Valerie Foss-Brugger

Executive Director

Valerie literally grew up with the Hearing Dog program. As a child Valerie helped her mother, IHDI co-founder Martha Foss, train dogs. She officially joined the IHDI team in 1988 as director of training after graduating from Front Range Community College. Since becoming executive director, Valerie has traveled internationally to aid in the start of similar programs. In 2007 she was named “Woman of the Year” by St. Mary’s Episcopal Church for her work with IHDI.

Andrea Paul

Director of Training and Placements

Andy joined IHDI in 1997 as a certified veterinarian technician. Prior to IHDI, Andy received her Associates Degree from Denver’s Bel-Rea Institute of Animal Technology. She is responsible for dog selection and dog training on sound response, general obedience, socialization, as well as a variety of custom training options. Andy happily parents three dogs and two cats. Today, Andrea handles our placements and coorespondents with recipients.

Robert Cooley

Development Director

Bob has more than a decade of experience working with veterinary clinics across Colorado. He joined IHDI in 1999, and is one of IHDI’s primary spokespersons. He travels regularly with “Cami,” his demonstration dog, to conventions across the country.

Karissa Misik

Head Trainer

Karissa joined IHDI in early 2016, bringing over six years experience of private dog training to the program. She is skilled working with numerous breeds and temperments of dogs. In her work, Karissa demonstrates her passion for improving the quality of life for both the deaf and hard-of-hearing as well as giving our rescue dogs a new purpose. In addition to the many dogs she cares for at IHDI, she has two Border Collies and a Great Dane.

CC Trammell


IHDI welcomed CC to the training staff in November 2016. Previously she lived in Key West training dolphins and the occassional sea lion. Her love for animals extends to our four-legged companions with her dog, Bandit, a Manchester Terrier. When she's not prepping our dogs for their Hearing Careers, she enjoys long walks on the beach and anything outdoorsy.

Charlie + Aspen

Aspen Matthews

Office Manager

Aspen joined IHDI in 2017 to help with fundraising and office management. She grew up with dogs and is now excited to help working dogs find their own forever homes. Aspen graduated from the University of Denver and her background is in nonprofit and program management. She is proud to be a Delta Zeta and get to work every day supporting speech and hearing, DZ’s national philanthropy.

Amanda Hill

Kennel Technician

Amanda is an outgoing person who loves animals! She is mom to two pets - a dog, Bella and a cat, Cujo. In her free time she loves to hike, ski and play with her dog.  She also likes to hang out with her niece, Sage. She studied at Eastern New Mexico University Roswell where she obtained a certificate in animal care. 

Larry Norby


Larry joined IHDI in 2009 to manage the accounting and financial needs. He is the proud owner of “Asia,” a Hearing Dog he received through IHDI, introducing him to the program he now works for. Larry and Asia enjoy exploring the National Parks across the United States. They are both avid hikers.

Terry Lilak

Grant Writer

Terry joined IHDI in 1992. Since that time she has served as an administrative assistant, newsletter editor, Board secretary, and now IHDI’s chief grant writer. Terry is a graduate from Metropolitan State College of Denver with a degree in Communications.