New Name, Same Mission

Professional photographer Cornelius Matteo, capturing the training staff in front of the Dogs for Better Lives wrapped Ford Transit.

 

Letter from Bryan Williams, President & CEO

August 2018

I’ve always loved animals, beginning with falling in love with my childhood Siberian husky, who had one brown and one blue eye. My wife and I have a rescue dog, have fostered kittens, and provided a loving home to two cats who randomly wandered into our lives — one who walked right through an open front door on moving day. My involvement with assistance dog organizations began with that love of animals.

But it’s not why I chose and am incredibly excited to join the Dogs for Better Lives team. It’s the impact that assistance dogs make on the lives of the people we serve. Along with the tasks our dogs help people with, it is also the incredibly powerful bond and love that our dogs provide. These life-changing placements keep me enthused and committed to our important mission.

Moving across the country to beautiful Rogue Valley in August with my wife and three children was a scary proposition. It was a decision that took a lot of introspection and soul searching. We took on this new life adventure because of the opportunity to make a difference, to meaningfully contribute to an amazing organization, and because of the wonderful people we’ve already met along the way. Just like the cat who walked through our front door, in life, opportunities are presented to those who approach things with an open heart and mind. Thank you to everyone in the community who has already made us feel so welcome.

I come to DBL with over 13 years of nonprofit management experience including my most recent role at Canine Companions for Independence (CCI), where I served as the executive director of CCI’s Southeast Region in Orlando. During my time at the region, we achieved record-breaking dog placements, significantly increased revenue, welcomed a new chapter, and unveiled and implemented a plan to improve campus grounds, which included an all-accessible playground and a sensory room. I also introduced tools for more data-based decision making and served on the national Strategy and Systems team, which focused on improving business processes.

Before CCI, I served as the executive director of the Community Foundation of South Lake and held development director and CFO roles with the Halifax Humane Society. I am eager to bring my experience with nonprofit organizations, and some innovative approaches, to DBL.

The Board’s vision is to grow the organization while continuing to uphold its history of excellence. With dedicated volunteers and supporters like you, I believe my experience will allow me to work with the amazing team in place to accomplish that goal.

Thank you for your continued support as we move to the next step along the amazing journey of rescuing, training, and placing dogs with people who can benefit from them.

Best Regards,

Bryan Williams
President & CEO

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