Management Team

Operation Freedom Paws Board of Directors:

Mary Cortani
President, and Executive Director of Operations
Mary is a US Army veteran and a certified Army Master Instructor of Canine Education as well as an American Kennel Club Certified Canine Good Citizen© Evaluator. Mary founded OFP to leverage her extensive dog training experience and the potent therapeutic value of the canine-human relationship. She shares her home and her life with dogs, cats, and horses.
Janet King
Vice President
Janet is retired from posts as Executive Director of the Los Gatos Senior Coordinating Council, and before that Director of the John XXIII Multi-Service Center in San Jose. She is also a founding director of the Clover Foundation, which provides financial support to 4-H and other programs. She founded and was board president of the Emma Prusch Park Foundation that supports that rural farm park in East San Jose. Janet holds an M.A. from Santa Clara University and a B.A. from Hillsdale College.
Diane Jimenez
The daughter of a 2-tour Vietnam Combat veteran, Diane is deeply committed to serving her father’s fellow veterans on his behalf and in his honor. She holds a B.A. in Leadership & Organizational Studies from Saint Mary’s College where curriculum is based on the De La Salle adage, “Enter to Learn, Leave to Serve.” Diane resides in Gilroy, California with her husband of fourteen years, Jim, and their 3 year old black lab, Maggie.

Nicole Martinez
As the daughter of a retired career marine, who served in Vietnam and many tours overseas throughout his 20+ year military career, Nicole understands the demands of having a father in the military and the impact of that service on the family unit. Nicole holds a BA in Sociology from San Jose State University and has over 15 years experience in Information Technology Management. Before joining our board, she was the chair of our fundraising committee. She has trained her dog, Nyla, as a Therapy Dog and several basic Service Dog tasks.

Carroll Connell Carroll has more than 25 years experience in the semiconductor industry, has been a project manager for a multinational financial institution for the past nine years. Her other non-profit engagements include the Gilroy Foundation, Tuolumne Trails, and Christopher High School Athletic Program.

Carroll was inspired to get involved with Operation Freedom Paws as she met many of the veterans in the dog training classes she attended, and saw how Mary’s train-the-trainer program had a dramatic effect on their lives and outlooks. The mother of two sons, Carroll resides in Gilroy, California with her husband of 27 years, Steve, and their three dogs.