Our Team

Who We Are

It takes a lot to keep Big Paws Canine running.

We are entirely operated by non-paid Volunteers. Most have a connection to a Veteran or First Responder somehow: spouse, child, grandchild, niece, nephew or just have a passion to give back to our heroes.

Starting from an idea and passion by our founder, Steve Slavik, Big Paws Canine began with a small group of good friends and business associates. Almost 10 years later, there are over 150 Service Dogs with their Veterans or First Responders assisting them in their daily lives.

Steve Slavik, Founder & CEO, located in the East Coast Region of Big Paws Canine, has over 20 years of service in the United States Marine Corps and Law Enforcement. He has trained hunting dogs and is a certified canine agitator. Steve has been a Small Business Owner and worked as a Sales Manager in the Auto and Business Solutions industries. Steve has also obtained his AKC Canine Good Citizen approved evaluator certification and is a graduate of Animal Behavior College.

Mary Slavik, Founder & President, located in the East Coast Region of Big Paws Canine, has worked in the Financial, Cellular Communications and Distribution Industries and has recently held the title of Area Vice President of Operations. She has over 20 years’ experience in Information Technology Processes and Project Management, 15 years in Human Resources and Organizational Development, as well as five years in Sales and Marketing. Mary is responsible for basic puppy training to prepare them for Fosters.

Terry Brokenbough, Founder & CIO/Vice President, located in the West Coast Region of Big Paws Canine, has over 10 years experience in the Information Technology Field, over 10 years experience in Quality Control for a major food manufacturing corporation, and just under five years experience in the Network Security field. He is CompTia Security+ certified. He is a veteran of the US Navy, serving on the USS New Jersey, BB62.

The day to day operations would not be the same without the passion, diligence and expertise of the following Volunteers across the country:

Gail Dickerson, Operations Director and Director of Training, located in the Midwest Region of Big Paws Canine, has over 20 years’ experience in training canines.

Rob Dickerson, President, located in the Midwest Region of Big Paws Canine.
Rob “Solo” Solorzano, Vice President, located in the Midwest Region of Big Paws Canine.
Karen Bos-Carey, Trainer, located in the Midwest Region of Big Paws Canine.
Jan Feldman, Trainer & Foster, located in the Midwest Region of Big Paws Canine.
Terry White, Trainer, located in the Midwest Region of Big Paws Canine.
Courtney Nesheim, Trainer & Foster, located in the Midwest Region of Big Paws Canine.
Josh Bashaw, Vice President, located in the West Coast Region of Big Paws Canine.
Ted Garcia, Trainer, located in the West Coast Region of Big Paws Canine.
Eric Paz, Operations, located in the West Coast Region of Big Paws Canine.
Bubba Fowler, Trainer, located in the East Coast Region of Big Paws Canine.