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For First Time, Seeing Eye Graduate Will Serve as Its President

CareerConnect Mentor, James A. Kutsch, Jr. named as new President of the prestigious dog guide school, The Seeing Eye.

The Seeing Eye has announced the appointment of one of its own graduates, Dr. James A. Kutsch, Jr., to be its next President. He will succeed Kenneth Rosenthal, President since 1995, who has served through a period of growth and innovation.

The decision to appoint Dr. Kutsch was made by the Board of Trustees on Wednesday, June 21. The appointment comes following a six-month process of identifying and interviewing prospective candidates with the assistance of Isaacson-Miller, an executive search firm. Dr. Kutsch's leadership, mentorship abilities, and history of service to non-profits advanced him into position as a top candidate. But Dr. Kutsch's 10-year service on The Seeing Eye's Board of Trustees and his experience with six Seeing Eye dogs of his own bring him a perspective of the organization that other candidates could not possess.

Dr. Kutsch has served as vice president of strategic technology for Convergys Corporation since 2003. He was vice president of technology there beginning in 1996. Before joining Convergys, he held a number of positions with AT&T Universal Card Services and AT&T Bell Laboratories. He holds a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Illinois. His doctoral dissertation was to design and implement a talking computer terminal for blind programmers, leading to the development of one of the first computer screen reading programs. He also was on the faculty of West Virginia University, where he previously earned a B.A. in psychology and M.S. in computer science.

He is married to Ginger Bennett Kutsch, a Seeing Eye graduate. They live in Morristown, N.J.

Kenneth Rosenthal joined The Seeing Eye in September 1995, and in 11 years has made a significant impact in the field of blindness, both nationally and internationally. He served four years as the first American to chair the International Guide Dog Federation and has championed access rights for dog guide users throughout the world. Mr. Rosenthal encouraged collaboration with other dog guide schools to further research in training techniques as well as canine behavior and health.

During Mr. Rosenthal's tenure, The Seeing Eye reduced the student-to-faculty ratio and increased the training time of dogs. He engaged the school's first full-time geneticist, and during his tenure, the organization's net assets increased by 70 percent. This summer, Mr. Rosenthal will receive the Ambrose M. Shotwell Award from the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER). AER presents this award to a person who has "exerted influence on a national or international scale." Past Shotwell Award recipients have included such leaders in the blindness field as Bill Gallagher, Warren Bledsoe, and Helen Keller.

Dr. Kutsch will step into the position of President on September 5, 2006.

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