Jen Reeder
Jen Reeder

Freelance journalist Jen Reeder has been a member of DWAA since 2012. She started writing frequently about dogs after she and her husband adopted a goofy Lab mix named Rio. Her work has appeared in Family Circle, The Christian Science Monitor, Modern Dog,, The American Animal Hospital Association’s Trends Magazine, AKC Family Dog, The Dallas Morning News, PawCulture, Shape, Just Labs, Zuke’s “Dog Blog,” The Huffington Post, PBS Next Avenue and many other publications.

Jen is proud to have received numerous awards from the Cat Writers’ Association and the Dog Writers Association of America, including the AKC Microchipping Awareness Award. She volunteers on the bio writing team for PawsCo, a Denver-based animal rescue organization, and for Therapy Dogs International as Rio’s therapy dog handler.

Jen shares her home office in Southwest Colorado with her husband and their beloved dogs, Rio and Peach.

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Marsha Pugh
Marsha Pugh

Marsha Pugh has been a member of DWAA since 2004 and has been treasurer since 2009. She is a second generation dog person and has been showing and breeding dogs since her earliest memories. Marsha writes a bi-monthly pet care column for The Italian Greyhound Magazine. She conducts handling classes and judges 4-H competitions.  Until her retirement in March 2010, she was the administrator of a multi-million dollar pension fund.

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Laura Coffey
Laura Coffey
Vice President

Laura T. Coffey has been a professional member of DWAA since 2014.

She is a writer, editor and producer for the website of NBC’s TODAY show and the author of the bestselling book My Old Dog: Rescued Pets with Remarkable Second Acts. A journalist with more than 25 years of experience, Laura has written and edited hundreds of high-profile human-interest stories for since 2008. In recent years, she has won first-place writing awards from the Society for Features Journalism and the Dog Writers Association of America, and headline-writing awards from the American Copy Editors Society.

Before she started writing for, Laura worked as a reporter, columnist, and editor for, social issues editor at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, deputy business editor at the San Diego Union-Tribune, managing editor of The Prague Post in the Czech Republic, a reporter and editor at the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce, a reporter at the Peninsula Clarion in Alaska, and a reporter and columnist for the St. Petersburg Times in Florida. Her work has also appeared in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, PBS NewsHour Online, Best Friends magazine, and many other publications.

Laura lives in Seattle with her husband, Michael, their son, Tyler, and their two senior dogs, Frida and Manny.

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Ida Estep
Ida Estep, Esq.
Past President

Ida Estep, Esq. is an attorney with a postdoctoral degree in tax law, also holds a master’s degree in social work. She has been active in dogs for most of her life and is involved in dog rescue, both as a foster and as legal advisor to rescue groups.

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Laurren Darr
Laurren Darr

Laurren Darr has been a member of DWAA since 2012 and has been ‘owned’ by pug dogs and pet fashion since her first pug rescue of White Pines Tuttie when she was just six years old. She studied and worked in the field of marketing for over twenty years specializing in trade show marketing for corporations and clients — leaving a corporate executive position to start her first business in 2004. In 2008, she started studying book publishing and launched the imprint Left Paw Press that publishes medical, racing, pet fashion, coloring, and pug children’s books including her Maxwell Medallion winning book Lipstick On A Pug.

In 2013, Laurren combined her love of pet fashion and knowledge of marketing to launch the International Association of Pet Fashion Professionals with the vision of creating programs and books to support people building closer bonds with pets through pet fashion.

Darr lives in the Chicagoland area with her geneticist husband, stock car racing teenage son, and stylish pug Bella.

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Board of Directors

Caroline Coile
Caroline Coile, Ph.D.
Class of 2019

Caroline Coile, Ph.D. writes about dogs full-time, with 34 books and hundreds of articles published. Her work has appeared in print, television and online. She holds a Ph.D. with research interests in canine behavior, senses, genetics and neuropsychology. Caroline has competed in dog events since 1975. She has bred, owned and handled top-winning Salukis in conformation, lure-coursing, agility, and obedience.

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Gail Parker
Gail C. Parker
Class of 2018

Gail lives and writes in the Mayfair area of Philadelphia with Danny, an Irish Setter, and six cats, Magic, Patrick, Misty, Brandie, Athena and Leo. Married to Carl Weber since 2003, Gail writes about collectibles and new finds in dog-themed items for the Canine Collectibles Courier. Gail also writes for the Irish Setter Club of America’s Memo to Members Magazine. These columns alternate with collecting Irish Setter memorabilia and her pet therapy and Dog Walker Town Watch activities. Members of the nationwide group Dog Walker Town Watch, she and Danny check out and report back to the local branch’s leaders when they see anything amiss in the neighborhood. They’ve found two abandoned cars and clothing bins, and reported graffiti. Formerly a pet therapist with two of her late Irish Setters, Parker currently volunteers for Irish Setter Rescue. Her work is published in magazines and newspapers. She was a featured speaker at the Academy of Natural Sciences at their exhibit honoring dogs, and is a two-time Maxwell winner.

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Karen A. Harbert
Karen A. Harbert
Class of 2019

Karen Harbert has been a breeder and exhibitor of Cardigan Welsh Corgis for over 40 years with approximately 100 championships in dogs she has owned and/or bred, many of them obedience titled as well.  She has served multiple terms on the Board of the Cardigan Welsh Corgi Club of America, and been president of two regional Cardigan clubs.  She has judged a national sweepstakes in Canada and a CWCCA supported sweepstakes at home.  She has served as editor of national and regional magazines, written breed columns for the AKC Gazette and is author of the ‘Murder at the Dog Show’ mystery series.  Her professional background is in management in mental health and Child Abuse Investigation.

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Martin Deeley
Martin Deeley
Class of 2017

Martin Deeley internationally recognized dog trainer, writer, and commentator inducted into the International Association of Canine Professionals Hall of Fame in April 2011. Martin has been training dogs for 35 years. He has not only trained with the best but also trained the best in his workshops. His dogs have won competitions in Britain, and in America. He has made up both Hunting retriever Champions and Master Hunters. He runs dog training workshops throughout Europe, Great Britain and America. He has been a feature writer for leading American and European magazines, and is the only journalist ever granted a personal interview with Her Majesty the Queen of England. Martin has written three top selling books Advanced Gundog Training, Working Gundogs, and Getting it Right with Gundogs. Commentated on over 80 European championship videos, and for 28 years provided the commentary at the International Gundog Competitions held at the Country landowners Association Game Fair. The largest Game Fair in the world. Martin was presented with the Dog Writers Association of America Special Award for the Best Training Article of 2001. In 2007 Countryman’s Weekly, a leading European dog magazine, selected Martin as Gundog Trainer of the Year, a highly esteemed award voted upon by readers and fans of his books and videos.

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Patricia Cruz
Patricia Cruz
Class of 2018

Patricia Cruz began “stringing” for the NY Times in 1967 and wrote a weekly column for the original Long Island Press, New York Post and Newsday. I joined DWAA in 1971 and Approved to judge by AKC in 1972. I became an AKC Field Rep in 1978, and was elected to the AKC’s Board of Directors in 2012. I picked up a column in 1989. I judge all breeds outside the US including India, Cuba, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and most of South America and Central America.

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Joel Gavriele-Gold
Joel Gavriele-Gold, Ph.D.
Class of 2017

Joel Gavriele-Gold is President of the Metropolitan Dog Club, NYC. He is a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst in private practice in New York City. Joel has published articles on the use of his dogs with his patients in the AKC Gazette, The Psychoanalytic Review and in other publications. He also writes about psychological mechanisms operating in humans in their relationships with pets. Joel has appeared on radio and television programs including: Good Morning America, Men Are From Mars, MSNBC and local TV news guest spots. He is a member of the Stewards Club of America and the American Canine Education Foundation. Joel is an instructor and supervisor to psychoanalytic students and has Skype sessions in Louisville. KY and Beijing, China. His Bouvier des Flandres, Dova accompanies him in his Manhattan therapy practice.

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February 2013 – February 2017 Ida W. Estep, Esq.

September 2012 Dr. Carmen Battaglia, Freelance

February 2009 – September 2009 Debra Eldredge, DVM

July 2008 – February 2009 Dr. Carmen Battaglia, Freelance

February 2008 – July 2008 Chris Walkowicz, Freelance

February 2007 – February 2008 Amy Fernandez, Freelance

February 2005 – February 2007 Ranny Green, Seattle Times

February 2005 Jan Mahood

2001 – 2004 Chris Walkowicz, Freelance

1994 – 2000 Mordecai Siegal, Freelance

1992 – 1993 Job Michael Evans, Freelance

1985 – 1992 Hal Sundstrom HalMar Publications; Dog World; Freelance

1981 – 1985 Bill Denlinger, Denlinger Publications

1981 Maxwell Riddle (Acting Pres.) Dog World; Freelance

1980 – 1981 Louis Iacabucci

1973 – 1979 John Marvin

1971 – 1972 John W. Ingram

1968 – 1971 Arthur Frederick Jones AKC Pure-Bred Dogs

1965 – 1967 M. Lewis Sharpley Louisville Courier-Journal


1963 – 1965 Louise Rucks, Daily Oklahoman

1962 – 1963 Louise McMahon Philadelphia Inquirer

1960 – 1962 Harvey Barcus

1958 – 1959 Evelyn Monte

1955 – 1958 George Butz, Philadelphia Inquirer

1954 LeRoy E. Fess, Buffalo Courier Express

1952 – 1954 John Rendel, New York Times

1951 – 1952 Wentzle Ruml, Jr.

1950 Dwight Young

1949 Ronald Kilborn, NY World-Telegram and Sun

1947 – 1948 Maxwell Riddle, Dog World; Freelance

1943 – 1946 James D. Strachan Kennel and Bench; Dogs in Canada

1942 C.E. Harbison, Conde Nast

1941 Roslyn Terhune, Baltimore News Post

1940 George Butz, Philadelphia Inquirer

1939 James D. Strachan Kennel and Bench; Dogs in Canada

1937 – 1938 Will Judy, Dog World

1936 Alice Rosenthal, Dog News

1935 Milton Danziger, Springfield Republican

Constitution and Bylaws

Dog Writers Association of America, Inc. Founded 1935 Incorporated under the laws of the State of Massachusetts

Name and Objects Section 1. The Name of this Association shall be the DOG WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA, INC., hereinafter referred to as the Association. Section 2. This Association shall be organized exclusively for, and shall be operated exclusively for charitable and educational purposes, and will not carry on any activities not permitted to be carried on by an organization exempt under section 501(c) (6) of the Internal Revenue code. The objects of the Association shall be: (a) To promote the interests of dogs through news and informational channels. (b) To provide a medium for the exchange of ideas, methods, and professional courtesies among its members. (c) To promote a high standard of ethics in the writing, collecting, and disseminating of dog news. (d) To promote and support an Annual Writing Competition. (Adopted 2004) Section 3. The Association shall not be conducted or operated for profit, and no part of any profits or remainder or residue from donations to the Association shall inure to the benefit of any member or individual. In the event of the dissolution of the Association, whether voluntary or involuntary or by operation of law, none of the property of the Association nor any proceeds thereof nor any assets of the Association shall be distributed to any members of the Association: but after payment of the debts of the Association, its property and assets shall be given to a charitable organization selected by the Board of Governors. Such organization shall at the time qualify as an exempt organization under section 501 (c) (6) of the Internal Revenue Code. Section 4. The members of the Association shall adopt, and may from time to time revise, such By Laws as may be required to carry out these objects.


ARTICLE 1 Membership Section 1. Membership shall be limited to those persons to promote the best interests of dogs through news or informational channels and qualifying fields of experience. (Adopted 1997) There shall be the following classes of membership: (a) Professional Membership shall include those persons who are actively engaged, on a regular basis, in writing (or other forms of dissemination of information) about dogs and who are paid for their work. This class of membership shall pay dues, have voting privileges, and be entitled to receive the Association’s Press Card. (b) Associate Membership is established to encourage writers who are published but not necessarily paid for their work. May serve as a member of a regular appointed committee. Associate Membership shall pay dues but shall not run or hold an office and shall not have voting privileges nor receive a Press Card (Membership Card Only) (Adopted 1997) (c) Retired Membership shall include those persons who are no longer actively writing and have reached the age of at least 65 and have had at least 15 years continuous membership in the Association. Any member may apply for Retired Membership at any age after 65 when he discontinues writing on an active or regular basis. A member may apply and, when approved by the board, shall pay one-half the regular dues and retain the same privileges he had as a Professional or Associate Member. (d) Honorary Membership may be conferred by the Board upon any member who is retired and has been a member for at least 20 years. There shall be no annual dues and the member shall retain the same privileges he had as a Professional or Associate Member. (e) Junior Membership for those under 18 years of age who actively engage on a regular basis, in writing and are paid for their work. This class shall pay dues, receive a Press Card, but will not hold office or have voting privileges. (If they are not paid they will receive an Associate Card). They will automatically become Professional Members at the age of 18 if paid and Associate Members if not paid. (Adopted 2004) Section 2. Members in good standing shall not lose their classification because of change in their occupational situation: but because of a changed situation may apply for a higher classification. Section 3. All applicants for membership must be sponsored by two members in good standing and must have the affirmative vote of two thirds (2/3) of the members of the Board of Governors and must submit three copies of their work and a resume if desired. Section 4. Dues for the ensuing year shall be set by a vote of the membership at the Annual Meeting. As nearly as possible, notice shall be mailed the first week of January and payable by March 1. Members in arrears after March 1 shall be notified, and failure to remit dues by May 1 shall result in termination of membership for the ensuing year. Dues notices may be included in the Newsletter. (Adopted 1997) Section 5. Termination of Membership: A member shall cease to be a member of the Association if: (a) Such member resigns by giving notice in writing to the secretary. (b) Such member fails to pay dues. (c) Such member has conduct deemed detrimental to the best interest of the Association (procedure as stated in ARTICLE V1.) Section 6. Reinstatement of Membership: With the approval of the Board, a member whose membership has been terminated for nonpayment of dues may reinstate his membership by paying for the current year. After one year of termination, a new application must be submitted. ARTICLE II Meetings and voting Section 1. Board of Governors: Regular meetings of the Board of Governors may be held as specified by the Association. Section 2. Calendar year: The Calendar year shall be from the first day of March through the last day of February. Section 3. Annual Meeting: The Board of Governors shall have at least one regular meeting annually, at a time and place to be determined by the Board of Governors. Notice shall be given at least thirty (30) days prior to the meeting to all members eligible to vote. A majority of the members present and voting can transact business. Section 4. Conducting Business: In intervals between meetings of the board of Governors, the President or Secretary may refer and submit by mail, telephone, or telegram and fax or E-mail to the members of the Board specific questions relating to the affairs or management of the Association which, in the opinion of the President, require action on the part of the Board of Governors. The result of such referendum, if consented to in writing by a majority of the members of the Board voting therein, as specifically provided for in these By Laws, shall constitute the act of said Board of Governors and be binding upon the Association as if the approval were taken at a duly constituted meeting. (Adopted 1997) Section 5. Voting: the Board may refer questions to the membership for their vote by mail. Unless otherwise specifically provided for in these By Laws, a majority vote of those voting shall be binding on the Association. Section 6. Quorum: The Affirmative vote of the majority of the Board Members present at a meeting shall be necessary to transact business, providing a minimum of three members are present and the President or Vice President. If a meeting is held by other means of communication as provided in Section 4, the board members shall have 15 (15) days to respond. Those failing to respond shall be considered an affirmative vote. (Adopted 1997) Proxy voting will not be permitted at any meeting, election, or referendum by the Board or by the Membership. ARTICLE III Board of Governors Section 1. Number: The Board of Governors of the Association hereinafter referred to as the board shall consist of eleven (11) persons. Section 2. Election: The Members of the Board shall be elected by the vote of the majority of those members voting. Section 3. Term of Office: Each Board member shall hold office until his successor is elected and qualified at the Annual Meeting, or until his death, or resignation. (a) Officers will be elected for a term of two (2) years. Adopted 1994) (b) The Immediate Past President shall hold office until replaced by a new Past President. (c) Two (2) Board Members will be elected each year to serve for (3) year terms Section 4. Duties: The Board shall be responsible for the control and management of the affairs, property, and interests of the Association; and for keeping the general public informed of the activities of the Association. Section 5. Committees: the Board may create and appoint committees to assist the Governors in the conduct of the affairs of the Association. Section 6. Vacancies: Any vacancy on the Board shall be filled for the unexpired term by a majority vote of the remaining Governors, except as outlined in ARTICLE IV, Section 2(b). Section 7. For cause, any member of the Board of Governors may be removed from office by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the remaining Board Members. ARTICLE IV Officers Section 1. Number. The Officers of the Association shall consist of a President, a Vice President, a Secretary, and a Treasurer. If circumstances should warrant, the office of Secretary and Treasurer may be combined with the dual officer having one vote. Section 2. Duties: (a) The President shall preside at all the meetings of the Association and, subject to the direction of the Board, shall have general charge of the affairs, property, and interests of the Association and shall be signatory on the funds of the Association. The President shall be ex-officio member of all committees except the Nominating Committee. (Adopted 1997) (b) The Vice President shall have the duties and exercise the powers of the President in case of the President’s absence, incapacity, or death. If the Office of the President should become vacant, the Vice President shall assume such office for the unexpired term. (c) The Secretary shall keep a record of all meetings of the Board and of all matters of which a record should be ordered, cause all notices to be duly given, and perform all duties incident to the office. The Secretary shall keep the records of and coordinate new member applications and have newly elected members directory information published in the next available Newsletter. The Secretary shall keep the permanent record of all members of the Association for the Membership Directory. (Adopted 1997) (d) The Treasurer shall have charge of all funds, securities, receipts, and disbursements of all the Association: and shall keep all books of account of all the business transactions of the Association. The treasurer shall render to the President or to the Board, whenever requested, a statement of the financial condition of the Association and of all transactions as Treasurer; and shall render a full financial report, based on the books and accounts audited annually by a qualified accountant or auditing committee, at the Annual Meeting of the Association ARTICLE V Committees Section 1. Appointment: the President shall appoint the Chairman of all Committees. Section 2. Standing Committees: the President may each year appoint standing committees to advance the work of the Association. Such committees shall always be subject to the final authority of the board. Section 3. Termination: Any committee appointment may be terminated by a majority vote of the full membership of the Board upon written notice to the appointee: and the Board may appoint successors to those persons whose services have been terminated. Section 4. Special Committees: special committees may be appointed by the President from time to time. Section 5. Nominating Committee: the Board shall elect a Nominating Committee consisting of three (3) members to prepare and submit a slate of Governors for the ensuing year. (a) The Nominating Committee shall be named before August 1. (b) The Report of the Nominating Committee shall be received by the Secretary in time to be published in the October Newsletter. (c) Any Member in good standing may petition to run for a specific office if he sends to the Secretary, before November 1, a petition signed by ten (10) members in good standing. (Adopted 1997) (d) On or about December 1, the Secretary will mail a ballot to each member in good standing. If feasible, the Newsletter can be used to contain the ballot. (e) All ballots received by the Secretary before December 31 will be delivered unopened to the Annual Meeting where three (3) tellers appointed by the President will count them. (f) Those nominees, receiving the highest number of votes will be declared elected. (g) If the election is uncontested, no ballots need be mailed. ARTICLE VI Termination A membership can be terminated by the Board if such member has conduct deemed to be detrimental to the best interest of the Association. The Board must consider the charges and inform the accused member of such charges. Said member must have the opportunity of presenting his defense in writing and or in appearing before a Board Member of his choice. If after considering both charges and the defense a majority of the Board decides on termination, said membership will be terminated. ARTICLE VII Amendments Section 1. The By Laws can be amended in the following ways. (a) The board of Governors can present an amendment. (b) Ten (10) members in good standing can present an amendment. (c) The members can present an amendment at the Annual Meeting. Section 2. The suggested amendment must be presented to the Secretary who will have it published in the next feasible issue of the Newsletter. In the ensuing issue of the Newsletter, pro and con discussion can be presented. In the following issue of the Newsletter, a ballot will be presented for the vote of the membership. If using the Newsletter is not feasible, direct mail can be used. Members must always have at least thirty (30) days’ notice. Members will mark their ballots and mail them to the Secretary. The deadline for receiving the ballot will be set by the Board. The Board will determine the method counting the ballots. ARTICLE VIII Dissolution The Association may be dissolved at any time by the written consent of not less than two-thirds (2/3) of the members; provided, however, that the Secretary shall have mailed to the entire membership a copy of the proposed resolution dissolving the Association.(the procedure for proposing amendments shall be followed). ARTICLE IX Rules of Order ROBERTS RULES OF ORDER (Revised) shall govern the DOG WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA, INC. in all cases in which they are applicable, and in which they are not inconsistent with the By Laws or the special Rules of Order of this Association. ARTICLE X Section 1. We shall hold a contest at our discretion, to honor individuals for communications excellence and the benefits of dogs. Section 2. The President shall appoint a contest chair or co-chairs who shall run the contest. (Adopted 1997)

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