Board of Directors

Leila Widgren – President

Vice President – Sarah Jinnah

Sarah Jane Jinnah, grew up in Winchester England, trained as pediatric RN in London, married Riyaz Jinnah (42 years)!and moved to LA in 1981. I worked at LA children’s hospital and my husband was a resident at UCLA

I have always had a love of animal s, especially dogs, and started training our golden retriever in the 1980s.Family life became busy, we raised 4 children, 2boys and 2 girls, so our dogs were much loved families pets until my daughter took an interest in 4H and trained and showed one of our first cavaliers.

We moved to Baltimore where our family enjoyed living in an old farmhouse and we showed our dairy goats, made cheese and had busy family life.

We moved back to Oxford , England for 5 years, before moving back to Winston Salem NC, my husbands medical career has taken me all over the world!!

We have now downsized to an old stone cottage in Winston Salem and enjoy a few farm animals in the old red barn, and live with 3 fabulous cavaliers and our lovely lab mix, Zoe, who found us and thinks she’s a cavalier!

Training and spending time with my dogs is home life! I enjoy therapy work at the cancer center and hospice. I also compete in canine freestyle, rally and obedience.

Family life is always busy, my 3 year old grandson lives close and we have a lot of fun being involved in his life. My children visit often too. 

I don’t think I ever felt that empty nest feeling!!!!

Carl Tennille – Treasurer

I have a B.S. and an M.S. in Accounting from Oklahoma State University and am a Certified Public Accountant. I served as a National Vice President of the Institute of Management Accountants, the largest professional association of management accountants in the world. I am also a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. I retired in 2005 as the Comptroller of a group of Trust Funds, with assets in excess of 6 billion dollars, that provide health and retirement benefits to individuals in the bituminous coal industry. I currently do some consulting in accounting and related fields.

I have been around dogs all my life, as my father had his own small animal hospital and then taught at OSU College of Veterinary Medicine. My current breed is Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. Currently I am Treasurer of the American Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Charitable Trust. I was President of the Capital Dog Training Club of Washington D.C. for a number of years.

Shari Bryant – Recording Secretary

Diana Simpson – Membership Chair

I have been training dogs since the mid 80’s. I have had success in obedience, rally, agility, tracking, lure coursing, and freestyle. All are fun to participate in and each has its own challenges.

Janet Dayton –  Director, Judging Chair

When I adopted my first dog Sailor, a rescue greyhound, my plan was to go for walks together and have him retire to the couch. Instead Sailor and I ended up competing in companion events. My adventure into dog events led me to CanineFreestyle DogWork® with Pearl. CanineFreestyle DogWork® gives me a creative outlet I can share with my dogs.
Training a dog is truly a journey. Success can be measured in both big and small ways. My dogs and I have competed and titled in obedience, rally, tracking, agility, and CanineFreestyle DogWork®. They have earned their CGC and have been TDI certified. I continue to actively train and compete in multiple disciplines with my greyhounds, Rain and Lark.

Julia Gregory – Director/Education 

Julia has been training dogs since the age of nine, shortly after the Earth’s crust cooled. In her youth, when she worked as a zoo keeper, she was privileged to handle elephants and train sea lions. Currently, Julia works as a Senior Educator at the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Her favorite part of her job is the care, training and presentation of animal ambassadors. Her favorites are the flying squirrels.

On an extracurricular basis, Julia has enjoyed participating in theater and choral music. So in 2003, when she discovered Freestyle DogWork she felt that she had arrived at the intersection of all that was best in her life. Since then she has worked in partnership with three dogs (a Cardigan Welsh Corgi and two All-Americans) to earn titles at all levels in single dog and team classes. She served as editor of Paws to Dance for 10 years, served on the committee that introduced the In The Moment class and is a CanineFreestyle DogWork judge.

Julia after a long day of Rally

Donna Keston – Director/Communication Chair

Donna is new to the sport of canine freestyle but not new to loving and caring for dogs. Over the years she has owned 3 Rottweilers, a Shepard, a Basset and currently an adorable Miniature Poodle named Essy. She recently attended her first CFF titling event in 2022 and fell in love with the sport, Donna is a proactive person and hopes to positively communicate the benefits of canine freestyle to others via our website and Facebook page.

Donna DiGiacomo-Kesten

Director/Guilds Chair – Kathy Noble

Kathy got started with Canine Freestyle DogWork® in 2007 as an escapee from obedience training when she discovered the human-dog relationship change that can happen when switching from “Every dog must do the same pattern”, as in the obedience ring, to the teamwork-building idea that “It’s all about the dog” that happens in Freestyle. Her first Freestyle dog, a Golden Retriever, began learning Freestyle at the age of just three months, and she was passionate about it for the next fourteen years, even after her hearing faded. Kathy is now teamed up with another Golden who came to her as a well trained adult, and who has discovered the joys Canine Freestyle DogWork®. Kathy has recently become a judge for Canine Freestyle Federation DogWork®. She and her husband enjoy boating on the Chesapeake Bay and beyond (just ask her where!) and they live on a small farm in Maryland with their Golden, two horses and two cats who rule the place at least somewhat benevolently.

Paws to Dance Editor – Shari Bryant

To Contact All the Directors – Directors

Website – Brenda Jameson –