Kitsap Humane Society appoints Eric Stevens as executive director

SILVERDALE — Kitsap Humane Society’s Board of Directors announced Eric Stevens was appointed executive director, effective April 1. Stevens has served as the agency’s interim executive director since February 2012.

Initially the Board estimated that the interim position would last 9-12 months. However, it soon became apparent that more time was needed to stabilize and grow KHS and, eventually, that Stevens was the right person to do it.

“The key reasons Eric was hired last year for the temporary position were his vast knowledgeand experience in nonprofit management and his proven leadership abilities,” said Rosemary Shaw, KHS Board President. “But Eric’s tenure in 2012 turned out to be largely one of addressing crises, including a dire financial situation. In the midst of crisis management and in collaboration with a re-organized Board and newly-recruited management team, Eric helped to ‘right the ship’ and developed major plans to secure KHS’ future. The Board felt strongly that Eric stay on to help us see those plans through.”

In an impressively short period, Stevens brought KHS programs in alignment with budget capacity, and did so in ways that kept fundamental programs for saving lives and re-homing animals intact. “Eric has gained a working knowledge of animal welfare, and his decisions andactions have consistently aligned with the mission of KHS,” said Dr. Jennifer Stonequist, director of shelter medicine, “The staff is thrilled that he has agreed to stay on. He sincerely cares about the people here and the well-being of all animals entering our shelter.”

“Though I immediately was drawn to KHS’ animal welfare mission, it was never my intent to stay on permanently,” said Stevens. “But as circumstances revealed more challenges, we recognized that rebuilding long-term financial stability and growing philanthropic support to meet KHS needs were going to take several years, including the additional 10 percent in donations we need this year to fund our progressive services with a balanced budget. Also, we have formed a solid, trusting partnership between Board, management and staff – and given where we need to take KHS, everyone seemed to feel it was too early to break that partnership up.”

The Board recognizes that KHS would not be where it is without many people working together over the past year.

“In addition to Eric’s efforts, we see great performance, teamwork and leadership amongst others in management, the staff, our volunteers and foster homes, our community allies … and on the board itself,” said Shaw. “With everyone’s effort, including Eric’s leadership, our mission is being enhanced.”

Kitsap Humane Society is a non-profit charitable organization that has been caring for animals in need since 1908. KHS’ vision is that every adoptable companion animal has a home. The staff and volunteers work toward this goal seven days a week through the immediate care and sheltering of thousands of companion animals that are homeless, lost, ill and in need of an advocate.

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