As an all-volunteer organization, PSDP is led by its board members rather than employees. The board relies on and values advisors, community members, and collaborations with other organizations and individuals to pursue its mission.
Veronica Morris, PhD
Veronica Morris lives in South Carolina and has been using service dogs since 2005. She trained all of her service dogs herself, including her current fourth service dog in training—a Japanese Chin named Felix. Her previous service dogs were Sabrina, Ollivander, and Hestia, with one wash-out named Alice who is a beloved pet. Veronica has a BS in Biology and an MS in Genetics and Molecular Biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a PhD in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management from the University of California at Berkeley. Veronica also volunteers for Advocates for Service Animal Partners and NAMI Piedmont Tri-County. Veronica is excited to work with and support members of the service dog community through PSDP, and is particularly interested in training facilitation and community support.
Elaine is a disabled mental health consumer from New England, and has been using a service dog since 2003. Elaine has a BA in Psychology. She is currently working her third owner-trained service dog, a Sheltie named Yvie, and has found this is the best way to continue in her recovery. She is dedicated to helping other people with mental illness learn about service dog laws, training, rights and responsibilities, and the psychiatric service dog lifestyle.
Bradley W. Morris, MA, CPhil
Secretary, Treasurer, & Director of Government Relations
Brad is a wheelchair user and his spouse has been partnered with a psychiatric service dog since 2005. He’s been pleased to provide support in many flavors: photography and graphic design, meeting organization and record-keeping, finances, website crafting, and anything else involving the written word—especially advocacy. He earned his BA in both Philosophy and Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Brad later enjoyed six years at the University of California at Davis, earning his graduate degrees in Philosophy and teaching students how to think critically, write persuasively, and lead well-considered lives. He served in DC as a co-chair representing service animal users on USDOT’s committee to update the service animal flying laws. This led to his co-founding the USAUSA coalition. He drives other outreach to actively develop solidarity in the service dog community, repairing old divisions into a collective strength that he sincerely hopes will keep crushing injustice. You can learn more about his passion for the cause and find out what his question is for you on the Brad’s Question page!
Linden lives in Southern California and was partnered with her first handler-trained service dog from 2009-2019. She is currently training a service dog prospect. Linden earned a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies after failing three times due to undiagnosed Bipolar Disorder I. A mental healthcare consumer and a disability rights activist, she is dedicated to grassroots organizational support for people with mental illness and other disabilities. Linden has a special focus on assisting people with mental illness to train a service dog partner, helping them learn the responsibilities and the lifestyle.
Heather lives in Southern California with her son and fiancé and enjoys work that allows her to help others. She spent over a decade working as a public safety 9-1-1 dispatcher for a law enforcement agency. During that time, she gave numerous presentations and taught courses on various topics related to public safety communications, including emergency public notifications and dispatcher health and wellness. Heather has served as a crisis volunteer providing emotional aid and practical support to victims of traumatic events and their families. She holds an Associate of Arts degree, concentrating her studies in Kinesiology and American Sign Language. Heather enjoys exercising and spending time with her family and her animals. Among these animals are several bearded dragons and two house rabbits. In addition to training her dog Phoenix as a service dog (their partnership reaches back to 2014), Heather is keen to focus her energy for PSDP on owner training, clicker training, and service dog laws.
Katie Jesseph, IAABC-ADT
Katie lives in Kansas with two poodles and a cat. She trained her dog Theo as a service dog but had to retire him early because of some unexpected health issues. He now happily works at home and helps her as a neutral dog for training set ups. Katie worked for an animal shelter before starting her own business as a dog trainer. She is a Fear Free Certified Professional, a member of the Pet Professional Guild, and accredited with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. She graduated from Washburn University in 2017 with a BA in Sociology as well as minors in Leadership and Criminal Justice. From 2014–2017 she worked for a homeless shelter doing program development and adult education. While there she also helped run the PANT program, which partners with local veterinarians to board animals while shelter guests work on finding permanent housing. Katie enjoys providing compassionate education and training to both people and animals.
Board of Advisors
The Board of Directors consults and collaborates with various parties to formulate policies and products in advancing the PSDP mission. Advisors are special among these parties because they have been consistent in providing significant assistance to PSDP in this vein. They bring experiences and offer perspectives that may be novel to board members. Advisors are not expected to adhere to any PSDP views and are not official representatives of PSDP, but operate as independent and much-valued sources of feedback on an ad hoc basis.
John Ensminger, JD, LLM
John Ensminger is an attorney and member of the bars of the State of New York and the United States Supreme Court. His latest book, Police and Military Dogs: Criminal Detection, Forensic Evidence and Judicial Admissibility, has been released by Taylor & Francis/CRC Press, New York and London. His other publications include: Service and Therapy Dogs in American Society; Money Laundering, Terrorism, and Financial Institutions; and contributions on canine legal and scientific issues to Forensic Science International, the Journal of Forensic Sciences, the Journal of Animal and Natural Resource Law, the Journal of Veterinary Behavior, the Journal of Animal Law, ABA General Practice, Tax Notes, and the Journal of Forensic Psychology Practice. John is a Contributing Editor of the Animal Legal & Historical Center of the Michigan State University College of Law. John’s dog Chloe enjoys helping others as a therapy dog.
Robby W. Morris, MBA
Rob’s daughter-in-law has been paired with a service dog since 2005. Before a successful 21-year career in the U.S. Air Force, Rob earned a BS in Finance from Florida State University. He retired from the military as a Lt. Colonel, acting as liaison between the Air Force and the Army’s 18th Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. He also earned an MBA and completed coursework for a BA in Computer Science while serving. In his second career, he climbed the ranks of a major financial services corporation to retire as an IT Project Manager. Throughout his life, he has served his many communities in a breadth of volunteer capacities. Rob’s varied skills, unique background, and consistent compassion make him a welcome advisor for PSDP.
Jenine Stanley is an experienced and leading guide dog user and service animal advocate living in Columbus, Ohio. She has a peer-oriented background, having presided over Guide Dog Users, Inc. from 1996 to 2000. Jenine also has distinct insight into the world of service dog programs. She has not only received program guide dogs, but has worked as the Consumer Relations Coordinator from 2008 to 2019 for Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind and America’s VetDogs. Jenine keeps up with training her own guide dog, Roger, and is interested in disability advocacy and technology. She served wisely as a co-chair of USDOT’s service animal flight access update with Brad, where she and Brad started the United Service Animal Users, Supporters, and Advocates (“USAUSA“) partnership. Jenine now works for Aira as their Explorer Community Manager and Brand Ambassador.
Valued previous leadership
Chris was an Assistant to the Board and remains a friendly face in (and volunteer for) our community. Her entry was as follows.
Christine has a lifelong passion for serving others through volunteer work. She lives in Ohio with her husband of four decades and homeschooled her five children. In 2007, Christi began training her first service dog, Gabriel, with the support of IAADP and an introduction to positive training. Ten years later, Christi created the “Service Animals” Facebook page and private group, honoring Gabriel by fostering others’ education and improvement regarding service dogs. In 2018, she found a welcoming community in PSDP. With her Labradoodle Gabriella Grace and PSDP’s support, Christi’s rediscovered joys and freedoms allow her to help others along their journeys to better health and access. As a disabled US Navy veteran, Christi’s interests include a passion for others who have worn uniforms and bear the ongoing wounds of trauma.
Chanda Hagen was a founding member of PSDP, serving on the Board of Directors from 2012–19 with other PSDP duties thereafter. Her entry was as follows.
Chanda lives on the Central Coast of California. She and her husband managed a popular vineyard and crafted boutique wine between 1999 and 2015. Chanda studied Equine Science at the University of Findlay in Ohio, worked as a veterinary technician for nearly a decade, and has also trained horses and dogs since childhood. She has used a service dog since 2005. Her current service dog in training, Kestrel, is becoming her constant guardian and lifeline. Working with her allows Chanda to experience the world in ways that would be impossible without her help. Chanda is a devoted advocate for service dogs helping people with mental illness, and is especially interested in clicker training, owner training, and service dog law.
Justin Mikel was an advisor in 2016-2017. Her entry was as follows.
Justin G Mikel, BSEd, MSW, IHC
Justin lives in the mountains of Western North Carolina. She is a psychotherapist, addictions specialist and integrative health coach who is no longer able to practice due to her severe mental illness. Justin is a fierce advocate for the rights of those who struggle with mental health challenges. She serves on the board of her local NAMI affiliate and is also a member of two consumer and family member committees for her local mental health funding agency. Justin speaks to various organizations and college classes about her experience with mental illness and recovery. Justin is the recipient of a 2015 Recovery Champion Award given by the NC One Community in Recovery Conference. Justin is also a published writer and poet. Currently, Justin is working with a Golden Retriever breeder to identify a suitable puppy prospect to owner train as her first psychiatric service dog.