Meet the Team
At Leader Dog, we are fortunate to have some of the brightest minds in the business. Meet some of our team members below!
Director of Lions Engagement
Beth joined the Leader Dog team in 2014. As director of Lions engagement, Beth stewards Lions clubs across the United States, Canada, Spain and Mexico. Though at first she thought working here would be all about the dogs, her perspective changed after she met the people—the amazing clients, dedicated staff and volunteers whose stories and work she loves to share with others. Beth earned her international professional designation of Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) in 2017 and is a master speaker for the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and is on the board of directors for the AFP Greater Detroit chapter. She is a member of the Lake Orion Lions Club. When she isn't busy at Leader Dog, Beth works on the home that she and her family have been renovating for five years, floats on the lake, and spends time with her husband, Mark, daughters Mayson and Raleigh, golden retriever Kipper and the cats, Zoe and Little Man.
Kristen has been part of the veterinary team at Leader Dog since 2014. Prior to joining the team, she was a breeding stock host for seven years. Her breeding mom, Raven, was just about to retire when Kristen saw a job posting for a vet tech and went from volunteer to employee. She describes her work here as being like a nurse for dogs. Her primary role is assisting with surgeries and entry exams, but she works in all areas of the vet department. She has been a LVT for 22 years. Her favorite part of working at Leader Dog is the people. Kristen and the rest of the vet team work well together and genuinely enjoy what they do, and she feels lucky to be able to do what she loves while helping people at the same time. Outside the vet office, Kristen has two daughters in high school who keep her busy. She also serves on the Fenton Board of Education and as a summer camp director. Kristen's family includes two retired breeding moms, 13-year-old Daisy and 11-year-old Raven, one retired Leader Dog, 13-year-old Hunter, two cats, Billy and Laney, and four chickens.
Corporate Relations Manager
Patrick came to Leader Dog in 2015 to work with our corporate sponsors to secure financial and in-kind donations. Whether companies choose to support us in a more traditional way by promoting and marketing their company or products to our constituents, or they decide to partner with us to increase their social responsibility by taking advantage of programs such as sponsoring a Future Leader Dog, Patrick is their point of contact here. Patrick previously worked at an advertising agency for USA Today as the advertising sales director, working on magazines such as the USA Today Pet Guide. The agency did a feature on guide dog organizations across the U.S., which is how Patrick learned about Leader Dog. In addition to getting to work with a great team, Patrick's favorite thing about his job at Leader Dog is knowing that his work supports the mission by making sure our clients never have to pay for any of our services. Outside of the office, Patrick can often be found outdoors. He is an avid hunter and spends much of his time on the lake—boating in the summer or playing ice hockey in the winter. He also enjoys traveling and going to music festivals across the U.S.
Corporate Engagement Manager
Dave joined Leader Dog in 2017. A Rochester Hills native, he passed our campus thousands of times and saw our instructors, dogs and clients training downtown his whole life. Being a dog lover, he'd always wanted to be part of Leader Dog and jumped onboard when the opportunity arose. He quickly learned how much of a “people” organization Leader Dog is and appreciates being able to both work with dogs and help change lives. Dave manages Leader Dog’s communication and leadership training program, Harness the Power of Leadership, which demonstrates to organizations of all types how the tools a successful Leader Dog team uses to communicate can be used by leaders to manage more effective and efficient teams. Before Leader Dog, Dave worked in business development. Dave loves gaining new perspectives and learning how our clients' lives were changed through Leader Dog. Outside the office, Dave spends a lot of time chauffeuring his kids throughout the winter, visiting different ice arenas for hockey. They also enjoy finding festivals and events in the Detroit area, and they’re always on the hunt for a good pizza. In the summer, he enjoys sailing in Detroit and other watersports up north. Dave hosts Leader Dog Canine Ambassador Coco and also has a rescued Labrador mix and a 16-year-old beagle, who bosses the other two dogs around.
Manager of Canine Training
Keith is responsible for staffing, coordinating and supervising training for our guide dog mobility instructors (GDMI). He enjoys working closely with all our GDMIs and being hands-on with training. He has been with Leader Dog since 1981, starting out as a dog care attendant. He apprenticed to be a GDMI and served in that capacity for 10 years. As a GDMI, Keith noticed a need for services for people who are deaf and blind, so Leader Dog supported his education at Mott Community College to learn American Sign Language (ASL). Soon after, Keith developed our groundbreaking Guide Dog Training for people who are Deaf-Blind, the first dedicated training of its type in the USA. Through his work with Leader Dog, Keith has traveled around the world to places like Spain, Japan, England and Scotland. He has lived in Michigan his whole life and currently resides in the area with his wife and their black Labrador retriever, Benson, a retired Leader Dog breeding dog. Keith loves to hunt, fish and travel.
Deaf-Blind Guide Dog Mobility Instructor (GDMI)
Sarah started working at Leader Dogs in 2013 as an apprentice GDMI shortly after graduating from college. With a degree in Sign Language Studies for Interpreters from Madonna University in Michigan, she quickly found her niche working with our Deaf-Blind clients. Leader Dog has been a part of Sarah’s life since a young age as her family were puppy raisers who raised five Future Leader Dogs. She is currently hosting a Leader Dog ambassador dog, Vader. When not at Leader Dog, Sarah likes wine tastings, watching documentaries and playing the flute in her local community band.