Next week marks my last day at HSBV after two decades of working here. I am brimming with emotions and memories and being present to everything HSBV has taught and given me over the years.
When I first started at HSBV in Philanthropy, I knew nothing about the complexity of animal welfare. I did know I had a strong connection to the mission, and I was excited to raise funds for an organization whose work struck a deep chord in my heart. Years later, when I was named CEO, I knew the board was taking a chance on me; I was a first-time CEO, and I had much to learn about how animal welfare would evolve. There were so many days of self-doubt and worry, and sleepless nights where I ruminated about a decision or conversation or considered the direction we might take.
Over time, I learned being a leader does not mean having all of the answers; rather it is about having meaningful conversations with those who challenge your perspectives and complement your strengths. I learned that admitting you need help and being vulnerable with your colleagues invites them to do the same, and together, you can be innovative, take the right risks, and seize opportunities to propel the mission forward. I experienced countless moments of inspiration, joy, and gratitude because of our team, our volunteers, and you, our community.
I am so proud of how our team meets people and animals where they are and comes from a place of kindness and trust. They give animals the space and time they need, the care and love they deserve, and create an environment where animals and people thrive and life-changing relationships blossom. This culture of kindness and respect has been my honor to witness and work within, and I will carry this forward into the company I am venturing out to build. The animals and people of HSBV have made me a better leader and a better person. These relationships are gifts that have rooted me in my own purpose.
Thank you for the opportunity to connect to each of you, for the insights and vision you have inspired, the conversations, and the laughter and tears we have shared. Thank you for believing in the work we all do together and for your loyal and generous support of the animals. This has been an amazing journey, and I can’t wait to see what you make possible in the decades to come.
With love and gratitude,