Board and Leadership


Executive Leadership | National Board Officers | Directors

Corey Hudson, CEO

Corey’s interests in matching the unique skills of dogs to serve people with disabilities led him to accept the chief executive officer position at Canine Companions for Independence in 1990. Under his leadership, the Canine Companions training program has moved forward tripling the number of graduating teams each year, increased income from almost $2 million to more than $16 million annually and increased assets from nearly $800,000 to over $44 million.

Corey has served on the Assistance Dogs International (ADI) board of directors since 1995 and is the current president of ADI North America. Prior to joining Canine Companions for Independence, Corey’s leadership skills were well utilized as the hospital administrator of Agnews Developmental Center in San Jose, CA, where he was responsible for a staff of 1700 and a budget of $120 million dollars. In addition, Corey gained his clinical experience as the Clinical Director at Porterville State Hospital where he was responsible for the treatment team of 1,200 people via the physicians, therapists and level of care staff.

A veteran of the Vietnam War era, Hudson served in U.S. Navy Intelligence. He received his Masters Degree in Education and four teaching credentials from Sonoma State University. A passion for helping veterans led Corey to create the Wounded Veterans Initiative at Canine Companions, now a robust and life-changing program changing the lives America’s wounded service men and women with Canine Companions’ highly trained assistance dogs.


Alan Feinne, CFO

Alan Feinne brings extensive accounting and non-profit sector experience to Canine Companions’ team as the chief financial officer. Alan joined Canine Companions for Independence in 1990 after 12 years with the American Heart Association’s San Francisco Chapter. He served that organization as director of finance and Development, and served on its state and national direct mail campaign committees. Canine Companions’ history of superior audits is a tribute to Feinne’s rigorous financial oversight.


Paul Mundell, National Director of Canine Programs

Paul joined Canine Companions of Independence in 1989 as an instructor in the Northeast region after studying at Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany. Since 1989, Paul has contributed to Canine Companions on a multitude of levels. He has also continued his educational excellence and grown professionally to be one of the most highly regarded scientists in his field of animal genetics and breeding. Additionally, Paul is a consultant for the United States Marines Corps (USMC) assisting in a project to develop specialized search dogs that will remotely detect improvised explosive devices in a tactical environment. He also provides the USMC with expertise in the selection, training, conditioning and deployment of dogs for this purpose.


Susan Lee Vick, National Director of Advancement

Susan Lee Vick joined Canine Companions for Independence as national director of development in 2012. Reflecting Canine Companions' commitment to integrated fundraising, marketing, public relations and organizational design, her position was retitled national director of advancement in early 2013.

Previously, Susan served as the chief development officer of the Episcopal Church Investment Group. Susan brings to Canine Companions a faith in the principles of ethical entrepreneurship and their power to expand mission for the greater good. In her early career, Susan worked in financial services, specializing in individual investments and institutional consulting with an emphasis on foundations and endowments. While on corporate hiatus to raise her four children, Susan formed and led a national design firm and has since found the principles of design uniquely relevant to the structure of high functioning organizations. Susan has trained and consulted extensively on philanthropy, team building and optimization, fundraising and organizational and program design. Susan has also has held numerous senior community leadership roles.


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National Board Officers

John Miller, Chair

John brings a vast knowledge of business development and finance to the Canine Companions for Independence National Board. He was a founder of Arterial Vascular Engineering, Inc. (AVE) and served as Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer and Director.

At Canine Companions he and his wife Kristin have provided great leadership to the Northeast. He was the lead donor and found the building for the new training center, named the Miller Family Campus. John also serves on the finance committee.

John and his wife Kristin are very involved with the Waldorf School and John serves on local boards ranging from hospitals, colleges to the Long Island Community Foundation.


John McKinney, Vice Chair

John spent his entire career working for not-for-profit organizations as a consultant and in management, with considerable experience in strategic planning, operations and financial management. In addition to National Board Treasurer, he currently serves on the Northwest Regional Board for Canine Companions for Independence as well.

John previously served on the Board of Marin Community Clinic, just north of San Francisco, including terms as Board Chair and Chair of the Finance Committee.


Bob Street, Treasurer

Bob brings to Canine Companions for Independence an impressive track record of business research and development. Presently he is owner and officer of Cheyenne Propagation Company and Pericle Wireless Technology, Inc. Previously he made significant contributions to the oil and gas and health care industries.

An active community member, Bob serves on the Board of El Paso County Search & Rescue, is the trustee of the John Austin Cheley Foundation and member of the American Alpine and Colorado Mountains Clubs.


Dr. Pauline Parry, Secretary

Pauline was first introduced to Canine Companions for Independence by Service Dog Nance and her partner Bob. Following several years as an enthusiastic supporter she served on the Southwest Regional Board from 2003 – 2005, and joined the National Board in 2007.

Pauline has led start up companies and worked for industry leaders in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry. She started her career as a scientist and was awarded a PhD for her work in molecular biology. Pauline has a history of active volunteer work, from fundraising to officer-level board service, in non-profit organizations.


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Joann Elliott, National Board Member


John Elliott, National Board Member


Anne Gittinger, National Board Member

Anne has been on the National Board of Canine Companions since 1994 and has been Vice President since 1996. Anne and her husband Wayne Gittinger, a Seattle attorney, built Gittinger Hall and Gittinger Park at our Northwest Regional Training Center and National Headquarters in Santa Rosa, California.

Additionally, Anne is an active alumni of the University of Washington as a member of the Tyee Board of Advisors as well as serving as President of the Executive Board from 2005 through 2007.


Mel Gottlieb, National Board Member


Barrie Graham, National Board Member

Barrie is Chief Operating Officer of WR Hambrecht+Co, a financial services firm, in San Francisco. He has 20+ years of banking experience, having served as President and CEO of Exchange Bank and as a Senior Manager at Wells Fargo. He is past-Chairman of the Pacific Coast Banking School at the University of Washington and former Board Member of the California Bankers Association. Barrie is also a Board Member of Empire Law School and Truett-Hurst Winery. He has a BS in Industrial Engineering, an MBA in Finance and graduated from the Executive Management Program at Harvard and the Pacific Coast Banking School. Barrie is a former Marine Infantry Officer.


Russ Gurevitch, National Board Member


Leslie Hennessy, National Board Member

Leslie is a devoted Canine Companions volunteer. She currently serves on the Southwest Regional Board and the National Board of Directors for Canine Companions. Additionally, Leslie is a volunteer puppy raiser and has raised over ten puppies for Canine Companions. Leslie is a valued Canine Companions ambassador in her hometown of Colorado Springs, CO.


John Wm. Hopen, National Board Member

In addition to the Canine Companions for Independence National Board, John serves on the Board of Directors for the Ronald MacDonald House of Seattle. Outside of community service, he works with SUHRCO, assisting clients with real estate and investment needs. He spent twenty years teaching aviation and working as a Captain of Corporate Aircraft for several different local companies and was awarded a national special achievement award from the Business Commercial Pilots Association for his piloting safety record and outstanding work in the area of aircraft management.


Carolyn Hrach, National Board Member


Chris Kittredge, National Board Member

Chris Kittredge has been involved with Canine Companions for Independence for over 20 years. She had been a puppy raiser, fundraiser, and a member of the National Development Committee before joining the National Board in 2007. Her passion is being a breeder caretaker and considers it the all time high to help bring puppies into this world. Professionally Chris is a photographer, an industry she has been involved in for 35 years. She and her husband, Bob, live in Santa Rosa, CA.


Jill Leverton, National Board Member

Jill is a powerhouse volunteer, a Canine Companions graduate, and a great asset. With her service dog Jewell, Jill gives hundreds of presentations to educate the community about assistance dogs and Canine Companions. In addition to her work with Canine Companions, Jill volunteers for the Napa Valley Opera House League and the Napa County Library.

“Having Jewel has increased my independence by decreasing my dependence on others, and this helps me to be more myself,” explains Jill.


Rob Patterson, National Board Member


Juergen Rottler, National Board Member


Nancy Sawhney, National Board Member

“Having a Canine Companions dog at my side brightens my every day and motivates me beyond the front door in search of a full and active life,” says Nancy.

An active volunteer with the Sacramento Public Library, Nancy enjoys educating service groups, schools and business organizations about our mission and the role of assistance animals in the lives of people with disabilities.


Jean Schulz, National Board Member, Past President

Jean Schulz is President of the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, California. Additionally, she served as President of the Canine Companions for Independence National Board for over ten years, and is currently Executive Secretary. Her spirit and leadership have been, and continue to be, essential to Canine Companions.

Jean was awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters from Sonoma State University and holds a pilots license. She was also the Nevada State mixed doubles tennis champion in 1979.


Dennis W. Sproule, National Board Member

Dennis brings an incomparable understanding of some of the challenges that people with disabilities face on a daily basis. He started to accumulate this understanding as a child who was hard of hearing, and expanded this understanding as a teacher and administrator of various types of special education curriculum. Currently, he holds the position of Due Process Specialist for the Los Angeles Unified School District.

In addition to serving on the Canine Companions for Independence National Board of Directors, Dennis is a proud member of the Norwalk Kiwanis Club.


Emily Williams, National Board Member

Emily and her husband Dan have been small business owners and active Santa Rosa, California community members since 1978. She has been a valued Canine Companions volunteer since 1989 when she raised her first puppy, Maizie. Since then Emily has raised 13 Canine Companions puppies! Additionally, Emily is a volunteer breeder caretaker and has provided a home for seven Canine Companions breeder moms! To date over 27 of our litters have been born in Emily’s home.


Additional National Board Members:
William White

Ted Rogahn, Past President

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Honorary Board Members:

Terry Levin

Robin Gurrola, LPCCI

Judy Allen
Jack Hanna
Dean and Gerda Koontz
Madeleine Paulson
Jon Provost
Jason Taylor, P & G PetCare
Bruce Thorn, PetSmart
Jack Warnock


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