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Member Spotlight: Get to Know Judith Dumont, SHRM-CP

May 13, 2024, The Association

Get inspired. Get very inspired. You’re about to read an interview with Team Purple’s VP of People + Culture

Name & Title: Judith Dumont, VP, People + Culture, SPCA of Texas

Member of The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement since: October 2021 

The Association: Describe yourself in three words.
Judith Dumont: Loyal. Intuitive. Annoying.

The Association: Describe SPCA of Texas in three words.
Judith Dumont: Passionate. Committed. Caring.

The Association: What’s one small victory you had this week – personally or professionally?
Judith Dumont: One small victory I had this week was helping one of the members of our team who experienced a sudden loss in the family. I organized a small in-house fundraiser to help them make it through such a difficult time with food, resources, and routine tasks. Our team is very protective of one another — we show up for one another in good times and hard times. Team Purple runs deep!

The Association: Favorite one-sentence leadership tip?
Judith Dumont: Never look outside of yourself to find the leader.

The Association: What keeps you healthy & resilient?
Judith Dumont: I ask myself a lot of questions every day: How much am I sleeping? Did I connect with my son in a meaningful way today? Did I do my best on that project or that presentation? How can I show up more prepared? Did I have quiet time? Did I move my body? Did I laugh? What can I say no to or delegate so that my yes is 100%? Did I cuddle my dogs for a ridiculous amount of time?

Being healthy and resilient, for me, is all about honoring myself while balancing all my responsibilities as a mother, a partner, a sister, a friend, and a co-worker. The older I get, the more protective I am about the energy I give and the energy I receive. Laughter is also essential. I think humor is vital in facing the daily conundrums of existence.

The Association: We’re looking forward to your panel at The Solutions Summit, “Meet the Next Generation—and Keep Them.” Can you give us a sneak peek and share what makes you, as a new leader, feel inspired and supported?
Judith Dumont: For me to feel inspired and supported, I need to feel trusted and respected. This is when I produce my best work. Nothing brings me more creative flow than someone saying, “I believe in you – go knock it out of the park.” Don’t get me wrong, I love feedback and being coached, but to have permission to work authentically and be my true self brings out my best work.

Feeling inspired is easy when you work at the SPCA of Texas – I get drops of inspiration every time I walk the halls of our facilities and see the beautiful work being done by Team Purple. Whether it’s meeting a new fur baby who was rescued from a cruelty investigation or watching a family find the perfect match or seeing our medical team relieve pain and set our animals up to thrive emotionally, physically and in a safe environment, my heart smiles every day working here.

What also inspires me is the people – working in the People + Culture space means we facilitate care and support for the workforce. Watching people live their purpose and perform with such talent makes me want to work harder and more compassionately for them. I get inspired when I see a member of the organization grow, get promoted, learn something new, and perform with confidence while doing something they once felt unprepared or unskilled for — this is what gives me oxygen. 

The Association: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received in your role as a leader?
Judith Dumont:  My ace card would have to be from Maya Angelou: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will always remember how you made them feel.”

When we trust and feel safe within the culture and among the people who co-create it, the grittiness of true mission work happens. It’s important to acknowledge that interpersonal challenges are a part of the process. Healthy teams disagree, analyze, negotiate, win, lose, and compromise. We won’t always agree or see eye-to-eye or ideate the same next best solution, but we can still sit at the strategic table and be inclusive, authentic, and kind, and eventually land at a place of agreement. It’s living the mantra of ‘I would rather get it right than be right.’       

The Association: What’s your best piece of advice for an upcoming young leader?
Judith Dumont: Kendrick Lamar was right – be humble. Don’t let your ego get in the way of growth. Admitting fault, an oversight, a mistake, a misstep, or an error in judgement is part of life. It’s a lesson wrapped in self/situational awareness if you pay attention. Humility means being open to feedback, expressing what you learned, and inviting ideas on how you can do it better next time. No one is perfect, not even leaders. Like athletes, we must stay in shape. We must stretch and practice; we must be coachable; we must stay curious and be patient; we must maintain a growth mindset.

The Association: One final question. You can invite 5 people from all of history to dinner.  Who’s at the table, and what are you eating?
Judith Dumont: The menu:

  • Arugula, Peach, Goat Cheese, and Pecan Salad, tossed in olive oil and lemon juice
  • Tenderloin Filet with Mashed Potatoes and Roasted Broccolini
  • Chocolate Brûlée with Raspberries and Lemon Zest
  • Sweet Tea, a Pitcher of Water, 1 Bottle of Old Vine Zinfandel and 1 Bottle of Agave Tequila

And the guest list:

Michelle Obama – She is a powerhouse. She is a good mother and an upstanding human being who is so genuinely herself. She used her platform with grace and warmth and realness.

Lucille Ball – She cracked glass for all of us while making us laugh and reconsidering the feminine model of perfection and poise.

Frida Kahlo – She redefined gender norms and expectations through her life and art, and she was tough as nails.

Ryder Fernandez – He’s my son. He always has a reserved space at my table. He’s almost 13 and likes to fish and play baseball. His siblings are our two dogs, Tux and Piggy. He could learn a lot from the women around this table.

Billy Lee Dumont – He’s my dad. He passed away in 2017, and I would cherish any other singular moment, let alone dinner, with him. I still deem him the funniest person I know. He could also listen to these women and learn a lot.

Connect with Judith on LinkedIn

About The Association
The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement is a cohort of leaders on a mission to champion, advance, and unify the animal welfare profession.

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