IAM International President Bob Martinez announced this week that IAM District 15 New England Area Director and Local 447 Assistant Business Manager Russ Gittlen has been appointed Director of Guide Dogs of America (GDA) effective January 1, 2017. Gittlen will replace retiring GDA Director Dale Hartford.
“The IAM has been extremely fortunate to have Dale Hartford at the helm of GDA,” said Martinez. “We owe him and his entire family a debt of gratitude for his years of dedicated service. The IAM has always been fortunate to draw from a deep pool of talent to ensure GDA remains the world-class organization it is today. As director, Dale consistently increased the school’s fundraising totals and, more importantly, grew the number of guide dog teams graduating each year. His loyalty and his leadership will not soon be forgotten.”