About Us

  • 501(c)(3) non-profit organization
  • Chartered in the State of Tennessee
  • All volunteer organization
  • Financials

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 - 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.

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 - 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 - John Fearn --- John currently resides in Tellico Village, Loudon, TN with his wife Barbara. John brings an international flavor to SMSD as he received his Chemical Engineering Degree from the University of Bath in the United Kingdom. John brings a strong marketing background to SMSD and will be highly involved in the pursuit of sustaining business partners. John has served as a Board Member of the Food Industry Suppliers Asso., the International Association of Food Industry Suppliers, Board Chair of the Food Industry Suppliers Asso., and as a board member of the Sauk County Humane Society in Wisconsin.

Board Member at Large - Chris Sanders --- a retired US Air Force veteran. Major, Commander's Action Group, Commander of US Air Force Space Command, Colorado Springs, CO., Intercontinental Ballistic Maintenance Officer, directing Senior Staff, 150 Missile Silos and 10 Launch Control Centers under Strategic Air Command. Chris is a forward thinking leader with a long record of envisioning and executing innovative strategies including complex projects for the MARS Satellite Program. Chris also serves on the Board of Director of Folds of Honor/Tennessee. Resides in Tellico Village, Loudon, TN

Board Member - Carla Navas

Board Member - Tom Bradley