Melanie Brunson and Sparta
Melanie Brunson’s current guide, Sparta, is her third from GDB since 1995. Melanie, along with her husband Lyle, enjoys reading, camping, and listening to bluegrass music. Melanie has worked with the American Council of the Blind (ACB) since 1998 and has been Executive Director since 2004.
In 2008, Melanie was appointed by the governor of Virginia to the State Rehabilitation Council, a federally mandated body that advises the Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired on how to improve the vocational rehabilitation services it provides. She was a member of this council for six years; acting as Council Chair in 2012 and serving on the Executive Committee during her last two years.
Prior to her work with ACB, Melanie practiced law in California for fourteen years. Much of that time was in private practice, specializing in estate planning for people with disabilities and their families. In addition, Melanie served for six years on the board of directors of the Spanish Trails Girl Scout Council where she assisted with the revision of its program for serving girls with disabilities. Melanie also served for eight years as an elected member of the School Board that oversees operations of the Whittier Christian Schools, a not-for-profit organization that operates three campuses serving students from preschool through middle school.
Melanie has a bachelor degree in political science from Whittier College, and a juris doctorate from Whittier College School of Law. She was admitted to the California Bar in 1984 and maintains her license in that state.
Leanne Bremner and Ayanna
Leanne lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband, young daughter, and fourth guide, Ayanna. For more than 10 years, Leanne has worked in the financial services industry with CIBC, one of Canada’s largest banks. As a senior consultant in communications and reputation management, Leanne leads the bank’s corporate-wide external award and recognition efforts. In addition, she plays a key role in raising awareness of the bank’s commitment to corporate responsibility and sustainable business practices. She was previously a consultant with Monitor Company, a business strategy consulting firm.
Leanne received her first guide from GDB in 1995 while attending the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary where she earned a bachelor of commerce with distinction.
Prior to joining the GDB Alumni Association Board in 2013, Leanne served on the Board of the Ontario Foundation for Visually Impaired Children (OFVIC) from 2005 to 2012 and has been involved with several community organizations including the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).
Samantha Adams and Lotto
Samantha (Sam) Adams is a Canadian transplant now living in Gold River, Calif. She received her first guide dog from GDB in 1995 and has never looked back. She currently shares her travels with Lotto, a male Yellow Lab.
Sam is a graduate of the University of Saskatchewan with a degree in English literature as well as a law degree. Sam worked as a defense lawyer in southern British Columbia and in the Yukon Territory before switching to criminal prosecutions.
In 2008, she moved to northern California to marry her husband, Steve. Now, she assists with her husband’s business, and manages a busy household consisting of her teenaged daughter, a working guide dog, and two cats. In 2013, she assumed the role of band booster president for her daughter’s high school marching band. Sam enjoys reading, writing, cooking, music, yoga, and exercise. She is actively involved in her church and her local puppy raising club.
Maile George and Jasmine
Maile (pronounced My-lee) is a native of northern California. Among her many passions are guide dogs, animal welfare, and the human-canine bond. Maile is currently partnered with her fifth guide, a yellow Labrador retriever named Jasmine, the first dog to be successfully trained as both a guide dog and a medical alert dog - the result of a joint effort between Guide Dogs for the Blind and Dogs for Diabetics.
Maile studied at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Wash., graduated from San Francisco State University, and after a 26-year career as a quality analyst at Bank of America, Maile is busier than ever, enjoying retirement. She serves as one of the co-chairs of GDB's San Francisco alumni chapter, The Foggy Doggies. Maile also enjoys her book club, taking yoga classes, spending time with friends and family at Lake Tahoe, playing Scrabble, gardening, vegan cooking, and reading.
Bruce Gilmour and Marley
Since 1985, Bruce has had five golden retriever guide dogs from GDB; his current guide is Golden Marley. Bruce has a passion for healthy and active living that comes through recreation. In the winter, he enjoys downhill skiing and snow shoeing, and when snow melts, it is jogging, tandem cycling, water sports, and evening campfires at his family's lakeside cottage.
Bruce received a post-secondary education in community and regional planning. He currently works as a consultant in accessible tourism and inclusive design planning for transportation systems. Together with his wife Wendy, Bruce enjoys cheering on their daughter, Sarah, in competitive horseback riding.
Dorianne Pollack and Dime
Dorianne lives with her husband, guide dog Dime, and retired guide dog Yvette in Northern Arizona. She worked as a speech/language therapist in an urban Phoenix school district, where she conducted language assessments in both English and Spanish. Then, as a classroom teacher in 1989, earned the National First Year Teacher Award from Sallie Mae Corporation. In 1996, she was the principal of an elementary school in a rural town outside of Flagstaff, and then in two different alternative middle and high schools in Flagstaff. Since her career in public schools, Dorianne has subsequently worked for the Rehabilitation Services Administration supporting adults with disabilities through their education and into employment. She served on the school board in her community for nine years, eight of which she served as president. Currently, Dorianne works at Northern Arizona University in the Disability Resources Department where she supports and provides accommodations for students with disabilities. Creating a campus that is universally accessible to most, is a goal she shares with her colleagues.
Dorianne has attended Arizona State University, University of Arizona, and Northern Arizona University. She holds two master’s degrees with distinction; one in curriculum and instruction, and the other in rehabilitation counseling. She has also completed her doctoral coursework and comprehensive exams.
When she is not working to improve the lives of others and better her community, she spends time with her children and grandchildren, and laughing with friends. She likes to snowshoe in the winter, take long walks with friends in the spring, tandem bicycle in summer, and listen to the leaves crunch under her feet in the fall. Reading and writing for Dorianne is a year round adventure.
Marcia Wick and Viviane
Marcia Wick is trekking into retirement with Viviane, her first guide dog. Marcia and Viviane spend their time exploring new routes and traveling throughout the U.S., including Hawaii.
Marcia holds a BA in journalism from the University of Northern Colorado, and she enjoyed a long career in news reporting, corporate communications, public relations, and advertising. She also successfully owned and operated a desktop publishing business with clients in California and Colorado. Most recently, Marcia worked as an administrative assistant to the principals of a large public high school.
Marcia lives with her husband, Barry, in Colorado Springs. They enjoy skiing, swimming, tandem biking, hiking, and traveling. She has two daughters and a grandson. She volunteers with the Colorado Springs Community Transit Coalition and is active with VIBeS (the Visually Impaired and Blind Skiers of Colorado Springs), having served as a long term board member and past president. Getting back to her roots, she is now launching a freelance writing career.
Scott L. Wilcock and Senator
Scott has served as a change agent for the federal government in many different capacities over his more than 25 year career. His passion is improving work processes and eliminating or streamlining administrative burden. He has led many initiatives related to media, publications, correspondence, and communications.
Scott has served on several non-profit boards and in many volunteer positions including: One Step Ahead Federal Child Care (president); Arizona State University Curriculum Advisory (board member); Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Days Saints; Boy Scouts of America (unit commissioner); National Federation of the Blind (Weber-Davis Chapter treasurer); and Guide Dogs for the Blind (Utah Alumni Chapter president).
Scott holds a BS degree in Industrial Engineering Technology from Arizona State University and a Masters in Project Management from the George Washington University. He is currently working on a second Masters in Program Management. He is also a certified Project Manager (PMP) with the Project Management Institute (PMI).
Along with his wife, Heather, Scott lives in northern Utah with their five children, his guide dog Senator, their pet French bulldog, and three cats. Previously a native of the Phoenix, Ariz. metro area, they have also lived in Sacramento, Calif., Dallas, Texas, and Washington, DC. In his spare time, Scott loves spending quality time with his family, hiking/backpacking, biking, coin collecting, and cars.
Becky Andrews and Georgie
Becky enjoys life in Bountiful, Utah with her husband, Steve, and her third guide dog, Georgie. They have two adult children - Natalie and Kendall. Becky loves to run, tandem bike, garden, hike, travel, time with family and friends and enjoys long walks with her guide.
With a master's degree in psychology counseling, Becky is a marriage and family therapist. After several years as a therapist with different agencies, Becky started her own business, Resilient Solutions, Inc. and has 18 therapists who work in her company. As a fellow in thanatology her passion is working with clients who are experiencing trauma, grief, and loss.
Becky is also President of the nonprofit Oasis Center for Hope. She received the Wasatch Woman of the Year Award in 2011 and received the 2013 National Mother of Achievement in New York City.