Anne Gittinger became involved with Canine Companions because she strongly believed in the mission—a marriage of excellent dog breeding and commitment to helping people with disabilities—and saw an opportunity to further the work of the organization.
Barrie Graham was an early and fervent admirer of Canine Companions and became involved with the organization in the 1990’s while working at Exchange Bank. Although active with other non-profits providing services to people with disabilities, Canine Companions’ unique focus in teaming dogs with people with disabilities appealed to Barrie.
Carolyn has been actively involved with Canine Companions for over thirty years. She’s a member of the Western Pennsylvania Volunteer Chapter and held a leadership role with the chapter for seven years. Carolyn has raised numerous puppies and is often out in the community increasing awareness for Canine Companions.
Cathy Fischer has been involved with Canine Companions for over 20 years, when she and her husband Marty were invited to attend the Tales & Tails Gala at SeaWorld Ports of Call in Orlando, FL. That event was the beginning of Cathy’s journey with supporting Canine Companions and the mission.
Inspired in 1989 by an article about Canine Companions in Life Magazine, Chris Kittredge immediately applied to be a puppy raiser. Shortly thereafter, her first puppy arrived and the journey to national board membership in 2007 began.
Collette came to Canine Companions as a tech advisor through our partnership with Whistle Labs, where she held the position of CEO.
Judge Ed Kinkeade was appointed to the federal bench of the Northern District of Texas in 2002 by President George W. Bush, where he still serves today. Previously, Judge Kinkeade served as a County District and Appellate Judge in Texas from 1981 to 2002.
In 1989, National Board Member Emily Williams responded to an ad in a local newspaper to adopt a Canine Companions for Independence breeder dog. Since answering that first call, Emily has been a caretaker for 11 Canine Companions female breeder dogs and their 43 litters of puppies.
Former President and Secretary of the Board Jean Schulz became involved with Canine Companions for Independence in 1986. Her late husband, renowned cartoonist Charles Schulz, thought the dogs ‘marvelous,’ and so did Jean.
In 2005, John McKinney retired from his career as a management consultant in the health care industry. He decided to become actively involved with Canine Companions, having witnessed firsthand the wonderful work of our assistance dogs through his nephew’s Canine Companions assistance dog.