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!
Manager of Puppy Development
Bev Blanchard has been with the Leader Dog team for more than twenty years. Bev oversees all aspects of Leader Dog's puppy development. This includes our breeding, Future Leader Dog, prison raising initiative and all associated volunteers. Bev's German Wirehaired Pointer, Wink, won best in breed at the 2015 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
Stacey Booms came to Leader Dog in 2013. She has been in the animal care industry for over 20 years and is a licensed veterinary technician. Stacey describes her work at Leader Dog as “equally rewarding and challenging.” She loves working with our puppies and finds joy in continuing the Leader Dog life cycle. Some of her responsibilities include overseeing the health and well-being of the breeding colony, doing ultrasounds, x-rays, breeding, and aiding and supporting our volunteer breeding stock hosts. Stacey has two dogs of her own, a mix named Barry and a career changed Leader Dog, a black Labrador named Flynn.
Puppy Development Assistant Coordinator
Sally joined the puppy development team in 2017. She loves that Leader Dog has a clear mission that is dedicated to empowering people. Sally's work at Leader Dog provides support for our hundreds of puppy raisers. Her background includes working as an administrative assistant for a private international school and working for the Girl Scouts. She has a bachelor’s degree in community service from Michigan State University and enjoys working in the nonprofit sector. She is thankful for the supportive, kind and helpful environment at Leader Dog and is proud to be a part of the puppy development team.
Deaf-Blind Guide Dog Mobility Instructor (GDMI) and Team Supervisor
Jenny came to Leader Dog in 2008 as an apprentice GDMI. She became a GDMI in 2011 and now supervises the Deaf-Blind GDMI team. Jenny is a Child of Deaf Adults (CODA) and she is fluent in and passionate about American Sign Language (ASL). Her favorite thing about being at Leader Dog is working with the clients and knowing that she can help make a difference in their lives. Jenny has her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work from Michigan State University. Outside of work she enjoys spending time with her golden retrievers, Summer and Holly, both career changed Leader Dogs. She also enjoys traveling and eating other people’s cooking.
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.