For this, my last live show until fall, my guest was Guide Dogs for the Blind CEO and President, Chris Benninger. We talked about GDB's mission and programs, including how puppies become guide dogs (from breeding to socializing to puppy raising to training) and how people with visual impairments connect with guide dogs. We also talked about what happens to career-change dogs (i.e., those deemed better suited to other life paths), when and what happens in retirement, and how people can adopt career-change or retired guide dogs. All Guide Dogs for the Blind programs and services are free of charge, so I asked Chris about ways people can help, from contributing financially to volunteering and more. A great conversation with a delightful, inspiring guest about a wonderful organization making a difference for so many throughout North America.
Christine Benninger joined Guide Dogs for the Blind in April of 2014. Prior to joining GDB, she spent 17 years leading the Humane Society Silicon Valley, during which she and her team helped save the lives of tens of thousands of animals and greatly reduce pet overpopulation problems in Santa Clara County. Chris honed her business skills as an auditor with Arthur Andersen, as well as in her 15 years at Hewlett Packard, where she held managerial positions in the U.S., as well as in Europe. Chris holds an MBA from Stanford University, and she gives back to the community through her role on the board for non-profit Wildlife Impact, which is committed to protecting the diversity of wildlife and natural habitats throughout the world.