Owner and Director of Training
Stephenie has been with Creation's Dog Training Center since it opened it's doors in 2010. In January of 2015 she became the Owner and Director of Training. Stephenie is a positive-based dog trainer. Her focus is to create trusting relationships between dogs and their owners as well as to help dogs become confident family members. She encourages all family members to be involved in the training of their dog, and has a special interest in including children and young adults in that training. In the past, Stephenie judged and taught agility for youth participating in 4-H here in Central Illinois.
Stephenie is pictured with her rescue hound mix, Xena, who is 7 years old. She and Xena now compete in CPE (Canine Performance Events) agility trials. Her other dog is a 4
-year-old rescue German Shepherd named Taz. Stephenie has also put Agility titles on a Shetland Sheepdog in Teacup Dog Agility Association (TDAA) trials. Prior to this, she has shown several different breeds in AKC confirmation shows including Great Danes, a German Shepherd, and Min Pins.
In addition to being a versatile trainer, Stephenie has also been involved in the evaluation and training of reactive dogs. She continues to be very active in working with a variety of different rescue organizations.
Anne Norton, M.A.
Assistant Director of Training
Anne Norton, M.A., has been with Creation's since it first opened and has been involved in all-breed dog training since 1979, specializing in positive, clicker training and Puppy education since 1996, and Canine Musical Freestyle since 2008. Anne has been an AKC certified Canine Good Citizen evaluator since the program began. She has placed a number of obedience titles and conformation championships on her own Scottish Deerhounds and Tollers, and others' dogs over the years, and has judged 4-H conformation and obedience in Illinois and Michigan. She's been actively involved in Rally, Tracking, Nosework, Treibball, Scent Hurdling, waterfowl and antler-shed hunting, Agility, Tricks, and Search & Rescue (with an eventual Michigan State Police certified German Shepherd), and in Michigan worked with Leader Dogs for the Blind instructors.
She has memberships in the Canadian Kennel Club, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Club of Canada, the Scottish Deerhound Club of American, the Midwest Scottish Deerhound Club, the Border Collie Society of America, the World Canine Freestyle Organization, and the Musical Dog Sport Association, and is President of the WCFO-affiliated Barking Ballroom canine musical freestyle club which is headquartered at Creation's.
Since 2008, Anne's first canine-sport love has been musical freestyle, and she and her Deerhound Badger currently have five titles in the sport: Beginner, Novice, and Intermediate musical freestyle, Beginner Heelwork-to-Music (with legs toward Novice), and Beginner Team/MF, having earned a number of placement medallions, trophies and other awards. Badger also has his CGC, and is on his way to finishing his AKC championship, with Group placements on his resume. In 2012, Anne rescued four-year-old Border Collie Wren, and in the time since, the two together have earned the Beginner MF title and legs toward Novice musical freestyle. Wren also has a number of medals and trophies on her shelf. Both dogs have also won awards at the annual Dancers with Woofs freestyle camp contest, where Anne has received freestyle training from a number of WCFO's "greats."
Lori Kirchner is a trainer here at Creation's. She began training her rescue Labrador Retriever, Reva, at our facility in early 2010 and has been coming here to train since that time. She and Reva are now competing in UKC and CPE Agility Trials and have earned multiple titles. Reva has also earned her RATI (Rat Instinct) and RATN (Barn Hunt Novice) titles. Lori and Snickers, her rescue Cocker Spaniel, are competing in TDAA, UKC, and CPE Agility Trials and have also earned multiple titles. Both Reva and Snickers have earned their Canine Good Citizen titles. Her dogs have enjoyed a number of classes at Creation's including Obedience (Canine Good Citizen), Rally, Treibball, Tracking and Nosework, Scent Hurdle Racing, and Agility. Lori earned her Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education from Illinois Wesleyan University. She then went on to earn her Master's Degree in Special Education at Illinois State University. Becoming a trainer at Creation's allows her to combine both her passions, teaching, and working with dogs.
In addition, Lori is also an alumni member of Susan Garrett's elite IC Peeps dog trainer group. Susan Garrett is the founder of "Say Yes Dog Training". Susan is a world famous dog trainer and champion agility competitor whose elite (IC Peeps) training group consists of dog trainers who believe that positive dog training and the learning for both dogs and humans is never truly done. This group of like-minded trainers is committed to life-long learning and bond building between humans and dogs. Lori also has memberships in Agility Nation, Handling 360, Recallers, Puppy Peaks, Teacup Dogs Agility Association (TDAA), Canine Performance Events (CPE), United Kennel Club (UKC), Barn Hunt Association (BHA), and the National Association of Canine Scent Work (NACSW). Lori is an AKC CGC evaluator as well as a UKC SPOT evaluator.
Brianna is our Office Assistant at Creation's. She has an Associate Degree in Art from the University of Phoenix which she earned in 2013. For the past four years, she has worked part-time as a Lunch and Recess Supervisor at Oakland Elementary School in Bloomington. She will continue to work at Oakland School this year where she will serve lunch! Before working at Oakland School, she lived and worked for two years in Japan. While in Japan, she volunteered at OAARS (Okinawa American Animal Rescue Society). Ida, her 6-year old female mixed breed dog came from this rescue organization. In addition to Ida, Brianna also owns Zenki, a Husky/Miniature Pincher cross who is 1-year old. She adopted Zenki from Wishbone Rescue here in Bloomington-Normal. Brianna's love for dogs started at a very young age. She was a 4-H member when she was younger working her Borzoi, Tyrell, in obedience, conformation, and agility. She currently has both Ida and Zenki in the Introduction to Agility class at Creation's. When she is not working she loves to paint, draw, to camp with her dogs and her boyfriend, Mike, as well as go to car shows driving her 1982 Datsun to the car shows! She is very excited to meet everyone attending classes at Creation's.
Katie Swanson is a puppy trainer at Creation's. She graduated from Illinois State University with a degree in Elementary Education, and she resides in Bloomington with her husband and their three children. She began attending Puppy 1 class with Louie, their first Shih Tzu in 2013. The following year, Banjo, another Shih Tzu, joined the family and came to classes at Creation's. She and her dogs have enjoyed both Puppy 1 and Puppy 2, Agility, and Obedience classes. Louie and Banjo have both earned their Canine Good Citizen titles. Currently both dogs are taking Teacup Advanced Agility, with Katie running Banjo and her son, Jeremy, running Louie.
Carrie Craven is a trainer at Creation's. She began training her Brittany Spaniel, Baxter, at our facility in 2014. She and Baxter have taken a variety of courses: Puppy 1, Obedience, Treibball, Agility, AKC Trick Dog, and UKC Spot. Throughout these courses, they have earned a few titles: Canine Good Citizen, AKC Trick (Novice, Intermediate, and Advanced), and UKC Spot.
Carrie is originally from the Chicago area and moved to Bloomington/Normal while attending Illinois State University to obtain a Bachelor's Degree in Telecommunications. After working in various areas of computer science, Carrie obtained her Master's Degree in Management Information Systems. By day Carrie continues to work in the computer science field and then she enjoys trying to burn off Baxter's abundance of enery in Advanced Agility.