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Officers

Bob Burke Bob Burke
Lafayette, California
Board Chair
2008 - Present

Elected to the Board of Directors in 2008, Mr. Burke is a corporate President and visionary entrepreneur with a unique set of skills and accomplishments. He has over 25 years of successful experience in the restaurant industry, and he has achieved remarkable results in a wide range of other industries, including investment banking, hospitality, radio, publishing, aviation, real estate, and even brewing beer.


Stuart Odell Stuart Odell
San Francisco, California
Vice Chair
2008 - Present

Elected to the Board of Directors in 2008, Mr. Odell is the Director of Retirement Investments in the Treasury Department of Intel Corporation in Santa Clara, California. Mr. Odell and his investment team at Intel are responsible for oversight and management of Intel's $10 billion in qualified and nonqualified retirement plan assets. Prior to joining Intel in 2000, Mr. Odell worked in banking, finance, and engineering. Mr. Odell received his BS in mechanical engineering from Union College in Schenectady, New York and his MBA from New York University. Stuart lives in San Francisco with his twin boys and his chocolate Labrador retriever, California.


Chris Benninger Chris Benninger
San Anselmo, California
President and CEO
2014 - Present

Christine (Chris) joined Guide Dogs for the Blind in April of 2014. Chris brings a wealth of non-profit and for-profit experience to her new role. Prior to joining GDB, she spent 17 years leading the Humane Society Silicon Valley.

Chris honed her business skills as an auditor with Arthur Andersen & Co. as well as in her 15 years with Hewlett Packard Corporation. At HP, Chris held managerial positions in the U.S. as well as in Europe. She holds an M.B.A. from Stanford University.

Chris gives back to the community through her role on several non-profit boards. She serves on Page Mill YMCA as Board Chair and Pan African Sanctuary Alliance as Board Vice Chair. She is also on the board of Merit Partners.

Chris has three dogs: Hank, a Basset Hound, Bess, a three-legged Cattle Dog mix, and Fred, a Chihuahua.


Joan Boyd Joan Boyd
Napa, California
Vice Chair, Finance
2008 - Present

Ms. Boyd is co-owner of the Boyd Family Vineyard in Napa Valley, California. She is a past president of the Junior League of San Francisco, and volunteers at Guide Dogs for the Blind as a puppy tester, chair of the Canine Heroes Wine Auction Committee, past chair of the Betty Krahl Spirit of Volunteerism Committee, and a member of the Holiday Luncheon Committee.


Jay Harris Jay Harris
Chico, California
Secretary
2008 - Present

Elected to the Board of Directors in 2008, Mr. Harris graduated in 2007 with his fourth guide dog, Tula. Mr. Harris is the Assistant Executive Director of Independent Living Services of Northern California, a private non-profit organization providing support services to help empower community members with disabilities.


Ruth Ann Dodson Ruth Ann Dodson
Portland, Oregon
Vice Chair, Pacific Northwest
2008 - Present

Ms. Dodson was elected to the Board of Directors in 2008. A former elementary school teacher, Ms. Dodson went on to work in government; first in the Portland Mayor's office, and then the Oregon Governor's office in charge of Boards and Commission appointments and public outreach for the Portland area. After taking time off to raise her two children, Carrie and Kevin, Ms. Dodson worked at the Portland Chamber of Commerce and served for eight years as Vice President for Governmental Affairs. Ms. Dodson has served on the Oregon Children's foundation (SMART reading program) as a founding board member, the Oregon State University Board of Trustees, the Samaritan Counseling Center Board, and the Gales Creek Camp for Children with Diabetes Board. Ms. Dodson, her husband Mark, and their yellow Labrador retriever, Cooper, live in Portland, Oregon and spend time at their home in Sonoma, California.


Directors



Todd Bradley
2014 - Present

Todd joined our board on July 1st, 2014.

Todd recently joined The Silicon Valley software maker, Tibco, as president. Vivek Ranadive, Tibco's chairman and chief executive, called Mr. Bradley a "titan" of the technology industry.

Prior to joining, Tibco, Todd was executive vice president of Hewlett Packard's Personal Systems Group. He has a 25-year management career and has held senior roles at GE Capital Corp., The Dun & Bradstreet Corp., Gateway Corp., FedEx Corp and palmOne. Prior to joining HP, he was the chief executive officer of palmOne, where he led a successful turnaround of that company and established a new category of mobile devices for the industry.

Bradley received a bachelor of science in business administration from Towson University in Maryland, where he is now a member of the board of visitors.


Sigrid Button with puppy Sigrid Velken Button
Portland, Oregon
2011 - Present

Elected to the Board of Directors in 2011, Sigrid Button is the administrative director of the Casey Eye Institute at the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). She has more than 20 years of executive-level experience in healthcare management and philanthropic fund development. Her past professional experience also includes serving as executive director of GDB's Oregon campus. Ms. Button is a board member of Safety in Motion, a private company specializing in the reduction of workplace injuries. She and her husband enjoy spending time at the Oregon Coast with their loving career change dog, Nate.


Melissa Hudson Melissa Hudson
Los Angeles, California
2014 - Present

Elected to the Board of Directors in 2014, Melissa Hudson is a tireless speaker and advocate of people who are blind, championing the independence that a guide dog can provide around the world. Blending her experience as a bilingual elementary school teacher, a project manager for a global Internet consulting firm, and the national sales manager for the Latino Speakers Bureau, Mrs. Hudson has been profiled by multiple publications, news programs, and documentaries including Arthritis Today, Univision Radio, Sveriges Television’s “Aktuellt”, and The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences “Academy Originals”.

A graduate of California State University, San Bernardino, Mrs. Hudson is currently partnered with her third guide from GDB, “Camry”, and previously served on the GDB Alumni Association Board, chairing multiple committees. Mrs. Hudson also shared the fulfilling experience of assisting her husband in raising three puppies for GDB.


Deborah Kendrick Deborah Kendrick
Cincinnati, Ohio
2013 - Present
Elected to the Board of Directors in November 2013, Ms. Kendrick is an experienced and award-winning writer, editor, speaker, and educator, whose efforts have focused on diminishing the misconceptions surrounding people with disabilities. She has authored several books in the acclaimed Jobs that Matter series and her articles have appeared in such noted publications as Woman’s Day, Parenting, Marriage and Family, among others. Her newspaper column on disability rights has run in the Columbus Dispatch since 1993, and she serves as senior features editor for AccessWorld, the technology publication she helped form in 2000.

Ms. Kendrick also served as a valued member of GDB’s Alumni Association Board of Directors from 2006-2012 and is currently partnered with her sixth guide from GDB, Flo.

She has three adult children, Melinda, Sean, and Caitlyn, and two beautiful grandbabies.


George Kerscher George Kerscher, Ph.D.
Missoula, Montana
2009 - Present

George Kerscher is dedicated to developing technology to make information not only accessible, but fully functional in the hands of persons who are blind or who have a print disability. He believes that properly designed information systems can make all information accessible to all people, and is working to push the evolving technologies in that direction. As Secretary General of the DAISY Consortium and Senior Officer of Accessible Technology at Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic in the USA, Mr. Kerscher is a recognized leader in document access. In addition, he chairs the DAISY/NISO Standards committee, chairs the W3C's Steering Council for the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), and serves on the IDPF and NIMAS Boards. In his professional capacities, George Kerscher travels the world. His first dog guide, Nesbit, logged over 1.2 million air miles (Delta gave Nesbit his own frequent flier card). His second guide Mikey is already racking up the air miles as well. Mr. Kerscher was elected to Guide Dogs' board in 2009.


Andy Mathieson Andrew Mathieson
Kentfield, California
2011 - Present

Elected to the Board of Directors in November 2011, Mr. Mathieson earned his undergraduate degree from Yale University and his MBA from Stanford University. He is the founder and managing member of a local investment management firm. In addition to serving on GDB’s Board of Directors, Mr. Mathieson is a former Trustee of the Branson School in Ross, California, and serves on the Board of DiCon Fiberoptics, a private Richmond California-based manufacturer of passive optical component modules and test instruments.


Stephen Mansfield.jpg Stephen A. Mansfield
Mill Valley, California
2012 - Present

Elected to the Board of Directors in May 2012, Mr. Mansfield is a partner with Akin Gump Strauss Hauer and Feld, a large international law firm. He is the partner in charge of the firm’s San Francisco office and serves on the firm’s management committee. Mr. Mansfield is an accomplished trial lawyer who has defended and prosecuted complex criminal and civil actions for over 25 years. He also conducts corporate investigations and defends corporations, officers, directors and employees against SEC and DOJ investigations. Mr. Mansfield previously served as a federal prosecutor and as Head of the U.N. War Crimes Investigation Unit which investigated war crimes in Rwanda and helped establish a U.N. War Crimes Tribunal for Rwanda. Steve has volunteered pro bono legal services for GDB. He is a custodian of Kirin, who is in the GDB breeder program, and is a guardian of Dakota, a rescue lab.


Jack Scott.jpg Jack W. Scott
San Rafael, California
2012 - Present

Elected to the Board of Directors in May 2012, Mr. Scott is the Operating Partner responsible for Human Capital at the Private Equity firm Friedman Fleischer and Lowe (FFL) in San Francisco. Jack joined the firm in early 2010 and works closely with the CEOs of FFL's portfolio companies advising them on all aspects of talent management including recruiting, compensation, succession planning, retention, team building, and performance management. Prior to joining FFL, he was a Partner with the executive search firms Heidrick and Struggles and Korn/Ferry International. Through the course of his career in executive search, he has worked with a number of not for profit organizations including SFMOMA, the San Francisco Symphony, KQED, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Mr. Scott has a BA degree from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut and an MS in Accounting from Northeastern University in Boston, MA. He resides in San Rafael, California, is married and has two children ages 18 and 20 as well as 2 German Shepherds.

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