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Executive Director
Day Shift

Position Announcement – April 2019

Executive Director - Asheville Humane Society

Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville Humane Society (AHS) seeks an experienced Executive Director (ED) with a demonstrated commitment to organizational excellence to lead the organization and to add to its exceptional 35-year history as Western North Carolina’s leading animal welfare organization. The ideal candidate will be a passionate advocate for animals and their wellbeing.  AHS is going beyond a no-kill community to ensure that each animal has a quality of life they deserve – a life worth living.

The Organization

Founded in 1984, Asheville Humane Society today operates both its own state-of-the-art Adoption and Education Center and Buncombe County’s only open admission shelter where no animal can ever be turned away. AHS works with county and city government in a public-private partnership (contracting with the county to operate and staff the animal shelter facility) that serves as a national model for other communities who want to work collaboratively to eradicate animal homelessness. The organization’s nationally recognized innovative programs and partnerships are steadily moving Buncombe County beyond a no-kill community. Last fiscal year AHS adopted over 3,800 animals into loving homes and supported or saved the lives of 9,300 additional local animals through their innovative support programs.

In addition to their adoption services (which includes rescue, rehabilitation, and re-homing abandoned, abused, injured, and lost animals), AHS support programs include:

  • Community Solutions: This program provides a variety of safety net services such as low-cost spay/neuter, veterinary assistance, pet food assistance, behavioral support, rehoming, pet supplies, dog houses/fences, and other services to improve the lives of pets and keep them in their homes. These services are provided through targeted outreach, owner-surrender prevention, partnerships with animal control and a Pet Helpline.
  • Foster Care: More than 370 foster families took 1,400 animals who needed medical or behavioral care into their homes until they are ready for adoption.
  • Medical Rehabilitation: This program provides care and treatment for ill or injured animals and gives them a chance at adoption.
  • Lost and Found: Nearly 1,100 lost pets were reunited with their owners last year, achieving a very high return-to-owner rate.
  • Relocation: This program finds additional homes for adoptable pets by transporting/transferring them to breed-specific and local rescue groups as well as northern rescue partners. Nearly 500 animals were relocated last year.


AHS has been recognized as a leader in the animal welfare field.  The ASPCA Spay/Neuter Alliance, a nationally renowned spay/neuter clinic and training facility, is located in Asheville and is a key partner for AHS spay/neuter services for shelter animals and community pets. AHS has received national recognition for its innovative array of community programs, including a unique partnership with the local Housing Authority in Asheville.  We are a Petsmart Charities national pilot program.  In 2018, AHS received national certification by Points of Light as a Service Enterprise. A Service Enterprise is an organization that fundamentally leverages volunteers and their skills to successfully deliver on its organizational mission. AHS is one of only nine certified animal welfare organizations in the United States, including Best Friends Animal Society. AHS has been rated at Four Stars from Charity Navigator, a designation achieved by only 25% of charities nationwide, and received a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

AHS has a solid organizational structure. It has a strong network of local and regional partners, funders, and government agencies. It currently has a 14-member independent board, an experienced staff, and an annual budget of approximately $3.5 million. The current staff includes 48 full time and 15 part time employees, along with an army of dedicated volunteers (who donated 98,000 hours of service last year). The organizational culture can be described as professional yet down-to-earth, caring, and inclusive. In 2010, AHS completed a successful capital campaign and relocated into its permanent state of the art 11,000 sq. ft. adoption facility as well as the 24,000 sq. ft. animal shelter and medical facility.


The Region

Asheville’s prime location in the gorgeous Blue Ridge mountains of Western North Carolina and its quality of life make it highly attractive as a place where lifestyle complements professional opportunity. The area’s consistent and steady growth is the result of the collaborative vision of economic development, environmental stewardship, and strong community partnerships. Health services are known to be the best in the region, and Mission Hospital is ranked in the top tier of hospitals nationally.  In addition to being Western North Carolina’s business hub, the Asheville area is world-renowned as a bustling tourist destination and offers a wide array of year-round outdoor activities and an eclectic and vibrant arts, culinary, and music scene. 


The Position

AHS is poised to continue its growth and effectiveness with the inspired leadership of the right individual.  The new ED must have proven and successful management, fundraising, and leadership experience, the ability to oversee day-to-day operations, and the skill to work collaboratively with the board to guide the organization.  The ED must also possess the talent to communicate effectively and build relationships with multiple constituencies, including the board and staff, donors, other animal welfare groups, volunteers, government officials, community leaders, and a diverse community.


Organizational Priorities

In addition to providing the highest quality of services to the community, the Board of Directors has identified the following as the highest priorities for the new Executive Director, the board, and the staff over the next 12 to 18 months:

  • Increase revenues and diversify funding through the implementation of comprehensive fund development and donor stewardship plans that incorporate goals, strategies, and accountability for all major revenue and donor areas
  • Work closely with staff to implement innovative strategies and solutions to build organizational capacity and manage growth
  • Develop and implement a comprehensive communications plan that outlines specific goals, strategies, and accountability for all public relations, marketing, social media, and other communication activities of the organization
  • While continuing to fulfill AHS’s programmatic goals for the year, improve the organization’s ability to monitor, evaluate, and assess the true impact and effectiveness of its programs.
  • Build the foundation and framework for the development of a comprehensive strategic plan and annual planning process
  • Continue the ongoing work of improving AHS’s organizational culture – through strong team building, communication, organizational unity, and staff empowerment
  • Maintain and build upon our local, regional, and national reputation as a leading animal welfare organization


Ongoing Responsibilities

  • Vision, Mission, and Strategies - Work closely with the board and staff to translate the organization’s mission and vision into clear strategic directions, goals, and initiatives.
  • Accomplishment of Management Objectives - Oversee operational and program objectives that support the organization’s strategic goals and lead the staff in their implementation.
  • Fundraising and Resource Development - In partnership with the board and staff, develop and implement appropriate and diversified fundraising and financial-development strategies.
  • Fiscal Management - Ensure that solid planning and budgeting systems are in place so that income is managed wisely and that the organization’s goals serve as the basis for sound financial planning.  Ensure that systems and staff are in place to accurately monitor, assess, and manage the financial health of the organization.
  • Human Resources Management - Foster and maintain a strong staff built on teamwork and collaborative decision-making in a positive and empowering environment. Oversee staff professional development activities that build leadership skills and motivate performance. Ensure adherence to the personnel policies in all hiring and employment practices.
  • External Liaison and Public Image - Serve as primary spokesperson and public face for the organization, representing it locally and regionally. Develop dynamic working relationships with diverse constituencies, including government, community, education and nonprofit groups that support the work of the organization.
  • Strong Working Relationships - Continue to maintain and build strong working relationships with AHS’s governmental and community partners.


Required Qualifications

  • A history of proven leadership and management success (five-year minimum), in the nonprofit sector
  • Strong fundraising and relationship-building skills with experience in foundation, government, corporate and individual giving 
  • Strong financial literacy and management experience
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills, strong interpersonal and public-speaking skills, and experience with diverse populations and multiple constituencies
  • A collaborative leader with an exceptional ability to foster a spirit of cooperation with external partners and among board members and staff
  • Demonstrated ability to work with and facilitate strong board development and leadership
  • An innovative problem solver, flexible and capable of adapting to changing priorities
  • An inspiring leader with strong strategic thinking, organizational development, and planning skills
  • Strong organizational skills
  • A Bachelor’s degree (minimum)


Preferred Qualifications

  • Volunteer management experience
  • Human Resources knowledge and experience
  • Marketing/PR experience
  • Experience with government contracts and government relations
  • Customer service experience
  • An advanced degree (Master’s or higher)



  • The salary range is commensurate with experience
  • AHS also offers a competitive and comprehensive benefits package to include: a Simple IRA retirement plan with 3% dollar for dollar matching by AHS with immediate vesting, health, and dental insurance, AFLAC group rates for life insurance and disability, paid-time-off leave, paid bereavement leave and seven paid holidays.


Application Process

  • To apply, please send a letter of interest, resume and salary requirements via email only (please, no faxes) to:  Asheville Humane Society Search Committee at:  EDSearch[at]ashevillehumane[dot]org
  • For more information about the Asheville Humane Society, please visit the website at ashevillehumane.org.
  • Resumes will be accepted until May 15, 2019


Asheville Humane Society is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to recruiting a broadly diverse pool of qualified candidates for the position.