Board of Directors

Samuel Cheris

Chairman of the Board

Sam first learned about IHDI when he was a young attorney, working for the law firm that helped IHDI incorporate as a nonprofit. Sam has served on the board ever since, becoming Chairman in 2008. Sam’s professional resume boasts 28 years at the same law firm, where he was Chief Financial Officer before leaving. Since then he has served as General Council for an internet data company and geophysical company.

Matt Bailey


Matt is a Senior Consultant with RSM McGladrey in Denver. He received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at Widener University in Chester, Pennsylvania. He joined our Board of Directors in 2010. Matt lives in Denver with his wife, young children, and two dogs.

Sharon Beckfield

Board Member

Sharon, a retired nurse, has served on IHDI’s board since it was first incorporated. She has been married for 52 years and has four children, five grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.

Dr. Margaret Montana

Board Member

Dr. Montana joined the board in 2003 after searching for an organization that saves the lives of shelter dogs. Since joining, she has been a “Silent Sponsor” of over 17 dogs. She is the proud owner of “Saxon” the German Shepherd and “Maddie” the Bull Mastiff.

Jessica Stauffer

Board Member

Jessica is a graduate of Michigan State University and a leader in organizational and community development. A former foster parent of dogs and passionate about helping those in need, she immediately fell in love with the mission, people, and dogs behind the International Hearing Dog, Inc., joining the board in January of 2016. Jessica enjoys running, fitness, furry friends, craft brews, and challenging her creative side through clothing design, painting, or getting in over her head with DIY projects.

Adam Baker

Board Member

Adam received his BA from Middlebury College and his MBA from Washington State University. He held executive positions with Nike, Under Armour, Crocs and eBags before starting his own dog toy company, SodaPup, which makes natural rubber dog toys in the USA. Adam has been married for 30 years and has two boys, two cats, and two shelter dogs. He’s thrilled to be joining the board because its' mission helps both people and shelter animals.

Martha Foss

Directus Emeritus

Martha is one of the co-founders of International Hearing Dog, Inc. Martha was involved in the four-year pilot study that started in 1979 that gave birth to IHDI and she has served as hearing dog trainer, placement trainer, Director of Training and Executive Director.  She has received several awards including the Humanitarian award from the Colorado Lions Foundation for extraordinary devotion and integrity in building IHDI., Who’s Who of Cambridge, for recognition of her work, the prestigious award for Excellence in Communication from the Center of Hearing, Speech, and Language in Denver, the Denver Business Journal gave her the Family Business Award for community service for her achievement as a Business Women.  Front Range Charter, Chapter of America Business Women’s Association also awarded her a certificate in appreciation of her accomplishments, and the Delta Society honored her with the Distinguished Service Award. Martha helped with establishing hearing dog programs in Australia, Japan, and Norway. Martha retired from Executive Director in 2005, handing the program over to her daughter, Valerie Foss-Brugger.  Martha continues to stay involved with the program and consulting with the staff. 

Emlynn Wood

Directus Emeritus

J. Emlynn Wood, one of the co-founders of International Hearing Dog, retired in 2005.  Emlynn joined Agnes McGrath, Martha Foss and Sandi Sterker in 1975 to form IHDI.  Emlynn was a registered nurse and dog lover who took on the role of kennel manager and financial officer of IHDI.  Emlynn was senior vice president and treasurer of IHDI’s board of directors and continues to support IHDI’s efforts. Emlynn currently has one of IHDI’s Hearing Dogs named Hunter, whom helps alert her and her husband to sounds both inside and outside of the home.  Hunter was rescued from one of the Denver area animal shelters after the storm hurricane Katrina hit in New Orleans and several dogs were transported to shelters in Colorado.

June Lockhart

National Spokesperson