Our Team


Founder and Executive Director

Amy Baklund has over 25 years of Fortune 50 marketing, sales, e-Commerce, and international business experience. Amy is the General Manager for global eCommerce for club retailer, PriceSmart Inc. (NASDAQ’s PSMT). Her responsibilities including leading the global online strategy and team in thirteen countries in Central America, Colombia, and the Caribbean. Amy is passionate about creating new global businesses solutions in emerging and rapidly growing eCommerce and digital economy.
Prior to joining PriceSmart, Amy led the eCommerce efforts at Albertsons, Inc. (NASDAQ’s ABS), Fortune 50 grocery retailer. Her knowledge of retail and marketing help to create the business model to launch eCommerce across all Albertsons brand banners and subsidiaries in the US marketplace. Her efforts in eCommerce were awarded by Money Magazine in 2005 as the best online retail shopping site.
Amy’s passion for retail began in the world’s second largest CPG, Kraft Foods, Inc. (NASDAQ’s KRFT) leading the company in initiatives and management roles including; the national launch of DiGiorno pizza.

Baklund’ s ‘passion project’ is Copan’s Place, a worldwide cancer research and treatment foundation for companion animals. The foundations began based on the work of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, a world leader in cancer research, and the work of veterinarian, Dr. Edmund Sullivan. Copan’s Place, named after the Bernese mountain dog she lost to cancer, is dedicated to finding a cure for cancer in dogs while furthering research and communication between students and veterinarians worldwide.

She is an intrepid world travel who has been to every continent but one. She enjoys yoga, trying to surf, trips to dog beach, and is a cancer survivor. She currently resides in Del Mar, CA.


Dr. Sullivan is the driving force behind Copan’s Place, pioneering the treatment of cancer for pets. Several years ago, Dr. Sullivan was caring for a dog with lymphoma and gave Dr. Rainer Storb (a people doctor) of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center a call, who gave him the opportunity to learn treatment protocols including bone marrow transplants and stem cell transplants and anti-cancer vaccines. Since then, Dr. Sullivan has treated many dogs and cat with cancer and has shared his knowledge with other veterinarians in North Carolina, New York, Los Angeles and San Diego.

He also co-founded western Washington’s only volunteer animal blood bank, the Northwest Veterinary Blood Bank in 2001. Dr. Sullivan earned his Bachelors of Science in Zoology at Montana State and earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at Oregon State University.

Diplomat ACVR

Now that he’s retired, Dr. Gavin is spending his time doing what he’s made a career of – making the lives of animals more comfortable. Dr. Gavin graduated from Washington State University with a DVM in 1971. After discharge from the US Army Veterinary Corps, he worked veterinary emergency rooms, including the Alameda East Veterinary Hospital seen on the TV network Animal Planet, taught at the Bel Rea Veterinary Tech School and started a private practice in the Denver, Colorado area. He returned to Colorado State University in 1976 for graduate school and radiology residency training, receiving his Ph.D. in Radiology and Radiation Biology in 1980. He became a board certified veterinary radiologist in 1981 and was a founding member of veterinary radiation oncology in 1994. Dr. Gavin joined the faculty of Washington State
University, College of Veterinary Medicine in 1979 and remains a Professor Emeritus of Veterinary Radiology, retiring in 2008.

Board of Directors

Rebecca Pohlad joins the Board of Directors of Copan’s Place with many years of experience serving on boards including the Humane Society of Minneapolis. She is an active community volunteer and vast experience in many types of organizations.

Rebecca has been married for 30 years to her husband, Robert. She has three sons, one of which is married. Her family also includes three female German Shepherds that travel with her wherever she goes.

Rebecca and her husband split their time between Minneapolis and their home in the San Juan Islands. She enjoys cooking and traveling.


Bob Brunkow founded ICOM West in the early 1970s and latter became President and CEO of ICOM America in Bellevue. He retired from ICOM America in 1999 and continues to own ICOM Canada in Delta BC. Bob is married to his wife Carol. They have two grown children, Rob and Brian, and two grandchildren. He is the proud papa to two golden retrievers and mourns the recent loss of his constant companion Fly, who recently passed after fighting an extended bout with blood cancer. He is active in Seattle Seafair, serving on the board for 30+ years including roles as its President, chair of financial planning and most recently, chair of strategic planning. Bob is a pilot in Angel flight providing transportation for those with medical needs. He and wife Carol split their time between Bellingham and homes in Friday Harbor and on Stuart Island in the San Juans. He currently serves on several community boards as well as a board member of a local manufacturer.

Resource Center Librarian

Cathy Belben is a lifelong Bellingham resident. A graduate of Washington State University and Western Washington University, she has been a public educator for 22 years, working as an English teacher and a high school librarian. In addition to her day job as a high school librarian, Belben is certified personal trainer and operates her own business, Better Than Ever Personal Fitness, and competes on a powerlifting team, Team Phoinix.

Belben is also a writer has published articles in BUST, School Library Journal, Cicada, Bookmarks Magazine, and many other publications. In addition, she spent a year writing for the CW television show, Veronica Mars. An avid reader, Belben writes a book review blog, publishes regular articles in The Chuckanut Reader, and makes presentations to numerous community groups about reading.

A happily pulled-about dog-mom of a young Bernese Mountain Dog named Frida, she supports the Grateful Dogs Association, enjoys trips to the Lake Padden Off-Leash Area, and runs around Bellingham’s Fairhaven neighborhood with her furry friend.


Our team would not be complete without the generosity of our donors. Copan’s Place relies heavily
on private donations and we are ever appreciative of their support and financial contributions.