The International Avian Trainers Certification Board and International Animal Trainers Certification Board, IATCB, is an independent body established to develop and manage certification of avian and animal trainers. The board of directors of IATCB is:
Chair/President - Kimm Hunt, CPAT-KA
Kimm Hunt is a pet behavior consultant who works with shelters, rescues, and owners in the Atlanta area. She started working in companion animal welfare and behavior in 1989. She’s taught teens in substance abuse treatment to train shelter dogs, training and behavior workshops for animal welfare professionals, and companion animal sciences to homeschooled students.
She has a B.S. in Animal Sciences from the University of Illinois, studied Public Services Management at DePaul University, and is currently working on a Master’s degree in Clinical Animal Behavior at the University of Edinburgh.
Past President - Sid Price, CPBT-KA, CPAT-KA
Sid Price is the owner and founder of Avian Ambassadors based in Tijeras, New Mexico and is a past-president of the International Association of Avian Trainers and Educators (IAATE). He served on the board of directors of IAATE from 2003 to 2013.
Secretary & Treasurer, Social Media Coordinator - Kelly Garrison, CPBT-KA, CPAT-KA, CIG
Kelly graduated with from the University of Georgia with a double major of Animal and Dairy Science. She began working at the Birmingham Zoo in 2005. Her career started as a part time keeper working in the Children’s Zoo Barn. Six months later she was hired into a full time roll. Working and training animals for the wild life shows and educating the public quickly became her passion. In 2010 the Animal Programs and Interpretation Department was formed at the zoo and it was an easy decision on where her heart fell. She managed this department for 5 years and worked hard to have a mixed species shows including free flight birds. She chaired the Animal Training Committee and Interpretive Committees for the zoo. In 2018 she moved to Athens, Georgia where she is the Zoo Coordinator for Bear Hollow Zoo. Kelly is a Certified Interpretive Guide and uses her skills as an interpreter to educate and inform the public on the importance of conservation.
General Board Member (CEU Coordinator) - Christina Lavellee CPAT-KA, CIG
For around 20 years, Christina Lavallee has been working with animals. For just as long she has been a member of the Animal Behavior Management Alliance(ABMA) which has been a great resource to further growth and knowledge. She has presented and attended several conferences with ABMA and the International Association of Avian Trainers and Educators (IAATE), including internationally. She has spent the past decade at Zoo Atlanta working in the ambassador animal department. She not only works with the various birds in the show, but also the smaller education animals and the contact yard critters. She aims to educate guests on conservation measures near and far utilizing the animal's trained behaviors. She is also active on Zoo Atlanta's Green Team implementing changes on zoo grounds and in the community. She is involved in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Ambassador Animals Scientific Advisory Group. In 2023, she will graduate with a masters degree in Biology from Miami University's Global Field Program.
General Board Member, International Representative - Nicky Plaskitt, CPBT-KA
Nicky started working with animals professionally in 2000 and worked with a vast array of species during that time, focussing on birds, particularly free flight shows, from 2011.
Having worked in zoos for 21 years including running a team for 9 years, Nicky started her own business last year. ‘Shaping Behaviour’ is a consultancy, aiming to improve the welfare of animals under human care by spreading knowledge of positive reinforcement training. So far in this role she has been able to connect with many animal care professionals and teach them better ways to work WITH their animal colleagues.
General Board Member, Newsletter Coordinator - Amy Robinson CPBT-KA
Amy received her BA in Psychology from the University of Georgia. She began her career working with animals at Zoo Atlanta in 2000 presenting and training primarily birds at the amphitheater. After seven years she moved to Florida to work for Natural Encounter, Inc. While at Natural Encounters, Amy worked primarily at the Flights of Wonder show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and also participated in the State Fair of Texas and helped open the show at the Dallas Zoo. After fulfilling the contract at the Dallas Zoo Amy stayed in Texas and is now the Director of Ambassador Animal Experiences. This includes the Wildlife Show, Outreach, Cheetah Run, and the Wild Encounters stage that presents a variety of animals throughout the day on the hour and half hour. Amy became a member of IAATE in 2002 and served as an Executive Board Member from 2010-2014. Amy has been a member of AZA since 2014. Amy has completed Dr Susan Friedman’s LLA course is a Certified Interpretive Guide-Trainer (CIG-T) and is also Certified Professional Bird Trainer (CPBT-KA).
General Board Member - Robin Ryan, CPBT-KA, CPAT-KA, CIG-T
Robin has been working with ambassador animals since 2008. She is currently the Manager of Ambassador Animal Experiences at the Dallas Zoo. During her time at the Dallas Zoo, she helped develop their ambassador cheetah program, starred in themed animal shows, and opened the Wild Encounters stage experience. At the start of her career Robin was nervous around birds, but through training and time she has found them to be some of her favorite animals to train, educate guests about, and observe. Robin took the CPBT-KA exam in 2019 after a guiding push from her director and has been encouraging team members along the same path. The reading materials and study guides really help develop great training thought processes! Robin has an irrational (to some) love for vultures and sharks and and irrational (to all) fear of dinosaurs. In her free times she loves traveling, paddle boarding, biking, SCUBA, and general adventures.
The examinations are developed by working groups of individual experts from each knowledge domain in each examination. These experts are invited to join the ad-hoc working groups by the IATCB board.
Here we acknowledge the individuals who donate their time "behind-the-scenes."
The layout and design of our web site and our beautiful logo were executed by Amy Fennell, CPBT-KA. Sincere thanks from the board for this work.
The IATCB Facebook page and the IATCB Newsletter is maintained by the Social Media Committee which is comprised of Board Member Kelly Garrison CPBT-KA, CPAT-KA as chair, and contributing member Jennifer Drayna CPBT-KA. Thanks for all of your hard work and great information you share with our community.