Meet our team
Patti is a Registered Nurse by trade, but her love for both veterans and dogs has delivered her to this fantastic opportunity to merge her two passions. Patti's father, Robert Wherritt, experienced the horrors of combat during World War II as a Marine in the Pacific islands. Her husband served in the U.S. Army and deployed to Germany in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Patti's son, Alec, recently served in the Marine Corps infantry. Finally, her adopted son, Jimmy, served in the Marine Corps for twelve years which included two deployments and three years of service as a Drill Instructor at MCRD, San Diego.
Therefore, her military roots run deep. Patti has loved dogs as long as she can remember. In fact, she will often joke that she like dogs more than most people.
What changed Patti's life was a blurb she noticed on television In November 2014. The interview described an A&E mini-series featuring Jim Stanek, a veteran with PTS and TBI, and his service dog, Sarge. From that moment, it all became crystal clear what she was ``called`` to do, and she has not looked back. Project Delta has become her purpose and mission in life... to enrich the lives of both veterans and dogs. It's her way of giving back to the veterans that she honors and the dogs that she loves. ``Thank you so much for taking part in making this incredible mission a reality.``
President/Master Level Certified Life-Coach
Len completed Marine Corps Officer Candidate School in 1985 and later served eight years in the U.S. Army, attaining the rank of Captain. He deployed to Germany and Italy in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Throughout his military service, Len had the privilege of providing anesthesia to injured warriors and their families. Len shares a passion for taking care of our veterans and providing them opportunities to reach their full potential. Len's entrepreneurial spirit has led to the start-up of several small businesses, including a medical device company, a device for which he holds a U.S. patent. Len's real passion is providing life-coaching for medical professionals and military veterans.
Senior Trainer/Co-Director Project Delta Foster Program
My name is Lindsay Bordwell, and I am honored to be lead dog trainer of Project Delta. I have worked in a veterinary clinic setting for over 12 years, and have been teaching puppy class for nearly 8. Since 2013, I have been certified through the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT). With this, I have consulted clients, working on behavior modification using positive reinforcement techniques. Many of my cases have been surrounding anxiety, fear aggression, and dog to dog reactivity. Although these cases are my passion, I find everyday obedience to be not only crucial, but extremely rewarding.
Through my years in this field, I have come to learn that the relationship between dog and human is one of the most beautiful, complex, important and forgiving relationships of our lifetime. I am honored to be a part of building these relationships for the men and women who have sacrificed and given me so much.
Chief Financial Officer
Adam D. VanGrinsven currently works as the Vice President of Finance for Bix Produce Company. Bix Produce Company is the leader in specialty produce distribution throughout the Twin Cities metro area, greater Minnesota, Western Wisconsin, and Fargo, ND. Adam has vast knowledge in both the finance and operating segments of an organization and has a passion for bettering business in many markets.
Adam brings to Project Delta several years of experience working with non-profit start-ups. Adam assisted with the structuring of the Lakeville South Baseball Booster club, located in Lakeville, MN.
Project Delta is held dear to Adam, as he shares Patti’s passion is seeing veterans obtain the necessary help to cope with daily struggles. His motivation is drawn from knowing what positive results will be gained from the successful startup of Project Delta.
Advisor to the Board of Directors
Jerry is a veteran of 40+ years of the advertising agency business. He served as Director of Advertising for B.F. Goodrich and while in the ad agency business worked with clients like Exxon, Sears, Harley Davidson, Polaris, General Mills, etc. He was President of the Twin Cities offices of Grey Advertising and Bozell & Jacobs Advertising and started his own ad agency, Associates & Stahl.
Jerry has always been a dog lover and started volunteering in the local rescue community when he retired. He observed a lack of strategic planning capability among animal rescue groups and started facilitating strategic planning sessions with several local rescue groups. Following that he served as Executive Director of the Golden Retriever rescue group for the 5 state area, Retrieve a Golden of the Midwest (RAGOM).
He now serves as an advisor to the Project Delta Board. His strategic planning skills, guidance and contacts have proven to be invaluable to our Board of Directors.
Co-Director Project Delta Foster Program/Fundraising Director
I am very proud to be part of the Project Delta team. My love of animals and work within the rescue community brought Patti and Project Delta to my attention shortly after the launch. I was told I “must get in touch with her.” Which I almost immediately did!
My background includes a BA degree in Psychology from the University of MN that culminated in years spent working in the social service field as a psychiatric technician and then as a program coordinator.
As my family grew, I returned to retail sales which led to many years in retail management.
For the last 10 years, I have enjoyed teaching preschool - and in recent years, I have been incorporating lessons about both veterans and animal rescue.
Being the Fundraising Director for Project Delta has allowed me to utilize all of my training and experience to help both veterans and rescue dogs – 2 groups that I feel very strongly deserve our unending patience and support.
Chief Of Operations
Suzanne, a Marine MoM met Patti and Len while her son was at boot camp and an instant friendship was made. Her passion for our military veterans and a shared vision of rescuing shelter dogs, to train as service dog teams was one of many common threads. A recipient of a rescue dog herself, she knows the unconditional love and companionship they provide.
Suzanne brings years of experience with non-profits, fundraising, and relationship building, so it was a natural fit to collaborate with Project Delta. Twenty years as Director of Client Services for a major Fulfillment house and another 9 years as a business owner, her expertise will provide Project Delta the needed tools for reaching its goals.
Foster Program Coordinator
I am Kim Thommes and very excited to be a part of the Delta Project! I do sales during the day and try to keep my sanity with two teenagers in the house. I was a volunteer adoption and intake coordinator with a smaller all breed Twin Cities rescue for three years and more than 36 dogs have stayed at the house for various periods of time. Besides rescue work, I have also volunteered on the Eden Prairie Soccer Association board for 7 years in various capacities.
I have a broad range of interests, trying to enjoy life but still stay fit, dabbling in comedy, even trying my hand at scuba diving. There is a little bit of everything in my life!
My motivation for choosing to volunteer with the Delta Project rather than a traditional rescue again was two-fold. I was looking for a way to continue rescuing dogs and my heart goes out to our military who have suffered as a result of their service. After speaking with Patti and meeting both Patti and Lindsay and understanding the mission, this seemed to be a good fit.
We all have favorite dogs that our hearts go out to; for me, that is those that are super scared and shut down in the shelter, black dogs and border collies. The best part about having been with an all breed rescue was the exposure to so many different dogs and realizing that no matter how much you are attracted to a particular dog, it's really about their personality.
My name is Lina Knox, in the military I go by Staff Sergeant Knox. I have been with the Minnesota Army National Guard for 12 years. I am with the 834th ASB, Alpha Company in Arden Hills. I have done two tours to Iraq with 834th ASB and the 151 Field Artillery. Since 2011, I have been working for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, at the Brooklyn Park Vet Center as an Veterans Outreach Specialist and Social Worker.