January 20, 2015/Denver — James A. Kutsch, Jr., PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Seeing Eye, the world’s oldest guide dog school, is now chairman of the board of trustees at Morris Animal Foundation. Kutsch brings to his leadership position a distinctive understanding of the role of animals in the lives of humans, and the responsibility people have for the animals in their lives. Morris Animal Foundation is one of the largest nonprofit organizations worldwide that funds scientific studies to advance the health and well-being of all animals.
“We are incredibly fortunate to have Jim at the helm of our board of trustees,” said David Haworth, DVM, PhD, and President/CEO of Morris Animal Foundation. “He is a highly effective leader with abundantly relatable experience in leading nonprofit organizations. He is passionate about advocating for animals and bringing positive change to their lives through advancing veterinary care.”
Kutsch joined The Seeing Eye executive team in 2006 after serving for 10 years on the nonprofit organization’s board of trustees. The Seeing Eye is renowned for providing guide dogs to people who are blind and visually impaired. Before The Seeing Eye, Kutsch was Vice President of Strategic Technology at Convergys Labs. Previously, he served as Vice President of Computing and Network Services, and later Chief Information Officer, at AT&T Universal Card Services. He was a Professor of Computer Science at West Virginia University from 1976-1979 and has lectured nationally on disability awareness, adaptive technology and advocacy.
“At The Seeing Eye, we have a rather unique perspective on the animals that share our lives as they are almost an extension of ourselves, facilitating enhanced independence and self-confidence,” said Kutsch. “It is heartbreaking when anyone loses a beloved pet, but for those who lose their guide dog it is the loss of a key partner in all aspects of their lives. It reminds us of the importance of continuing to advance veterinary medicine for animal health. Morris Animal Foundation is one of the foremost nonprofit organizations working to improve the lives of all animals. I am very proud and honored to be serving as chairman of the board of trustees.”
Kutsch, said Haworth, infuses the board of trustees with a vitality that comes from a lifetime of bringing his best to the task at hand and then excelling beyond. After losing his vision as a teenager, Kutsch went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in psychology, and master’s degree and PhD in computer science. In 1975, for his doctoral dissertation, he designed and developed the first talking computer for blind computer users. His disability has galvanized his energies to the benefit of those around him, including the animals that are a daily part of his life.
About Morris Animal Foundation
Morris Animal Foundation is a nonprofit organization that invests in science to advance animal health. The Foundation is a global leader in funding scientific studies for companion animals, horses and wildlife. Since its founding in 1948, Morris Animal Foundation has invested more than $92 million toward 2,300 studies that have led to significant breakthroughs in diagnostics, treatments, preventions and cures for animals worldwide. Learn more at www.morrisanimalfoundation.org.