A smiling Seishi kneels next to a golden labrador in harness

Seishi Tanoue (Treasurer)

Board Director
Japan Guide Dog Association, Japan

Japan Guide Dog Association (JGDA), Japan’s largest Guide Dog Organization, provides not only guide dogs but other integrated rehabilitation-related services to vision impaired people throughout Japan. Seishi has been a board member of JGDA for seven years, eagerly learning about the needs of people with vision impairment in Japanese society and the key factors of breeding, raising and training of high-quality guide dogs to meet and exceed the requirements of Japanese Guide Dog Users.

Along with his role at JGDA, Seishi is currently a corporate auditor of the largest textbook publishing company in Japan. Founded in 1909, its mission is to nurture future citizens of Japan through publishing textbooks of a higher calibre. He is a Certified Internal Auditor, and has been in management positions in the printing industry for 27 years.

His passion for track and field began in college and he is now a vice president of Japan Masters Athletics. They have over 10,000 members aged from 35 to 100+ and he enjoys meeting with the members and staying physically active. He participated in the New York City Marathon and the Boston Marathon twice each and has completed about 60 full marathons to date.

The Japan Guide Dog Association was founded in 1967 in Tokyo, Japan and operates 4 separate training centres across Japan. With over 100 staff members, we graduate 30 to 50 guide dog teams a year. We are a leading guide dog school in Japan, working closely together with 7 other Japanese Guide Dog schools through the National Federation of All Japan Guide Dog Training Institutions.

The JGDA became a member school of IGDF in 1997. We had the honour to host the 2014 IGDF Seminar in Tokyo, where 289 delegates joined to learn from one another, enjoyed the company of each other and experienced Japanese hospitality. It was such a valuable opportunity not only for all the JGDA staff members involved but also our fellow colleagues in the Japanese Guide Dog movement, to witness the variety of style, structure, and culture of IGDF members first-hand.

Seishi is excited to serve IGDF as a board member and is aiming to provide equal benefits to member organizations, regardless of their language, location, and size. He is looking forward to achieving the goals of the IGDF with everyone.

Seishi was elected to the IGDF Board at the 2021 IGDF AGM.

Christine Benninger

Christine Benninger

President & CEO
Guide Dogs for the Blind, USA

Christine (Chris) joined Guide Dogs for the Blind in April of 2014. Chris brings a wealth of non-profit and for-profit experience to her role. Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB) is the largest guide school in the United States and the second largest in the world. Chris manages a yearly budget of $54M, 300 employees and two campuses … one in San Rafael, California and a second campus in Boring, Oregon.

Under Chris’ leadership, Guide Dogs for the Blind has expanded its program offerings to include Orientation and Mobility training for individuals with insufficient skills to qualify for guide dog training, a companion dog program for visually-impaired children and advocacy in support of GDB’s visually-impaired communities. In addition, annual fundraising has tripled since 2014 and a new state-of-the-art Puppy Center has been built. Current organization-wide initiatives include Diversity, Equity and Inclusion as well as full accessibility throughout GDB and its communication channels.

Prior to joining GDB, she spent 17 years leading the Humane Society Silicon Valley. During her tenure there, she and her team’s progressive approach helped save the lives of tens of thousands of animals and greatly reduced pet overpopulation problems in Santa Clara County. Under her leadership, the organization was also able to raise $25.5 million to build The Animal Community Center — the first facility of its kind in the country. 

Chris honed her business skills as an auditor with Arthur Andersen & Co. as well as in her 15 years with Hewlett Packard Corporation. At HP, Chris held managerial positions in the U.S. as well as in Europe. She holds an M.B.A. from Stanford University. 

Chris was elected to the IGDF board at the 2021 IGDF AGM.

Man in a grey suit sitting next to a golden labrador

Dale Cleaver

Chief Executive Officer
Guide Dogs NSW/ACT, Australia

Dale is the CEO of Guide Dogs NSW/ACT, the leading provider of Guide Dogs and orientation and mobility services that enable people with sight loss to move around their communities independently.

Dale’s history of working in the health, not for profit and charity sectors includes positions as CEO of Campbell Page, the Royal District Nursing Service as well as Australian Red Cross, where he led the organisation through the 2004 Tsunami Disaster.

At the helm of Guide Dogs NSW/ACT, the organisation is growing to meet the demand for services as more people across NSW and the ACT are affected by sight loss.

Dale was elected to the IGDF Board at the 2022 IGDF AGM.

David Maynard headshot smiling.

David Maynard

IGDF Company Secretary

David has over 12 years of experience in governance and board support roles in the private and not-for-profit sectors, including the British Medical Association, Heritage Lottery Fund, and Link Asset Services. He is an Associate of ICSA – the Chartered Governance Institute of the UK and Ireland.

David manages the IGDF Office in the UK. He works closely with the IGDF Board and Committees to deliver IGDF’s Vision and strategic priorities. David joined IGDF in March 2020.