Founders / Board
Dianna Stearns, President, MA, CPDT-KA, CDBC, CATT
Dianna is the owner of Capitol Area Dog Training and Behavior Consulting, LLC in Germantown, Maryland. Dianna believes that the growing sport of Treibball provides dog owners a great learning opportunity to communicate and play with their dogs, in a new and all-positive way.
A professional dog trainer since 2002, Dianna holds national certifications from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed) and from the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (Certified Dog Behavior Consultant). Dianna is a professional member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) and the Force-Free Pet Professionals Guild (PPG), is an AKC Canine Good Citizen trainer/Evaluator, and has served as trainer/behavior consultant to many local and regional rescue organizations.
Dianna wrote and developed the original clicker-based training curriculum for Treibball, licensed exclusively for use by the American Treibball Association, and is the author of the first definitive book about the sport, Get the Ball Rolling~A Step By Step Guide To Training for Treibball, published in 2013, by Dogwise Publishing. She lives and works with her Mini-Australian Shepherd/Border collie mix, Gemma.
Hilary Lane, Vice President, CATT
Hilary owns Fang Shui Canines, a canine training and coaching business in Lafayette, Colorado, that helps people and their dogs live harmoniously. She is a Certified American Treibball Trainer (CATT) and trains the sport at local facilities, serves as a trainer for the American Treibball Association Trainers’ Academy and has judged national Treibball competitions. She is also an AKC Canine Good Citizen and S.T.A.R Puppy Evaluator.
She has volunteered with Humane Society Boulder Valley in various training programs to help make dogs more adoptable, puppy socialization classes, and other training events. Hilary co-founded Rocky Mountain Border Collie Rescue, where she trained rescues to be more adoptable. Currently, she evaluates potential canine candidates for a the Search Dog Foundation, and writes articles for pet publications, including Cornell and Tufts veterinary newsletters. Hilary is also a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, and the Pet Professional Guild.
Hilary has competed in Treibball trials with her Border Collie Luna.
Hilary has previously served as Secretary/Treasurer for the organization.
Aaron Israels, Attorney of Record
Aaron Israels is an attorney, licensed to practice law in Colorado, Michigan, and Illinois. His main office is located in Central Denver. He sits on the board of directors for several for-profit and non-profit business entities and we are thrilled that he is on the ATA board.
Aaron Israels, P.C.
4155 E. Jewell Ave., Ste. 502
Denver, Colorado 80222
Patti Trudgeon-Muraczewski, CPDT, CABC, BS
Patti is certified by the Association of Professional Dog Trainers and Animal Behavior College.
She has been instructing pet owners and their dogs close to 40 years. In addition, Patti has served as an executive director of a humane society for 15 years and is the founder of the Bichon and Little Buddies Rescue.
She has written in the national publication Front and Finish and a local magazine Fetch. One of her greatest thrill is instructing at Camp Dogwood three times a year.
Patti competes and had ranked nationally with her own dogs in obedience, agility, flyball, treibball, nosework, barn hunts and freestyle.
Patti is very proud that Snafu, her Bichon, is the most pointed Bichon in North America and the first and only Iron Dog Bichon Frise in the sport of flyball. Patti is currently training her Papillons, Blake and Paisley as well as her Schnauzer, Harper.
Melissa Wallace, PhD, CPDT-KA, CATT, CTDI
Melissa lives in Grand Bay, Alabama enjoying her retirement from her first career. She is the owner of Petite Agility on the Gulf Coast, providing classes in a variety of dog sports and hosting Sanctioned Teacup Dog Agility Association trials. She has been training dogs and handlers for over 13 years working with all ages of handlers and all types of dogs.
Melissa has been a member of several performance dog clubs and served as a board member and Co-Director of Training for one of these clubs. She is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA). She is a Certified Teacup Dog Agility Association (TDAA) Judge, Certified American Treibball Trainer (CATT) and Judge, a Certified Trick Dog Instructor (CTDI), and an AKC Agility Course Test and Canine Good Citizen Evaluator and trainer. She is a professional member of The Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) and the American Treibball Association as well as a member of TDAA. She brings her extensive experience as a judge, board member, and ongoing continuing education to all her endeavors.
Melissa trains her own Chihuahuas in agility, teacup agility, treibball, tracking, rally, obedience, nosework, barn hunt, and tricks. She is a frequent competitor in several of these sports in multiple venues and travels around the country to compete.
Melissa is on the Competition Committee.
Lisa Wisdom, ABCDT, CATT, CPDT-KA
Lisa has loved dogs her whole life and that passion carried over into her adult life. She’s been training pets, and their people, for over 13 years and currently owns Wags n Wisdom Dog Training teaching classes, private lessons and boarding dogs. Lisa is certified as a CPDT-KA (Certified Pet Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed) and CATT (Certified American Treibball Trainer).
Lisa enjoys treibball for the connection it allows her to have with her dogs, the variety of training and coursework involved, and the sheer enjoyment her three dogs Pippin, Keeper, and Jilly have when they are behind the ball.
Thyra Powers, CATT, CTDI, CCC
I am a Certified American Treibball Trainer (CATT), a Certified Trick Dog Instructor (CTDI) and a Canine Conditioning Coach (CCC). I started looking into actively training dogs (besides Obedience for over 20 years) when I adopted a Border Collie rescue 7 years ago. All that energy! What to do with it! I now have two Border Collie rescues: Dixie (7) and Ozzie (5). I am currently competing with them in Treibball, Agility, Nosework and both are Trick Dog Performers. Dixie currently has her Excellence title and Ozzie has his Intermediate title in Treibball. I only use positive reinforcement training methods, and love the use of a clicker. I am very proud to say that Dianna Stearns, ATA president, was my instructor for many years in Treibball (including the CATT Academy), and I still see her as my mentor in this sport.Besides all that I have a M.S. in Biology, and just love all living things!