Canine Companions for Independence Names Paige Mazzoni New CEO

Canine Companions for Independence, a Santa Rosa-based nonprofit that matches people with disabilities with trained assistance dogs, named Paige Mazzoni its new CEO.

She succeeds Paul Mundell, who resigned in November after three years as CEO and 28 years with the organization. Kay Marquet, former CEO of Community Foundation Sonoma County, was interim CEO.

Mazzoni’s more than 25 years of professional experience is concentrated in corporate strategy and management, strategic initiative development and marketing implementation, according to the organization’s announcement Tuesday. That includes directing product and company positioning at several high-tech companies. Most recently, she was chief marketing officer at Windsor-based VIP Petcare.

She is said to have served on the executive committee of several nonprofit fundraising boards, including the Buck Cardinal Board at Stanford University, her alma mater.

“I am eager to further the exceptional work of serving people with disabilities and work together to bring the organization to even greater heights,” Mazzoni said in the announcement.

Canine Companions said it has matched assistance dogs with nearly 6,000 veterans, children and adults with disabilities and claims to be the first nonprofit assistance-dog organization to help people with physical disabilities.

Dogs the organization trains understand over 40 commands related to helping clients live independently. Each dog, along with a lifetime of ongoing follow-up support, is provided free of charge to recipients.

“The Canine Companions national board of directors was impressed with Paige’s extensive experience in the for-profit and nonprofit sectors, including the animal care field,” says John Miller, national board chairman for Canine Companions. “We are confident that Paige will continue to position Canine Companions as the leader in the assistance dog industry.”

Canine Companions employs over 225 and has more than 3,000 volunteers and partners at six regional training centers across the country, in Northern California, Southern California, New York, Ohio, Florida and Texas.

Bonnie Bergin created the organization in Santa Rosa in 1975. She left the group in 1991 and is now founder-president of Bergin University of Canine Studies and The Assistance Dog Institute in Rohnert Park.