Getting to Know the Candidates 2023 – Dana Nichols

My background is relatively broad, both in general and with dogs. I was born in Memphis, Tennessee, but my father was Air Force, so we grew up everywhere – Greece, Kansas City, Georgia, Hawaii, the Philippines, and finally Colorado. My undergraduate degree is in biology from Colorado State University and I have a law degree from the University of Colorado. I worked as a Colorado public defender doing indigent criminal defense for about 10 years. I took a three-year break during my public defender years to do civil litigation – primarily construction defect litigation and medical malpractice defense. I was appointed as a county court judge in 2007 and am still on the bench.

I rode horses growing up, competing in Pony Club, 4-H, Arabian shows, and intercollegiate competitions. When I got to law school, I no longer had access to horses and got my first dog in 1991. We started obedience out of necessity, but quickly started competitions. My first dogs were Labrador Retrievers. Over the years I did retriever hunting tests (1 Master Hunter, 2 Senior Hunters, and a bunch of JH titles), obedience, agility, rally, and tracking. I was also an AKC retriever hunt test judge.

In 2002, I found flyball. I joined the first club in Colorado, RUFF, and was secretary for our first Colorado flyball tournament in 2003. I became a flyball judge in 2005 and retired from judging in 2015. I took up photography and started shooting as Altitude Dog Photos, LLC in 2016. I primarily shoot flyball and was an official photographer for CanAm in 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2022. I currently own Altitude Flyball Club in Colorado. We actively compete in our region, host, and travel out of state for tournaments. Since 2020, I have been the Regional Director for Region 19 (Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming). I also compete in dock diving and am training in herding & obedience. My current dogs are Border Collies, an Australian Shepherd, and several height dog mixes.

Finally, I have some direct experience on the NAFA board. I served two terms 2007 – 2012. I was secretary all but one year. I also served as chair of the Judges Committee and Rules Committee. During my terms I helped produce the first measuring training video, produced the rulebook most of those years, transitioned NAFA to the current online election format, and was a part of the first CanAm Classic.