- 501(c)(3) non-profit organization
- Chartered in the State of Tennessee
- All volunteer organization
Board of Directors/Founding Friends
Chairman/Spokesperson - Mike Kitchens --- resides in Tellico Village, Loudon, TN. Masters Degree from Western Kentucky University, continuing education degree from Texas A & M School of Business. Has served on numerous boards, including Texas State Industrial Accident Board, Corpus Christi Drug Abuse Council. Is a Vietnam Era Veteran, having served in the US Army. Retired from DuPont Company after having held Senior Management positions in Sales, Marketing, and Human Resources.
Vice Chair - Larry Denney --- Larry Denney, is a United States Marine Veteran who served his country as an A-4 aviator who flew many combat missions in Viet Nam. Larry is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University and the United States Military War College. After his military duty, he flew commercially for American Airlines and also served as an examiner for the FAA.
Board Secretary - Pat Chappell --- Pat Chappell, received her Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Illinois in Business Education and also holds an MBA Degree from Drake University. Pat retired from the John Deere Company where she held several senior management positions.
Treasurer - Steve Rieth --- received his B.S. in Accounting from Valparaiso University and his MBA from Xavier University. Prior to his retirement, Steve served as Chief Financial Officer of the Schoenling Brewing Company in Cincinnati, Ohio where he was directly responsible for all aspects of accounting, finance, information systems, human resources, and customer service. Steve also served on the Board of Directors and as Corporate Secretary. Steve currently lives in Loudon, TN. with his wife Diana.
Board Member at Large/Chairman Emeritus - Suzy Kitchens --- originally from Maryville, TN. and currently resides in Tellico Village, Loudon, TN. Registered nurse (surgical nurse, Mgr. of Occupational Nursing Program, Blount Memorial Hospital). Retired from radio advertising sales after 20 years. Former Board Member of Appalachian Bear Rescue Center and President of the Tuckaleechee Wildlife Center. Has fostered several service dogs.
Board Member at Large - Debra Sciarretta --- Debra retired from AT&T as a Regional Asset Manager in Telecommunications. Resides in Tellico Village, Loudon, TN. with her husband Richard and Barley, a two year old Goldendoodle. Debra and Richard have served as fosters for several service dogs.
Board Member at Large - Carla Werner --- M.A. Degree in Education University of Tennessee, retired from Maryville, TN. School System where she coordinated the Talented and Gifted Program while also serving as the Technology Coordinator. In addition, Carla worked with the University of Tennessee Admission Board for interns and was an adjunct professor for UT's 5th year interns. Carla was honored as the Elementary Teacher of the Year for East Tennessee and also the State of Tennessee. A member of the first Knoxville Leadership Education class, Carla serves on the SMSD Client Applications Committee.
Board Member at Large - Laurie Birt --- brings an extensive skill set to the Board. As leader of the SMSD Community Events Team, and as one who handles our wonderful canines, Laurie has worked diligently to promote SMSD in many ways. Laurie will focus on Community Events, Education, Public Relations, Special Events and provide input on issues of strategic importance in regards to the mission of SMSD. In addition, Laurie is handler for the SMSD Canine Ambassador, "Hooligan".
Board Member - Judy Handley --- currently resides in Loudon, TN. Judy received her Bachelor of Science Degree from San Jose State University and her Master's Degree from the University of San Francisco. Ms. Handley was a teacher and administrator in the California school system and California Colleges for many years.
Board Member - Bill Taylor--- resides in Tellico Village, Loudon, TN., is a graduate of the University of Illinois with a Bachelor of Science degree in architecture. Bill is very active in his community and currently serves as President of the Tellico Village Home Owners Association. Bill will play a critical role in the future facility planning and implementation.
Board Member - Romano Sims --- received his Master's Degree in European Studies/International Economics from Johns Hopkins University. Romano resides in Tellico Village, Loudon, TN. with his wife Linda and will serve Smoky Mountain Service Dogs as Corporate Marketing Liaison.
Legal Advisor - Rick Owens of Maryville, TN.
Selected as one of the Top Attorneys of North America by Who's Who
Specialty in disability law, including Veteran's Disability Benefits
Accredited attorney by Veterans Administration
Served in the Marine Corps and also as an officer in the Army
Member of Disabled American Veterans
SMSD has been awarded Gold Star Accreditation by Assistance Dogs International. This validates that the facilities and operation of the SMSD program meets or exceeds ADI standards.
A Salute to Air Force Veteran Billy Marshall and his SMSD "Lucy"
Smoky Mountain Service Dogs "Tribute to Our Military"
Each Smoky Mountain Service Dog puppy is hand selected by our trainers and the majority will come from reputable breeders. Appropriate shelter/rescue dogs may also be considered.