From the Seeing Eye Inc.:
Kutsch Retiring as President and CEO of The Seeing Eye
Guide dog school announces search to find successor
Morristown, N.J. – James A. Kutsch, who has served as President and CEO of The Seeing Eye since 2006, has announced he will retire in 2019.
“On Jan. 29, The Seeing Eye will celebrate the 90th anniversary of its founding,” Kutsch said.
“Anniversaries are a good time not only to look backward, but to look ahead, and this is an appropriate time for me to step down and have someone else lead The Seeing Eye to its 100th birthday and beyond.”
Thomas J. Duffy, chair of The Seeing Eye’s Board of Trustees, announced that a search committee consisting of Trustees has been appointed to lead the search to find a new president and CEO, with the help of Boston-based executive search firm Isaacson, Miller.
Kutsch will remain with the non-profit organization during the transition period.
“Jim has done an amazing job preparing The Seeing Eye for the future,” Duffy said.
“Under his leadership, we improved our already high standard of quality while streamlining our costs. We continue to be renowned among guide dog schools, not just in North America, but across the world.”
The date of Kutsch’s retirement will be announced once his successor is named, but is expected to be late summer 2019.
Kutsch, 68, is the first graduate of the school to lead the organization. His relationship with The Seeing Eye began in 1970, when as a student at West Virginia University he came to the Morristown-based school to be matched with his first Seeing Eye® dog, a German shepherd named Sheba.
He is now working with his eighth Seeing Eye dog, a German shepherd named Vegas. Before assuming the role of president and CEO, he served on the organization’s Board of Trustees for 10 years.
Prior to joining The Seeing Eye, Kutsch served as Vice President of Strategic Technology at Convergys Labs, where he was responsible for evaluating new and emerging technologies and incorporating them into company services.
Before joining Convergys, he was an executive at AT&T and Bell Labs; he began his career as a professor of Computer Science at West Virginia University. For his doctoral dissertation research, Kutsch did pioneering work in developing the first talking computer for blind computer users.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in computer science from West Virginia University, and a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Illinois. He lives in Morristown with his wife, Ginger, who also is a graduate of The Seeing Eye.
The Seeing Eye provides specially bred and trained dogs to guide people who are blind. Seeing Eye® dog users experience greatly enhanced mobility and independence, allowing them to retain their active lifestyles despite blindness.
The Seeing Eye is a philanthropy supported by contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations, bequests, and other planned gifts.
The Seeing Eye is a trademarked name and can only be used to describe the dogs bred and trained at the school’s facilities in Morristown, N.J.