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Board of Directors

2020 Board of Directors

Khara Schuetzner, MA, CPDT-KSA CNWI | APDT Chair

Khara Schuetzner, MA, CPDT-KSA CNWI

APDT Chair

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Khara Schuetzner, MA, CPDT-KSA CNWI | APDT Chair

Khara Schuetzner, MA, CPDT-KSA CNWI, has worked with animals most of her life. As a teenage, she helped train herding dogs and horses on the family farm. Khara earned a bachelors of science in Zoology; during college she did an internship working as biologist at Disney World. In graduate school she worked on a master of science in aquaculture and fisheries in Arkansas. Khara moved to Chicago, where she started volunteering with the Anti-Cruelty Society, while working on her masters of arts in teaching. She furthered her expertise by graduating from the Anti-Cruelty Society School of Dog Training. While in Chicago, Khara work on various science committees and won awards for teaching. After living in Argentina and picking up a street dog, Francisco, Khara moved back to her home state of Oklahoma to take care of her family, continue in the science field and start her private training business in 2010.

Khara left the science field to pursue her passion for educating other in animal behavior. She opened The Doggie Spot, which was the first training facility in Shawnee. Khara was the first CPDT-KSA and Canine Nose Work Instructor in the State of Oklahoma. She conducts behavior evaluations and does private lessons for those dogs that need extra attention. Khara serves as a behavioral consultant for local shelters, a first animal responder during Tornado Recovery Efforts, and host educational and nosework events. She gives talks to the public regarding multiple dog households, housetraining, dog and kids safety, and dog language.

Khara is a certified AKC CGC Evaluator and an American Red Cross Pet CPR Instructor. She is a member of the Animal Behavior Society, International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, and American Chemical Society. Khara's household includes: eight rescue dogs, 1 HRD dog, three rescue cats, one donkey, Bunny, flock of ducks, chickens, three goats, Manny, Larry, Ketchup, two paint horses, Spartacus and Freya, and herd of Dorper sheep, and a patient husband, Gabriel. Khara has two strong beliefs in life, "Live in the moment, but don't forget to make a moment, and humans need to listen more to what the animals are telling us and learn to work with them not against them."

Mark Forrest Patrick, CDT, VA, CMT | APDT Vice Chair

Mark Forrest Patrick, CDT, VA, CMT

APDT Vice Chair

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Mark Forrest Patrick, CDT, VA, CMT | APDT Vice Chair

Mark Forrest Patrick left a corporate customer service management role in the fall of 2008 to live the dream of working with animals. In 2009 that dream became reality when Mark opened a dog training, day care and boarding facility in Rochester, New York. He conducts several levels of training classes in a group class setting or private in-home sessions. Today, the facility continues to grow with a focus on a 24-hour a day staffed operation.

Mark’s goal is to expand his business to a second location focusing on training for shelter and rescue organizations and adoptions. His motto: “Always keep your eyes open to new opportunities because they may be right before you.”

Continuing education has always been important for Mark to keep up-to-date on training, behavior, and clinical studies. He attended seminars at Service Dogs, Inc., Alfred University and Cornell University. As part of Mark’s training toolbox, he uses massage, essential oils and TAGteach. He also has served his community as a volunteer to assist local rescues and shelters with behavioral and training classes.

Mark owns seven dogs—five Tibetan Spaniels, an English Labrador Retriever and a Pomeranian mix. He is an American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen evaluator, published author in two local pet publications and sponsors a pet corner for an online publication. His business has received Angie’s List Super Service Award three years in a row.

Fanna Easter, CPDT-KA, KPA CTP, CSAT | APDT Secretary/Treasurer

Fanna Easter, CPDT-KA, KPA CTP, CSAT

APDT Secretary/Treasurer

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Fanna Easter, CPDT-KA, KPA CTP, CSAT | APDT Secretary/Treasurer

Fanna has been instructing group classes and in-home behavior consults for more than 29 years with a special focus on separation anxiety. She owns Positive Pooch Dog Training and Behavior, which offers virtual, in-home and off-property consultations in the Dallas, Texas area. Also, Fanna teaches reactive dog classes and offers private consultations with the only veterinarian, that specializes in behavior, in the North Texas area.

Because of her love to write, Fanna has written dog training class curricula and dog trainer courses for large pet box chains and nationally recognized dog training schools. Also, she’s authored several articles for Dogs Naturally, Animal Wellness, Chronicle of the Dog and numerous online magazines and blogs. When not working with clients and their dogs, Fanna volunteers at the Bridge, the only homeless shelter that allows dogs, where Fanna and her co-workers offer group classes and one-on-one training for pet guardians.

Fanna shares her home with Miss Stella Mae (Miniature Bull Terrier), Eli Joseph (Miniature Bull Terrier) and Rick, her “darling hubby.”

Heidi Meinzer, JD, CPDT-KA, CNWI | APDT Director

Heidi Meinzer, JD, CPDT-KA, CNWI

APDT Director

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Heidi Meinzer, JD, CPDT-KA, CNWI | APDT Director

Heidi Meinzer, JD, CPDT-KSA, CNWI is an attorney focusing on animal law and the pet care industry. She serves on the boards of the Virginia Federation of Humane Societies and Homeward Trails Animal Rescue. Heidi has her CPDT-KSA and CNWI certifications, and teaches K9 Nose Work® in Northern Virginia. She recently had to say goodbye to her beautiful German Shepherd, Sophie, who overcame reactivity and confidence issues to be a wonderful companion and the motivating force for Heidi to pursue becoming a trainer. Heidi lives in Alexandria, Virginia and competes in K9 Nose Work® with an adorable black lab, Boomer, who is hoping to nab his Elite Champion title in 2020.

Sandy Modell, B.S., CPDT-KA | APDT Director

Sandy Modell, B.S., CPDT-KA

APDT Director

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Sandy Modell, B.S., CPDT-KA | APDT Director

For over 20 years, Sandy has been training dogs using rewards-based, positive reinforcement methods. She is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA), an AKC CGC/CGCA Approved Evaluator, a Mentor Trainer for the Animal Behavior College, a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT), a licensed certified Family Paws Parent Educator (FPPE), a member of the Pet Professional Guild (PPG), and on the list of national Truly Dog-Friendly Trainers. Her mentors include some of our industry’s pioneers of positive training such as, Patty Ruzzo, Leslie Nelson, Sue Sternberg, Pat Miller, Kathy Sdao, Robin Bennett and others.

In June 2017, Sandy opened Alexandria Virginia’s first and only, and now award-winning premier training and learning center for people and their dogs. The Academy offers programs and activities for pet dog owners and their dogs, pet care professionals, and other professional dog trainers. Sandy’s mission includes empowering her clients by teaching them how to communicate with their dogs, how to reinforce the behaviors that they want, and how to respond to both their dog’s good and the bad behaviors. One of her goals is to teach people how to train their dogs to make incredibly brilliant choices, so that they can both live better, happier, and easier lives together. In June 2018, Wholistic Hound Academy was voted the Best Dog Trainers in Northern Virginia by Northern Virginia Magazine. Earlier this month, the Academy was selected as a finalist in the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce Best in Business Award in the Small Business category.

Inga From, CDBC, CPDT-KSA | APDT Director

Inga From, CDBC, CPDT-KSA

APDT Director

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Inga From, CDBC, CPDT-KSA | APDT Director

Inga From, CDBC, CPDT-KSA, was a national recipient of the Association of Professional Dog Trainer’s Premier Shelter Staff Award several years ago. She runs two very different training and behavior businesses. Positive Gun Dogs of Minnesota which includes shed dog & positive gun dog training as well as Hippie Dog which focuses on dog behavior. She also does pet behavior consulting work for local businesses & municipalities. Inga enjoys speaking and hosting seminars locally and nationally.

Benjamin Bennink, CDBC, CPDT-KA | APDT Director

Benjamin Bennink, CDBC, CPDT-KA

APDT Director

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Benjamin Bennink, CDBC, CPDT-KA | APDT Director

Ben has been training dogs professionally since 2010, certified CPDT-KA since 2012, and CDBC since 2018. He has served on the APDT membership task force, education committee, and legislative task force. He is a veteran of the US Navy and currently owns and operates Good Doggy Saratoga in upstate New York.

Ben is currently pursuing a masters degree in neurobiology, having completed undergraduate work in biology and psychology at the University at Albany. His intent is to seek ACAAB certification upon completion of his graduate studies. He is passionate about spreading science literacy and science-based ethical dog training to improve the industry for dog trainers and dog owners everywhere.

Nick Hof, KPA-CTP | APDT Immediate Past Chair

Nick Hof, KPA-CTP

APDT Immediate Past Chair

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Nick Hof, KPA-CTP | APDT Immediate Past Chair

Nick Hof is a dog trainer in Cincinnati, OH and is the owner and trainer of Paws Look Listen, LLC which is about to celebrate it's fifth year next month offering training services. Nick is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed, Karen Pryor Academy-Certified Training Partner, a licensed presenter for Family Paws, and a Professional Premium Member of the APDT.

Nick believes that having a good relationship with other trainers, both in his area and from afar is an integral component of his business. He often networks with other trainers bouncing ideas off of them, requesting assistance or referring out cases that he does not have the skills to properly help. Nick works closely with both veterinarians and other animal professionals to ensure that his clients receive the best service possible.

Read The Board of Directors Strategic Plan

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Board Meetings

All APDT members are welcome to attend the Board meetings – we just ask that you notify us ten days in advance so that we can arrange for an appropriate-sized room for the meeting. Please contact the President and CEO to announce your intent to attend the meeting.

Interested in Serving on the Board of Directors?

Interested candidates should contact the Nomination Committee at nominatingchair@apdt.com for more information.

Suggestions?

Contact the board at board@apdt.com. Your message will be received and responded by the board of trustees.

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