Guide Dog Day 2012
Curb to Curb - Crossing Communication Street
Monday September 17, 2012
State Capitol, Room 125
10:00 a.m. – Noon
North Steps of the State Capitol
1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
1:00 p.m. – Introduction/Welcome Board President Eric Holm
1:10 p.m. – Anne Touloukian, Puppy Raisier
1:15 p.m. – Teal Knapp, Guide Dog Instructor
1:20 p.m. – Jay Harris, Guide Dog User
1:25 p.m. – Daniel Conway, California Restaurant Association
1:30 p.m. – Assemblyman Michael Allen
1:35 p.m. – Q&A – Press availability
- Guide Dog Board President Eric Holm
After serving as a volunteer, speaker, and independent consultant with Guide Dogs for the Blind, Inc., Eric Holm was appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to the State Board of Guide Dogs for the Blind on October 29, 2008. He was elected Board President on October 25, 2010. Holm graduated from Saint Mary's College (BA), San Francisco Law School (JD), and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. Holm served as a Federal Adjudications Officer for the US. Department of Justice and the U.S Department of Homeland Security. He also held the position of Vice President and Chief Stewart of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 1616. Holm actively engages as a member of the National Federation of the Blind and the Bay Area Association of Disabled Sailors. Presently, Holm also serves on the City of San Rafael's Park & Recreation Commission and the ADA & Accessibility Advisory Committee, educating and advancing the rights and responsibilities of persons with disabilities. Ford, Holm's beautiful Yellow Labrador, nurtured and trained at Guide Dogs for the Blind, assists him in living life to the fullest.
- Puppy Raiser Anne Touloukian
Anne has been volunteering with Guide Dogs for the Blind since 2006. She has raised and or started 13 puppies. Her background is in retail management with Macy's and marketing with Nike for a combined 25 years. She has always had a love of both dogs and horses, and started riding and showing horses when she was a teenager. She managed a show barn in Orangevale up until 2004. Raising GDB puppies has been one of the most rewarding projects she has ever been involved with; it brings people together that share in something that really makes a difference in a blind person's life. She and her husband have had three dogs graduate and the experience of passing the leash off to their new partner is one to never forget or duplicate. Starting in 2008, Anne became a leader of a local club in the Roseville area that has had eight dogs and about 45 members. The best part of her position is getting to work with kids who are doing something positive and giving back to their communities.
- Guide Dog Instructor Teal Knapp
Teal Knapp is the Northern California/Southern Oregon/Nevada Field Manager and O&M Specialist for Guide Dogs for the Blind. Teal has been working for Guide Dogs for 22 years.
- Guide Dog User Jay Harris, Program Manager, Department of Rehabilitation, Guide Dog User
Jay is the Program Manager for the Older Individuals who are Blind (OIB) Program. Jay earned a bachelor's degree in social work at California State University, Chico and worked for 14 years with Independent Living Services of Northern California, Incorporated where he was Assistant Director in charge of financial duties, including the administration of OIB grant funds. While there, he led a team with an outstanding record as an OIB grant recipient. Jay is a strong advocate and is well-versed in blindness policy and programs. He is familiar with public and private BVI partners and services to older blind individuals; as well as technically competent in matters dealing with blindness and assistive technologies. Jay has been a Guide Dog user since July of 1994.
- California Restaurant Association Daniel Conway, Legislative and Public Affairs Director
Daniel Conway is the Legislative and Public Affairs Director for the California Restaurant Association. In that capacity, Mr. Conway develops and implements political strategies on key industry initiatives and priorities. He has advocated on behalf of the industry at the state and local levels on issues such land use, food stamps, toy bans, menu labeling, and food trucks. Mr. Conway and his colleagues also work to educate members on a variety of laws and regulations impacting the industry including the Americans with Disabilities Act, meal and rest breaks, and the Affordable Care Act. In addition, he serves as a frequent commentator on issues impacting the restaurant industry on TV, radio and in print.
- California State Legislature Assemblyman Michael Allen
Assemblyman Michael Allen, the Assembly's Assistant Majority Floor Leader, was elected in November 2010. He represents California's 7th Assembly District, which includes all of Napa County and portions of Solano and Sonoma counties. Allen previously served as district director for State Senator Patricia Wiggins' five regional offices in Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Solano and Sonoma counties. Prior to being district director, Allen worked as the executive director of SEIU 707. He has also worked as an attorney advocating for California's Sierra Club and as a registered psychiatric nurse at Sonoma's County Crisis Clinic. In the 1980s, Allen helped establish the Sonoma County Day Care Center, which still serves the community today. In 1992, he negotiated a housing benefit for Sonoma County workers that helped hundreds of North Bay families to realize their housing dreams. In addition to green job creation and environmental protection and restoration, Allen's legislative priorities include increasing access to quality healthcare in the state and improving education through increased funding. Michael was born and raised in Los Angeles. He has lived in the Santa Rosa community for over 30 years, raising five successful children and taking on numerous community projects.