Our Staff

Kyria Henry

Kyria Henry - Founder, Executive Director

Credentials:
Assistance Dog Trainer – Fully Credentialed Master Trainer
Chief ITT Instructor

Kyria Henry was raised with her father’s German Shepherds, and successfully convinced her family to “cross-over” to the Golden Retriever breed, receiving her first puppy when she was 10 years old. Since that time, Kyria has been enveloped in the world of dog training, dabbling in disciplines such as advanced obedience, agility, rally, behavior modification, and scent work; but her true love and expertise is Assistance Dogs.

Terry Henry

Terry Henry - Deputy Executive Director Operations & Finance

Credentials:
Assistance Dog Trainer – Fully Credentialed Master Trainer
Chief ITT Instructor

Terry began training dogs over forty years ago. His early focus was with German Shepherds and advanced obedience training. In the late 1990s he was introduced to Golden Retrievers and quickly fell in love with the breed. Terry served in the Military from 1972 to 1977 and from 1979 to 1987. Since his discharge, Terry has battled the symptoms of Complex/Chronic Post Traumatic Stress (CPTS) and Moral Injury.

Cece McConnell

Cece McConnell - Deputy Executive Director Training Programs and Client Services

Credentials:
Assistance Dog Trainer – Fully Credentialed Master Trainer
Chief ITT Instructor

Cece and her husband, Nate share their home and their hearts Facility Dog, EMBER, Breeding Ambassador Dog, SHILOH, and McConnell Household Mascot, Granger.

Danielle Cockerham

Danielle Cockerham - Deputy Executive Director – Public Awareness & Information Technology

Credentials:
Assistance Dog Trainer – Public Access
Chief ITT Instructor

Danielle shares her life with her husband, Tommy, a remarkably hardworking young man, as well as their personal (pet) dog Samson and her Ambassador Dog, WATSON.

Samantha Cleary

Samantha Cleary - Director, Puppy Development Centers

Credentials:
Assistance Dog Trainer – Puppy Development & Public Access
ITT Instructor

Samantha is a vivacious young lady with energy to spare. As a former college athlete, it is only fitting that she found a career that keeps her on the go.

Nina Dunn

Nina Dunn - Executive Administrator

Nina Dunn was born and raised in Roxboro, N.C. She is a 2002 graduate of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in Exercise and Sport Science. In 2004, Nina moved to Wilmington to build both a life and a business with her husband, Greg.

Renee Johnson

Renee Johnson - Birthing & Whelping Master

Credentials:
Assistance Dog Handler

Renee grew up with parents who set a strong foundation for her to always push herself harder. After serving in the Navy, and raising two amazing children single handedly, Renee hit a bump in the road that would forever change her life.

Dawn Richard Cook

Dawn Richard Cook - MA, LPC Director of pMET

Credentials:
Assistance Dog Handler

Dawn and her husband live with Facility Dog, RUPP. She believes being the child of a military veteran had an impact on her life. Among other things it taught her one of the greatest lessons in life is to be open to and respectful of diversity.

Victoria Willetts

Victoria Willetts - pMET Case Manager

Credentials:
Assistance Dog Trainer – Public Access

Victoria became involved with paws4people through UNCW’s Assistance Dog Training Program (ADTP) and assisted in the placement of her first dog, TRASK, with a veteran client. She continued her education and received her master’s in psychology from UNCW with AIRLIE at her side. AIRLIE was a staple in the research lab and sparked her interest in applying assistance dogs to work with victims and child witnesses of domestic violence who experience post traumatic stress.

Cathy Demeroto

Cathy Demeroto - Relationship Development Officer

Cathy and her family wake up to demands of two sweet Golden Retrievers named LOONA and Daisy.

Bailey Moore

Bailey Moore - Director, Special Programming

Credentials:
Assistance Dog Trainer – Puppy Development & Public Access
ITT Instructor

Bailey is a vibrant young woman who, like so many of us, started as a student in the UNCW SDTP, then a volunteer, and has recently joined paws4people team as a part-time staffer.

Randy Powers

Randy Powers - Relationship Development Officer

Credentials:
Assistance Dog Handler

Randy first discovered the paws4people organization/family in March 2016. In April 2016 he became a Volunteer Community Liaison for paws4people and shortly thereafter a client. Randy attends many fundraising events throughout the year, but his primary focus is during the Combined Federal Campaign (Sept – Dec), when his goal is to visit as many Government agency fund raising events as possible and to share the paws4vets mission.

Carol Mitchell

Carol Mitchell - Client Advocate

Credentials:
Assistance Dog Handler

Carol is a dedicated mother of two adult sons, Rob and Jeff. She enjoys spending her time with her boys and her husband, Doug, of 47 years. Carol joined paws4people through paws4vets. She credits paws4vets for saving her son’s life. She says, “There is no way to adequately thank someone for the gift of your child’s life.”

Susan Parker

Susan Parker - Client Advocate

Credentials:
Assistance Dog Handler

Originally from Pennsylvania, Susan always enjoyed being around dogs and had numerous pets growing up. In 1986, after high school, she moved to Northern Virginia with her family.

Kimberly Nottingham

Kimberly Nottingham - Client Advocate

Credentials:
Assistance Dog Handler

In May 2010, Kimberly Nottingham became involved in paws4people when she and her husband, Scott, first attended a benefit for the organization. They were so impressed with what they heard and saw that they knew they wanted to get more involved and a relationship was born. Kimberly is the Client Advocate for privately owned dogs within paws4people.

Leslie Fuller

Leslie Fuller - Client Advocate

Leslie and her two children live in Bucks County Pennsylvania. She grew up loving animals, but had the most special bonds with horses and dogs. Leslie was so passionate about animals that she even took on the challenge of training Seeing Eye Dogs through 4-H Program in Morristown, New Jersey.

Janet Wall

Janet Wall - Client Advocate

Credentials:
Assistance Dog Handler

Janet is a mother of two very special young boys. She thrives on her children and her desire to help others.

Ashley Currin

Ashley Currin - Client Advocate

Ashley is a wife and mother above all things. She lives every day for her children. They motivate her and make her want to be her best self.

Angaleen Hess

Angaleen Hess - Client Advocate

Angaleen is a little powerhouse. She takes responsibility seriously and was honored to be able to add the role of Client Advocate to her busy schedule. Angaleen is a wife and mother of two, who proudly put herself through nursing school. She received her LPN just one year after graduating high school. Her determination and drive makes her a great role model for her family and ours.

Mark McCann

Mark McCann - Staff Advocate

Credentials:
Assistance Dog Handler

Mark is a father first and all else second.

Austin Forst

Austin Forst - Director, ADDIE'S Way Immersion Program

Credentials:
Assistance Dog Trainer – Puppy Development & Public Access
ITT Instructor In-Training

Austin is from Charlotte, NC and moved to Wilmington to pursue her bachelors in Psychology from UNCW. It was during the end of her sophomore year she began class 1 of the UNCW Assistance Dog Training Program. 

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