Cabell Youell, executive director of Saint Francis Service Dogs, has been selected as Virginia Lawyers Media’s 2015 Influential Woman of the Year.
Youell was elected for the honor by her fellow members of the 2015 class of Influential Women of Virginia. The award was announced Thursday evening at the annual ceremony in Henrico County.
A one-time practicing attorney, Youell started out as a volunteer with Saint Francis Service Dogs, a Roanoke-based nonprofit that raises and trains puppies to be placed as service dogs for people with disabilities. She helped Saint Francis establish the “Prison Pup Program,” a project that pairs inmates at the Bland Correctional Facility with service dogs in training.
Youell’s volunteer work inspired her to leave the practice of law and become executive director of Saint Francis Service Dogs. She now works with a staff of 12 and many more volunteers. Under her leadership, the nonprofit opened a new state-of-the-art facility.
The Influential Woman program, now in its seventh year, recognizes high-achieving women in the fields of law, health care, business, education, real estate and others.