Von Summers, senior manager of community affairs at NW Natural of Portland, Oregon, has joined the board of directors of Guide Dogs for the Blind, the largest guide dog school in the United States.
Summers is responsible for philanthropy, corporate citizenship and community engagement at NW Natural, the largest independent natural gas utility in the Pacific Northwest. He has worked for NW Natural for 20 years.
Prior to joining NW Natural, Summers was vice president of public relations at the Home Builders Association of Metro Portland and director of public relations for a Portland advertising agency.
Summers currently is vice president of the board of Grantmakers of Oregon and Southwest Washington. He has served on the boards of the Children’s Relief Nursery (preventing child abuse and neglect), Oregon Children’s Foundation’s SMART reading program and All Hands Raised (improving the academic and social well-being of children and youth in Multnomah County).
He graduated from Oregon State University with a bachelor’s degree in political science. Von and his wife Barbara live in Portland and have three children.
“Von knows the Pacific Northwest so well and will bring enormous insight as we expand our services to those in the region who are visually impaired. In addition, his relationships with companies, foundations and nonprofits will strengthen our partnerships in the public and private sectors,” said Christine Benninger, president and CEO of Guide Dogs for the Blind.
“I’m honored to be joining the board of Guide Dogs for the Blind,” said Summers. “I am moved by the freedom and independence the services of the organization provide to members of our communities who are visually impaired.”
Guide Dogs for the Blind is more than an industry-leading guide dog school; we are a passionate community that serves the visually impaired. With exceptional client services and a robust network of trainers, puppy raisers, donors, and volunteers, we prepare highly qualified guide dogs to serve and empower individuals who are blind or have low vision. All of our services are provided free of charge; we receive no government funding. GDB is headquartered in San Rafael, California, with a second campus in Boring, Oregon. More than 14,000 teams have graduated since our founding in 1942, and there are approximately 2,200 active teams in the field. For more information, please visit www.guidedogs.com