Service dog trainees win over CU staffers

PenFed Credit Union’s canine social media star supports veterans and military families.

Meet Maverick, a yellow Labrador retriever with an impressive resume: He’s a member of the PenFed Credit Union team, social media star and assistance dog in training for a mission to transform the life of a person with disabilities.

Maverick is being raised by Andrea McCarren, VP/digital and chief content officer, and accompanies her daily to work and in her travels, even on the runway to gala fundraisers for the Canine Companions for Independence and other organizations that support veterans, military members and their families, causes supported by the $25 billion Tysons, Virginia, credit union.

He is one of three future assistance dogs that are a regular and welcome presence at PenFed offices. Admiral is being raised by Senior EVP Lisa Jennings, and Clint travels with Emma Phillips, university relations and campus recruitment lead, when she goes on college visits to recruit future employees. Thus far, PenFed CU has spent $100,000 in support of Canine Companions and the care of the three dogs as they learn basic commands and socialization skills over 18 months with their current humans before moving on for more intensive training and eventual placement.

During his time with McCarren, Maverick also has a gig as the first “social media influencer” for Chewy, the online pet supply company, and will earn a commission for every referral of new customers through his posts. “He’s donating all of it to the PenFed Foundation, which supports military families in need and Canine Companions,” she says.


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