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Member Spotlight: Get to Know Pete Santana

October 9, 2023, The Association

What leadership lessons can we learn from… a stone!? Read our Q&A with Lee County Domestic Animal Services’ Field Operations Supervisor and find out.

Name & Title: Pete Santana, Field Operations Supervisor, Lee County Domestic Animal Services 
Member of The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement since:  July 2023

The Association: Describe yourself in three words. 
Pete Santana: Resilient, Compassionate, Leader

The Association: What do you think is the most important part of your job? 
Pete Santana: Team building.

The Association: Tell us one small victory you has this week, personally or professionally.
Pete Santana: Professionally, my team is now only one position away from being fully staffed. Personally, I have initiated my studying for the CAPM [Certified Associate in Project Management] exam.

The Association: What’s one thing – either industry-related or not – you learned in the last month?
Pete Santana: I learn something new almost daily, whether it be processes to ease workload or strategies to better team development.

The Association: What’s the last book you read? 
Pete Santana: Fundamentals of Project Management, Sixth Edition.

The Association: Please share a hidden (or not-so-hidden) talent. 
Pete Santana: The ability to negotiate.

The Association: What keeps you healthy and resilient?   
Pete Santana: Self-improvement and consistency. I read to expand my knowledge on various topics, and exercise to improve mobility and ensure physical function.

The Association: If you could choose anyone as a mentor, who would you choose and why?
Pete Santana: The Executive Director, Florida Division of Emergency Management. This position is clearly susceptible to being in a constant high-stress environment. I feel that this continued exposure to such an environment develops extremely strong character.  

The Association: What do you think is the biggest issue facing professionals in our industry right now?
Pete Santana: Complacency. Some agencies generally refrain from trying new things and taking different approaches to attain more positive results. Sometimes we get clouded with the norm and avoid change.

The Association: Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give to who you were ten years ago?
Pete Santana: First, everything takes time, find mentors, and listen.

Second, Be a sponge and a stone. My definition of being a stone is the ability to be strong and bounce back from difficult times and stressful situations. In the animal welfare profession, we are at times faced with situations that are unimaginable. Finding ways to develop a positive mindset and sense of purpose will result in less anxiety and stress.

Learn More

Connect with Pete Santana on LinkedIn
How I Got Here: Sara Pizano, DVM, MA
Meet a CAWA: Jeana Roth
From Where I Sit: Rich Anderson

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.