Meet the Staff

Administration

Our staff is committed to transforming people’s lives through partnerships with service dogs.

Russell Gittlen

President

(818) 833-6427

Rhonda Bissell

Director of Development

RLBissell@GuideDogsofAmerica.org
(818) 833-6432

Yvette Sheehan

Executive Assistant/Event Coordinator

YRSheehan@GuideDogsofAmerica.org
(818) 833-6421

Kristine Wallace

Office Manager/HR

KDWallace@GuideDogsofAmerica.org
(818) 833-6439

Debra Grossman

Director of Legal Affairs & Grants

DLGrossman@GuideDogsofAmerica.org
(818) 833-6436

LESA Miller

Volunteer Coordinator/ Database Assistant

LAMiller@GuideDogsofAmerica.org
(818) 833-6434

Lisa Peterson

Customer Service Support

receptionist@guidedogsofamerica.org
(818) 833-6429

Judy Reilly

Tour & Speaker Coordinator

JAReilly@GuideDogsofAmerica.org
(818) 833-6437

Lisa Swenningsen

TLC Operations Manager

lisa.swenningsen@tlcad.org
(858) 461-6827 x12

Breeding Department

We breed our own guide and service dogs to ensure the best quality of dog for our clients.

Natalie A. Ergler

Breeding Department Manager

NAErgler@GuideDogsofAmerica.org
(818) 833-6461

Melcy Gutierrez

Breeding Department Assistant

MAGutierrez@GuideDogsofAmerica.org
(818) 833-6462

Tiffany McKillop

Breeding Department Tech

TNMcKillop@GuideDogsofAmerica.org
(818) 833-6465

Diane Rodriguez

Breeding Department Tech

DVRodriguez@GuideDogsofAmerica.org
(818) 833-6463

Information and Technology Department

Provides the infastructure and experience necessary to keep us on the cutting-edge of technology.

Scott West

Information Technology Manager

SLWest@GuideDogsofAmerica.org
(818) 833-6467

Salvador Alob Jr.

IT Support Tech

snalob@guidedogsofamerica.org
(818) 833-6464

Facilities and Maintenance

Keeps our 7 ½ acre park-like campus running smoothly and attends to the needs of our staff as it relates to facilities and equipment.

Samuel Wallace

Maintenance Superintendent

SGWallace@GuideDogsofAmerica.org
(626) 592-6475

Connie Torres

Dorm Housekeeper

(818) 838-4604

Kennel

Affectionately known as Camp GDA, our Kennel provides boarding facilities and activities for our puppies and all working guides and service dogs while they are away from home.

Chris Medina

Lead Kennel Tech
CJMedina@GuideDogsofAmerica.org
(818) 403-2336

Brooke Patterson

Kennel Tech

Xochitl Sanchez

Kennel Tech

Nataly Diaz

Kennel Tech

Tiffanie Tayrien

Kennel Tech

Tara Doroginsky

Kennel Tech

Adolfo Arellano

Kennel Tech

Marketing, Media Relations and Outreach

Informs the public and media about Guide Dogs of America. Educates communities at hundreds of health fairs and through outreach programs and special events.  For general questions, email media@guidedogsofamerica.org.

ZACK GITTLEN

Media & Community Liaison

ZAGittlen@GuideDogsofAmerica.org
(818) 833-6426

Diane Gittlen

Director of Marketing & Creative Services

DEGittlen@GuideDogsofAmerica.org
(818) 833-6430

Mariah Romo

Marketing & Development Associate

MARomo@GuideDogsofAmerica.org
(818) 833-6424

Lorri Bernson

Media & Community Liaison

LMBernson@GuideDogsofAmerica.org
(818) 833-6431

Puppy Department

Places our puppies in loving foster-homes and assists the puppy raisers until the dogs are ready to come in for formal training.

Stephanie Colman

Puppy Program Coordinator

SMColman@GuideDogsofAmerica.org
(818) 833-6447

Carol Ann Heinis

Canine Development Lead

CAHeinis@GuideDogsofAmerica.org
(818) 833-6446

Hanna Belyea

Canine Development Assistant

HEBelyea@GuideDogsofAmerica.org
(818) 833-6442

Training Department

Our experienced instructors provide our guide and service dogs with the formal training they require in order to assist their partners.

Yvonne Martin

Director of Programs

YMMartin@GuideDogsofAmerica.org
(818) 833-6443

Victoria Cavaliere

Director Service Dog Program

Jamie Hunt

Assistant Director of Programs

JBHunt@GuideDogsofAmerica.org
(818) 833-6452

Suzanne Veta

TLC Training Manager

Linda Hawes

Field Services, Licensed Instructor

LMHawes@GuideDogsofAmerica.org
(818) 833-6454

Erin Vejar

TLC Client Services Training Coordinator

erin.vejar@tlcad.org
(858) 376-3283

Stephanie Santos

TLC Training Manager (South)

Nicole Maples

TLC Training Manager (North)

Sean Chiles

Guide Dog Mobility Instructor

smchiles@guidedogsofamerica.org
(818) 833-6457

Alejandra Maldonado

Guide Dog Mobility Instructor

aamaldonado@guidedogsofamerica.org
(818) 833-6453

Kelsey Horst

Guide Dog Mobility Instructor

KLHorst@GuideDogsofAmerica.org
(818) 833-6455

Sydney Fujishige

Apprentice Instructor

SAFujishige@guidedogsofamerica.org
(818) 833-6456

Greg Steinmetz

Manager Admissions/Graduate Services

GASteinmetz@GuideDogsofAmerica.org
(818) 833-6428

Veterinary Department

Our state-of-the-art clinic is committed to the care and health of our hundreds of puppies-in-training and our working guides and service dogs. Guide Dogs of America’s Veterinary Department is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. To make a veterinary appointment, please call 818-833-6470. 24-hour assistance is available for canine emergencies: For after hours emergencies only, call (818) 362-5834 and press “0” to reach the on call operator (note: do not press “1” to leave a message.) Our fax number is (818) 833-6470.

Heather M. Garcia

Registered Veterinary Technician

vetdept@guidedogsofamerica.org

Miki Raith

Veterinary Assistant/Adoption Coordinator

vetdept@guidedogsofamerica.org
(818) 833-6472

Alberto Molina Jr.

Veterinary Assistant/Kennel Tech

vetdept@guidedogsofamerica.org

Gary Uyeno, DVM

Veterinarian