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Meet the Team!

Kate Graham

Owner, Director of Training


Kate has been involved in the canine industry for over 15 years, competing in conformation, obedience, rally, agility, tracking, nosework and hunt tests. She graduated from the State University of New York at Cobleskill with a bachelor's degree in canine sciences and went on to work with breeding programs for several national service dog schools. Kate worked at a private practice veterinary hospital as a head vet tech and reproductive services manager. During her time working at the veterinary hospital, Kate taught dog training classes for pet owners, focusing on basic obedience, puppy foundations, and competitive obedience training. 

Since 2013, Kate has been breeding and training detection K9s that have been sold to police departments, government agencies, and search and rescue teams under the Katalyst Kennels name.

Kate is an active Associate Member of the North American Police Work Dog Association, International Police Work Dog Association, and various sport dog clubs, and holds her Certified Professional Dog Trainer credentials through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers

Kate is an active search and rescue handler with two operational dogs; Taboo, who is certified in human remains detection, and Wicked, who is certified in trailing and article search.

Senior Lead Trainer

Avery Schneider


Avery’s passion for dog training began at an early age when she participated in 4H and local training classes with her family dogs.  Avery studied animal science and canine behavior at SUNY Cobleskill. She was an intern at University of Pennsylvania Veterinary Working Dog Center (Penn Vet Working Dog Center), where she assisted in the training of FEMA Search and Rescue Dogs. Avery served as a Canine Search Specialist on the Vermont State Urban Search and Rescue Team (VT-TF1) as well as on Colchester Technical Rescue. She brings experience as an instructor in police detection work; including five years as an instructor for canine teams at the Vermont Police Academy. 


Avery currently serves as a Patrol Deputy at the Rutland County Sheriff’s Department in Vermont. Avery is a member of North American Police Work Dog Association and handles Charge, who is certified in human remains detection.

Leah Manuel

Trainer, Puppy Development Manager


Leah has been with us since August 2022. She is the Puppy Development Manager for our working dog program and is a trainer here at Katalyst Kennels! She has a leading role in day school, teaches group classes, private sessions and works with our labs! A little background about Leah. She graduated from SUNY Cobleskill with her bachelors degree in Canine Training and Management. She owns two dogs of her own, Brody and FeFe. She competes with FeFe in nose work, and has there Novice and Advanced titles and is currently competing for her Excellence title! In addition to working at Katalyst Kennels, Leah is a K9 instructor for New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control’s Ignitable Liquid Detection Program. Leah looks forward to meeting you and your canine!

Alex Esandrio

Trainer, Day School Manager

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Alex has been a trainer here at Katalyst since January of 2023. Her experience working with animals began when she attended an agricultural high school. There she was introduced to a dog training course and had hands on experience handling, grooming, and training dogs. This sparked her passion and she continued on to pursue an education as a certified CATCH canine trainer. Afterwards she taught basic obedience classes, private lessons, and worked along side service dog teams for years. She has a medical response dog of her own named Joy and is looking forward to helping you and your pet achieve their training goals!

Olivia Hall


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Olivia has worked for Katalyst Kennels since 2021. She has been training dogs for over ten years and competing in dogs sports. Olivia currently has two Katalyst Labs, Marty and Essay, that she competes with in obedience, rally, scentwork, and tracking. Olivia is currently studying Criminal Justice and Public Administration at the University of New Haven. She hopes to pursue a career in federal law enforcement.

Animal Caretaker, Puppy Development Tech

Kim Borbas


Kim and her dogs Abel and Kiwi were welcomed to the Katalyst team last year. Kim is a Certified Canine Nutritionist (CPCN) who has also studied and completed certifications focused on dog body language and behavior. Although she specializes in canine nutrition, she has vast experience working with dogs and has been an asset in the field for over 5 years. Kim and Abel are involved in scent work and plan to compete in upcoming trials. Kim’s role at Katalyst is centered around our working dog program. She provides exercise, enrichment, and implements new protocols to ensure our dogs are receiving well rounded care and can have successful careers ahead of them. 

Maddie Hall

Animal Caretaker, Assistant Trainer


Bio coming soon!

Olivia Kosky

Animal Caretaker


Bio coming soon!

Allie Barber

Animal Caretaker


Bio coming soon!

SUNY Interns


Katalyst Kennels is proud to host interns from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Cobleskill’s Canine Training and Management program.


Student interns spend a semester working at Katalyst Kennels to learn industry best practices and hone their hands-on skills. This program is the first four-year degree program of its kind in the country. 


You can learn more about the SUNY program here:

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