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2009 Award Winners

Outstanding Trainer of the Year 2009

Winner: Kim Brophey, CDBC, CPDT-KA, BA

Kim Brophey is dedicated to helping owners understand and enjoy their dogs through her down-to-earth, scientific yet realistic approach to the human-canine relationship.  She specializes in more serious and complex behavioral issues such as aggression, anxiety and fear. 

Kim provides in-home visits for clients through her company The Dog Door Canine Services, LLC and offers consults in two of the well-respected veterinary hospitals in Asheville.  She offers free community educational presentations for veterinarians, shelters, colleges and universities, training centers, kennels, and other pet businesses. 

Kim acquired a BA in The Applied Relationship Between Human and Animal Behavior in 1999 and has been consulting and training professionally since 2001.   She has found a calling to provide a voice to dogs in her own community. Kim is an enthusiastic supporter of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and is honored to be a part of what APDT stands for.

APDT Ian Dunbar Member of the Year 2009

Winner: Rebecca Ramsey Fenton, CPDT-KA

A member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers since 1997, Rebecca Ramsey Fenton attended her first APDT conference in 2000 and was among the first to pass the CPDT test in 2001.  Rebecca offered her services as a Border Collie and has been running in circles ever since. 

Rebecca served on the Members Relation and Communication Committee, but found her true calling on the Conference committee where she has served since 2003.  She became a Conference staff member in 2005 and in 2008 became the Border Collie Coordinator.  The Association of Pet Dog Trainers is extremely important to her and she loves planning for the next conference throughout the year.  Building better trainers through education - the APDT motto - is also Rebecca’s. 

She and her dogs are active volunteers in her community making nursing home and classroom visits and working with the Ohio Reads program.  Rebecca began Courteous Canine Companions in 1987.   She considers herself an ethologist specializing in canine behavior.  Rebecca tries to instill the importance of communicating with the dog, building a relationship of trust through training and management, and making it fun.

Rebecca shares a home near Yellow Springs, Ohio with 3 dogs, 5 cats, numerous turtles, and her husband Ron.

The Central Life Sciences - Comfort Zone 2009 Veterinary Technician of the Year Award

Winner: Danielle K. Simmons, AS, CVT

Danielle Simmons became a Certified Veterinary Technician in 2000 after graduating from Johnsons College.  At a veterinary conference in 2004, Danielle learned how clicker training and other positive training techniques could be used in veterinary medicine.    Danielle has gone on to study behavior and training and incorporates behavior work to benefit the patients at Abington Veterinary Center.

Danielle has been training her own dogs in agility since 2004.  She has recently started teaching puppy classes at the veterinary hospital.  She also offers private behavior consultations and training services.

Premier Shelter Staff of the Year Award

Winner: Mariah Scheskie, BS

Mariah Scheskie is the Program Manager and Lead Trainer for the Humane Society of Western Montana where she has worked for the past five years.  She teaches group classes and trains staff members to teach their own classes through the shelter’s dog training program.    Mariah  has worked with special needs animals, fearful dogs rescued from hoarding situations, displaced Katrina dogs and aggressive dogs at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. 

Mariah got her start dog training nine years ago when she adopted Mowgli, an unruly Australian cattle dog. Mowgli guided Mariah in figuring out how to train a reactive, dog selective, highly driven, extremely vocal, obsessive-compulsive cattle dog that guards she who trains her.      Mowgli also taught Mariah that the phrase ‘where’s your ball’ can be successfully used in just about any recall situation!

Dogwise John Fisher Essay Award

Winner: Casey Lomonaco, KPA CTP

The most memorable training experience of Casey Lomonaco’s career is the transformation of her rescued Saint Bernard Montecristo, the star of this year’s essay – I Hope You Dance.

Because Monte’s reactivity towards other dogs was significant, Casey believed socialization opportunities greeting other dogs would be out of the question.  So watching him greet friendly (but unfamiliar) approaching dogs off leash with a play bow for the first time was a moment the entire family celebrated.   Not having any two-legged children of her own, Casey imagines she now understands the pride that parents feel watching their kids graduate or win the state championship!  Seeing Monte offer this simple canine communication to other dogs never gets any less exciting.  That play bow was and is, without question, the most significant positive reinforcement Casey’s encountered thus far in her training career.

In 2008, Casey graduated from the Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Behavior & Training.  Casey now instructs group classes at Clicking with Canines, and assists with Karen Pryor Academy workshops.  Casey also hosts off leash play groups and is a Dog Scouts of America Troop Leader.

The Dr. Robert Curran NewTrix Video Award

Winner: Emily Larlham

Emily Larlham began her career in dog training at the San Diego Humane Society, taking care of the quarantined and un-adoptable dogs and rooms full of puppies. After teaching classes at the Humane Society and South Bark Dog Wash, she began her own dog training business, Dogmantics Dog Training.

Emily has combined her degree in Fine Art Media and her passion for training dogs to create a free dog training channel 'kikopup' on Youtube. Here she gives tutorials on teaching dogs complex tricks as well as modifying behavior. Emily recently held seminars in Madrid and Barcelona on her clicker training methods.

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