Getting Started in Florida

 In News & Events

by:  Lisa DeutschGuiding Eyes regional director Lisa Deutsch with black and tan Lab Gizmo

Guiding Eyes’ HR director Carolyn Kihm was shocked when I told her, nearly a year ago, that I was moving to Florida because my husband was retiring from almost four decades of grueling commutes and work in New York City.  I think she was surprised because she knew how much I truly care about Guiding Eyes and love the people we serve.  But I wanted to honor my husband’s dedication to our family and his sacrifices, and so we packed up and moved to Florida’s Gulf Coast.

I didn’t realize how much my identity is wrapped up in my Guiding Eyes association.  People have commented on the energy and passion in my voice when I talk about our school; this enthusiasm persists in my being day in and day out.

As I begin to acclimate to a new community and meet new people, I jump at the chance to tell them about Guiding Eyes.  Heaven help anyone who asks me what “I used to do;” I can’t help but telling them about the miracles that happen at Guiding Eyes and how wonderful our staff, graduates, and dogs are.  I feel myself smiling broadly and my heart
filling with pride.

I’ve been participating in community gatherings and volunteering at a few local charities.  I can tell you without hesitation that whatever the event or the organization – Guiding Eyes does it better. 

Lisa, John and Gizmo at their new home in Florida I’m happy to remain part of the Guiding Eyes team.  I’m still fundraising and making new friends for the school.  I’m still telling people about our incredible work, about our courageous graduates, and about the life-changing wonders of our Heeling Autism program.

Believe it or not – rounds of golf and days at the beach are no substitute for the fulfillment, sense of purpose, and pride I get from being part of the Guiding Eyes family.  Really.


Lisa Deutsch was Guiding Eyes’ vice president for marketing and development before starting her new life as regional director in Sarasota.  She lives with her husband, John, and their black and tan Labrador, Gizmo.  If you live in Florida and you’re interested in meeting Lisa, send her a note at