Staff & Board of Directors
Founder & Executive Director; Director of Training
Peggy began service dog work at the Assistance Dog Institute in 1999. In pursuit of more specialized skills in animal training, Peggy enrolled in the Operant Conditioning Workshops in Hot Springs, Arkansas. She has attended the trainers’ workshop given by Ken Ramirez at the Shedd Aquarium as well as multiple “Clicker Expo” training workshops. She also worked with National Service Dogs in Ontario, Canada, to learn about training dogs to assist children with autism. Peggy is part of an international coalition of trainers working to improve and set standards for the emerging field of diabetic alert dog training.
Janet began as a volunteer puppy raiser and in 2007 she joined our staff as part-time trainer. Janet teaches advanced training classes, and assists with transfer camps (when clients get placed with their service dog), as well as programmatic and administrative tasks related to the dog trainings. She served on the Board of Directors for the Shenandoah Center for Therapeutic Riding. Janet has attended Clicker Expo, and the Association of Pet Dog Trainers Conference.
Lauren started working with SDV as an intern in 2011 and quickly became a valuable part of the team. In mid-2012 she came onboard full-time and now teaches the weekly Puppy Class and serves as the volunteer coordinator as well. Lauren graduated from the University of New England in Maine with a Bachelors of Science in Animal Behavior.
Kyle and his family recently left their home city of Seattle, where he made a career helping software and technology startups with sales, marketing, and product development strategies. He is delighted to be a part of the Service Dogs of Virginia team and to use his experience in establishing and building relationships as a springboard for success in raising money to train and place more dogs and to change more lives. Kyle's wife, Margaret Ann, works at Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. They have two middle school aged daughters who left Seattle in tears but now love living in Charlottesville even more!
Shannon Wilson, Office Administrator
Shannon joined SDV in January 2011. She manages the day-to-day administrative functions of the organization, and serves as in-house graphics and photography producer, as well as coordinating projects with outside vendors. She is also a member of the development team and the film festival committee. Shannon has years of experience in the non-profit sector, in arts and cultural history museums. Shannon graduated from College of Eastern Utah (Blanding) with a degree in Cultural Resource Management and New College of California (San Francisco) in Culture, Ecology & Sustainable Community with an emphasis in Ecological Literacy.
In addition to these highly skilled staff, we rely on volunteers to raise and train our puppies. A number of volunteers help us with advanced training, follow-up client training, fundraising, and events. Medical professionals, a special education teacher, and a teacher from the Virginia Institute of Autism also work with us to shape our programs to specific clients’ needs.
2013 Board of Directors
Peggy Law, Executive Director
Heather Higgins, Treasurer
Becky Paska, Secretary
Rachel Potter, President
If you are interested in joining our board, please contact Peggy Law.