As Development Director for SDWR, Lucinda Williams has over two decades of nonprofit management experience. She has served as the Executive Director of the Brain Injury Association of Delaware, Director of Development for the Joshua M. Freeman Foundation, Executive Director of the Delaware Symphony Orchestra, Executive Director of the Garrett Lakes Arts Festival, and Vice President of Artistic, Education and Community Outreach with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
During her two plus decades of nonprofit management, Lucinda has raised over $15 million dollars to support the various organizations for which she has worked. Lucinda lives in Gilmanton, NH, with her husband, retired Army Colonel, Richard Nowak. Richard served as a Special Forces Green Beret for 26 years. Lucinda is the grandmother of Lucien Gautreaux who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 18 months. Lucien, now 6, is the proud “boy” of his Diabetic Alert Service Dog, “Shadow.”
Executive Assistant to the President
My name is Sarah Gibson I came to SDWR in early October of 2015, I am 26 years old and a single mother of two. I have spent most of my Working / Personal life in the world of Equine , Horses have always been my passion as well as my comfort zone. I am a huge animal person and always have been, Dogs are a big part of my life and I have always looked at mine as family rather than a pet. InOctober 15 when I made the decision to start a new chapter in my life I found SDWR or even better they found me, I knew then that this was the place for me! I have never worked for an Organization like this one, These are not just employers to me they are a new found family that I never knew I had. They have given my children and myself love and opportunities that I would have never thought were possible! I am honored to call my self apart of the SDWR team!
In 2001, Cheri began her career in the Department of Corrections. Beginning 2005, she became a Narcotics Canine Handler, where her duties included searching cells for narcotics in multiple correctional facilities, as well as inmates, visitors and employees of the Virginia Department of Corrections.
In 2007, Cheri’s experience in dog training strengthened, when her career as a Narcotics Canine Handler Instructor began. She participated in the Narcotics Canine Handler Schools teaching new Handlers and their dogs on how to do searches as well as training the dogs on how to locate Narcotics.
After years of working alongside canine training, Cheri finally joined SDWR, starting off training puppies at the facilities. She described her duties,
“[Training puppies] included Socializing them, teaching them sit, down, stay, come and proper leash walking. I then progressed to delivering the puppies into the homes of our clients. I have been delivering and training Diabetic Alert Dogs, Seizure Response Dogs and Autism Service Dogs. I am currently the Training Director for SDWR. During my time with SDWR I have trained over 300 very successful Service Dogs.”
Cheri has also helped to supply dogs for the local Police Departments as well as USDA.
“I love making life easier for those with Diabetes through training D.A.D.s and their families. All of the staff is very knowledgeable. Trainers make visits to further training of dogs every 90 days and are not relegated to distance. There is no age limit to receive one of our dogs as with most other organizations. Constant contact is kept with our dog owners to ensure they have the assistance they need. Our dogs are guaranteed for 10 years. Great care is taken to make sure our clients receive a healthy dog. There isn’t an organization that cares more about our clients than we do.”
“My whole life I have loved dogs and enjoyed training them. Shortly after I graduated from West Virginia Canine College in 1992, I started Southwind Dog Training where I did a wide variety of dog training. This includes individual’s pets and dogs that lived in hospitals, hospice facilities and served as private therapy dogs.
Among my many accomplishments in dog training, I founded BARK (Bluegrass Animal Rescue of Kentucky) where I used rescue pets in therapy roles. And as an advocate for therapy dogs, I placed the first classroom dog in the state of Kentucky. I have also worked as a vet tech for many years and spent quite a bit of time at PetSmart as one of their in-house dog trainers. I believe in the power of training dogs to heal lives and I look forward to using my knowledge and experience to help you with your Service Dog from SDWR.”
“I was born and raised in Bristol, VA. I joined the Air Force 2 months after graduating high school in 2009 to help many others that took an oath to protect and serve this country and had the time of my life. 4 of the 6 years that I was enlisted, I served in the Presidential Honor Guard as a pallbearer for military funerals at Arlington Nation Cemetery. Also, I served at award ceremonies, retirement ceremonies, and wreath layings at the tomb of an unknown soldier. My last 2 years in the military, I worked in the Military Police and served on the security side of base activities. From doing basic patrols of the base and flightline for security, I advanced and became a K9 handler and volunteer kennel master for my home base. When I completed my 6 years with the military, I had a very hard transition until my prayers were answered and I found a job where I could work with dogs, but no longer be working security. I have been blessed with an amazing career opportunity that I am progressing in every day while training service dogs for individuals with invisible disabilities such as Epilepsy, Diabetes, Autism and PTSD. I have been on my own since I was 19 years old, and taking the next step in my life is having a place to live without the hassle of loud noises or lack of privacy. I am a very hardworking man who does anything necessary to get the job done at all times.”- Jeremy
Service Dog Training Apprentice
“I graduated from Amelia County High School and am newly employed as a Service Dog Trainer at Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers. I am moving from Amelia County to Madison area to be closer to my job and no longer have a 2 hour commute in the mornings and evenings. Since starting my job working with service dogs, I have progressed and learned a lot. I plan to continue with this amazing organization and continue to grow as a service dog trainer because I enjoy my job and am working daily to help people with invisible disabilities have a longer, happier and healthier life. “- David