President/ Director Guide Dogs of America

Russ Gittlen, President/Director Guide Dogs of America

Like most successful organizations, Guide Dogs of America depends on the talents, goals, and generosity of many dedicated people. In our case, this group includes our board of directors, staff, puppy raisers, volunteers, donors, and the visually impaired men and women that we serve. Russell Gittlen and GSD Pup While many of us may know the pleasure of canine companionship and loyalty from our family pet, we cannot appreciate the complexity of the relationship that develops between a visually impaired person and their guide dog. Because GDA understands so well the critical interdependence between the user and the dog, our staff is adept at grasping the personalities and attributes of each dog and each visually impaired person to make a good match. Our instructors are also expert at incorporating the lifestyle and circumstances of each visually impaired person when developing our training programs. With no government funding, our school relies solely on donations and fundraising to provide guide dogs and instruction in their use free of charge. All of us at GDA greatly enjoy our work and we’re grateful for our donors and volunteers’ generous support that changes the lives of so many visually impaired men and women. Before I was GDA’s president, I was a GDA volunteer. For 16 years, I worked to support GDA through fundraising activities. One of my goals as director of this world-class guide dog school is to bring the passion for GDA that was instilled upon me during my time as a volunteer to anyone interested in getting involved. Visit the “How to Help” page to learn about the many ways you can support GDA. I hope to meet you at one of our events on GDA’s campus or when I’m traveling on behalf of the school.