Charitable Trust Board of Trustees

Our Trustees bring a passion for the breed and considerable knowledge and experience to the ACKCSC Charitable Trust. Grant applications are reviewed by the Trustees on a regular basis. Through the generous support of our club’s members and friends of the breed worldwide, a significant number of Veterinary Research Projects have been funded. These studies have been instrumental in improving the health of our dogs, and provide a foundation for future research.

Please consider making a donation today; the dog you help may very well be the one sitting on your lap.

Patty Kanan
Trust Chairman

  • A Charter Member of the American Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club (ACKCSC) serving the club since its inception in 1993.
  • Multiple post graduate degrees assist her in her professional life of running the family business, but also serving in the various roles called upon with the Club and 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 on her cell phone.
  • Passionate about the improving the health of our Cavaliers she was a driving force for the formation of the ACKCSC Charitable Trust; she has been a Trustee since its inception.


Bettina (Tina) Sterling
Trust Grant Coordinator / Chairman of the ACKCSC Health Committee

  • Professional career in healthcare and practice management led to a position of Medical Administrator
  • 30+ years in the world of Cavaliers, from the beginning her interest has always been in the areas of CKCS health
  • Ability to interact with the AKC's Canine Health Foundation and to maneuver through the politics and detail needed to work effectively
  • Able to translate and interpret the details and nuances of the studies and grants being considered by the ACKCSC Charitable Trust
  • Current President of the ACKCSC


Carol Williams

  • Former President of the ACKCSC and one of the original three Trustees of the Charitable Trust
  • Active in the sport of dogs for nearly 50 years
  • Has tremendous insight into health issues and how they affect the breed
  • The ability to interpret and translate grant documents coupled with her dedication to the CKCS breed has been invaluable to the Trust


Carl Tennille

  • Cavaliers first came into my life in the early 1970's and haven't ever left for very long.  
  • Actively support Cavaliers in performance events - obedience, agility and free style.  Who ever said that Cavaliers are just a pretty face has never met my Cavaliers.
  • Have had Cavaliers with the heart condition and other medical problems and recognize the value the Trust brings to addressing these issues.


Luanne (Lu) Dunham

  • Retired Master's prepared clinician and administrator having worked the areas of Emergency, Trauma and Clinical Research.
  • I have been "in dogs" for more than 30 years; first with Shetland Sheep dogs and then Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.  Like all pure bred dogs, both of these breeds have significant known health issues.  I have seen first hand the positive impact that determined breeders can have on diminishing the occurrence of specific heath issues.
  • ACKCSC Officer and Trustee for the Charitable Trust since 2005.

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John Ioia MD

  • I was a guest at the first ACKCSC National in 1997 and I treasure that experience and the breed.  Several years later I fell in love with a 3 month old Cavalier named Lucy and the rest is history.
  • My years in clinical practice provide a depth of knowledge and experience that helps me to see beyond the 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.
  • The ACKCSC and its Charitable Trust are some of the most educated, loving and generous dog people I have ever met.  They live to improve our breed by eliminating inherited disease and other health issues.


Helen Jesse MSN

  • I fell in love with Cavaliers around 20 years ago and have been a suppoter and advocate for the Charitable Trust since it's founding.
  • My 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.
  • I'm passionate about raising money for the Trust; I enjoy thinking of various options to get people to part with their money, all the while they are smiling and agreeing it's for a good cause.

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Mark Baillie

  • Mark got his 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 ACKCSC and Charitable Trust for 10 years by providing audio, video and technical support to make our events self-reliant.
  • Has professional back ground is in sales of testing/manufacturing equipment to the Medical Industry. Has worked with companies such as 3M, Medtronic, Boston Scientific.
  • A Past President of the Twin Cities Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club serving for 8 years in several positions.
  • Actively pursues answers to medical issues in Cavaliers. While he is not a clinician, he has a passion to puruse solutions to extend the quality and length of life in Cavaliers.
  • Interest in dogs extends to performance sports such as Agility and FastCat.


Stephanie Sterling

  • Involved in Cavaliers for over 30 years  

  • A Research Specialist for PennVet. 

  • Activly involved with the ACKCSC since 1994

  • The Chartible Trust is so important because without investment in the health of your breed, their will be no longevity.