Danielle Forbes, Executive Director
As the Executive Director, Dani is responsible for the successful leadership and management of the organization, ensuring the organization’s mission and the strategic direction set by the board of directors is achieved. Dani loves working with dogs and people and got her start as a service dog trainer/instructor, learning the business from the ground up. As an NSD founder and past president of the board of directors, Dani has worked in many areas of NSD’s operations as a volunteer or staff member. Outside of work she enjoys spending time with her family, horse, and dogs.
Garry Stephenson, Breeding and Puppy Program Manager
Garry is responsible for breeding our puppies, placing them in foster homes through our Puppy Program, and developing our weekly puppy training classes. Garry began training dogs in 1966 and progressed to working with Seeing Eye Dogs in 1980. Dogs are a lifelong passion for Garry and seeing a trained dog help a client is his biggest motivator. Outside of work, Garry is kept busy running his hobby farm, and he has a passion for anything that moves. His personal dogs and fancy chickens keep him busiest, but he always finds time to fit in animal rescue work.
Chris McArthur, Puppy Program Coordinator
Chris is the go to person for a Career Changed Dog. Chris’s love of children and dogs inspired her to get involved by volunteering in many areas at NSD, primarily with Puppy Raising, breeding, and the NSD Board of Directors in which she was a member prior to her current staff position. The most rewarding aspect of her position is the happiness the dogs bring to NSD’s clients, whether it’s a Certified Service Dog, Skilled Companion, Companion or a family pet. Chris loves to spend time with family and friends, read, walk, and take special care of Yoshee and Ricki, two of NSD’s retired breeding females.
Cathy Klein, Puppy Program Trainer
Cathy has an extensive background with both dogs and people. Her years as a puppy raiser, teacher and professional coach make her a welcome addition to the NSD team. As an experienced trainer who has taught children and adults for the past 30 years, Cathy is deeply committed to facilitating learning for both people and pups. She is thrilled to be joining the NSD community, and looks forward to her role as a Puppy Program Trainer. Cathy was a member of Canada’s women’s national soccer team; she is no stranger to hard work! Outside of her work at NSD, she enjoys coaching soccer and developing innovative programs for children of all ages.
Annie Bankes, Client Services Coordinator
Annie is thrilled to be part of the dedicated and inspiring team at NSD, where she has found the unique opportunity to combine her degree in Social Work with her love of animals. In her spare time Annie enjoys performing improv, exploring the outdoors with her partner, and hanging out with their two feline friends and NSD Ambassador Dog, Tandy.
Rochelle Barber, Communications and Events Coordinator
Rochelle comes to NSD with a background in Social Services and Communications. Rochelle enjoys the opportunities this role provides to meet great people at NSD’s various events, engage and share stories via social media as well as endless opportunities to share her love of photography capturing images of NSD’s beautiful dogs.
Vicki Zettler, Trainer/Instructor
Vicki’s passion for dogs led her to begin volunteering with NSD in the evenings, and providing a finishing home for mature dogs in their final months of training. Vicki’s favourite part about working for NSD is the variety, as every dog and day is so different. She also loves getting to know the clients, and seeing the bond develop between the client and their dog. Outside of work, Vicki enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband and daughter, as well as her Cockapoo, Sophie.
Carol Matthews, Trainer
Carol is a professional dog trainer with over 15 years experience in the field. Her training experience includes obedience instructor (all levels), agility, flyball, behaviour assessment and modification training. She also has experience handling/training explosive, narcotic, arson and land mine detection dogs, police and security dogs including patrol/personal protection and tracking dogs. Carol also has over 5 years of animal care and veterinary medicine experience. Carol is thrilled to be a part of the dedicated and inspiring team at NSD.
Erin Finochio, Trainer
Erin graduated from a professional dog training school, located in Austin Texas, in 2003. Upon graduation, Erin was offered a position as an instructor where she taught obedience, agility, behavior modification, search and rescue, scent discrimination, as well as conducted group classes and private lessons. Erin was also a puppy raiser and trainer for a working German Shepherd Dog breeding program. In her own time Erin currently partakes in many dog sports including IPO, Nose work, and Dock Diving. She also volunteers with a local dog rescue and gives her time educating kids about dog safety at summer camp. At home Erin stays busy with her husband, two children, two cats, and two dogs.
Jill Finlayson, Apprentice Trainer
National Service Dogs has always been a big part of Jill’s life. She started volunteering with NSD over 10 years ago in the Evening Enrichment Program for her high school community service hours. That quickly progressed into Weekend Sitting. She continued to weekend sit during her summers home from university. Eventually, Jill got involved with the puppy raising program and is currently raising her third and fourth puppies (NSD Mellish and NSD Scout). Even though Jill graduated college with a Honours Degree in Exercise Science and is now a Registered Kinesiologist; she couldn’t shake the idea of being able to change people’s lives with our amazing dogs!
Margie Rolston, Bookkeeper
Margie has been NSD’s Bookkeeper since 2001. She continues to keep our books in order while also handling our payroll and tax receipting. Working for NSD has become a love for Margie, not only with our adorable and lovable four legged wonders, but the two legged dedicated staff as well. In her spare time, Margie loves scrapbooking, spending time with her hubby and daughter, and making others smile!