PenFed President and CEO James Schenck to be Honored by Canine Companions for Independence for Commitment to Serving Veterans

Posted May 30 2019
by Media Relations
James Honored at Annual Hearts & Heroes Gala

TYSONS, VA, May 30, 2019 – Canine Companions for Independence, the nation’s first and largest assistance dog organization, will honor James Schenck, PenFed Credit Union President and CEO and PenFed Foundation CEO at its 16th Annual Hearts & Heroes Gala on June 13 in New York City. PenFed is the nation’s second-largest federal credit union, and as part of its continued partnership with Canine Companions for Independence, PenFed employees are raising three assistance dogs in-training in Tysons, VA and will begin raising another dog in Omaha, NE this summer.

The award will be presented to Schenck by Canine Companions for Independence Northeast Region Executive Director Debra Dougherty, who says Schenck and PenFed were selected because of their compassion for people with disabilities, including our nation’s heroes who have served our country.

“We are honored to present James with the Hearts & Heroes Award and show our gratitude for his vision in establishing a corporate volunteer program with Canine Companions for Independence and in funding the expansion of the Canine Companions for Independence Veterans Initiative to include Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) assistance dogs for veterans in the Northeast region,” said Dougherty.

Schenck toured the Canine Companions national offices in Santa Rosa, CA and met the first class of assistance dogs from the organization’s new PTSD program in September 2018. The amazing training and inspiring outcomes left a lasting impression on Schenck. Shortly afterwards, PenFed announced a $50,000 commitment as one of the first supporters committed to expanding the program nation-wide.

“As a credit union focused on serving the national defense community, PenFed is proud to champion causes that support our core field of membership: the men and women who serve our country and protect our freedoms,” said Schenck. “PenFed is especially proud to work with Canine Companions to support veterans and those with disabilities. Our assistance dogs in-training are part of a mission to help open doors for people with disabilities to become more independent. They also provide unconditional love, companionship, and loyalty.”

Schenck has seen assistance dogs raise morale in the workplace as well as the veteran community. “Raising assistance dogs is uplifting to everyone in the workplace, and will positively change veterans’ lives for the better,” said Schenck. “The credit union philosophy of ‘People Helping People’ is alive and well with the full support of PenFed’s volunteers. Our efforts will hopefully inspire others to help as well.”

In total PenFed has donated over $100,000 to Canine Companions and is covering all costs associated with raising the PenFed assistance dogs in-training.

Dougherty added, “Canine Companions is extremely grateful to PenFed for its support in raising these dogs to make a difference in the lives of people with disabilities. We are excited to continue this partnership with a mission-driven organization like PenFed and its dedicated employees.”

The event will bring together over 175 Canine Companions supporters on Thursday evening, June 13 from 6:30-10:00 p.m. at Apella, 450 East 29th Street, New York, NY 10016. Apella is the foremost event space in New York City boasting panoramic views of the East River and food by the world-renown James Beard Award-winning Chef Tom Colicchio’s restaurant Riverpark, specializing in modern American cuisine.

The evening will include a cocktail reception with a silent auction and a sit-down dinner. Andrea McCarren, Vice President and Chief Content Officer of PenFed Digital, will serve as the Master of Ceremonies. McCarren will bring her second assistance dog in-training, Maverick.

Dana Perino of Fox News Channel’s The Daily Briefing is the Honorary Chair of the event. Follow the event via PenFed and Canine Companions Facebook pages.

For more information and to reserve tickets, visit:

About Canine Companions for Independence®

Canine Companions for Independence® provides expertly trained assistance dogs to children, adults and veterans with disabilities. Established in 1975 in California, Canine Companions is the largest non-profit provider of assistance dogs in the United States. Canine Companions is recognized worldwide for the excellence of its dogs, and the quality and longevity of the matches it makes between people and dogs. There is no charge for the dog, its training and on-going follow-up services. For more information, visit or call 1-800-572-BARK.

About PenFed Credit Union

Established in 1935, Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed) is America’s second-largest federal credit union, serving 1.7 million members worldwide with $25 billion in assets. PenFed Credit Union offers market-leading certificates, checking, credit cards, personal loans, mortgages, auto loans, student loans, and a wide range of other financial services with members’ interests always in mind. PenFed Credit Union is federally insured by NCUA and is an Equal Housing Lender. To learn more about PenFed Credit Union, visit, like us on Facebook and follow us @PenFed on Twitter. Interested in working for PenFed? Check us out on LinkedIn. We are proud to be an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer.

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