it wasn’t only about assisting those who had sacrificed for our freedom anymore – it was about fighting to save their lives. She started the organization with her own money and watched it grow into the largest Service Dog program for veterans in the United States.
Sadly, we lost Shari in February 2021 after a courageous battle against cancer. She may no longer be with us, but her legacy will shine on with every veteran and rescue dog life saved by K9s For Warriors. Our renamed Shari Duval K9s For Warriors National Headquarters in Ponte Vedra, Fla., will remind everyone connected with our organization to maintain her love and passion for our cause.
Our Board of Directors
“50 Best Charities to Give to Right Now,” Good Housekeeping Magazine
Florida Impact Award, Leadership Florida
2020 Platinum Seal of Transparency, GuideStar