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Q&A With Our Executive Director, Lori Anderson!

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Highland Canine Connect’s valuable work – from community initiatives like our School Reading Program, to our Service Dog Donation and Police Dog Donation programs – is only made possible by the sheer hard work of everyone associated with our non-profit. Whether you are a volunteer, a donor, attend our community events, or serve on our Board of Directors, we truly appreciate the time and effort that goes into making Highland Canine Connect a success!

Our Board of Directors serves many functions within our non-profit – each individual bringing a unique skillset to contribute to the overall strength of the organization. In 2022, we welcomed Lori Anderson to the team as Executive Director. Lori brings valuable experience and expertise – she graduated from Catawba College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Birth-Kindergarten Education, and a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Concordia University. She has worked in the field of early childhood education for three decades.

Lori  plays a pivotal role in our organization – from coordinating fundraisers, organizing volunteers, or helping to make connections in the local community, Lori’s role is wide-ranging and challenging!

In this interview, we wanted to learn a little more about Lori’s background, why she was excited to join Highland Canine Connect, and what her role as Executive Director entails.

Lori, please tell us a little about yourself, and your career to date.

I am a native of North Carolina, growing up in Cabarrus County. As an adult I have lived in several counties in the Piedmont, Triangle, and am now residing in the Triad.
I have worked in the field of Early Childhood Education for 30 years and enjoy training and coaching teachers in early education, as well as advocating for children and families with special needs.

Could you tell us a little about your own dogs?

I own two dogs, Riggs (a Shih Tzu) and Chopstick (a Labradoodle).  I also have a sphynx cat called Momo.

What enticed you to work for Highland Canine Connect?

Working as the Executive Director for Highland Canine Connect combines my passion for children and therapy/service dogs and the wonderful independence they can provide to their partners. I am able to combine my passion for books and reading with children through our volunteer School Reading Program.

What does your role as Executive Director look like within HCC?  What are your responsibilities/duties?

As Executive Director, I make connections with our schools, volunteers, coordinate fundraising events, and provide community outreach about our services to assist in making connections with those in need of a service dog. 

If people want to get involved and help HCC's mission, what is the best way for them to do that?

We welcome volunteers.  We are always in need of those who are willing to serve in our School Reading Program. It only takes approximately an hour to visit a school with our service dogs in training.

As a volunteer in the School Reading Program, the need is a warm heart, willingness to handle one of our dogs (we can also train and test to see if a volunteer’s dog is an option), and willingness to talk about what we do at Highland Canine Connect.  All volunteers must have a clean background check.

Interested in volunteering with Highland Canine Connect? Learn more by visiting our Volunteering page, or speak to us at or (704) 500-8367.

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