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.
Thea Trussler, Client Services Coordinator
Thea comes to National Service Dogs with over 30 years of experience in the field of mental health and disability services. She has worked the last 9 years with the Canadian Mental Health Association in their disability employment services as well as master trainer of Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training and Mental Health First Aid.
Thea’s passion for partnering people with animal companions has been ingrained since her early years as an instructor with the disabled horseback riding program in her town. Currently Thea owns a wellness retreat business that operates in Ireland , works as a life coach, continues to teach ASIST and MHFA and is seen with her Great Dane, Finnegan, as her co-pilot in life.
Rochelle Barber, Communications 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.
Lisa Milligan, Fundraising and Events Coordinator
Lisa has 17 years experience in fundraising and likes to put FUN in fundraising:) She is fluent in Newfinese and is excited to begin a new chapter in her life at NSD. Lisa is an avid reader and loves to spend time with her family.
Vicki Zettler, Trainer/Instructor (on Maternity Leave)
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.
Serena Ivanovskis, Trainer
Serena has been involved in the working dog world for over 15 years. She has taught obedience of all levels and has done behaviour assessment and modification work. Serena has also trained/handled dogs for narcotic, arson, explosive and bed bug detection. She has assisted and trained dogs for private security and police departments. Serena currently competes in a dog protection sport called PSA. Serena spends her spare time expanding her dog knowledge, training her own personal dogs and conducting private bed bug detection searches.
Jessica Bosley, Apprentice Trainer
Jessica has been working in the animal field for 13 years, and training dogs for the past 10 years. She has taught all levels of obedience and competed in agility. Jessica enjoys working with NSD and looks forward to many more rewarding years with the organization.
Rylee Lennox, Apprentice Trainer
Rylee has been training dogs for over 15 years and actively competing and teaching competitive dog sports across North America for more than 10. Her experience includes teaching and competing in Obedience (all levels), Trick Dog Training, Flyball, Agility, Dock Diving and Disc Dogs. When not working with us she enjoys training and competing with her own 5 Border Collie/Terrier mixes. She is very excited to see where her adventures with NSD lead her.
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!