I am honored and excited to be the incoming President for the New England Federation of Humane Societies (NEFHS). Before I get too far ahead of myself, I feel I should address the elephant in the room. Yes, I work and reside in New York. Yes, I realize that is not part of New England, and in fact many New Englander’s may harbor some negative feelings towards New York (I’m looking at you fellow Red Sox fans!). My long story short: I’m a Vermonter by birth, Massachusetts has my heart, Maine provides some much needed reprieve, New Hampshire and Rhode Island contain many of the people I know and love, and Connecticut, well the few people I know from there I like very much. All kidding aside, I am 98% a New Englander, and have worked for many animal welfare organizations throughout the region before landing in New York. The region, and the NEFHS in particular mean a great deal to me, and I hope to represent you all well in my time as President, however long or short that may be.
For 75 years, the NEFHS has provided valuable learning and networking opportunities for animal welfare professionals in our region. Our annual conference in April was meant to celebrate our 75th anniversary as well as the achievements our region has made in that time and to inspire each other while considering the opportunities our future holds. Of course, that all changed with the pandemic crisis which quickly unfolded in our communities. All of us, as individuals and organizations, have had our ups and downs during this unprecedented time. I am proud of our region (and beyond) for the ingenuity and resilience that has been exhibited in the development of new, progressive programming to meet the needs of the pets in our communities.
Like many of you, the NEFHS is using this time to reflect on our mission and how best we can meet the needs of our community. In addition to preparing for our outreach learning opportunities and the annual conference (see you in 2021, Connecticut!), our board will be undergoing strategic planning. We will be reaching out to all of you during that time to learn more about your needs and how we can better serve you.
In the meantime, know that the New England Federation of Humane Societies is here for you and quietly planning big things for the coming year. I look forward to connecting with you all soon.
New England Federation of Humane Societies