Training Staff Bio

Accardi, Susan
Andrew, Jeanie
Jeanie Andrew
Jeanie Andrew grew up with miniature schnauzers and a springier spaniel, showing them in FFA. She got her dog Abby, a German Shorthaired Pointer, while in college and started working at the breeders which was also a hunting preserve. Jeanie was fortunate to have helped with lots of upland hunting training and raising of GSP litters. She graduated with honors and a BS in Animal Science from the U of I with an extensive background in equine management and training. She also likes do Competitive Trail with her Arabian horses.

After college Jeanie started showing in conformation and participating in field work with her Vizslas. She started taking classes at TCKC in 2012 when she started working with a German Shepherd dog and wanted to compete in Rally. She became hooked on dog sports, becoming a member in 2014 and a trainer in 2016. She now competes with her Vizslas and German Shepherd in Rally, Barn Hunt, conformation, and has been working in nose work.

Jeanie believes in using positive reinforcement training and is always actively learning more!
Brehm, Joan
Joan Brehm

Member since: November, 2005

Joan Brehm began training dogs as a teenager as part of her local 4-H club and, in 1997, she began training her first dog for Search and Rescue (SAR) while living in Montana. She has certified three dogs for SAR in avalanche, trailing, human remains detection (land and water), disaster, and area search.

She believes in finding the tools that work with each individual dog, emphasizing positive reinforcement and building a solid working relationship as a foundation. She focuses most of her time working with the Puppy Life Skills classes, as she loves working with puppies and their humans during this critical period of development. Proper training and building of those critical foundational skills can make all the difference for a lifetime of joy, companionship, and success.
Cline, Joyce
Collins, Julie
Julie Collins

Member since: July, 2000

Julie Collins began training her first competition Golden Retriever, Tory, over 16 years ago, and is currently working with her Goldens Rufus and Aiden. Together they have competed in AKC, UKC, and CDSP Obedience, AKC and UKC Rally, and AKC and HRC Hunt Tests. Julie joined TCKC in July 2000, and began training Obedience classes in 2003.

She teaches all levels of Competition Obedience classes. Julie teaches the individual components of exercises in a manner that is easy to understand for both dog and handler. She believes that building a strong bond with your dog, promoting clear communication between dog and handler, and incorporating play in training is essential for success in both day-to-day living as well as competition.
Competition Obedience titles and honors: OTCH, GOCH, OTCH-C, UDX2, UUDX2, OM6, AKC National Obedience Invitational, UKC All Star Invitational, Westminster Obedience Masters Invitational, UKC Obedience All-Stars Invitational, multiple High in Trial and High Combined, multiple 200 perfect scores, UKC #1 ranked Utility dog, UKC #1 ranked Open dog
Rally Obedience titles and honors: RAE, UROC, multiple High in Trial
Retriever Hunt Tests titles and honors: MH, HRCH, HRC 500 Point Club
Golden Retriever Club of America: WCX, VC, CCA, Obedience Hall of Fame

Cunningham, Barb
Barb Cunningham

Member since: May, 2001

Barb Cunningham has been training dogs since 2000, when she began taking classes with her Shih Tzu, Louie. Barb joined the TCKC training staff as an agility instructor in 2007 and as a beginner obedience instructor in 2009.

Barb has competed in obedience, agility, rally obedience, and barn hunt with both small and large dogs, including her three Shih Tzu. Currently, Barb competes in agility and barn hunt with her border collie Zephyr and is training Button, a four year old Irish Terrier.

Barb believes that having fun while training encourages learning and strengthens the human/dog relationship. She also believes that all dogs benefit from dog training. An avid runner, she has added canine fitness to her dogs' activities.
Ellis, Tina
Tina Ellis
Tina Ellis’s training career started six years ago when she got her first flat-coated retriever, Whimsy. Whimsy introduced Tina to the dog training world by taking obedience classes at a different facility. When Whimsy started getting bored with the repetition of those classes, Tina and Whimsy signed up for Rally classes at TCKC, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Tina became a member of TCKC in June of 2014 and a trainer in 2016. She has competed in Rally Obedience and Nosework with her two dogs, Whimsy and Rafa. They have earned titles in AKC Rally and WCR Rally, and passed NACSW Odor Recognition Tests (ORT). Tina and Whimsy enjoy doing therapy work together, visiting local nursing homes, Advocate BroMenn Hospital, and libraries, and is working on her certification with Rafa through Alliance of Therapy Dogs. Since Whimsy also loves the high energy environment, they are taking Agility classes at TCKC.

Tina believes in positive reinforcement and keeping the training fun helps to strengthen the relationship with her dogs and tries to incorporate this philosophy into her training classes at TCKC. She is also a firm believer that training can occur anywhere and likes to incorporate these opportunities with her dogs outside of the formal training environment.
Evans, Angela
Angela Evans

Member since: September, 2007

In 1996, Angie Evans started training dogs in obedience and conformation, and began agility in 1998. Angie came to TCKC in 2006 after adopting Payton, her rescued West Highland White Terrier, and began competing with him in agility and rally. Angie Evans began teaching agility classes at TCKC in January 2012.

Having earned several titles with Payton in AKC & TDAA Agility and AKC & WCRL Rally, Angie and Payton’s highlight was competing at the 2009 TDAA Nationals. Following in Payton’s pawprints, Duke – Angie’s rescued Doberman Pinscher, earned multiple titles in AKC Agility, AKC & WCRL Rally, and BHA Barn Hunt. Angie has also enjoyed therapy work with both Payton and Duke as certified Therapy Dogs by Alliance of Therapy Dogs Inc. Currently Angie is competing in AKC Agility & BHA Barn Hunt with Zeva, her Boxer – who is soon to start her therapy career as well, and beginning a TDAA & AKC Agility career with Indy, her young West Highland White Terrier.

Angie believes that as our dog’s life-long companions, it is our responsibility to enrich their lives with lots of fun and activities to deepen that bond.
Evans, Debbie
Debbie Evans

Member since: January, 1985

Deb Evans has been a trainer with TCKC since 1987. Most of that time she was involved in the obedience training program, and in recent years has been primarily an agility instructor. She has supported TCKC as a long-time board member, organized events and participated in many club functions. Deb’s entrance into dog sports was with Cocker Spaniels, Sherman and later Mocha. Both dogs earned AKC and UKC obedience titles. Deb then trained her Papillon, Splash, earning titles in AKC obedience, rally and agility, including AKC’s MACH. Splash also competed and titled in UKC obedience and agility, and TDAA agility (Teacup Dogs), including TDAA’s TACH. Deb’s second Papillon, Bizzie, is currently running in AKC agility and recently earned the MACH2 title. Deb has been working with dogs for over half her lifetime and bases training on the aspect of making it fun and rewarding for the dog. Her work ethic revolves around continual practice, being creative, trying new methods, and learning from others via seminars and workshops. Deb enjoys teaching at TCKC and strives to share helpful knowledge, techniques and ideas with TCKC students.
Gerace, Mary Lou
Mary Lou Gerace

Member since: January, 2000

Mary Lou Gerace has been training dogs since 1994 when she acquired her first Golden Retriever, Boomer. She has since competed in both AKC, UKC & CDSP obedience, as well as AKC Conformation & Rally and UKC Agility & Field. She and her Golden Retrievers have earned multiple titles, including a UD, CDX, CD (HIT-FFX/OG), RE, UCD, UCDX, AGI, SHR, as well as an AKC breed championship. Dock Diving is the latest adventure she has enjoyed with her Golden Retriever, Brew – earning Senior Distance titles in both UKC and NADD and garnering an Invitation to the 2016 UKC National Dock Diving Championship competition.

Mary Lou joined TCKC in January 2000 and began training Competition Obedience Classes for the club in 2003. She presently teaches all levels of Competition Obedience Classes at TCKC and is a member of the Competition Obedience Program’s Curriculum Committee. She enjoys working with individuals just starting out in the sport of Obedience and Rally. Mary Lou is TCKC’s Treasurer and also the club’s Life Skills Coordinator.

She uses a fair, balanced approach and incorporates many games in her training classes. Mary Lou believes in teaching both the student and their dog that training competition obedience IS fun!


Griffith, Pat
Pat Griffith

Member since: February, 1989

Pat Griffith started training her first Cocker Spaniel at TCKC in 1988 and has trained one other Cocker and five Golden Retrievers, as well. She served as the Director of Training for many years and recently served as Agility Coordinator.

Pat’s dogs have earned numerous titles in obedience, agility and field, and she currently has dogs working in all of those venues. Gauge has earned his MACH in agility and his Utility title in obedience and his Junior Hunter. River has earned her Master Agility Jumpers title and is working toward her MX in Standard. Autry, the youngest, is competing in field events and working toward obedience and agility.

Pat believes in strong working relationships with her dogs and encourages our students to work toward that goal also.
Guttschow, Janet
Haydu, Dawn
Dawn Haydu
Dawn became a member of TCKC in February 2008. She and her westie, Einstein, participate in several dog sports. Dawn says, “We have a lot of fun and really enjoy spending time together.” Dawn has been an agility helper and then an assistant for several years, saying “I really enjoyed seeing dogs evolve and learn the sport from the beginning. I felt it was a natural progression to get into the apprentice program (even if it did take me quite a while to realize it), and as a trainer I will be able to help build relationships with handlers and their dogs as well as work on my own leadership skills.”

Einstein and Dawn have ran in TDAA for several years and have earned multiple titles in the venue, including multiple TACHs. Dawn has also been the TDAA trial chair for several trials at TCKC, and is co-chair for the agility fun runs as well. They also run at the Master level for AKC agility and recently started running in CPE agility. Einstein and Dawn also enjoy Barn Hunt and currently run at the Senior level. “My dog is a huge part of my life, and I do a lot with him but once a week I do bowl in a league with friends, we also used to bowl competitively and travel a lot with bowling (as children have changed many people’s lives, my dog has changed me. I now spend most of my weekends at agility or barn hunt trials-but I would never change a thing because I love it!).”

“I am really excited and looking forward to teaching agility classes as a Trainer. Thanks to all the current training staff for the support and encouragement they have given me throughout the apprentice process. The membership has also been awesome and this is a family I am very happy to continue to be part of!”


LeBreton, Kathy
Kathy LeBreton

Member since: April, 1996

Kathy joined TCKC in 1996, became an apprentice soon after, and qualified as a full trainer in 2000. She enjoys teaching Life Skills Classes from Puppy through Advanced, assisting with the Competition Classes and has been instrumental in helping to develop the current Life Skills 3 / CGC curriculum. She has been a part of the Board of Directors in various roles throughout her membership, including President and Director of Training.

Kathy has competed in Conformation, Obedience and Rally with her own dogs in various venues: AKC, UKC, CDSP and APDT. She has earned numerous titles with her dogs through the years and enjoys being involved in the trials offered at TCKC. Kathy is also a registered CGC Evaluator and is co-coordiator of the CGC Testing offered at TCKC 4x a year. She was a former member of Alliance of Therapy Dogs, Inc. and took her TDi Golden Retriever to nursing homes, hospital visits, ISU Stress Relief Days, Family Science Day and to a reading program for children at a local library.

Kathy believes it is advantageous to put your dogs in training as early as possible. Let young puppies learn to behave from the start instead of trying to correct developed, bad habits with an older dog. Whether you have a pet dog that you dearly love - or one that you plan to compete with - developing a good working relationship early helps to build the bond of love and respect between handler and dog.

Marvin, Shelley
Shelley Marvin

Member since: October, 2004

Shelley Marvin started training at TCKC in 2006 and helped develop their current agility program. She has been competing in AKC agility since 2004 with her West Highland White Terrier, Murphy. Together they competed at the AKC Agility Invitational in Long Beach, California in 2009 and 2010 and qualified for AKC Nationals in 2010. Through their teamwork, they have earned two MACH titles, the highest agility title bestowed by the AKC. Shelley has added another Westie to her family, Axl, and started competing with him in mid-2012.

Shelley teaches all levels of agility classes at TCKC, and enjoys working with “non-traditional” agility breeds. Trying new approaches to problem-solving is a key element of her training. Having fun while training is a top priority in her classes.
Mattingly, Debbie
Debbie Mattingly

Member since: April, 2003

Debbie Mattingly started taking obedience classes at TCKC with her dog Cooper in 2002. In 2006, she became an Obedience trainer with TCKC. Cooper has obtained titles in both Obedience and Rally. Debbie’s Tango is a Canine Good Citizen and a certified therapy dog. Debbie is qualified to teach Puppy through Pre-Novice, but prefers the entry level classes.

She is always looking for positive training methods to help handlers solve problems with their dogs and help them build on their relationship. Debbie believes having fun with your dog, using positive training methods, and understanding how dogs communicate strengthens the bond between handler and dog
Miles, Nancy
Nancy Miles

Member since: April, 2008

Nancy Miles started training her Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Daisy, in the winter session of 2006. Daisy took Obedience classes and then ventured on to the Rally classes. Both Nancy and Daisy found out that they really enjoyed Rally. Daisy has since earned her AKC RAE title, which is the highest Rally title in AKC. She has also earned her ARCHEX in WCR Rally and her URO3 UKC Rally. Daisy is now retired from rally. She now spends her free time making people happy doing therapy work.

Nancy started helping in Rally in 2009 and became a member of the Rally training staff in 2010. Nancy also added another Corgi, Rue, to her family in 2010. Rue took the necessary Obedience classes and then began her Rally, Agility and Barn Hunt careers, where she has started her collection of titles in each venue as well. Nancy believes that it is important for both the handler and trainer to have fun while learning new skills. Dogs love to learn and training a dog makes for a happy dog, but more importantly shapes the dog so that dog and family get along happily and enjoy being with each other.
Paul, Lisa
Lisa Paul

Member since: August, 2005

Lisa Paul has been involved with TCKC since 2005 and teaching classes for several years. As a strong proponent for the Rally program she regularly teaches and trials with her own dogs, keeping up to date with the latest trends, rule changes and organizations available to competitors. In addition to Rally, Lisa is also involved in formal Obedience, Agility, Tricks, Conformation, Tracking and other dog-sports (training to Championship levels in Agility, Obedience, Rally and Conformation).

Lisa believes in using reward based training methods, through breaking behaviors apart into small components, setting the dog AND handler up for success. The highest priority is given to building a better relationship between you and your animal companion, through trust and understanding. Lisa is also a CGC Examiner, and is an Obedience and Rally Judge. Lisa is herded through her day-to-day life by two busy Malinois, Copper and Penny.
Prehoda, Shelly
Quinn, Pat
Pat Quinn

Member since: September, 1990

Pat Quinn started training at TCKC in 1989. She has taught all levels of obedience classes and helped write past lesson plans. She has actively competed in Obedience and earned an OTCH (Obedience Trial Championship), as well as multiple CDX (Companion Dog Excellent) titles.

Pat also shows her dogs in the Breed ring. Stoney is the Golden Retriever Club of America’s first Master Hunter/Grand Champion. Tiki is major pointed in the breed ring and is currently working on her Senior Hunting title (needs only 1 more pass) and her Seasoned Hunting Retriever in the UKC Hunting Retriever club. Pup Hottie is currently taking Rally classes. She was awarded a Best of Breed and Sporting Group 4 at the tender age of 6 ½ months. Recently she was Reserve Winners Bitch at a golden specialty.
Pat prefers to teach each part of an exercise to the dog before putting the total exercise together as a whole. Taking the time to patiently teach a dog what is expected has provided good teamwork between owner and canine. Pat has pretty much retired from actively teaching obedience classes, but helps out occasionally as needed.
Rice, Pam
Sorak, Linda
Terven, Ron
Ron Terven

Member since: September, 1994

Ron Terven joined TCKC in about 1989, and started his training a few short years later. He actually started training coon dogs at the age of eight, with help from his father and other members of the Illinois Coon Hunters Assoc.

He showed his first Rottweiler, Cinnamon Sue, in obedience. He trained his second Rottweiler, Spice Girl, also. He trained and showed Stormy, his rescue Rottweiler, in obedience and Rally. He is currently training his Golden Retriever, Sandy. Ron is qualified to teach all levels of obedience and is currently teaching K-9 Life Skills 3 obedience/CGC classes.

He supervises the CGC program at TCKC. Ron believes positive obedience training makes for a happy, contented dog and family. It is the best way to bond and have fun with your pet.
Vlahovich, Gail
Gail Vlahovich

Member since: December, 2003

Gail Vlahovich, an obedience and rally trainer at TCKC, trained her first class in 2006. She and her Labrador Retriever, Liberty, started competing in rally in 2005 and have a Rally Excellent title in AKC Rally and a URO3 in UKC Rally. In APDT Rally, Liberty has Championships in Levels 1, 2, and 3, an ARCH, ARCHX, and ARCHEX. Gail and Liberty competed in AKC and CDSP obedience and earned a CD, CD-H and CDX-C. They also have 2 CPE agility titles and a UKC dock jumping title.

Gail and her younger Lab, Echo, have shown in Conformation and earned a UKC Championship and an International and a National Championship and some Rally titles. Gail teaches K9 Life Skills and Rally classes. She believes training your dog should be fun. She emphasizes teamwork between handler and dog, and enjoys helping students build a relationship with their dogs.
Walstrom, Sharla
Sharla Walstrom
Sharla Walstrom began training dogs in 1984 with her first Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier. She became a member of TCKC in 1998. Competitive Obedience and Barn Hunt are Sharla's current interests with her young SCWT, "Rocki."

Previously, Sharla has been involved in Conformation showing, breeding SCWTs and temperament testing puppies (31 litters of various breeds). She has earned 2 CDX Obedience titles, as well as exhibited in several trials toward obtaining the Utility Dog title. Sharla began teaching for TCKC in 2013. She is a Canine Good Citizen (CGC) evaluator and has judged for the McLean County 4H since 2007.

Sharla believes puppies, as well as adult dogs need to be in a relaxed state before they can learn. They need to be "uniquely" motivated to "join up" with their owners to be taught new things. This will ensure a beautiful partnership/relationship between the dog and his person.
Woods, Barb
Barb Woods

Member since: May, 2008

Barb Woods was raised around horses; her grandfather had a boarding stable in Bloomington. She showed English and Western pleasure, and raised Tennessee Walking Horses and also had a Quarter Horse and Arabian. Dogs were always present on the farm and Barb was a co-owner of Missy, a yellow Lab.

In 2006, Barb got her first Siberian Husky puppy and started in Puppy Class, earning the Canine Good Citizen title. Barb also participates in the Therapy Dog Group at TCKC, and has been visiting nursing homes with her dogs since 2009. She also visits the Acute Rehab Center at Advocate BroMenn Hospital. Barb and her dogs are also active in Agility, Rally and Obedience Classes, and have earned titles in both Rally and Obedience. Barb now has FOUR Huskies … and a Basset Hound!
Yelton, Kathy
Kathy Yelton started training dogs seventeen years ago when she got her first Golden Retriever, Tonka. They went to puppy class and quickly moved on through the obedience classes. Tonka was a fantastic student except for his “stays”. Passing the Canine Good Citizen test was a goal of her's with Tonka – turns out it wasn’t a goal of his! When Tonka turned ten, she thought it was time to introduce a new Golden puppy into their family. Harley was so eager to please and such a joy to train – she started taking classes here at TCKC in 2007. Harley quickly moved through the obedience classes and got his CGC title. Harley has a gift; he has a healing spirit that he loves to share with everyone around him. After realizing that she needed to share Harley’s gift, Kathy began working on certifying him as a Therapy dog. Kathy and Harley became a certified Therapy dog team with TDInc. in 2011 and a certified R.E.A.D (Reading Education Assistance Dog) team in 2012 and visit the area nursing homes, colleges and libraries spreading his healing spirit. During the same time, they welcomed a new Golden puppy into their home. Kathy started training Lambeau here at TCKC in 2012 when he was just 9 weeks old. He got his CGC title in September of 2012 at 11 months old. Lambeau is now training in Agility and Nose Work and is a wonderful companion dog. Training her own dogs helped Kathy realize that she wanted to help others see the potential in their own dogs. Kathy wanted to become a dog trainer! She worked her way from class helper through the apprentice program here at TCKC and has been a K9 Life Skills 1 trainer as well as a K9 Puppy trainer here at TCKC since 2014.

She believes a good foundation is key to developing a long lasting relationship of love, trust and understanding between you and your dog – which is key to uncovering their true potential.