Founder and Executive Director
Eyes Ears Nose and Paws' Executive Director is Maria Ikenberry. Before joining Eyes Ears Nose and Paws, Maria coached adults with Attention Deficit Disorder and ran a business managing residential rental properties. Her work experience as a business owner, manager, and employee includes project, purchasing and financial management; administration; and personnel management. Maria was involved in canine scent detection training for seven years and was the founding president of Central North Carolina Search and Rescue, a Triangle-based nonprofit. Maria’s education includes training with the National Outdoor Leadership School, a 3 year course of study in life coaching with the Optimal Functioning Institute, and a BA in Physics from Bryn Mawr College.
Founder and Program Director
Deb Cunningham brings a breadth of experience to the role of Program Director. Deb has been training working dogs since 2001, when she began studying canine scent detection. In 2008, she received her Associate of Science Degree in Assistance Dog Education at the Assistance Dog Institute (now Bergin University of Canine Studies), the premiere school for assistance dog education. Deb served on the NC Department of Vocational Rehabilitation’s Service Animal Rules Development Working Committee. As a member of 2 search and rescue teams in NC, Deb certified as a scent-discriminating air scent wilderness dog team with her dog Finner and studied human remains detection with a number of experts in the field. She helped develop the NC Search and Rescue Advisory Council canine certification standards and became the first handler to test (and pass) the beta standards. Deb’s previous education includes a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Swarthmore College, and she worked as a licensed electrical contractor in the state of North Carolina.
Administrative Assistant and Volunteer Coordinator
Lead Dog Training Instructor