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Dogs for Better Lives Welcomes Gwen Dudek as Vice President of Program

By May 7, 2023No Comments

CENTRAL POINT, OR – Dogs for Better Lives (DBL) is pleased to announce the appointment of Gwen Dudek as its new Vice President of Program. The role will be instrumental in Dogs for Better Lives’ efforts to continue to scale its programs nationally, making independence possible for more people by training and placing life-changing Service Dogs.

Gwen brings over 29 years of experience in the service dog industry to her role at Dogs for Better Lives. She started her career as a kennel supervisor for Canine Companions in 1994 and worked her way up to become program director for the North Central region, where she was responsible for managing program operations in 14 states.

Her extensive experience in managing programs and budgets, and working with regional and national management staff, will be invaluable to DBL as the organization seeks to innovate and expand the organization.

Bryan Williams, CEO of Dogs for Better Lives, is excited to welcome Gwen to the team.

“Gwen’s extensive background and leadership skills make her the perfect candidate to help us grow our programs and our ability to serve more people with disabilities through our service dogs. We are thrilled to have her join us at Dogs for Better Lives and look forward to working with her to achieve our mission.”

Gwen has had several accomplishments in her career leading up to this point, including opening the North Central campus for Canine Companions in 2020, of which she was instrumental in the design and fundraising.

“I love supporting volunteers, witnessing the impact of a dog on a client’s life, and watching staff develop and grow as the importance of this work becomes a part of them,” said Gwen. “I am so excited to be joining the DBL team. It’s an innovative organization that has tremendous potential, and I can’t wait to get started!”

In her new role as Vice President of Program, Dudek will be responsible for overseeing Dogs for Better Lives’ programs, including the breeding, training, and placement of service dogs with individuals and families.

When asked about her love for service dog work, Gwen said, “Making a difference and changing futures. These experiences change lives, and I am fortunate to play a small part.”

The hiring of the Vice President of Program role was made possible by a generous grant from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust of Vancouver, Washington. The three-year grant allows Dogs for Better Lives to grow its programs while continuing to offer dogs at zero cost to clients.

“Dogs for Better Lives truly is changing the lives of those with disabilities through supporting their independence, safety, and connection to the world,” says Lorin Schmit Dunlop, Program Director, M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust. “Hiring this new executive leadership position will set up the organization for sustainable growth, so they can continue to offer this life-enhancing support to so many who deserve it.”



Dogs for Better Lives is a nationally recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization focusing on the professional training and placement of Hearing Assistance Dogs, Autism Assistance Dogs, and Facility Dogs and is accredited by Assistance Dogs International (ADI) and recognized by Charity Navigator as a top 4-star nonprofit. Dogs for Better Lives has trained and placed more than 1,600 dogs with people in need since 1977. Assistance Dogs are placed at zero cost to the client, thanks to donor support.


About M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust

M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, created by the will of the late Melvin J. (Jack) Murdock, provides grants to organizations in five states of the Pacific Northwest—Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington—that seek to strengthen the region’s educational and cultural base in creative and sustainable ways. www.murdocktrust.org

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