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    From photographers to champion dog breeders, ABA is made up of talented individuals who practice diligence and creativity in their professional and private lives. You can read about a few of them below. We are always looking for staff professionals with interesting talents and abilities. Speak up! What is yours?


QUESTION: When did you discover your passion for dogs and dog shows?

Italian Bracco
Valerie Kessler and her dog "Albert," a Braco Italiano, show
off his numerous awards.

Valerie Kessler, police dispatcher, Department of Public Safety

"In 2010, I imported Heinaaron Farfalle (Albert) from a breeder in Finland. We have shown Albert at a number of different show venues. He is currently the #12 dog in the U.S.

"I have a great love for dogs, specifically the Bracco Italiano, a rare Italian Pointer. There are only about 500 of this breed in the US.

"I was elected as the Secretary for the Bracco Italiano Club of America about three years ago. I am responsible for the quarterly newsletter, fundraising, and all breed inquiries that come through our website"


QUESTION: When did you discover your love for photography?

Kaitlin Staines
Douglas Edens captured this stunning photo of his
granddaughter, Kaitlin Staines, US Olympic gold medalist
for synchronized swimming.

Douglas Edens, gardening specialist, Facilities Services

"Apparently, it's in my blood, as my late father was an avid photographer.

When I was at scout camp, our scout master took us boys on a hike high on a mountainside in the Sierras to photograph Echo Lake.

My initial interests were in architecture and landscapes. Opportunities have led me to shoot fine art, waterfalls, and sporting events. I have also photographed sports for The State Hornet newspaper."


QUESTION: Why do you enjoy making jewelry?

Janie Xiong expresses her creative side crafting unique
pieces of homemade jewelry.

Janie Xiong, Risk Analyst, Risk Management Services

"I've always liked to build and create things. I started making jewelry so I could give away handmade gifts to friends who love to buy and wear jewelry.

I love going into bead stores and looking at all the beads they have on sale. Ideas and designs would just pop into my head.

Most times, I could create something within a couple of hours, but this piece took me almost a whole weekend to make. The cost is pretty reasonable with the materials under $20."


QUESTION: When did you become interested in kayaking?

Alfredo Orozco kayaking

Alfredo Orozco enjoys kayaking local rivers and lakes
on the weekends.

Alfredo Orozco, assistant to the senior director, UTAPS

"My first time kayaking was in 1996 when I was stationed on Camp Schwab in Okinawa, Japan, as a Marine.

Today, I usually go with my fiance, Laura. I've tried to launch once or twice a month, warm weather permitting.

Lake Natoma is where I usually go. The Cosumnes River Preserve is also a nice place to paddle. I usually stick to the lakes and rivers near Sacramento."