South Bay Chapter

Northwest Region

South Bay Chapter Leadership

Sue Guzman, Chapter President

Phone: (408) 309-3130
Sue is a long-time supporter of Canine Companions for Independence! She started as a financial donor while working for Hewlett Packard in Santa Rosa (location of Canine Companions headquarters) in the late 80's, and moved on to puppy raising in 2000. Over the last 18 years, Sue has raised or co-raised 11 puppies for Canine Companions. Sue became the President of the South Bay Chapter of Canine Companions three years ago and brings more than 25 years of corporate senior management experience to the position, most recently as President/General Manager of Aeroflex Inc. in Cupertino.
Shari Rodenberger, Chapter Vice President

Shari Rodenberger brings board member and treasurer experience from various non-profits to her role on the chapter leadership committee. She became a puppy raiser after meeting a puppy a friend was raising. Canine Companions was the perfect fit for this animal lover looking for a way for her family to do something meaningful for others. Her first puppy became the breeder of 40 puppies and 21 of those puppies became assistance dogs. She currently has an active female breeder and is raising a puppy from her breeder’s second litter. In her role as Vice President, she supports Sue in chapter meeting logistics and content, event support, and more.
Suzanne Attenborough, Secretary

Suzanne has been a puppy raiser for CCI since 2008 when her daughter Cally finally talked her into raising a puppy. Now she is raising puppy #6 with the assistance of the family and two change of career (COC) dogs. Suzanne brings many years of non-profit board experience to her role as secretary of the South Bay CCI Chapter.
Pingrong Xue, Treasurer
Ping is a new member to the leadership team since 2017. She was part of a skilled companion team with Anmei and Kylyn. Kylyn passed away in 2016 after spending 10 wonderful years with the family. As a way of giving back, and most importantly, as a way of getting to see and touch the dogs again, Ping joined the leadership team as the new treasurer. She is a certified public accountant with a small practice in Santa Clara.
Mimi Niemiller, Communications

After learning about Canine Companions from two co-workers who were involved with the organization, Mimi became a puppy raiser in 2013 and started co-raising her seventh puppy in March 2017. Mimi is a quality manager at a high tech company and enjoys taking her puppies to work each day.
Karen Ammer, Community & Outreach Awareness Coordinator

Karen did not discover that she loves dogs until 2012, when she took in Canine Companions’ breeder Rumor, who needed a new home and someone to whelp her last two litters. Karen became hooked on both Canine Companions’ puppies and its amazing volunteer community and started raising puppies in 2014.  A recovering lawyer, most recently serving as VP, General Counsel & Assistant Secretary of Intellisync Corporation, Karen serves as liaison between South Bay Chapter and community organizations.  Contact Karen if you would like to schedule a presentation or have Canine Companions participate in your event.
Huberta Hacket, Speakers’ Bureau

Huberta is originally from Austria and has been living in the Bay Area since 1994. Her involvement with Canine Companions for Independence started in 2003 when she met puppy raiser Bill with his puppy Bernie at a dog park. Since then, she is proud to have raised one breeder, one Skilled Companion, one Facility Dog, and one Service Dog (this one together with Bill, who originally introduced her to CCI.)  Currently she is co-raising puppy number 9. In her committee role, she works with the Speakers' Bureau team to ensure events are properly staffed and makes sure that event volunteers have all the necessary materials for presentations and information booths.
Dorothy Fletcher, Speakers’ Bureau

Dorothy knew that she, with her power wheelchair, functioned really well in the community, at school, and at work as an assessment clinician, behavior analyst, and social skills trainer for the SFUSD. She always felt that others needed a service dog more than she. However, once she applied and Sonoma was in her life Dorothy realized how very wrong she had been! Although retired from paid work, Dorothy continues to be very active volunteering for non-profits e.g., on the Advisory Board of Community Gatepath, while engaging in social activities such as bird watching, visiting museums, theaters, and US and world travel – all of which activities are made much easier with SD Sonoma at her side. In her role with the South Bay Chapter of CCI she works with the Speakers' Bureau team to ensure events are properly staffed and that communication and informational materials flow well between CCI and the organizations/individuals requesting a CCI presence at their event.

Caroline McHenry, Chapter Grad Support (North)

Caroline was introduced to Canine Companions for Independence in 2003 in her workplace, where she met Sandy, the ADA Coordinator, and Service Dog Menlo. Many years of working with such a great Canine Companions team got Caroline involved in fund raising for Canine Companions. In 2007, Caroline became disabled and applied for a Hearing Dog; she graduated with HD Yakira II in 2012. Caroline has been active in Kiwanis for over 30 years and manages the Redwood City Farmers Market where funds go to wonderful local needs, one of them being Canine Companions. She also is a Commissioner on the Commission for Disabilities in San Mateo County. Caroline has been recognized by Kiwanis International for her work with those in need, and now with HD Yakira at her side, she continues to volunteer in many capacities.

Tracy Gries, Chapter Grad Support (Central)

Tracy was introduced to Canine Companions for Independence in 2010 when she applied for a dog for her son, Randyn. As soon as we met the staff and dogs in Santa Rosa, she knew she had to get involved. Tracy started setting up work crews to help Linda Cortez with dogfest and signed up her Girl Scout troop to help as well. Tracy has been active with the Humane Society as a Foster parent and Foster Mentor for the past 10 years and recently started as a CASA - Court appointment special advocate for children in foster care. She loves to give back to her community and will continue to support such a great organization.

Jan Edwards, Chapter Grad Support (South)

Jan was in a car accident and became paraplegic as a teenager in 1980. After her second shoulder surgery in 2008, she received a Canine Companions for Independence Service Dog named Hera. The beautiful lab/golden mix helps to pull her wheelchair and perform other tasks. Jan works seasonally as a CPA and brings extensive experience working with numerous non-profit organizations over the years. She is currently a board member at Tuolumne Trails, a camp for children with disabilities. Having recently moved to this area after living in Sonora since 1998, she is thrilled to have the opportunity to meet and support fellow CCI graduates and to volunteer for CCI.

Linda Nice, Chapter Breeder Caretaker Support

Linda has been involved in Canine Companion for Independence since 1996. She began her support as a puppy raiser and is now co- raising her 7 th puppy. As time passed she became a Breeder Caretaker when her 4 th puppy graduated in 2002 as a breeder, one of the “Best of the Best.” She continued volunteering as Breeder Caretaker and fostered 4 breeders and whelped 16 litters in her home. As a retired Registered Nurse of 40 years, she now is the Breeder Caretaker Support person for the South Bay chapter. Her passion continues by supporting and mentoring new and present volunteers.

Elizabeth (Betty) Menkin, Puppy Raiser Support

Dr. Menkin became involved with CCI in 2002 when she applied for and was matched with Facility Dog Nivek, who assisted her in her work with geriatric and hospice patients in nursing homes. Nivek was also partnered the next summer with her husband, Bill, so they could work together in Bill’s second-grade classroom in the Moreland School District. When Nivek was in the final year of his service, the Menkins decided to become puppy raisers to give back some of the benefits that CCI had given them. Now both retired, they are raising their third puppy, Daenerys (“Dani”).