SMITHTOWN, NY (April 27, 2023)
The Guide Dog Foundation and America’s VetDogs, two sister national nonprofit organizations that train and place assistance dogs with individuals who are blind or have low vision, and veterans, active-duty military, and first responders with disabilities, today announces that Brad Hibbard has been named Chief Strategy Officer. Hibbard previously served as Chief Program Officer since 2015. The new role was part of a planned transition with David Locklin joining the organizations as Chief Program Officer on April 3.
Hibbard will continue as part of the executive leadership team, working closely with John Miller, president and CEO, and organizational leaders to develop, execute and sustain key growth strategies while focusing on measuring and articulating the organization’s key initiatives.
“As we go from strength to strength on our program team, we are fortunate that Brad will now be able to turn his attention and vast experience to developing and leading strategies to drive organizational change and growth, while forging new partnerships and overseeing the expansion of our facilities and service offerings,” said John Miller, president and CEO, Guide Dog Foundation and America’s VetDogs. “We continue to advance our missions and Brad’s focus and perspective will ensure our continued positive impact on the lives of the people we serve and align all our stakeholders for success.”
Hibbard has more than 35 years of experience in the Assistance Dog Industry. Prior to 2015, Hibbard spent 27 years with Guide Dogs for the Blind. He is an assessor with the International Guide Dog Federation (IGDF) and currently serves as the Chair of the IGDF Development Committee.
“It has been a remarkable journey being a part of the life changing work both the Guide Dog Foundation and America’s VetDogs provide individuals with disabilities,” said Hibbard. “As I turn my attention to my new role, I’m incredibly excited about the path ahead and the opportunities to expand our reach.”
Hibbard’s initial experience in training working dogs was through his military service with the United States Air Force. He was an original member of the “Green Dog” team which innovated new ways of training Sentry, Patrol and Drug/Bomb detector dogs. This unit ultimately evolved into today’s Dog Training Section at Lackland Air Force Base where military working dogs are trained for all branches of the military and Federal law enforcement agencies.
About Guide Dog Foundation
For more than 75 years, the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, Inc. (http://www.GuideDog.org), has trained and placed guide and service dogs to provide independence, enhanced mobility, and companionship to people who are blind, have low vision, or have other special needs. The Guide Dog Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization serving clients from across the United States and Canada. The Foundation relies on contributions from generous individuals, corporations, service clubs, and foundations to fund its mission to serve people with disabilities. It costs over $50,000 to breed, raise, train, and place one guide dog, but the Guide Dog Foundation provides its services completely free of charge to the individual. The Guide Dog Foundation was the first assistance dog school in the United States to be accredited by both the International Guide Dog Federation and Assistance Dogs International.
About America’s VetDogs
For 20 years, America’s VetDogs (www.VetDogs.org) has trained and placed guide and service dogs to provide independence, enhanced mobility, and companionship to veterans with disabilities from all eras. In 2015, VetDogs opened its programs to first responders, including fire, police, and emergency medical personnel. America’s VetDogs is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization founded by the Guide Dog Foundation and serves clients from across the United States. America’s VetDogs relies on contributions from generous individuals, corporations, service clubs, and foundations to fund its mission to help those who have served our country live with dignity and independence. It costs more than $50,000 to breed, raise, train, and place one assistance dog, but America’s VetDogs provides its services completely free of charge to the individual. America’s VetDogs has been accredited by both the International Guide Dog Federation and Assistance Dogs International.