PUUNENE - The Maui Humane Society (MHS) Board of Directors announced that Jerleen Bryant has been appointed CEO of the nonprofit agency. She started her new role at the shelter in Puunene on June 19.
On May 22, the agency had announced the appointment of Illinois resident Sandra (Sandy) Shelby, who was scheduled to start her position as CEO on July 15.
However, in preparing for her move to Maui, Shelby experienced a number of unforeseen obstacles related to the relocation of her household and family. She subsequently withdrew her acceptance of the MHS CEO position on June 9.
Dr. Judith Aikawa, chair of the MHS Board of Directors, said that over the past three months, the MHS CEO Search Committee received 143 applications from across the nation.
Through a multi-level screening process, applicants were eventually narrowed down to those with the highest level of expertise and credentials within the animal welfare field, culminating with two final and equally-qualified candidates: Shelby from Illinois and Bryant, who is currently on staff at MHS.
"As the final step, both finalists were interviewed in person by the board," said Aikawa, "and it was a very difficult choice. Ultimately the board decided it would be ideal to have BOTH of these individuals -working together - at MHS, so we decided to bring Sandy Shelby on as CEO. With Sandy's withdrawal, we are now equally pleased with Jerleen as our choice of CEO."
Bryant has held the position of director of development and community outreach at MHS since September 2012, when she joined the MHS management staff after relocating from Oregon.
Bryant has worked in animal rescue since 2004 and founded and operated (until moving to Maui) a nonprofit, all-volunteer rescue group that worked to save adoptable dogs, in danger of euthanasia, from shelters across the Pacific Northwest that were overburdened.
In prior years, Bryant also served as vice president on the board for Must Love Dogs NW, a rescue organization based in Vancouver, Washington.
With 20 years of strong management experience in both animal welfare and private industry, Bryant is in the process of obtaining her CFRE (Certified Fundraising Executive) and SAWA (Society of Animal Welfare Administrators) certifications.
"We are excited about Jerleen's passion for animals and the unique skill-set and experience she will bring to her new role as CEO," said Aikawa. "We are looking forward to moving forward with her at the helm, and we hope the animal-loving community will join us in giving Jerleen their full support."
"I have loved working at MHS and am looking forward to putting my experience and knowledge to work as CEO to address the complex needs of Maui's animals," said Bryant.
"MHS has a bright future ahead, and I'm excited to be a part of it."
The CEO position was previously held for over ten years by Jocelyn Bouchard, who left the agency on April 30 to take the position of director of operations at the Hawaiian Humane Society on Oahu.
The 60-year-old Maui Humane Society is the oldest and largest animal welfare agency on Maui. It is the only agency on Maui that operates an open admission shelter, accepting all domestic animals in need.
In addition to its privately funded programs, MHS is contracted by the County of Maui to provide specified animal management services for the community.
The work of MHS is complex and diverse, including sheltering unwanted animals, providing spay/neuter programs, promoting humane education and children's programs, operating pet adoption and lost and found programs, investigating cruelty, and responding to public calls for assistance. For information, visit www.MauiHumaneSociety.org.