K9s For Warriors Announces Changes to Leadership

After eight years at the organization, Rory Diamond steps down as CEO to pursue service as a Judge Advocate General Officer

PONTE VEDRA, Fla. (October 20, 2022)­ — Rory Diamond, Chief Executive Officer of K9s For Warriors, announced he will resign from his role as CEO to focus on military service and serving a second term on the Jacksonville City Council. Rory recently earned a commission in the Florida National Guard and the U.S. Army and graduated from the Direct Commission Course. He plans to continue his commitment to military service as a JAG officer.

Rory, hired in 2014 when the organization had a staff of just 12, worked tirelessly to make K9s For Warriors the nation’s largest trained Service Dog provider to military veterans suffering from service-related trauma. In his time as CEO, Rory expanded K9s For Warriors from one campus to six across three states and saw more than 700 Warriors graduate from the program with Service Dogs.

“For the past eight years, it’s been a humbling honor to lead K9s For Warriors and the team that built the nation’s largest Service Dog agency serving disabled American veterans. Yet, I am compelled by my heart and convictions to focus on military service and serving a second term on the Jacksonville City Council. Earlier this year I earned a commission in the Florida National Guard and the U.S. Army and graduated from the Direct Commission Course at Ft. Benning, GA. Next, I will qualify as a Judge Advocate General and look forward to serving our state and nation as a JAG officer. I am incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved for veterans and rescue dogs, and our organization is strong. With six beautiful campuses across the country and a world-renowned reputation for fighting veteran suicide and saving incredible dogs, K9s For Warriors has been nothing short of a miracle.”

Carl Cricco, Chief Marketing and Development Officer at K9s For Warriors, will become CEO. Prior to joining K9s two years ago, Carl was the Senior Vice President of Marketing at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. On September 11, 2001, he lived just blocks from the Twin Towers and like many that day, it left an indelible mark. He has spent much of his career ensuring Americans never forget 9/11 and at K9s For Warriors, Carl is now dedicated to ensuring the veterans who fought in conflicts resulting from that day are also not forgotten.

“I am honored and humbled to be taking on this leadership role at K9s For Warriors. I have seen firsthand the healing power of a Service Dog – the profound impact they make on our Warriors and their families. With roughly 20 veterans dying by suicide every day, the work this organization does is vital, giving our nation’s veterans a second chance and in the process saving the life of a rescue dog. Our mission remains the same – ending veteran suicide – and I look forward to leading the organization’s future direction and growth.”

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. For Shari, it was not only about assisting those who had sacrificed for our freedom – it was about fighting to save their lives. Her selfless efforts started the organization that has allowed hundreds of veterans to live a life of dignity and independence. Shari died from cancer in February 2021, but before her passing, she witnessed the transformational growth of K9 For Warriors. She may no longer be with K9s, but her legacy will shine on with every veteran and rescue dog life saved by K9s For Warriors. Shari Duval was and remains the guiding spirit for the organization.

About K9s For Warriors

Determined to end veteran suicide, K9s For Warriors is the nation’s largest provider of trained Service Dogs to military veterans suffering from PTSD, traumatic brain injury and/or military sexual trauma. With most dogs coming from high-kill rescue shelters, this innovative program allows the K9/Warrior team to build an unwavering bond that facilitates their collective healing and recovery. This treatment method is backed by scientific research (from Purdue University’s OHAIRE Lab) demonstrating Service Dogs’ ability to help mitigate their veteran’s symptoms of PTSD while simultaneously restoring their confidence and independence. Founded in 2011 as a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization, K9s For Warriors remains committed to bringing widespread awareness to veterans’ mental health and contributing to policy-level reform.

The organization’s six facilities include: K9s For Warriors National Headquarters (Ponte Vedra, FL) Davis Family Mega Kennel (Ponte Vedra, FL) Gold Family Campus (Alachua, FL) Petco Love K9 Center (San Antonio, Texas) Helotes Warrior Ranch (Helotes, Texas) and K9s For Warriors at Heidi’s Village (Phoenix, AZ).

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Media Contacts:

Dani Bozzini, K9s For Warriors

(904) 686.1956 ex. 108

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Thank you for your interest in touring our National Headquarters in Ponte Vedra, FL. K9s For Warriors is a residential training facility. Our Warriors live on our campus for 21 days while learning to work with their new Service Dogs. To respect our Warriors privacy, we are unable to accommodate field trips, large group outings, and large parties. Additionally, some of the tour information may not be suitable for children.

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