2019 Instructor Roster

This roster is being expanded daily, please check back often!

Charles Abernethy (Tripwire Operations Group)

Class Topic: K-9 HME Imprinting & Basic Improvised Explosive Formulations (Practical) w/ Andy Pottorff

Jo-Anne Brenner (K9 Medic)

Class Topic: Narcan for K9s: Combatting the Opioid Epidemic; Airway Hazards: When play rewards become perilous.; Beating the Heat: Performance,  Prevention, and Saving Lives

Jo-Anne is the Executive Director and Founder of K9 MEDIC™, the leading multi-disciplinary team of Veterinary, Special Operations, EMS, K-9, SAR and Education experts. Jo-Anne and the K9 MEDIC™ team have taught over 100 agencies domestically and overseas for the past 10 years. She is a frequent speaker across the country, an author for the K9-TECC Working Group, and contributor for ACVECC VetCOT Prehospital Sub-Committee. She brings a broad spectrum of experience to her classes; previously, she deployed to Hurricane Katrina as a Tactical Medic and K9 Handler, hiked across the Arctic Circle, was a former wilderness medicine subject matter expert, an NREMT-I, and certified Protection Specialist. She has been invited to teach a wide range of students from local PD K-9 Handlers to EMS agencies to Pararescue teams. Throughout her multiple education careers, she has taught more than 10,000 students in 14 countries, and in five languages.

Paul Bunker (Chrion-K9)

Class Topic: Training a Canine to Detect Buried Targets

Mr. Bunker is the owner of Chiron K9 LLC. He served over 22 years in the British Army as a Canine Trainer/Instructor/Assessor before establishing the Specialized Search Dog program for the DoD. He was the Senior Technical Advisor to the SSD course at Lackland AFB for over 6 year as well as Director of one of the USA’s largest commercial working canine schools. During his time in the British Army he was the Senior Instructor/Trainer of Mine Detection Dog/Handler Training for both UK and US Military. He created and implemented the MDD Program, which required him to develop new training techniques and methodologies that are now considered internationally standard training practice. Mr. Bunker’s methodology resulted in MDD teams achieving independently validated certification standards of 100% detection rate. He was awarded the NATO Joint-Commanders Commendation for Distinguished Service in support of operations in the Balkans. His presentation will take the lessons learned and experiences of over 3500+ confirmed sub-surface detections targets and teach you how to imprint and train your canine to detect naturalized sub-surface odor.

John Howell (DSA Detection)

Class Topic: Material Discrimination With Portable X-rays

John has worked in the government security and national defense industry for over 27 years. John was formerly with the U.S. Marshals Judicial Security Division where his responsibilities encompassed all aspects of contract oversight (COR/COTR) and training of Court Security Officer at FLETC on screening operations. From 1999-2007, John worked for the Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security’s Explosive Detection Program and Explosives Countermeasure Unit, as well as a COTR and Program manager of training. From 1987 to 1999, John was an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician with the U.S. Marines. He is a Combat Vet of the first Gulf War. John also served 4 years from 2007-2011 in the Army NG 753 EOD unit as the training NCOIC.


Douglas Kahn, MEP, PCP, PACEM

Class Topic: TB

As the Virtual Table Top Exercise Program Manager, Mr. Kahn, develops, designs, and instructs tabletop exercises via video teleconferencing systems. These Virtual Table Top Exercises (VTTXs) are tabletop exercises that are highly technical, complex, and innovative scenarios. In this role, he is considered an authoritative technical expert in the subject matter of exercise design. In addition to monitoring curricula to ensure that techniques and methodology of instruction are adequate for target audiences, he assess the type and number of course deliveries needed in the development and delivery of curricula. Further, developing and deliver training, evaluating the effectiveness, and coordinate the packaging of materials and revise or develop new courses in response to stakeholder evaluation.

To support DHS, FEMA, EMI and stakeholder training needs he researches the broad spectrum of emergency management to determine state-of-the-art technologies for use during Integrated Emergency Management Courses (IEMCs) and VTTX’s. Along with the authoritative technical guidance in providing additional technical guidance to including the review of: Plans of Instruction (POI), Instructor Guides (IGs), Student Manuals (SMs), and visual aids for course delivery. Mr. Kahn had also worked as a Senior Exercise Planner for the United States Air Forces in Africa and the NATO Special Forces Centre conducting exercises throughout the African continent ranging from tabletop to full scale exercises. He also has worked as an Exercise Support Team Member, with Headquarters, USCG, traveling throughout the US producing Area Maritime Security Training and Exercise Programs (AMSTEPs). Mr. Kahn attended EMI’s Master Exercise Practitioner program in 2008, while with the USCG. Mr. Kahn retired from the United States Air Force after 20 years of service, with service throughout the United States/overseas and combat deployments to Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia and Korea. Awarded two Meritorious Service Medals, five Air Force Commendation Medals and seven Air Force Achievement Medals during his military career. Mr. Kahn attended the University of Alaska and the Community College of the US Air Force for a degree in Logistics. He has also studied at the USAF Air War College and the Air Force Institute of Technology. To help his community, Mr. Kahn is a Volunteer Firefighter with the Gettysburg, PA, Fire Department.

Margo Machen, DVM, PhD (Advance Equine and Small Ruminant Veterinary Services)

Class Topic: Proper Use of Qualified K9 Teams in SAR Ops

Margo Machen DVM, PhD has been a veterinarian for 28 years graduating from Michigan State University in 1990 with her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and 1995 receiving her PhD in Molecular Genetics from the same institution. She started her Search and Rescue career 14 years ago; working for Adventure Racing Production companies helping to rescue lost racing teams.   After retiring from Adventure Racing in 2010 she became a dual member in West Valley Search and Rescue (WVSAR) and the San Bernardino Sheriff Department (SBSD) Search Dog Team. WVSAR is one of the technical rescue teams that SBSD has and the team is a member of the Mountain Rescue Association (MRA). The team averages 40 to 50 searches and rescues a year in very challenging technical terrain. As a member of the SBSD Search Dog Team Margo handles two dual purpose English Labrador Retrievers, one certified trailing and article recovery dog credited for finds in both categories and one in the process of being certified in both trailing and gun recovery. The combination of both a technically trained search and rescuer and canine handler gives her a broad basis of experience to draw upon when deployed and share with the SAR community.

Shay Maimoni (Israeli Special Tactics K9)

Class Topic: Extremists Interdiction (Understanding Terrorism)

Shay Maimoni, Israeli Defense Forces K9 Special Trainer with over 17 years of K9 operational and training experience. He started training in the Israeli Defense Forces, and Counter Terrorism K9 units. The Israeli Defense Forces, which have been in constant combat for over 60 years, train to the highest level possible with an emphasis on real-life scenario-based training for fully trained well rounded dog, and knowledgeable handler. Shay is a known speaker and has trained canines, handlers and trainers all around the world. Shay pays significant attention to K9 counter terrorism, S.W.A.T. Training, Tactical Obedience, Detection Training, Patrol and Decoy Development.

Scott McGonigal NREMT/WMD-HT (Tripwire Operations Group)

Class Topic: TBD

Scott currently works for Tripwire Operations Group, where he serves as the Emergency Services Training Coordinator, and a Department of Defense Certified Fire Instructor. Scott is a Nationally Registered EMT as well as a certified WMD-HAZMAT Technician, with over 16-years of experience. Prior to joining Tripwire, Scott was the Training and Safety Chief for the U.S. Department of State at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul Afghanistan for 18 months. During this time he supervised a 21-member Fire Department and was responsible for training local, host-nation entities. Moreover, Scott has served as a Fire Department Supervisor at the U.S. Army War College (Carlisle Barracks), as well as a Firefighter NREMT/WMD-HT for Washington Headquarters Services, and the U.S. Army 562nd Detachment. Scott holds dozens of local, state, and federal certifications and licenses, which when combined with his real-world experience make him a subject-matter expert in the field of fire, WMD, and HAZMAT.

George McKerrow (MAC7 Training/Inert Products)

Class Topic: TBD

George J McKerrow, Director of Training for MAC 7, has over 30 years of experience in Counter Terrorism and C-IED, and is also a Certified Counter Terrorism Practitioner. He joined the British Army in 1985, was enlisted into the Corps of Royal Engineers, and attended training to be a Paratrooper, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Officer and a High-Risk Search Advisor. During this time, he received extensive training at the UK Defense Explosive Ordnance Disposal School (DEODS) and the UK Counter Terrorism Search Wing. He was instrumental in the development and writing for the UK Counter Terrorism Search pamphlet. George has been actively involved in training specialist units from the UK Police Force (SO13), US Secret Service and FBI on Terrorist threat assessment exercises and the planning and coordinating for high- risk search missions.

George (SSM McKerrow) was assigned to the US, Joint IED Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) in August 2006 to develop a program of instruction that would be taught at a joint level to service men and woman in the US to cover Search/Tactical Site Exploitation (SE) training. He was handpicked for this task as the UK subject matter expert (SME) to help the US create an indigenous High-Risk Search/Site Exploitation capability. George later retired with over 24 years’ experience in the UK military. Since leaving the military, he has spent the last ten years working with military, law enforcement and security services to assist in the defeat of global terrorism. George is a certified counter terrorism practitioner who continues to conduct training, develop equipment and organize international training events. During this period George has had regular trips back to work in combat zones like Afghanistan, Iraq & Kurdistan. He has been a guest speaker at numerous global counter terrorism conferences and workshops. He has also conducted training classes and exercises in US, Canada, UK, SE Asia, Europe & the Middle East.

Ryan Morris (Tripwire Operations Group)

Class Topic: Introduction to Homemade Explosive (HME) Formulations

Mr. Morris, the CEO of Tripwire Operations Group is a former bomb squad commander at Penn State University and a former Supervisory Bomb Appraisal Officer with TSA. He is a certified bomb technician and a graduate of the FBI HDS School and has responded to over 1,000 real world employments as an EOD Technician. Mr. Morris is an explosives SME and has been an explosives training instructor for the past 10 years. Mr. Morris is well versed in explosive detection, explosive mitigation, explosives canine operations and currently runs Tripwire Operations Group where he has overseen the training of well over 12,000 first responders and military personnel on IEDs and homemade explosive formulations.

David Moyer (GAK9 NTC)

Class Topic: Tracking and Human Remains Detection

David has been a US Navy sailor since 1991 and a Master Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician since 1997.  He has been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan 6 times since 2007 and has extensive experience working on foreign assignments.  David began working as a Special Operations dog Handler, trainer then Kennelmaster with the US Navy SEAL Multi-Purpose Canine teams in 2009. During that time he worked with Geman Shepards, Dutch Shepards, and Belgian Malinois in Explosive Detection, Apprehension, and Tracking. In 2000, David Joined the San Bernardino County Sheriffs Department as a Deputy Sheriff.  He worked numerous assignments in Patrol, Traffic, and Maritime Enforcement until being assigned as a Patrol K9 (Trailing) in 2014. In this assignment, he has 22 confirmed finds in his first year with his Bloodhound-Bluetick hound mix Ellie.

James (Jim) O’Brien (NC K9)

Class Topic: The World of Muzzle Training

Jim O’Brien is the owner of NC K9 LLC in North Carolina. He has been handling and training police K9’s for over 13 years and was a police officer in New Hampshire for 15 years. Jim specializes in the training of Multi-purpose canines and Law Enforcement courses. Jim has an affinity for tracking, obedience, and decoy work. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Norwich University and was a Region 9 USPCA Champion in 2009.

Lee Palmer (DVM, MS, DACVECC, CCRP, EMT-T, WEMT, NRP, TP-C, Lieutenant Colonel, USAR)

Class Topic: Medical & Physiological Conditions Affecting Olfactory Acuity in EDDs

Dr. Lee Palmer is a board-certified Emergency and Critical Care Veterinarian that provides training and consultation in K9 Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (K9 TECC) to military, law enforcement and Search and Rescue (SAR) K9 handlers as well as Tier 1 operators and civilian tactical EMS (TEMS) personnel; He has served in the military since 1996 in both active and reserve status in the roles of a Senior Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician and as a veterinarian in the US Army Veterinary Corps.

Andy Pottorff (Tripwire Operations Group)

Class Topic: Basic Improvised Explosive Formulations (Practical) and K-9 HME Imprinting w/ Charles Abernethy

Andy has been with Tripwire Operations Group, as the Explosive Operations Division Manager and HME Instructor (Laboratory) for two years. During the past two years Andy has taught over 500 first responders and military personnel to identify the chemical precursors associated with improvised/homemade explosive (HME) formulations, the scientific and improvised equipment used during the manufacturing process, the hazards surrounding chemical precursors and improvised mixtures, several of the most popular mixtures during various stages of manufacture, and how to safely operate in improvised explosive situations and environments. Additionally, Andy has synthesized hundreds of real-world mixtures, conducted sensitivity testing of crafted mixtures, tested and evaluated methods of desensitization, and demonstrated the destructive power of these formulas on the demolition range to local, state, and federal law enforcement and first responders, as well as military personnel including Tier 1 and Tier 2 special operations forces (SOF). Prior to beginning his time with Tripwire, Andy served seven years in the U.S. Army, four of which were at Fort Benning, GA as a member of the 3rd Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, where he served as an assaulter and eventually a member of the sniper platoon.

Jason Purgason (Highland Canine Training)

Class Topic: TBD

Jason Purgason is the Training Director of Highland Canine Training, LLC and has over twenty years of experience in working with dogs and their owners. He is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer and is also a Certified Canine Good Citizen Evaluator and S.T.A.R Puppy Instructor and evaluator for the American Kennel Club. Jason has trained dogs for competition obedience, agility, herding, police patrol, SWAT, narcotics detection, explosives detection, mold detection, human remains detection, urban search and rescue, wilderness search and rescue, water cadaver, trailing and tracking for both Schutzhund, AKC and other competitive events. Jason is the lead instructor for Highland Canine Training’s School for Dog Trainers and teaches students how to establish and run their own successful dog training businesses.

Jared Ross (Rockwell Tactical Group)

Class Topic: TBD

Jared Ross has served, since early 2002, in the US Army. A former 82nd ABN 11 Bravo, he has spent the majority of his active duty career as an 18 Bravo, Green Beret Weapons Sergeant. He has done multiple combat tours in Iraq, Afghanistan and other glamorous places around the world. He has trained and led multiple US and foreign soldiers. After spending several years with one of the active duty Special Forces Groups (SFGs), in mid-2012 he transferred to one of the reserve SFGs. He has served as an instructor for the Special Forces Advanced Urban Combat course teaching multiple classes a year. At times he has served as the NCOIC over Marksmanship and force-on-force during SFAUC classes.

Jared started Rockwell Tactical Group (RTG) in 2010.  In 2013, after his active duty service, RTG began operating full time.   RTG teaches a wide variety of classes to Military, Law Enforcement and Civilians. Classes include many different skill levels in Pistol, Carbine, Long Range, Tactical Medicine, Force on Force just to name a few. Some of his military qualifications include, but are not limited to: US Army Airborne School, S.E.R.E School, SFAUC, TCCC, SOCM, UTM Instructor, and the Special Forces Qualification Course.

Jeff Schettler (GAK9 NTC)

Class Topic: 1) Tactical Tracking and 2) Basic Tracking-Trailing

Jeff Schettler is a retired police K9 handler who worked for the City of Alameda and County of Amador in California and was attached to the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Teams’ K9 Assistance Program for two years. This program was designed to locate and apprehend high-risk fugitives on the run.  Jeff has worked hundreds of trailing cases across the USA and is a specialist in the areas of tactical tracking applications.  Schettler is a certified military trainer graduating from the prestigious US Army’s Leadership Academy also known as Drill Sergeant School. Jeff’s work has been seen on CNN, ABC, CBS, Unsolved Mysteries, and Mythbusters. He is considered an expert witness in tracking/ trailing. Jeff is the author of four books on K9 Tracking Work published by Alpine Publications.

Jeremy Stafford (Ideal Blasting Supply)

Class Topic: Utilization of Drones and Overview of Drone-Borne IEDs

Jeremy has worked within the explosives/blasting industry and EOD/HDS communities for 15+ years (mining, demolition, quarry, major road construction, etc.) As a member of the ISEE and IABTI Jeremy specializes in the use of and training in the newest tools, equipment, and technology available to the explosive industry and Bomb Technicians. Jeremy has a strong professional background, starting with a MBA focused in Management earned from the University of North Carolina at Asheville, and extending into Crisis Management, Mineral Exploration, Intelligence Analysis, Disposal, and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Jeremy also conducts training for military EOD teams and police bomb squads involving the latest and greatest the community has to offer.

Ted Stickels  & Eric Stanbro (Torchlight K9 & VanEss K9 Academy)

Class Topic: K9 High-Risk Deployment

Ted has been involved in working K9’s for over a decade in various forms from retrievers, to hunting terriers to protection and police service dogs.  His specialties are grip work and development, patrol and utility work and proper decoy work, detection training and K9 policy and procedure.   Ted acts as the training director for our PSA club and is a certified trial decoy.  Ted teaches our decoy and handler schools and our SWAT/SORT integration seminars as well as our decoy camp for police service trainers and handlers and does numerous camps for military special operations.

Eric is a 22-year veteran of law enforcement. His current assignment is full-time K9 trainer for a busy K9 unit, as well as head trainer for the Police K9 Association, which consists of 40 K9 teams. Eric has worked 4 dogs as a handler to include 3 as a member of a busy, inner city SWAT team. He is an Experienced Patrolman with Canton PD (Ohio) beginning in 1996 to present. During that time he has worked patrol, undercover narcotics, and of course, K9. Eric was a member of SWAT for 14.5 years and served as an assistant team leader, sniper, and K9 handler, although, his specialty was training hostage rescue, room entries, and K9 integration. Moreover, Eric is the Owner and Head Trainer at VanEss K9 Academy, as well as a trainer for Cobra Canine for west coast Naval Special Warfare Operators (SEALs) Multi-Purpose Canine (MPC) program. Eric is fully skilled in all aspects of K9 training from green dogs and green handlers, to advanced deployment techniques, and advanced decoying.