Meet The Team
Bethany Leighton joined the Canines for Service team in October 2020 and serves as the Executive Director. Bethany has worked extensively in the nonprofit sector for over 14 years, focusing primarily on fundraising and organizational growth. She recently led the local Wilmington chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, received an Executive Certificate in non-profit leadership from Duke University and was part of the Wilma Leadership Institute. Bethany moved to Wilmington in 2014 with her husband, Dan and they now have two sons.
Director of Development
Jen joined Canines for Service in June of 2020 and serves as Development Director. Jen comes to us most recently from Friends School of Wilmington as the Director of Advancement. Her background includes fundraising, as well as marketing, communications, PR, media, event planning, and volunteer management. Prior to Friends, Jen worked for Bald Head Island Limited, and advertising agencies in Raleigh, NC and New York. Born and raised in Westchester County, New York, Jen and her husband Chris have lived in Wilmington, NC for 20 years and have three daughters.
Julie Angle comes to Canines for Service from Wingdale, NY where she was an Instructor with the Specialized Training Program at Guiding Eyes for the Blind. Her twenty years of experience includes training dogs and working alongside people with vision loss, balance difficulties, Traumatic Brain Injuries, memory issues, and cognitive conditions. Julie moved to Oak Island, NC and will use her advanced dog training and client skills to help our organization continue to make a difference in the lives of Veterans nationwide.
Lynne began her engagement with Canines for Service as one of our student interns. During her internship, Lynne's contributions were so advanced and valuable that she was offered a full time position and began as our newest staff member in June 2020. Lynne is an Iowa native who came to NC with the blessings of her supportive husband and their five adult children to pursue her dream of a career in training service dogs. She moved to Wilmington, NC from Iowa to join the 2019 Summer Internship Program at Canines for Service to continue her dog training education to acheive that dream. With her previous experience at the service dog organization Retrieving Freedom, it was clear from the beginning that she had valuable and extensive dog training skills and knowledge.
David joined the Canines for Service Trainers Program in July 2017, advanced to a work study intern, and was brought on as a full-time employee in 2018. His responsibilities include kennel management, service dog training, IT support, and assisting the Lead Trainer in the intern program. He is a Certified AKC Canine Good Citizen Approved Evaluator.
Lexi joined the Canines for Service Team in December of 2019. She coordinates the Canines for Therapy Program and manages the Volunteer Program. She graduated from the University of South Carolina with a B.S. in Sport & Entertainment Management and has an extensive background in Sales and Marketing. Her continued passion for helping others and her love for dogs led her to join the Canines for Service team after previously working in the media industry.
Training Program Assistant
Alexis joined the team in December of 2019. She graduated from North Carolina State University with a B.A. in Criminology and a minor in Animal Science. Working with animals has always been her dream and she is thrilled that in addition, Canines for Service rescues dogs and helps people in the process. She loves taking care of the service dogs in training and meeting all of the amazing volunteers she gets the pleasure to walk with!