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IAABC Board of Directors

Danielle Basciano

Danielle Basciano

Position: Board Member at Large
Term: 2018-2021

Danielle is a professional dog trainer and behavior consultant, working with dogs and cats through her business — CNY Pet Training & Behavior in Upstate New York. An active volunteer in her community, she consults regularly with local shelters, animal rescues and governmental and animal welfare agencies.

Danielle has served on the board of the IAABC since 2012. She has also served on a variety of committees, task forces and non-profit boards, including her local SPCA and PAWS of CNY, a therapy dog organization with approximately 180 teams where she was president and lead evaluator for 12 years. Since her retirement from the board in 2015, Danielle continues to volunteer with PAWS of CNY as a therapy dog class instructor.

Danielle is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC) and an Associate Certified Cat Behavior Consultant (ACCBC) with the IAABC as well as a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) and a Certified Behavior Consultant Canine (CBCC-KA) through CCPDT. Additionally, Danielle is a Professional Member of APDT, an AKC Canine Good Citizen evaluator, a mentor trainer for CATCH Canine Academy, a mentor for the IAABC Animal Behavior Consulting Principles & Practice Course and a member of the IAABC Application Review Committee.

She currently resides in Upstate New York and along with the humans in her life, shares her home with a dog and four cats.


Barbara Davis, CPDT-KA, CDBC

Barbara Davis

Position: President 
Term: 2019-2022

Barbara Davis, CPDT-KA, CDBC, owner of BADDogsInc Family Dog Training & Behavior, is a certified dog behavior consultant. Barbara specializes in working with families to resolve serious behavior problems with their companion dogs; she also works extensively in rescue dog rehabilitation and integration with fosters and permanent placements. Her company also offers a wide range of individual, group and boarding training programs, as well as a comprehensive trainer development program.

Barbara is a Professional Member of APDT, and holds a CPDT-KA from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. She’s an Advisory Board Member of AABP, and an AKC CGC evaluator.

Barbara has been a contributing columnist for the APDT Chronicle of the Dog’s “On Behavior”, which featured several of her challenging case studies. She’s also been featured as a contributor to the IAABC Journal.

Barbara has been actively involved in large breed dog rescue, and supports many canine rescue organizations in her region. She has served on the boards of two charitable foundations supporting large breed dog rescue and the local county animal shelter, and has accumulated 20 years experience volunteering for 3 local animal shelters.

Barbara’s been with IAABC since 2004, motivated to join by her desire to contribute to an organization poised to promote standards and professionalism in the field of animal behavior consulting. In her tenure with IAABC, she has served in a number of volunteer roles, including Regional Coordinator, Exam Committee, RPC/ARC, and Dog Division Chair.

Barbara lives in Corona, CA with her husband, Wayne, and the family’s three golden retrievers.


Fernando Diaz, CPDT-KA

Fernando Diaz

Position: Board Member at Large
Term: 2018-2021

Fernando Diaz is the Behavior and Training Manager for Pasadena Humane Society. He has over 12 years of experience in the animal care industry, having worked with marine mammals, reptiles, fish, cats, and dogs. He directly oversees the training, development, delivery, and evaluation of the organization’s behavior programs, working with staff and volunteers to do so.

Fernando is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC) and a Certified Shelter Behavior Specialist (CSBS) through IAABC and a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA). He works with cats, dogs, and reptiles through his business Building Better Bonds Pet Consulting in California. He focuses predominantly on fear-based behaviors and aggression. Fernando is also a Professional Member of APDT.

Fernando lives in California and shares his home with two hounds and a cat.


Lina Eklof

Lina Eklof

Position: Board Member at Large
Term: 2020-2022

Lina graduated with a BSc from University of Southampton and holds the following qualifications: Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) Graduate, Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed (CPDT - KA), Fear Free Certified Professional, Susan Friedman’s Living and Learning with Animals certificant, and AKC CGC Evaluator.

Raised in Sweden, Lina participated in the Swedish Working Dog Club with her family’s dogs, before joining their volunteer force, mentoring under trainers in 1994 and leading group classes by 1996. She then continued to be an active learner and part of various dog training groups in Denmark and England.

When Lina arrived in the USA, she volunteered as a trainer for the Miami Obedience Club, became an externship Mentor for Animal Behavior College, and started her 15 year journey with a National pet and services retailer. In her role there, Lina supported nearly 3,000 dog trainers nationwide by overseeing and creating the internal certification program for dog trainers, as well as the in-store dog training program offered to pet parents and their dogs. Internal training programs included creating a Mentor University, an In-Home Dog Training Program, and a Selling Skills program that won a Hermes Creative Award.

Lina recently started her own Consulting and Training Company - HuMa LLC, in San Antonio, Texas, with a focus on educating pet parents and families of newly added puppies and dogs in the process of setting up successful, enriching, and forever homes. She thrives when pursuing education and certifications in training and behavior consulting.

Lina enjoys working with her two adopted dogs and pet mice. She is also learning how to best create an enriching environment and positive husbandry training for exotic animals such as Zebras, Buffalo, Camels, and Emus. Lina is also discovering the rewarding progress of being a Foster Parent for local Animal Welfare Organizations.

Outside of working with animals, she enjoys raising her two daughters, working on her physical and nutritional wellbeing, and exploring the world.


Kristy Gibson Simmons

Kristy Gibson Simmons

Position: Board Member at Large
Term: 2019-2022

Kristy is a Certified Dog Behaviour Consultant, and has been consulting for around 8 years, starting with vet clinic puppy classes, and eventually running her own successful consulting business on the Sunshine Coast, Australia. She has also worked as a vet nurse in both avian specialty and small animals for the last 10 years, and remains passionate about holistic animal health and behaviour.

She has concentrated primarily on fearful and aggressive behaviour for the past 2 years, but also loves the science of animal cognition, voluntary cooperative vet care across domestic and captive exotic species, and the importance of pharmaceutical vet intervention when necessary.

She currently resides in Florida, working at Steve Martin's Natural Encounters Inc. and is concentrating on her love of avian training.


Renee Hall

Renee Hall

Position: Treasurer
Term: 2018-2021

Renee Hall is a professional dog trainer and certified Dog Behavior Consultant through her business Let's Speak Dog Training & Sports Studio in Nazareth, PA. Renee is an active member of her community, offering pet, sports and behavior modification at the Studio as well as consulting services for local veterinarians, rescue and shelters. An active mentor, Renee enjoys working with instructors new to the field and introducing a scientific approach to animal training to new students. Teamwork and team development has been paramount to her business plan and offering the best educational environment for learners the theme for continued growth of the business. Renee has been involved with animals most of her life, switched gears from Property/Business Management to open Let's Speak Dog ten years ago.

An active member in dog sports, Renee currently lives with 5 golden retrievers, 2 cats and is usually out playing with the dogs on her day off. A long time sports enthusiast, Renee is currently an active obedience and rally judge, working with NATE developing a competitive venue for Treibball, as well as mentoring for a number of organizations.

Professional Credentials/Affiliations: CPDT-KA, CDBC, APDT Professional Membership, IAABC certified member, IAABC BOD, NATE BOD, NATE CC Chair, P&P Mentor, CWRI, PPG member, AABP, Dogs & Storks, AKC CGC evaluator, CDSP judge, WCRL judge.


Tabitha Kucera

Tabitha Kucera

Position: Vice President
Term: 2020-2022

Tabitha Kucera is an Elite Fear Free and Low Stress Handling Certified Registered Veterinary Technician, CCBC, and KPA-CTP. She is the owner of Chirrups and Chatter Cat and Dog Behavior Consulting and Training in Cleveland, Ohio.

She has been working with cats and dogs for over 10 years and in that time has worked with a number of rescue organizations and small animal practices. Her work in these fields shed light on repeated occurrences of feline and canine euthanasia and re-homing due to behavioral issues. She quickly became dedicated to learning about the prevention, root causes, and solutions to feline and canine behavioral concerns. She continued to teach herself more about behavior through continuing education, workshops, completing her low stress handling and fear free certifications, graduating from the Karen Pryor Academy and obtaining her KPA-CTP, and became a certified cat behavior consultant through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. She helps people better understand and relate to their animal companions which leads to a stronger bond and a more gratifying relationship between animal and human.

She loves educating others through writing, behavior consulting, and lecturing on all things cats and dogs, including feline and canine behavior, working with fearful animals, fear free handling, and more. She enjoys the opportunity to help people better understand and relate to cats and dogs. Tabitha also works in conjunction with veterinary practices, providing veterinary support services such as medication administration (and training) and routine maintenance care (nails, ears, eyes) as well as training for fear-free vet visits, handling, travel, and medical procedures. She is a Fear Free certified speaker, a trainer-mentor for Cat Pawsitive Pro, serves as the co-chair of Pet Professional Guild’s Cat Committee, and she serves on the board of The Together Initiative for Ohio’s Community Cats.


Beverley McKee

Beverley McKee

Position: Board Secretary
Term: 2020-2022

Beverley is the Program Manager, Public Training Services and Care Support at Toronto Humane Society. She is an Associate Certified Dog Behaviour Consultant through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants and a Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. She is also a Fear Free Certified Professional, holding an Animal Trainer Certification through Fear Free Pets and a Fear Free Shelter Graduate.

Prior to joining Toronto Humane Society, Beverley owned and operated a successful dog training and dog walking company in Toronto’s west end, and chaired an informal 600-member strong collective of professional dog walkers with a focus on professional and positive reinforcement handling skills development. She also co-founded an interactive educational platform providing professional development and behavior education to pet care professionals as well as general training and behavior education to the general public.

Beverley currently serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. She lives in Toronto, Canada with her adopted Australian Cattle Dog Luke.


Mara Velez

Mara Velez

Position: Board Member at Large
Term: 2019-2022

Mara Velez is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer who specializes in training fearful dogs; helping families with dogs recently adopted from a shelter; managing and training leash reactive dogs; and modifying fear-based aggression behaviors. Mara has spent more than a decade in sheltering at both open-admission and limited-admission facilities. Most recently, she was a behavior and training consultant at Contra Costa Animal Services in Martinez, CA. At CCASD, Mara trained new volunteers and collaboratively developed behavior program structures for the shelter, including the behavior evaluation and playgroup guidelines. She is now the Executive Director for the Shelter Playgroup Alliance (SPA), a shelter enrichment organization that helps shelters implement enrichment programs, including playgroups. Mara is also the Executive Director of Humane Dog Training Advocates (HDTA), an owner-education focused non-profit. At both SPA and HDTA, Mara’s key functions are strategic planning, fundraising, and tactical planning as well as co-leading the boards of directors. She previously served on the board of Give a Dog a Bone, a shelter enrichment program in San Francisco.

In addition to training dogs, Mara also enjoys training other species because it expands her training and observation skills. To date, she has worked with cats, bunnies, wolves, foxes, guinea pigs, coyotes, buffalo, donkeys, goats, alpacas, chickens, birds, and a fish. In addition to completing KPA, LLA, IAABC Principles and Practice, and several other animal behavior and training-related programs, Mara continually develops her skills and knowledge of canines by attending seminars and reading science-based canine literature.

Mara holds both a bachelors and masters degree in psychology and completed all of the course work for a doctorate in education. Mara is also a learning and development consultant to corporations across a variety of industries, where she advises and works on projects related to leadership development, process improvement, and learning program management.


Sarah Filipiak

Sarah Filipiak

Position: Executive Director

Sarah Filipiak is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC) through IAABC. Sarah is a past president of and served a five-year term on the board of the IAABC, where she also serves on the Education Committee and offers a Beginning Behavior Consulting mentorship. She has been a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers since 2001 and teaches the APDT's popular course, "Dog Training 101: What Every Dog Trainer Should Know."

Sarah raised and trained European-line German Shepherd Dogs for more than 12 years, and has competed in disc, agility, AKC and UKC obedience and rally. In 2010, she obtained her first whippet, Fanfare's Crazy Train RA BN RL1 CGC.

Sarah holds a bachelor's degree in magazine journalism from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University.