Anne Klein – President and CEO
As President and CEO of Support Dogs, Inc., Anne provides information and leadership to the board, staff and volunteers; and, is responsible for the overall operation of the financial, administrative and program operations, and resource development of the organization.
Anne represents the SDI organization in all aspects including interacting with staff, volunteers, visitors, donors, clients, and the media as required. Her role also includes cultivating donors, building the outreach for SDI and, inÂ general, working toward spreading information about Support Dogs, Inc.
Anne is a proven visionary leader with 18 years experience as a leader in both government and non-profit arenas. Anne has demonstrated success in achieving strategic goals for organizations. She is highly effective at executing programs, building consensus and leading teams. Anne has extensive experience collaborating with business leaders, elected officials and stakeholders at a local, regional and national level.
Peggy Musen- Director of Community Engagement
Peggy has worked in the non-profit world for over thirty years joining Support Dogs, in October of 2015 as Interim Executive Director. During her tenure she committed herself to becoming a permanent part of the Support Dogs team and is now serving as Director of Donor Relations and Special Events. In that capacity Peggy brings her experience and knowledge of strategic planning, fundraising and marketing skills to the table. Her role is not only to raise funds through special events, but also to maintain and enhance our donors’ experience with Support Dogs, Inc.
Prior to coming to Support Dogs, Inc. Peggy served as Vice-president of Enrollment Management at Fontbonne University and Project Director for Kids Rock Cancer. She has served on the Boards of Gateway to Hope, Komen Race for the Cure, and the Harvey Kornblum Food Pantry. When not playing with her canine friends at Support Dogs, she enjoys traveling to play with her five grandchildren.
Stephanie McCreary – Volunteer Manager
Stephanie has loved dogs her entire life. As the Volunteer Manager, her job is to recruit and train the lifeblood of Support Dogs, Inc., which are its dedicated volunteers, and to ensure the staff and dogs have what they need to succeed.
Stephanie earned her BA in History from the University of Missouri – St. Louis in 2008. Her full house includes three kids, dogs named Francie and Indiana, and a cat named Cutie Pie.
Cindi Blanke – Kennel Manager
Cindi grew up with a love of animals. She spent several years working in a vet clinic and kennels. Cindi was involved in the rescue community for 9 years, most of which had been rescuing Golden retrievers. In November 2001, her first TOUCH dog graduated from the program and she entered the realm as the human half of a volunteer TOUCH team. She has since gone on to graduate a few more. Cindi and her crew are active in the TOUCH and Paws for Reading Programs. Cindi and her dogs enjoy interacting with people. “I am very happy to be here doing what I love to do”.
Tracy Lister – Assistance Dog Client Services Manager
Having been licensed in physical therapy since 1992, Tracy had made a career out of helping people. After witnessing the work of Support Dogs, she was so moved that she and her family became involved with Support Dogs in 2009 as Volunteer Puppy Raisers. Her continued passion and furthered belief in Support Dogs’ mission led her to accept a position as a clerical assistant in 2011. Tracy and her family continue to be active volunteer puppy raisers for the Assistance Dog program. She is the proud owner of one of SDI’s released dogs, a very large and loveable black Labrador named Rigg. Tracy and Rigg volunteer with the TOUCH and the Paws For Reading programs. When she is not working or volunteering for SDI, Tracy can usually be found on the sidelines of the soccer fields cheering on her girls.
Assistance Dog Program
Nadine Wenig – Director of Canine Services
Nadine joined the Support Dogs, Inc. team in 2001 as the Lead Trainer for the PAWS program at the Greenville Federal Correctional Center. In 2008, she transferred to St. Louis and joined the training department at SDI headquarters. Nadine has been training dogs for over 20 years, first German Shepherds and Blue Heelers as working farm dogs and now assistance dogs for Support Dogs, Inc. Nadine was certified by Assistance Dogs International in 2010.
Christina Rustenhaven – Assistance Dog Trainer
Christina grew up on 20 acres with woods, creeks, and a multitude of animals. Through her experience with nature, she brought home and saved many stray dogs, squirrels, rabbits, and other animals in need of rescuing. These were in addition to her own personal pets, which included dogs, cats, salamanders, guinea pigs, and hamsters. One “saved” squirrel learned to ride on Christina’s shoulder during nature walks, until one day he decided to stay behind in the woods. Christina’s kindness and ability to “recognize and read” various animals makes her a wonderful, effective, and kind dog trainer. Her years of experience working with assistance dogs in training, specifically Support Dogs, and her knowledge of our training methodology made her the logical choice to join the Assistance Dog Training team.
Christina Smith – Assistance Dog Trainer
Christina, Crissy, is a native of Missouri has had dogs her entire life. As a child, Christina brought home many strays and as an adult, she always had at least two pets, taking them everywhere she went. Needless to say, Christina is an avid animal lover. She was born in Missouri and attended Mineral Area College. She has an apprenticeship certification through the United States Department of Labor as a service dog trainer, which consists of 5,000 hours of hands-on and classroom training. She also has certification as a Vocational Technician Advanced Animal Trainer through Century College, logging over 500 hours in this program. In 2017, she received her trainer’s accreditation through ADI. Christina has been training dogs for over thirteen years and has personally trained many assistance dogs for Support Dogs. She is currently teaching at the Federal Correctional Institution Program in Greenville, Il. Christina has a deep admiration for our canine friends and enjoys teaching them new skills.
Laura Taylor – Assistance Dog Trainer
Laura grew up in a small town in Missouri. She has always had knack with animals, especially dogs. In recent years, she has worked as a Kennel Manager, Obedience Instructor and an AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator. She is also Red Cross Dog First Aid Certified and an instructor at SWICC PAWS for Prison Program. In 2014, with her dog, Ida, she joined the TOUCH Therapy Program.
Laura has two dobermans, Ida and Goose, and a lab named Henry. Goose is an AKC Advanced Good Citizen, loves to hike and keeps an eye on things while Laura is away. Ida is certified in the TOUCH Therapy Program and PAWS for Reading Program. Ida loves to relax and be with patients and children. Henry is a happy go lucky Service Dog who is always in training and a stud for Support Dogs, Inc. In Laura’s spare time, she likes to be outdoors flying kites, hiking, biking, geocaching and picnicking with with at least one of her dogs by her side.
Greg Hogan – Kennel Manager
Greg joined the Support Dogs team in April 2005. He has participated in many volunteer services over the years, including animal rescue efforts during the flood of ’93. Now he serves as manager of SDI’s kennel department, seeing to the overall physical and emotional well-being of the program dogs. In his spare time Greg enjoys drawing, crafts, and spending time outdoors with his two Labrador Retrievers, Kennedy and Ben.