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About

Thad Lacinak and Angi MillwoodAt Precision Behavior, we have spent our careers living the positive reinforcement based principles that we teach while working with and learning from some of the world’s most amazing animals. We have found that positive relationships yield profound results. Precision Behavior also represents years of experience in executive management, diverse experience in zoos and aquariums, professional education programs for domestic and wild animals as well as education leadership programs for executives. PB also specializes in positive behavior modification for school systems, and parents. We have authored numerous publications and presentations and Thad is the co-author of three Whale Done books.

When you hire Precision Behavior, you gain access to the strategic alliances we have formed with like-minded partners. Please read more about these affiliations on our Partners page.

Thad Lacinak, Founder

Thad LacinakThad is a founder and co-owner of Precision Behavior. In this role, he manages project development and consulting and works to advance animal behavior modification techniques and trainer safety within the zoological community. Thad is also integral to the instructional products of the Company, teaching positive reinforcement based courses to both zoological and corporate clients. His most recent projects included installation of the new dolphin show in the Harderwijk Dolfinarium in the Netherlands, revamping the dolphin and sea lion shows at both Zoomarine parks in Portugal and Italy and consulting on the movie set for a major motion picture featuring “Winter” the Clearwater Aquarium’s star dolphin with a prosthetic tail. He currently consults at Parco Oltremare in Riccione, Italy and Sarkanniemi Adventure Park in Tampere, Finland. Thad also instructs seminars for a variety of US government agencies and is currently producing a documentary, Elephant in the Room.

In 2008, Thad retired from a 35-year career at Busch Entertainment Corporation (BEC), as Vice President and Corporate Curator of Animal Training where he directed animal training and enrichment efforts at all U.S. Sea World and Busch Gardens Theme Parks. Thad oversaw and coordinated the efforts of over 450 animal trainers and keepers at these parks. In short, Mr. Lacinak had the world’s largest animal training staff as well as the world’s largest collection of trained animals under his purview.

Lacinak was instrumental in developing Sea World’s and Busch Gardens’ industry-leading behavior and training techniques, husbandry procedures, and spectacular killer whale shows. Thad led the team that won the prestigious Thea Award from the Themed Entertainment Association in 2007 for the Believe killer whale show. In addition, he has won numerous awards for presentations and workshops at professional conferences.

In the past twenty years, Thad has traveled the country presenting dog training seminars specializing in aggression, agility, obedience, and many other areas in the use of operant conditioning for behavior modification.

Lacinak is a member of the International Marine Animal Trainers Association where he was Vice President 1986 and he was co-founder and president of the Animal Behavior Management Alliance.

Since the publication of the New York Time’s best-seller, Whale Done! in 2001, which sold over a million copies in eighteen languages, Thad continues to present keynote speeches, seminars and workshops globally to major corporations explaining the Whale Done process, vastly improving working relationships. Whale Done Parenting was released in the Fall of 2009. Thad recently collaborated on a third book in the Whale Done series, The Whale Done School, which was release in the Spring of 2012.

Angi Millwood, Founder

Angi MillwoodAngi is a founder and co-owner of Precision Behavior. She manages daily operations and project development of the Company focused on corporate leadership training and zoological consulting. In this role, Angi also writes, designs and instructs positive reinforcement based seminars and workshops directed at improving the lives of people and animals. In addition to her skills as an instructor, she has an extensive background in exotic animal training and theatrical show production. Her most recent projects include revamping the dolphin and sea lion shows at both Zoomarine parks in Portugal and Italy, consulting on the movie set for a major motion picture featuring “Winter” the Clearwater Aquarium’s star dolphin with a prosthetic tail, ongoing consultations at Parco Oltremare in Riccione, Italy and Sarkanneimi Adventure Park in Tampere, Finland. She instructs seminars for a variety of US government agencies and is currently producing a documentary, Elephant in the Room.

Previously, Angi held positions at several top-ranked animal facilities. She served as Manager of Marine Mammals at the Atlantis Resort, The Palm, in Dubai where she was responsible for the care and training of Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphins as well as staff development. She was also the Director of Behavior Programs at Natural Encounters, Inc. (NEI), responsible for behavioral husbandry consulting in zoological facilities world-wide including training staff, training animals, and show development as well as coordinating all of NEI’s animal training workshops. Prior to work at NEI, Angi was the Animal Training Coordinator at the Fort Worth Zoo, responsible for the Zoo’s animal training programs for more than 350 animal species. She was also a member of the Disney’s Animal Kingdom opening team, working with a wide variety of species and assisting with the implementation of a variety of behavioral husbandry initiatives.

Due to her background in both animal show production and her extensive human-theater experience, Angi has knowledge of storyboarding show concepts, coaching individuals for stage presence, and critiquing show production.

Ms. Millwood is currently a professional member of the Animal Behavior Management Alliance (ABMA), where she served for years on the Board of Directors. She is also a professional member of the International Marine Animal Trainers Association (IMATA). Angi has conducted numerous workshops for national and international zoo staff, college students and business professionals. She has served as a Course Instructor for the AZA professional courses: Animal Training Applications in Zoo and Aquarium Settings and Meeting Your Institutional Goals through Program Animals. She has presented numerous papers and workshops at professional conferences world-wide and in 2005 received the prestigious Animal Welfare Advancement Award from the ABMA. She is a graduate of Jacksonville State University with a double major in Theater and English.

David G. Butcher

David has extensive experience in corporate leadership, designing high performance teams and behavior programs, which have resulted in long-term, profitable customer relationships for various corporations. David brings a vast background of  leadership and behavioral success to Precision Behavior where he assists with business development.

David began his career at SeaWorld and worked his way up the ladder to Corporate Vice President of Animal Behavior. His passion of caring for animals culminated in him developing a world-renowned program for management and training of exotic animals. He led the charge in developing nurturing and enriching living standards for the well being of captive animals. He did this by introducing variable ratio with reinforcement variety (VRRV). He later researched and published the results proving that VRRV out-performs other reinforcement strategies when attempting to motivate behavior. David went on to present his findings at the annual Association for Behavior Analysis (ABA) conference as an invited speaker, where he met B.F. Skinner. Dr. Skinner graciously expressed his approval of David’s enhancement of his own original behavioral theories.

David’s observations and innovative behavioral thinking was key for successfully raising the first baby killer whale born in captivity. David was one of the founders and presidents of the International Marine Animal Trainers Association (IMATA). He has traveled internationally bringing his insights and behavioral theories to others while also helping to implement programs based on his behavioral expertise.

After leaving SeaWorld, David used his distinctive knowledge and understanding of behavior in assisting corporations by increasing employees’ positive interactions with one another, creating and implementing interactive programs and successfully bringing people together in order to achieve a common goal. His core belief is that behavior is fluid, constantly in motion, ever changing and always accessible to being shaped, therefore he views it as a top priority in creating a satisfying life.