Bennie Muliere is a Vietnam-era Veteran and Executive Director of Service Dogs Of New Mexico. With her own service-related disabilities, she started looking for a solution to help other veterans. She has an acute awareness of the following facts: 1) Our Veterans with PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injuries, depression and other disorders, is growing at an alarming rate. 2) Over 20 veterans a day are lost to suicide. 3) The euthanasia rate in animal shelters is growing exponentially. Given these realities, Bennie knows that Service Dogs Of New Mexico plays a valuable role by serving people and dogs. These dogs are evaluated for suitability before being placed and dogs that do not pass this test will be adopted by loving families. Veterans can train with their own dog or Service Dogs Of New Mexico helps find the right dog.
With extravagant cost and long waiting periods, SDNM, under Bennie's guidance, has also developed a program to provide Emotional Support Animals and service dogs for children, and qualified non-veterans with disabilities. She is also building a program to serve many rural areas of New Mexico where services of this type are much needed.
Bennie worked in corporate America for IBM for ten years. She's also a rodeo cowgirl and horse trainer with 30 years experience... an entrepreneur, professional model, soldier, holistic health-care provider, wanderer and animal advocate.
Bennie is certified as a Fair Housing Consultant in New Mexico and partners with a national organization to help those with service dogs in areas of housing and work discrimination. She has been very successful in mediation regarding housing, public access and dog-breed related issues.
Gary, Veteran and Renaissance man, is considered the "nuts and bolts" of the SDNM program. His many years in sales, marketing, customer service and transportation bring vast expertise to his integral role of planning, events, computer work and everything in between. As a member of the team, he is the builder, project manager, researcher, photographer, accountant, driver, animal transporter/caretaker, grounds-keeper, and so much more. Most importantly, he is beloved by all dogs matriculating through the SDNM program.
A native of Chicago, Gary left a successful career in sales to move to New Mexico and pursue his dream of working in the field of natural medicine to enhance the health of people, the environment and the earth. His passion for Service Dogs Of New Mexico coupled with his love of dogs, makes him an integral driving force. Gary's and his Service Dog Titan, serve as a wonderful advocate team for Service Dogs and for Pit bulls.
As Head Softball Coach for the University of New Mexico, Erica Beach has been deeply involved in the community during the past eight years. Since her departure from UNM last year, she was looking for and found a great non-profit organization with which to align herself.
Erica has been in New Mexico since 2010 and Service Dogs of New Mexico has truly touched her heart. In her words, "This group is truly amazing! They have gone above and beyond to serve this community, usually paying so much money out of their own pockets. I feel it's time to stand up for them and help Service Dogs of New Mexico to make an even bigger impact than they already have."
Ryland, a native New Yorker, joined the U.S. Navy at 18, where he served as a Nuclear Reactor Operator and Calibration Technician for eight years. He moved to New Mexico in 1997 to work in an electrical engineering position at Sandia National Laboratories (SNL). While working at SNL, he attended UNM to obtain his Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering and has worked at Sandia for 15 years.
He married his wife Melanie, shortly after joining the military. They have two biological children and became foster parents in 2013 for a sibling group of three young children. Ryland and Melanie are in the process of adopting them and have also fostered three other children in the past.
Becoming a foster parent opened Ryland's eyes to the number of children and adults in need of support and assistance. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors for Service Dogs of New Mexico, he is a mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters of New Mexico.
Born and raised in Albuquerque, Dana obtained an MBA in Human Resource Management and has worked at Sandia National Laboratories for over thirty years.
Passionate about helping people, with a great love for animals, she has worked in service organizations her entire career. She has a registered, certified and insured Therapy Dog and is a K-9 Ambassador at the Albuquerque Sunport. In her spare time, Dana enjoys spending time with family and friends, camping, and horseback riding.
Yvette M. Davis, VMD, MPH, began her professional career as a veterinarian practicing small animal medicine and surgery in Pennsylvania. Eight years later she transitioned to a career in public health as a medical epidemiologist working in several federal government agencies including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Dr. Davis received a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University, a Veterinary Medical Doctor degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Master of Public Health degree in Epidemiology from Johns Hopkins University.
Recently retired from service as a commissioned officer with the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS), Dr. Davis is dedicated to efforts that promote and facilitate the human-animal bond, and the expansion of knowledge regarding the mutually beneficial and dynamic relationship between people and animals that positively influences the health and well-being of both.