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11:00 am EDT
Meet the Next Generation – And Keep Them

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The animal welfare profession is full of veterans who have served their communities for decades – and they are retiring soon. How are orgs identifying, supporting and developing the next generation of leadership?  

Let’s hear from leaders who are relatively new to animal welfare about what inspires them, what makes them feel supported and eager to get promoted. Discover what your organization can do to grow from within. Find out how to ease internal staffing bottlenecks to develop your staff and keep them. 


Raissa Allaire, Executive Director, Tree House Humane Society

Judith Dumont, M.Ed., SHRM-CP, Vice President, People and Culture, SPCA of Texas

Shonyae Johnson, Director of Virtual Behavior Programming, Humane Rescue Alliance

Lily Yap, MBA, Division Manager, Grand Prairie Animal Services

12:25 pm EDT
Straight Talk: Why Inclusivity is Good for Business

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Do you want to enhance your community reach and boost adoptions? Join us for an engaging conversation between The Association’s Director of DEI Initiatives, Jasmin Robinson, and Animal Protective Association of Missouri’s CEO, Sarah Javier. 

Discover the transformative steps taken by APAMO to embrace Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). Sarah will share insights into building a compelling business case for DEI, effectively convincing your team, board, and community of its value. Learn how APAMO applied an equity lens to develop a strategic plan, hired bilingual staff, ensured accessibility for visitors with sensory needs, and created an inclusive space where all people feel welcomed and supported.  

Jasmin and Sarah will guide you through practical strategies, emphasizing that DEI initiatives are not just essential but entirely achievable for organizations aiming for success. Explore how assessing and removing barriers, along with top-down training, can create a more inclusive and thriving environment. Stay strong on your path toward building a community-focused and DEI-driven organization.


Sarah Javier, CEO, Animal Protective Association of Missouri

Jasmin Robinson, Director of DEI Initiatives, The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement

2:00 pm EDT
Staying Strong: 3 Strategies for Employee Retention

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Are you having trouble keeping great employees? A panel of experts will discuss strategies their organizations developed to retain employees. Topics will include compensation, benefits, and employee wellness. Panelists will talk about:

  • Successful employee wellness programs that show measurable impacts on employee satisfaction
  • Ways to promote a culture of appreciation and recognition despite high levels of stress and burnout
  • Tactics for creating equity, especially when you have little to no control over compensation and benefits
  • Flexibility, empathy, and respectful communication to meet your employees’ needs

Sarah Aguilar, CAWA, Animal Services Director, Santa Barbara County Animal Services

Meshia Burrell, Vice President of People and Culture, Anti-Cruelty

Aiko Okamoto, Chief Administrative Officer, Humane Society of Charlotte

Jillian Sergio, CAWA, Executive Director, Companion Animal Alliance

Katherine Shenar, CAWA, Executive Vice President, The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement

3:10 pm EDT
(Tele)Health & Well-Being

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Learn about cutting-edge advancements in telemedicine that can benefit the health of your organization, thanks to increased employee retention and operational efficiencies.  

Our panel will explore practical applications and the positive impact of telemedicine, especially for rural organizations, for agencies with an understaffed medical team, for foster care support, and for triage for officers in the field. You’ll also learn how to expand telemedicine in your state.

Bonus Resources:

For veterinary professionals to join ASPCA’s Veterinary Engagement Team:

For others who wish to help advocate for legislation to expand access to care:


Dr. Josh A. Fisher, MHA, CAWA, Director of Animal Services, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Animal Care & Control

Jennifer Hobgood, Senior Director of State Legislation, ASPCA

Dylan Moore, Senior Director of Shelter Operations, Santa Fe Animal Shelter

Dr. Emily Swiniarski, Medical Director, Anti-Cruelty

Dr. Roberta Westbrook, Chief Animal Welfare & Medical Officer, Houston SPCA