Meet the Team


Elaine Starks
Executive Director
Specializing in nonprofit philanthropy, Elaine is a seasoned nonprofit professional with more than 20 years of expertise in developing and executing successful programs in philanthropy. She focuses on the financial needs of each program and provides a structured theoretical and practical applications approach to meeting the agency’s highest financial priorities.

Isabel Isaacson
Assistance Dog Trainer
Isabel has been with Power Paws Assistance Dogs for nine years. She started her journey with Power Paws as a 10 year old summer camp attendee. Isabel attended every summer camp thereafter until she aged out of the program at 17 years old. Isabel continued to volunteer with Power Paws raising and training dozens of dogs. Now a full time Assistance Dog Trainer, all Power Paws dogs go to Isabel for advanced training to learn the specific skills needed for their particular job. A knowledgeable breeder of AKC champion dogs and an AKC judge, Isabel brings her passion for dogs and great training experience to Power Paws.

Val Lugo
Assistance Dog Trainer
Val comes to warm Arizona from Minnesota where she was most recently a Trainer for Can Do Canines. Over the last five years, she has worked with several Assistance Dog Organizations and many types of service dogs. Val loves working with people and facilitating the bond between humans and their furry family. In addition to training service dogs, Val manages our Puppy Raiser Program and helps guide our young puppies to their future as successful assistance dogs.

Kwanho Song
Assistance Dog Trainer
Kwanho, a native of Seoul, South Korea, is a certified professional dog trainer and certified in working with behavior modification. Kwanho interned with Power Paws this summer helping with our kid’s camp. By understanding each dog’s temperament and personality, Kwanho maximizes efficient learning for both dog and handler. His interest in dog training came about when he learned how to train his wife’s two therapy dogs.