NSDA Board of Directors

NSDA Board of Directors


Terry Crooks

President and Chief Executive Officer — Montana

Terry Crooks has over forty years of experience in SAR, over thirty years of it in K9 SAR. Terry was on the first board of NSDA, participating in the development of testing standards, evaluator expectations and handler ethics. Experience has led Terry to working several multi-discipline K9's, as well as having been an evaluator for various K9 organizations.

He has worked on the teaching and writing of standards and the training, testing and deployments of his K9's all over the US and Canada. He has experienced success in all disciplines of K9 deployment. He has been fortunate to work with national disaster teams as well as several US, local and state agencies.

Terry is the local minister for the Libby Church of Christ and has been married to Thesia, his wife for fifty years. They have a son who is a minister in Belgrade, MT and a daughter who is an ER Specialist in Anchorage, AK.

Terry is an avid cyclist and hunter. Growing up on a farm/ranch around livestock, plus a lifetime of hunting, has provided a solid background in animal behavior, weather conditions and search tactics as a given way of life.


Amity Larsen

Executive Vice President — Idaho

Amity has been actively training search and rescue canines since 2014. She has certified with four dogs to date in Human Remains Detection, Tracking/Trailing, Area Search, and Article Recovery. She currently has two certified dogs that she deploys with, and two young dogs in training. All of her K9 partners have been German Shepherd Dogs. She is a member of the Lewis County (Idaho) K-9 SAR, and holds memberships in several SAR organizations.

Amity was first introduced to SAR as a young child when her father was an active member with several different local organizations. He served as a ground pounder and mounted horse posse. He was exceptional at orienteering and had spent much of his time in the wilderness. Later she would work for several law enforcement agencies that regularly used their volunteer search and rescue as well as calling in K-9 teams from out of the area for assistance.

Amity's background includes attending college with a major in Criminal Justice and a minor in Psychology and Behavioral Science. She grew up on a farm with a variety of animals and worked in a vet clinic while attending college. She would go on to work for the Idaho State Department of Agriculture Division of Animal Industries as a Livestock Investigator until 2015.

Currently she owns/operates a dog training business, and co-owns a private K-9 detection business where she trains and deploys detection dogs.

Amity and her husband have one son, as well as seven furry dependents. Of those seven, only one is a pet. All of the others have jobs, which keeps everyone busy.


Gail Collins

Corporate Secretary — Idaho

Gail has been active in canine search and rescue since 2005. Since that time, she has successfully trained, certified, and deployed four dogs in multiple disciplines as well as having been a member of and served in leadership positions in several SAR organizations across the country. She has also been a workshop instructor and evaluator for canine teams for many years.

Gail completed her Masters in Wildlife Biology and worked as a Supervisory Wildlife Biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for nearly 20 years. There she designed and led large-scale and remote field research projects across the West, including Alaska. She also served as a federal aviation operations manager, where she was responsible for managing both fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters being deployed in a variety of extreme situations.

In her "retirement", she works part time at a Veterinary Teaching Hospital helping graduating veterinary students learn proper handling and care for a wide variety of orphaned and injured wildlife that are brought in for rehabilitation. She and her husband are also lucky to have recently built their dream home in northern Idaho, where they otherwise keep busy with five rescued mustangs, eight chickens, and a bunch of very energetic tervurens.


Jan Meyer

Chief Financial Officer — Missouri

Jan graduated from Webster University in Business Administration with honors with a major in Finance. She started her financial career in 1975 with Goldman Sachs in St. Louis and moved to Newhard, Cook and Company in 1977. Jan worked with two additional brokerage firms before ending her career as a Vice President and portfolio buyer for U.S. Bank in St. Louis, MO and retiring in 2009.

Jan is married and has two stepchildren, three grandchildren and six four-legged children. Two of the four-legged children, Labrador Retrievers, are utilized in search and rescue for human remains detection. They are my fourth and fifth SAR canines. The other four, two Brittany's and two Flat Coats, have been trained by her husband, Ted, to retrieve birds. Jan is currently certified in human remains detection land, water and disaster.

She has served on the Board of Directors of Gateway Search Dogs for 20 years as the Secretary, Vice President and now as the President. She can bring her leadership skills to NSDA at this time. Additionally, she served as an NSDA Board member for seven years and was able to assist with current policies and procedures.


Zephrin Allen

Board Member At-Large — Texas

Zephrin has been involved in Search and Rescue since 2016. Since that time he has certified two SAR dogs, a German Shepherd who is certified in Area Search and Human Remains Detection, and a Labrador Retriever who is certified in Area Search. He is currently a member of MARK-9 Search and Rescue in Texas and holds membership in several SAR organizations across the country.

Zephrin attended the University of North Texas earning a degree in Criminal Justice, while simultaneously working as a security screener for the TSA. Since then, he has worked for a government software contractor for the past 15 years with a background in training and Project/Program Management. Additionally, he brings experience in procurement, contract negotiations, and partner management. In the past 15 years he's traveled extensively throughout the country with his company working collaboratively with government agencies from coast to coast.

Zephrin lives with his wife and young daughter in small-town Texas and enjoys hiking, backpacking, mountain biking and community service projects during his free time.