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, Co-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, Co-Founder, 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, Co-Founder, 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.

Board of Directors:

Mary Slavik, President

Terry Brokenbough, Vice President

Gail Dickerson, Director of Training

Rob Solorzano, Board Member

Volunteer Staff:

Rob Dickerson, Midwest Region

Karen Bos-Carey, Midwest Region 

Jenny Peters, Midwest Region

Lacy Curl, Midwest Region

Jan Feldman, Midwest Region 

Terry White, Midwest Region 

Courtney Nesheim, Midwest Region 

Josh Bashaw, West Coast Region 

Eric Paz, West Coast Region 

Harry Kasbarian, West Coast Region

Louie Labadie, West Coast Region

Ed Tripp, East Coast Region

Margo Street Boyle, East Coast Region