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A Message to The Association’s New Board of Directors

December 13, 2022, Brad Shear

As the immediate Past Chair, Brad Shear welcomes and introduces the newly elected Board of Directors, as voted in during The Association’s annual business meeting, held last month at The Fall Conference. Here’s his special message to them.


Welcome, new Association board members. You are now a member of one of the most important and influential groups of leaders in our field.

I was surprised, delighted, and honored when I was asked to serve on the board of the Association (then SAWA) in 2015. My connection to our professional association had always been important to me, and I soon discovered that I would have the opportunity to impact our entire profession positively. The best part of my experience was getting to know the staff and other board members of The Association. I hope you all take the time to appreciate the intelligent, dedicated, and influential group you have just become a part of. Together you can lift our field and nurture our future leaders.


Bottom row: Matthew Pepper, Michigan Humane; Jim Tedford, CAWA, The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement; Dr. Apryl Steele, CAWA, Dumb Friends League. Middle row: Raissa Allaire, Tree House Humane Society; Rachel D.K. Finney, CAWA, Columbus Humane; Dr. Roberta Westbrook, Houston SPCA; Shelly Moore, CAWA, Humane Society of Charlotte. Top row: Dr. Steven Hansen, CAWA, Arizona Humane Society; Tracy Elliott, The Anti-Cruelty Society; Martha Boden, PMP, CAWA, SPCA Tampa Bay; Anna Payton, Aurora Animal Care & Control; Ed Jamison, Operation Kindness. Not pictured: Shafonda Allen, CAWA, APS of Durham; and Andrew Platou, CPA, Humane Rescue Alliance.

Leave a comment and share your well wishes for the newly elected Board of Directors.

About Brad Shear
Brad Shear, CAWA, is the Executive Director of the Potter League for Animals. He serves as the chairman of the board of The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement, also chairing the Best Practices and Emerging Trends Committee, and represents The Association on the board of the National Animal Rescue and Sheltering Coalition. A founder of the New York State Animal Protection Federation, Brad is the President of the Federation’s education foundation.
  1. Congratulations to the new board of directors from Nancy Peterson, former community cats program manager for The HSUS. I retired in 2015 and volunteer as a board member and senior writer/editor for the National Kitten Coalition (NKC). If you’re not familiar with NKC and it many free resources, webinars and more, please visit If I can be helpful, please contact me at Keep up the good work and happy holidays!

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