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IAABC Board of Directors

Danielle Basciano

Danielle Basciano

Position: Board Member At Large
Term: 2019-2020

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, CPDT-KA, CDBC

Position: President 
Term: 2019-2021

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, CPDT-KA

Position: Board Member At Large
Term: 2018-2020

Fernando Diaz is the Behavior Programs Manager for Humane Society of the Pikes Region. He has over 8 years of experience in the animal care industry, having worked with marine mammals, reptiles, fish, cats and dogs. He directly oversees the development, delivery, and evaluation of the organization's behavior programs, working with staff and volunteers to do so.

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

Today, Fernando lives in Colorado and shares his cabin-home with 2 hound dogs, a cat, and more fish than your average pet shop carries.


Sarah Fulcher Dixon, CDBC, KPA-CTP

Sarah Fulcher Dixon, CDBC, KPA-CTP

Position: Board Member At Large
Term: 2018-2020

Sarah Dixon is a Certified Dog Behaviour Consultant who works for Instinct Dog Behavior & Training LLC in New York City.

Volunteering as a foster home for rescue organizations for many years provided Sarah more valuable experience. She lived with and trained many different canine personalities, and has experience and success with many traditionally difficult to train breeds. Sarah has also trained several species of animals including dogs, cats, chickens, parrots, and horses.

Dedicated to continuing education, she has background in animal behaviour at university, a Certificate in Canine Behaviour Science and Technology through the Companion Animal Sciences Institute, graduated with distinction from the Karen Pryor Academy Dog Trainer Professional Program, completed the Living & Learning with Animals course through BehavioR+ Works and most recently the IAABC Principles and Practice course. She also is a member in good standing with APDT.

With her dogs (Siberian huskies (past), Belgian shepherd, and Australian Shepherd), Sarah has trained, competed, or titled in many dog sports including obedience, rally obedience, skijorring, dog sledding, agility, musical freestyle, herding, tricks, and nose work.

Sarah specializes in behaviour problems such as fear, aggression, anxiety, and reactivity. Most of all, she loves helping people build strong relationships with their pets.


Robin Foster, CHBC, CAAB

Robin Foster, CHBC, CAAB

Position: Board Member At Large
Term: 2019-2021

Education: PhD animal behavior (psychology), University of Washington; Dual BS biology and psychology, University of Michigan.

Professional certifications and positions: CHBC (IAABC); CAAB (Animal Behavior Society) and Chair Applied Animal Behavior Committee; Fear Free Professional and Fear Free Speakers Bureau.

My career has included teaching, research, administration, and clinical work. For more than 20 years, I worked as a tenured professor at The University of Puget Sound, serving as psychology department chair and neuroscience co-director, teaching courses in animal behavior, learning, communication and statistics. I retired from full time teaching at Puget Sound in 2012 with the title research professor. I am currently an affiliate professor of Psychology at the University of Washington, where I teach a course in zoo animal behavior. I have also taught several sessions of the six-week IAABC course Resolving Fear Based Behavior in Horses with Lauren Fraser.

My research with horses focuses on learning, behavior, welfare, and human-horse interactions. I also serve as research advisor and doctoral student committee member for two graduate students in applied animal behavior. I have published several articles and regularly present talks at professional conferences and as an invited speaker, and also frequently contribute articles and commentaries for The Horse

As an animal behavior consultant over the past seven years, I regularly see equine and canine behavior clients. I have also served as a legal expert witness.

My professional work spills over into my personal life. I have shown dogs in conformation, worked with and owned thoroughbred racehorses, and managed the English-Western schooling shows and trail obstacle challenges at my local saddle club, the Lake Washington Saddle Club. I live in Seattle with two English setters, a clever rescue cat, two companion horses, and a very patient spouse.


Renee Hall

Renee Hall

Position: Treasurer
Term: 2019-2021

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.


Michelle Mullins, KPA-CTP, CPDT-KSA

Michelle Mullins, KPA-CTP, CPDT-KSA

Position: Board Vice President and Secretary
Term: 2018-2020

Michelle Mullins is the owner and Director of Training at Honest To Dog, LLC in Richmond, Virginia. Michelle has been training dogs for 15 years and all of her work has the same objective—developing long, enriching relationships between pets and their people. Michelle offers training and behavior consulting through Honest To Dog including in home training for new pets being added to a family, as well as training animals calm, fear free cooperative husbandry for veterinary and grooming care. She has recently added additional behavior consulting having worked closely with certified behavior consultants and veterinary behaviorists for many years. She continues to pursue education and certification in dog behavior consulting.

In addition to her qualifications as a Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) Certified Training Partner (CTP), Michelle is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge and Skills Assessed (CPDT - KSA), TAGteach Level One Certified and a Fear Free Certified Professional. Michelle is a video contributor to the Fear Free Animal Trainer course. She has been speaker and writer for the association of Professional Dog Trainers. Michelle is guest speaker for both Ohio State University and University of Tennessee.

Prior to launching her private, in-home training business Michelle taught puppy and adolescence dog classes at the Richmond SPCA, private lessons, and worked as the Training and Behavior Education Manager for Premier Pet Products and later PetSafe, after their acquisition of Premier Pet. Over her ten years in the pet product industry she provided expertise and education in training and behavior for new product development and instructions, PetSafe associates, and retail partners such as Amazon, PetSmart and Chewy.com. She was also a resource for tradeshows, veterinary clinics and schools, animal shelters and community groups. Michelle was the liaison for trainers and veterinary professionals for product needs and educational resources and is honored to have worked with top professionals in our industry.

She enjoys participating in rally, agility, tricks, and tracking with her dogs, preferring to find which sport the dog enjoys most.

Outside of training her dogs, she enjoys traveling and photography.


Mara Velez

Mara Velez

Position: Board Member At Large
Term: 2019-2021

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.


Kristy Gibson Simmons

Kristy Gibson Simmons

Position: Board Member At Large
Term: 2019-2021

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.


Marjie Alonso

Marjie Alonso

Position: Executive Director

Marjie Alonso, CDBC, CPDT-KA, KPA CTP is the Executive Director of the IAABC.

She was a professional dog trainer and behavior consultant and owner of City Dog Training in Somerville, MA. for decades, during which time she also served as Training Director, and then behavioral consultant for the New England Dog Training Club, the oldest AKC club in the US, and as a member of the America Humane Association's Advisory Board for Companion Animal Behavior and Training.

Marjie is the co-founder of the Somerville Foundation for Animals, which hosts the Somerville Dog Festival each year. Marjie is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC) with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants; a Certified Training Partner of Karen Pryor Academy; a Certified Pet Dog Trainer, Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) of the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers; an AKC Canine Good Citizen evaluator, and a Professional Member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT).

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