Board of Trustees

We are fortunate to have a dedicated Board of Trustees that works tirelessly on behalf of Cavaliers, their owners and breeders. Each of our Trustees bring a passion for the breed and considerable knowledge and experience to the ACKCS Charitable Trust.

Patricia (Patty) Kanan
Trust Chairman

  • Chairman of the Board of Trustees for over 15 years
  • Charter Member of the American CKCS Club at its inception in 1993, served as its President for over 10 years and recognized as a Lifetime Member
  • Multiple post graduate degrees assist in her professional life of running the family business, but also serving in various roles called upon with the Charitable Trust
  • Recognized as a go to person in the world of Cavaliers. If she doesn’t have the information you are looking for, she knows who does and probably has that person in her cell phone

Bettina (Tina) Sterling, RN, AS
Health Committee Chair & Grant Coordinator

  • Professional career in healthcare and practice management led to position of Medical Administrator
  • 30+ years in the world of Cavaliers. From the beginning, her interest has been in areas of CKCS health
  • Able to translate and interpret the details and nuances of studies, grants and projects under consideration for funding
  • Oversees relationship with the AKC’s Canine Health Foundation


Claire Parker

  • A CPA certificate and career as a Management Consultant is a valuable toolset for our Charitable Trust treasurer
  • Breeder & exhibitor of Cavaliers for over 20 years, with Golden Retrievers before that
  • The prospect for research that enriches the lives of Cavaliers, dogs and even humans is the key factor for volunteering her time as a trustee
  • AKC Delegate for the American CKCS Club. Serves on Boards of a management consulting firm and multiple regional Cavalier clubs

Stephanie Sterling
Fundraising Director

  • Research Specialist for PennVet
  • Involved with Cavaliers for over 30 years as a breeder, exhibitor and Junior Showmanship judge
  • Actively involved with the American CKCS Club since 1994
  • The Charitable Trust is so important because without investment in the health of your breed, their will be no longevity


John Ioia MD, Ph.D.
Health Committee

  • Fell in love with a 3 month old Cavalier named Lucy and the rest is history
  • Years in clinical practice with a depth of knowledge and experience that helps him see beyond a Cavalier’s heart-melting eyes
  • It is not enough just to perpetuate the Cavalier’s looks. We must work together to improved the breed so that they can live long healthy lives

Leslie Slusher, BS, MS, Ph.D.
Health Committee

  • Ph.D. and Postdoctoral training in Molecular Genetics
  • Biology Professor with 26 years teaching Genetics, Molecular Genetics, Human Genetics, Molecular Biology Techniques and Bioethics at West Chester University of Pennsylvania
  • Extensive Grant Writing and Research Experience
  • Over 10 years breeding and exhibiting Cavaliers King Charles Spaniels
  • Passionate about the health and preservation of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel as a breed

Lamont Yoder, RN, MBA, MSN, NEA-BC, FACHE
Health Committee

  • A Founder of the American Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club and recognized as a Lifetime Member
  • Background as a registered nurse led to leadership and executive roles in healthcare that spans four decades
  • Over 35 years breeding and exhibiting Cavaliers King Charles Spaniels
  • Committed to continuing a lifelong passion for protection and promotion of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Luanne (Lu) Dunham

  • Trustee for the Charitable Trust since 2005
  • Retired Master’s prepared clinician and administrator having worked the areas of Emergency, Trauma and Clinical Research
  • Been “in dogs” for more than 30 years. First with Shetland Sheep dogs and then Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.  Has seen first hand the positive impact that determined breeders can have on diminishing the occurrence of specific heath issues


Carl Tennille

  • Trustee since 2006 and Cavalier owner since the early 1970s
  • Active supporter of Cavaliers in performance events – obedience, agility and free style. Who ever said that Cavaliers are just a pretty face has never met Carl’s Cavaliers!
  • Has had Cavaliers with the a heart condition and recognizes the value the Trust brings to addressing these issues

Helen Jesse MSN

  • Fell in love with Cavaliers 20 years ago and have been a supporter and advocate for the Charitable Trust since its inception
  • Healthcare knowledge brings an understanding that through the use of proper testing and breeding protocols it is possible to diminish and ultimately eradicate specific canine health issues
  • Passionate about raising money for the Trust. I enjoy thinking of various options to get people to part with their money while smiling and agreeing it’s for a good cause

Mark Baillie

  • First cavalier in 1988 and frankly admits he didn’t know they came in Black and Tan when he first met her, his attraction to whole colors after that was history
  • Has actively supported the Charitable Trust and American CKSC Club for 10 years by providing audio, video and technical support
  • Has professional background in sales of testing/manufacturing equipment to the Medical Industry
  • Past President of regional Cavalier club
  • While  not a clinician, he has a passion to pursue solutions to extend the quality and length of life in Cavaliers

Carol Williams

  • Past American CKCS Club President and one of the original Trustees
  • Active in the sport of dogs for nearly 50 years
  • Has insight into health issues and how they affect the breed