Our Team

We are people believing and trusting in the power of the human-canine bond; each devoting our unique gifts to the cause of making life better for others in need.

Laura Sylvester

Founder, Executive Director

After seeing the impact a service dog made on her family Laura co-founded Good Dog! in 2011. Working with autism families for over 15 years Laura has a personal understanding of the challenges faced by special needs families. Laura has a B.A. from UCLA and is an Adjunct Instructor at BUCS.

Amy VandenBerg

Dog Training Manager

Amy has her CPDT - KA certification and has been working as a dog trainer and dog training instructor for over seven years. She has a degree in social work and spent the first part of her career working in schools with children with autism and developmental disabilities.

Laura Sarvinski

Senior Trainer

A 4 time dog owner, Laura began working with dogs at age 14 and has a wealth of industry experience and wisdom. She has a B.S. in Cynology from Bergin University of Canine Studies and has graduated 4 Good Dogs so far.

Rick Sylvester

Founder, Director Family Support

Rick combines his background in corporate training, dog handler knowledge and experience along with his degree in Psychology from SDSU to help him guide our families. Rick leads all GD!SC Family Support, Education and Team Training events. Rick is a 6-time dog owner.

Christine Webb

Senior Trainer

Chris is a graduate from Bergin University of Canine Studies with an Associate of Science degree. She has experience as a Veterinary Tech and has a private training company in Las Vegas. Chris has been training Good Dogs for 8 years, she is now training her 18th, 19th and 20th Good Dog!

Brittney Micely

Trainer & Regional Team Leader

Brittney is a 15-time dog owner who devoted her life to working with dogs when she was 11. She earned a degree in Animal Science/Pre-Vet Med from Cal State Fresno and is now the Area Lead for Puppy Raiser programs.

Laura Douglas

Associate Director

With a M.Ed. in Special Education and a Psychology degree from Duke, Laura found her passion for service dogs as a classroom teacher. She then pursued an A.S. in Assistance Dog Education from Bergin University of Canine Studies. Laura has worked in the service dog industry for 7 years.

Kimberly Bordonaro

Family Fundraising Coach

Kimberly has over 20 years of experience in marketing, public relations, and brand development for many diverse clients, including non-profits. Kimberly is Mom to Good Dog! Thunder! Our families are overjoyed to have Kimberly on their fundraising teams and so are we. 

National Team

Trainers, Puppy Raisers and Apprentice Trainers

Across the United States we have assembled a team of compassionate and talented individuals that dedicate themselves to our cause. We're blessed to have each and every one helping to build our pack.

Gene Alexander

Ph.D., ​Chairman & Treasurer

Dr. Alexander is Chief Technology Officer of Body Surface Translations, Inc. He previously taught in the Engineering School at Stanford and the Business School at Chapman U. He holds nine US patents and is a US Army veteran.

Victoria Cicalo

Board of Directors

Victoria is a graduate of University of California Los Angeles with a degree in Political Science. She is an entrepreneur and small business owner. As an animal lover she has owned 4 dogs and ...16-cats.

Quiara Smith

MOT OTR/L, Board Secretary

Quiara is a pediatric OT in private practice and works per diem with the pediatric population working at a hospital in Silicon Valley. With her facility dog Nelly by her side, she  provides the benefits of animal assisted interventions for clients.

Christen Sirianni

Board of Directors

Christen graduated from California State University Chico with a degree in Liberal Studies. She is a mom to two boys -- one with autism --  and also mom to Good Dog! Hope.

Monique Germone

Ph.D., BCBA, ​Board of Directors

Dr. Germone is a clinical psychologist and assistant professor for the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Colorado and Children's Hospital Colorado. She is a 4-time dog owner.

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OUR ADVISORY COMMITTEE

Phil Schneider

Former CFO & Chairman of the Board for YMCA San Diego County

The Drake Center for Veterinary Care

Specializes in the treating pets like family

Julie Sando

Founder of Autistically Inclined and Co-Creator of Natural Play Therapy

Geoffrey P. Radoff, M.D.

Specializes in the treatment of children with autism spectrum disorder

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OUR CORE VALUES

The Four Legs We Stand On

Competency – We are reliable, intelligent, successful

Authenticity – We are sincere, honest, transparent

Resiliency – We are adaptable, resolute, strong

Empathy – We are inclusive and care beyond measure