Guide Dog Foundation & America’s VetDogs Name David Locklin Chief Program Officer; Brad Hibbard Becomes Chief Strategy Officer
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 David Locklin has been named Chief Program Officer. He will serve as a member of the executive leadership team under the direction of John Miller, president and CEO of the Guide Dog Foundation and America’s VetDogs. Locklin started his new role on April 3, 2023.
Locklin replaces Brad Hibbard, who served as Chief Program Officer for both organizations since 2015. Hibbard will continue as part of the executive leadership team as Chief Strategy Officer, working closely with the 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.
“We are thrilled to welcome David to the organizations,” said John Miller, president and CEO, Guide Dog Foundation and America’s VetDogs. “His experience, trade knowledge, and network of industry contacts will help to lead our program team. I am confident David’s passion and experience will be an asset to the organizations as we continue to enhance and expand our services to help more people with disabilities have access to the guide and service dogs they need to live without boundaries.”
As Chief Program Officer, Locklin will work in partnership with Miller and the executive leadership team to advance a clear vision and principles that will inform organizational goals for all canine programs and monitor the progress towards those efforts. He will provide leadership, supervision, oversight, and management of the agency’s programs, curriculum, and services. He will also ensure that all programs and services comply with the accreditation standards of the International Guide Dog Federation (IGDF) and Assistance Dogs International (ADI).
“I’m excited to lead a team of passionate and dedicated staff to continue delivering these life changing assistance dogs through the missions of the Guide Dog Foundation and America’s VetDogs,” said Locklin.
Locklin, who has more than 20 years of experience in the assistance dog industry, joining Guide Dog Foundation and America’s VetDogs from Leader Dogs for the Blind, based in Rochester, Michigan, where he served as Chief Program Officer since February 2022. He initially came to Leader Dogs in 2014 and previously held the roles of class coordinator and director of programs. During his tenure, Locklin developed curriculum for guide dog mobility instructor apprentices, expanded Leader Dog’s service provision giving clients more training options to choose from, and helped lead the organization through the Covid-19 pandemic.
Locklin began his career in the United Kingdom with The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, better known as Guide Dogs UK. Over a decade with Guide Dogs UK, he became a guide dog mobility instructor, managed a team of trainers with responsibility for quality assurance for program training, and led a large cross-functional team of specialists in dog training and mobility to ensure the consistent delivery of services to Guide Dogs UK’s clientele. Before joining Leader Dog, David also served as acting operations manager for Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind. He received his Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE) in Guide Dog Mobility (Canine Assistance Studies) from the University of Southampton. He serves on the Membership and North America Candidate Review committees for ADI as well as serving as the Latin America liaison for the accreditation organization.
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, America’s 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.