About Us

Meet your Thunderhawk Family! 

Christie Meyer Faccinto, BS
Owner, Trainer, Clinical Behavior Consultant

Christie graduated from Michigan State University’s College of Natural Science with a Bachelor’s in Zoology and a Concentration in Animal Behavior and Neurobiology. After graduating, Christie attended North State Canine Academy in Sanford, North Carolina where she received her Master Trainer’s Certification in Professional Pet Obedience and Behavior Modification. While at North State, Christie also gained experience in personal protection, narcotics and Schutzhund training.

Christie worked with Kern Road Veterinary Clinic in Fowlerville, MI from May of 1997 to March 2008 where she created the behavior programs that led to clinical referals from other Mid-Michigan Veterinarians. During the summer of 2002, she ran an obedience and Police K9 kennel in Maryland where she was the primary handler for pet dogs and imported police dogs.

Since acquiring her first competition dog in 1999, Christie has titled in Obedience, Protection, and agility. Her diversified training experience, coupled with a strong veterinary technical assistance background, makes her well suited to address your pet’s every need.

      • Master Training Certification, North State Canine Academy, Sanford, NC
      • Bachelor’s of Science, Michigan State University
        Major:  Zoology- Animal Behavior and Neurobiology
      • Judge 2011-2015– Protection Sports Association
      • AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator American Kennel Club
      • Professional Member – Association of Pet Dog Training (APDT)
      • Member – International Association of Canine Practioners
      • President/Founder – North American Dutch Shepherd Rescue, Inc
      • Demonstrator – Michigan Vet Conference 2007 & 2008, Lansing, MI
      • Lecturer – Michigan Vet Conference 2006, Lansing, MI
      • Lecturer – Saint Joseph Mercy Hospital, Sept 2004- Jan 2008, Howell, MI
      • Instructor – Agility sessions at Camp Dogwood, May 2007 – Sept 2012
      • Attended-
        • NTPDA Decoy Seminar 2009, TN
        • IAABC Conference 2007, Ohio
        • Dr. Karen Overall, DVM 2007  Michigan Veterinary Medical Assoc.
        • Dr. Jean Dodds, DVM 2006    Canine Health Seminar
        • Midwest Veterinary Conf. 2006
        • Western Veterinary Conf. 2005
        • Midwest Veterinary Conf. 2004
        • Midwest Veterinary Conf. 2003
        • Midwest Veterinary Conf. 2001

Jessica Presley
Trainer, Assistant Kennel Manager, Transport Specialist

Jessica has been a member of the Thunderhawk team for 7 years now, and was our very first employee! Matt and Christie took her under their wing as mentors. Not only did she attend all of their pet dog classes with her dogs as a student, she later acted as an assistant. Later she began handling and competing with Christie and Matt’s dogs in the Protection Sports Association (PSA), and she was briefly involved in the 4H program. Jess has also fostered a vast number of dogs for our local rescues over the years, including Shelly’s Angel’s Saving Strays (SASS) and All About Rescues and Fixin’ (AARF). Now she competes with her own dog in IPO/Schutzhund, PSA, Weight Pull, and is pursuing agility.

Jess is also a professional member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) and is an AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator.

Jess’s current responsibilities include trainer, assistant kennel manager, & daycare transport specialist.

She is always allowing her training “toolbox” to grow and her techniques have refined into a comprehensive plan that can be structured for each individual dog’s personality.

Featured are her dogs (left to right) who have various accomplishments:
Ruth (CGC,TDI), Bazooka (PSA PDC), Envy (CGC, TDI,BH),Pyro (CGC), Odin, and Luna

Carmen Trojcak

Carmen started with Thunderhawk Canine in April of 2017. Her love for dogs began early on, and she was in an ideal environment for that love to thrive. Her parents are Steven and Leslie Trojcak, of Steven and Leslie’s grooming. Having grown up helping in the grooming salon, she brings an attention to detail and unique set of skill sets to the ThunderHawk team.

Carmen met Christie when she participated in the Putnam County 4H project, training her Sheltie in showmanship, obedience and agility. Shiloh excelled under her guidance, placing first in most of his classes!

Carmen’s future goals include earning her commercial pilot’s license, and she supplements her income with some professional modeling. We will hate to lose Carmen’s expertise in a few years, when she pursues her professional dreams, but we are grateful to have her be a part of our Thunderhawk family in the meantime!

Jo Austin

Jo has had a love of dogs from a very young age. Her love has only continued to grow as her experience with dogs has increased. After completing all of Thunderhawk’s obedience classes with her personal dog, she developed an interest in animal behavior. She thoroughly enjoys her work as a dog trainer and looks forward to furthering her experience. Jo is a professional member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT), is currently enrolled in Fenzi Dog Sports Academy classes, and holds a certificate in Natural Health Care for Pets and is interested in learning how to better the lives of every pet.

Experienced in conformation handling of her personal dog, she looks forward to showing many other dogs soon. Jo has met many wonderful people through the sport and developed a love of a variety of breeds. In the future she looks forward to certifying her dog as a therapy dog and enriching the lives of others through volunteer work.

Stephanie Miller

Stephanie Miller is a student at Tennessee Technological University as a Wildlife and Fisheries major with the concentration of Conservation. She is also enrolled in Fenzi Dog Sports Academy taking online courses. Stephanie has certificates in veterinary assistant courses from Coastal Carolina Community College in North Carolina. She has always been an animal lover and became interested in training dogs when she got a puppy in 2004. Since then, she has enjoyed training her dogs in basic obedience and tricks. This made her interested in animal behavior. She has volunteered with the ASPCA Kennel in Florida and currently she volunteers with All ABout Rescues and Fixin (AARF) here in Cookeville and Crossville. Stephanie looks forward to learning more and getting certified in different training methods, and then using these methods to help dogs from different rescues enhance their backgrounds to aid in their adoption.

Jake Simmons
Associate Trainer

Jake grew up with a passion for animals and thrill seeking. His competitive hobby of bull riding gave him a great appreciation for the subtleties of animal body language, which has aided him well in his work with dogs – and specifically decoying for protection dogs.

Jake became very involved with Thunderhawk in 2014, after attending classes and doing multiple private sessions with his dog Roxy. They worked their way up to passing the Canine Good Citizen test and Therapy Dog certification, and now they are looking to title in obedience and tracking. His start with Roxy made him realized how much of a passion he had for training dogs, and he dived in without second thought.

Jake has attended detection and tracking seminars, and has worked with law enforcement from several states, including decoying a nationally recognized certification.

Jake is a member of Rising Star Working Dog Club (a local IPO club) and recently began training his first full competition dog, Kilo. They have MANY goals in sight.

As a trainer, Jake firmly believes in having a wide variety of tools in his training toolbox, and is continuing to grow and expand his knowledge.


Matthew Faccinto, BS
Owner, Trainer

Matt’s personal dog, Fonzie, lead to the largest monetary confiscation in the state of Tennessee’s history – over 4 million dollars in drug money!

Matthew Faccinto served in the Navy from 1993-1999. From there, he attended Hamilton University and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Matt began formally working with dogs in 2002, both training and decoying for others. He began training police dogs for narcotics and apprehension shortly thereafter. Matt’s accomplishments include titling multiple dogs in protection sport and certifying many dogs to work the streets as Police K9 on local city municipalities, county sheriff departments, and the Tennessee Highway Patrol. He has become very well established as a local expert in the field of canine behavior and was a founding member of “Bite Free Putnam County” in Cookeville, TN.

Bachelor’s of Science
Hamilton University, Evanston, WY
Mecahnical Engineering

Decoy Camp and Certification 2009
Protection Sports Association

Decoy Camp and Certification 2008
Protection Sports Association

Midwest Regional Assistant Director 2007-2009
Protection Sports Association

Founding Board Member
Bite Free Putnam County



                                                                     Contact:                                                                                    Facebook.com/ThunderhawkK9  * 931.858.7091  *  christie@thunderhawkcanine.com