The Faces of Our Organization


Co-Founder, Executive Director

Maureen has worked in the Assistance Dog industry for over 20 years. She was born and raised in Seattle, and graduated from Seattle University with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration. As a CPA, she combines a strong business background with a Masters of Science in Canine Studies. She has been invited to share her innovative training methods at conferences in Europe, Asia, South America, and the US. Her devotion to helping people with disabilities has resulted in tens of thousands of people whose lives have been impacted by Assistance Dogs.



Co-Founder, President

Will graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He has been working in the Assistance Dog industry for over 20 years. Together, he and Maureen grew Assistance Dogs of Hawaii into one the most successful providers of Assistance Dogs in the country. Will oversees all of the facilities and construction projects. Described as the backbone of the organization, his work behind the scenes of the organization keeps all daily activities running smoothly.



Training Director

Originating from Spain, Vanesa began her career in the Assistance Dog field through programs at  the University of Cambridge and the Royal Veterinary College in London. She has over 15 years of international experience as a Service Dog trainer. Vanesa first came to our program in 2011 as an intern. A number of years later, we were happy to have Vanesa join our team as our Training Director. Vanesa leads our puppy raising classes and continues with the dogs through their graduate training. Vanesa is very passionate about her job and helping to prepare our dogs to be excellent partners.



Community Outreach Director

Wendi is a Clinical Psychologist with over 20 years of experience in medical and mental health settings. She earned a Ph.D. from Texas A&M University and completed Fellowship in Pediatric Psychology at the University of Texas Medical Branch- Galveston. An experienced hospital facility dog handler, she knows first-hand about the immeasurable impact dogs can have and now devotes her time now to sharing this understanding with the community.



Program Manager

Holly is a proud alumni of Washington State University and lives with her family on Bainbridge Island. Holly works in many different aspects of Assistance Dogs Northwest including managing the office on our campus and coordinating our fundraising events.  She has many years of event planning experience and excels at bringing all of the details together for a seemless experience.

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