Leadership & Staff

Christopher Baity
Executive Director & Director of K9 Programs
Christopher Baity is an OEF/OIF veteran Marine Corps dog trainer and kennel master with three combat deployments, one civilian deployment and two additional overseas deployments with working dogs. He has over 15 years of dog training and handling experience. Currently a Certified Dog Trainer (CDT), evaluator and service dog instructor, Baity is proficient in animal behavior, obedience training, and kennel management.

Baity was awarded 'Top Dog Award' while attending Military Working Dog Handler's Course at Lackland AFB. He also studied in Israel under the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) Oketz Dog Program with 3 other Marines and 5 SSDs, this was the only class to complete dog training and "Train the Trainer" course. This formal training, along with his combat deployments and civilian K9 career have prepared him for developing and implementing operations at Semper K9 Assistance Dogs. Baity specializes in mobility and psychiatric alert service dogs and enjoys being able to connect with veterans and help them regain confidence and independence.

Baity has recently been awarded Red Bandanna Hero of the Year by American Heroes Channel. He was nominated for his selflessness and dedication to Semper K9.
Amanda Baity
Director of Operations
Amanda Causey Baity is currently Prince William Living‘s Director of Operations and Photo Editor. She recently took over the role of Media Director for Brides & Weddings of Northern Virginia. An Atlanta native, she has 8 years of print & online media experience. In her early work career, she was Controller for a multi-million dollar corporation in Atlanta as she attended college.

While finishing her degrees in Optometry and Astro-Biology she worked as a family service worker for the Department of Health & Human Services Head Start Program. She is currently an officer on the board of directors for the Northern Virginia Veterans Association and Vice President of Give Back Prince William.

Her family's rich military heritage along with being the spouse of an OEF/OIF Marine Combat Veteran make her a perfect advocate for veteran rights. Amanda is currently continuing her education with various classes on PTS, TBI and Family Counseling for Military Families. She plans to enroll at Adler University this fall to begin a Masters program in Psychology with specialization in Military Psychology.
Jill Londagin
Military & Mental Health Advisor
Jill Londagin spent over 6 years in the U.S. Army as a combat medic with the 37th Engineer Battalion at Fort Bragg, NC. She deployed in 2003-2004 in Support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Her awards and decoration include Combat Medical Badge, Parachutist Badge, Army Commendation Medal and numerous other awards and decorations.

Jill holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Fayetteville State University and a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Liberty University. She currently works for the US Army in the mental health field. Jill is a huge advocate of veterans and mental health substance abuse issues.
Rebecca Barnes
Board of Directors
Rebecca Barnes has been a business owner for more than 20 years, starting and running several award winning companies in Prince William County. Rebecca served for 12 years on the board of the Chamber of Commerce and was its youngest female Chairman.(Regional) She was a founding task force member, first (co) Chairman and graduated from the first class of Leadership Prince William. Over the years, Rebecca has received numerous honors and awards while serving her community including the Seefeldt Arts Award, Business supporter of the year and three time award winner, Business of the year,Prince William Chamber of Commerce.
Rebecca serves on the Executive committee and Board of Regents for Leadership Prince William and is Chair of the Marketing Committee. She is also the Chair of the Valor awards Committee, for the Prince William Chamber of Commerce. Currently, Rebecca is the Publisher of Prince William Living and Brides & Weddings magazines.
Rebecca is also an active volunteer for the Occoquan Woodbridge Lorton Volunteer Fire Department as a board member and the Public Relations Specialist / Public Information Officer, where she serves as liaison to elected officials and acts as the PIO during major incidents. Rebecca studied at Northern Virginia Community College in Woodbridge Virginia. She continued her education at George Mason University, studying History and Secondary Education.
Tisa Newhouse
Healthcare Advisor & Volunteer Coordinator
Tisa is a physical therapist assistant working in an assisted living facility and has also worked in acute care and outpatient orthopedics over the past 20 years. Along with her husband and son, Tisa has been a K9 Coach with Semper K9 since the fall of 2015. Her dad and father in law were both in the military and she loves dogs, so she is honored to be a part of the Semper K9 family and Board of Advisors and looks forward to helping further it's mission.

In her free time, Tisa enjoys watching Penn state football, Flyers hockey and her son AJ on the lacrosse and baseball fields or the basketball court.
Kayla Calix-Hestick
Director of Community Relations
Kayla Calix-Hestick is an OEF/OIF Marine Corps Veteran and wife of a OEF/OIF Marine Corps combat veteran. Kayla is originally from Columbia, MD with a passion for giving back to service members thanks to her extensive military family lines. Her grandfathers both served in WWII, one enlisted in the Coast Guard and the other was an officer in the Army and later became Commissioner of GSA. Her brother is currently enlisted in the Navy, her in-laws are Air Force veterans, and she has several cousins who serve(d) in the Air Force and Army.

Kayla currently is a Management Analyst at the Department of Agriculture in Washington, DC. She has over 10 years of administrative and customer service experience with plans to pursue a degree in Social Work.
Brenda Faulkner
Veteran Care Coordinator
Brenda Faulkner is an Army Veteran, who is passionate to assist others by educating the public about PTSD, service dogs and to support other Veterans in the process of obtaining a service dog of their own. She recently relocated to Northern Virginia with her family, and her volunteer work with Missouri Patriot Paws lead her to Semper K9. Her service dog Truman has helped make such positive changes in her life that she wants to dedicate her time to help other veterans through the process of obtaining a service dog.

Brenda has a Master of Arts Degree in Counseling. She worked in a private practice setting in Missouri as a Licensed Professional Counselor from 2003 until 2013 providing mental health services to a diverse population to include: Active Military, Retired, and Veterans as well as the family members. She has experience with treating PTSD with her professional capacity.
Kim Murray
Admin Support
Kim Murray provides admin support to Semper K9. She comes from a military (Marines and Navy) and first responder (police, fire and rescue) family. A Richmond native, she has lived in PWC for 30+ years. Kim is passionate about volunteer and community work, and is grateful to support Semper K9, especially as a local charity. She admires and respects Semper K9’s mission and purpose, and looks forward to working with the team on projects and activities.

Kim works for a local utility company and has been an admin professional for almost 40 years.
Kelley Kearns
Community Outreach Coordinator
A proud Army brat, Army wife and dog lover, Kelley Marie Kearns hails from Ozark, AL and has resided in Woodbridge since 2015. Currently, Kelley is employed as a full-time counselor at Prince William County Community Services as a substance abuse clinician and is passionate about bringing new and creative ways to connect with her clients. For Kelley, this includes integrating the powerful and healing force of canine therapy into her work.

Her professional specialties include working with seriously mentally ill clients and working with veterans. In her free time, Kelley enjoys spending time with her 13-year-old Siberian Husky, Diamond and her 11-month-old German Shepard Dixie. She also enjoys traveling and weekly horse jumping sessions and of course her volunteer work with SemperK9.
Stacy Magid
Events Coordinator & K9 Coach
Stacy has been a K9 Coach with Semper K9 since the fall of 2015. What started out as a community service project for her daughter Sara’s Bat Mitzvah became a family affair and has turned into a true passion for service dog training. She has enjoyed working with both Kiernan and Lizzy and seeing them learn specialized psychological and mobility tasks. Stacy is honored to be a part of the Semper K9 family and looks forward to helping further it's mission. Stacy is also a REALTOR with Century 21 New Millennium.
Joan Holyfield
Volunteer Coordinator
Joan has been an animal lover for as long as she can remember, and is thrilled to combine her love of dogs with the opportunity to work with a phenomenal organization. Joan has worked in Human Resources for the past 33 years and currently works on the TSA account. She has also held her real estate license for 16 years. Joan’s father, brother in law, brother and niece served in the military in the WWII, Vietnam and Iraq wars. She is honored to assist service members in need. In her spare time, Joan loves walks in the country, hiking and photography. She is a Penn State Alumni and former PSU Women’s Volleyball player. She is also an avid Steelers fan and a fan of any sport her boys are playing!


AJ is a 7th grader who enjoys lacrosse, baseball, basketball and Xbox. Growing up with labs, AJ has always loved big dogs. Both of his Grandfathers served in the military, so Semper K9 Assistance Dogs was a great fit for him. Thanks to the encouragement of fellow K9 coach and friend Sara, AJ started working with Buster in the fall of 2015 and immediately fell in love. He has enjoyed working with the dogs, learning to train them and experiencing the entire process.

Along with his parents and 2 "brothers", Zeke and Chase, they have been working with Buster at home since early 2016 and look forward to the day he graduates and is able to support a disabled veteran. He looks forward to working with other dogs and veterans in the future.
Clara & Pamela
Clara is a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and a student at Forest Park High School. Her interests include dance, drama, music and animals. Clara's father and uncle are USMC Vietnam Veterans and her brother is a Marine Corps Combat Veteran who served two tours in Iraq.

Clara first became aware of Semper K9's mission through the Dog Days of Summer event at the Museum in Quantico, where Mr. Baity and his son Beau were raising public awareness about the organization. Her desire to volunteer to benefit both veterans and animals has drawn her and her parents into the Semper K9 family. Clara is currently working as a K9 Coach for Kiernan.

Pamela Bird is spouse of a USMC Vietnam Veteran, mother to 3 including a Marine Corps OIF Combat Veteran and a retired teacher. She works with her daughter Clara to support Semper K9 as a K9 coach in honor of her son's experience.
Eliza is a sophomore attending Hylton High School through their International Studies and Languages Program. She was inspired to study the french language after living in Belgium for 4 years. Living in Belgium she also grew a love for travelling, which included most of Europe.

Eliza has always loved helping people and fell in love with the idea of doing so through dogs. She has ambitions to continue training dogs as a future career. Semper K9 is a great way to prepare her for a rewarding career working with canines.
Holyfield Family
Our family has always looked for ways to ‘give back’ for all the blessings God has given us. Our friend Tisa told us about Semper K9 and introduced us to the program. Combining our family’s love of shelter and rescue dogs with an opportunity to give back to the defenders of our great Nation has been a perfect fit! Austin and Hunter are students at Marsteller Middle School and play baseball, basketball, and practice Parkour. They are also avid animal lovers. We have always rescued adult dogs, and the boys were interested in having a puppy. We joined Semper K9 in the spring of 2016 and have had the privilege of working with future service dog, Marti, since she was 13 weeks old. She has been a joy to train. We are honored to work with such a dedicated, caring, and hard working group and hope to continue this work for many years to come.
Sara is a student at Colgan High School. She enjoys field hockey, tennis, getting together with friends and most of all working with Semper K9. Sara got involved with Semper K9 as a community service project for her Bat Mitzvah, and decided to continue training different dogs. Sara is now working with her third dog, Morti and is looking forward to the experiences to come.
Sophia is a sophomore and is currently enrolled in online school. She grew up a Military Brat and has lived in Europe and the US. She loves the opportunity to help veterans and their families. When she isn’t training dogs, she enjoys horse riding, and spending time with her friends. Sophia looks forward to becoming a full time K9 Coach soon.