Rory Diamond

Chief Executive Officer

As CEO of K9s For Warriors, Rory is responsible for the executive management and strategic vision of the Organization. Under his leadership, K9s For Warriors has grown into the nation’s largest provider of service dogs for disabled American veterans, and has saved hundreds of rescue dogs. Prior to leading K9s For Warriors, Rory 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, Rory 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.

Rory is a national advocate for American veterans and has taken the lead in pro-service dog legislation. In 2015, he partnered with Florida Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL-6) to author and introduce the Puppies Assisting Wounded Service Members (PAWS) Act, passage would require the U.S. Department of Veterans Administration to provide a service dog to qualifying military veterans with severe PTSD. Additionally, as a member of the Neptune Beach City Council, Rory serves his community by focusing on crime prevention, property rights, hurricane preparedness, and lawful recognition of service animals. In 2017, he spearheaded a law proposal to make “fake” service dogs illegal in Neptune Beach. In February 2017, the law passed unanimously and has served as a national model. In 2016, Rory helped found the Association of Service Dog Providers for Military Veterans endeavoring to raise service dog standards, outlaw “fake” service dogs, and ensure that every disabled veteran who needs one has access to a high-quality service dog.

Outside of his professional endeavors, Rory often spends time with family, is an avid surfer, and runs his rescue dog "Baron" on Neptune Beach every day. He earned his JD 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, Ann Arbor.

Accomplishments:

  • Jacksonville Business Journal “Ultimate CEO”
  • Presidential Leadership Scholars  (2017)
  • Jacksonville Business Journal “40 Under 40”
  • Pet Age “40 Under 40”
  • Leadership Jacksonville (2014)
  • Leadership Florida (2015)

Brett Simon

President

Brett Simon is a founder of K9s For Warriors. He currently serves as the organization’s President. Brett oversees Canine Operations at K9s For Warriors and created the training curriculum utilized by the program. In his former career, he worked as a police officer for nearly 15 years (10 of which were spent as a K9 handler). Following his law enforcement career, Brett became a private investigator. Although he was challenged by this endeavor, he found himself wanting to go back to his true calling: working with dogs.

In 2005, Brett was selected for a new program implemented by the military that cross trained tracking and explosive dogs. During his tour in Mosul, Iraq, he was attached to the US Army 2nd Infantry Division as a DOD contractor.  Brett and his dog Hugo were very successful on their missions, discovering multiple inventories of weapons and explosives. After returning home in 2005, Brett was diagnosed with PTSD.  He completed a second trip to Iraq, teaming up with an explosives dog. Upon his return, he and his mother, Shari Duval, began developing the plan to establish K9s for Warriors to assist post - 9/11 veterans diagnosed with PTSD, TBI, and/or MST.

Brett’s tactile warrior training style blends lectures, demonstrations, discussions, and hands-on learning. He believes the most effective way for warriors to heal their PTSD is by being active in their recovery process, as their own advocates. Brett authored the training manual warriors follow during the program. The publication includes policies, tools, definitions, veterinary information, recommendations, and laws. Rating scales and checklists are also components utilized in the manual to help warriors track dog behavior and training progress. Brett’s extensive dog training style incorporates positive reinforcement, classical conditioning, operant conditioning, and marker training. He supports the theory that dogs need five components for trainability: timing, consistency, praise, correction, and motivation. Brett is the original Warrior Ambassador of K9s For Warriors, having attended countless fundraisers and events on behalf of the organization. He is a dog training/handling thought leader and public speaker. Brett has appeared on local and national programming, including HLN and Fox News. He has also been featured in stories and articles around the country – one being People Magazine. Brett is a member of Leadership Jacksonville’s Class of 2018. In his free time, he enjoys hitting the golf course with his family and going on fun outings with his wife and son. 

Our canine trainers and kennel staff are responsible for the procurement and training of the dogs that come into our kennel and to prepare them for their upcoming meeting with their veteran. Our kennel staff maintains all operations in the kennel such as veterinary appointments, dog food logs, cleanliness and overall maintenance of the kennels.

A NEW LEASH ON LIFE: THE K9S FOR WARRIORS’ STORY DOCUMENTARY SCREENING (Ohio)

We also have 2 additional screenings:

November 19, 2018 at 6 p.m.

Location:  Lima Memorial Hospital (Auxiliary Conference Center), 1001 Bellefontaine Ave., Lima, Ohio

 

November 27, 2018 at 6 p.m.

Location:  Findlay University (Winebrenner Building), 1000 North Main Street, Findlay, Ohio

For more information please contact louisb410@gmail.com