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Executive Director

Asheville Humane Society
North Carolina, United States
$120,000.00 - $120,000.00
Closing date
Feb 2, 2022

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Position Type
Animal Protection
Employment Type
Full Time
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Asheville Humane Society (AHS) seeks an energetic, passionate, and experienced Executive Director to provide visionary leadership to AHS, its staff, board, and volunteers.


The Area

When people think of Asheville and Western North Carolina, the word that comes to mind first is 'beautiful.'  It is a culturally rich region that is both economically and geographically diverse. It’s quality of life makes it highly attractive as a place where lifestyle complements professional opportunity. It is difficult to find a top ten list that doesn’t include Asheville. Whether the list is touting our virtues as a vacation destination or a place to retire, the area continues to rank highly in people’s opinions.


The Organization

Asheville Humane Society is about hope, not heartache. As Buncombe County’s critical safety net since 1984, we are always here to save and protect every animal. AHS promotes the compassionate treatment of animals in our community through education, sheltering, and adoption. AHS has mastered the art of saving lives within its walls as well as helping the community’s pets and their people thrive together. AHS works to ensure that each animal has the quality of life they deserve – a life worth living.


AHS’ values:

Compassion - We have a deep, genuine regard for the experience, needs, and welfare of every animal and person.


Commitment: We have an unwavering dedication to a life worth living for the animals and people of our community.


Integrity: We are ethical and fair in every action we take, and we communicate with honesty and transparency.


Continuous Improvement: We always strive for excellence through innovation and science-based initiatives to achieve best practices and to stay on the leading edge of animal welfare.


Professionalism: We hold ourselves to a high standard of respect, competence, and skill in dealing with animals, people, and each other.


Community: We engage our community proactively and respectfully to ensure that pets and their people live and thrive together.

In a typical year, Asheville Humane Society (AHS) takes in ~5,000 animals. AHS assists ~10,000 animals in the community through services through adoptions, relocation, reuniting animals with their owners, and providing safety net services. AHS has a broad array of programs and services designed to help not only the animals within our walls, but in our community as well.


AHS is governed by a committed Board of Directors, has 70 experienced and dedicated staff members, and an annual budget of $4.5Million. AHS operates out of offices in Asheville, NC.  More than 400 volunteers worked a total of +75,000 hours in 2020.   


The Strategies

Our 6 core strategies include:

Adoptions:  Each year, we find loving homes for thousands of animals including dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, farm animals, and more!


Foster:  Our volunteer foster families open their homes to over 1,800 animals per year who are too young, sick or scared to be immediately adopted.


Volunteer:  Hundreds of volunteers take on a variety of tasks to help care for and promote our animals, assist administration, and represent AHS at community events, allowing more time for our staff to do their jobs efficiently.


Lost and Found:  Incoming animals are scanned for a microchip, photographed, placed on our website, and then held for 72 hours so worried families can search for their missing pets. Reports of lost pets are filed and reviewed when new animals arrive at our shelter.


Relocation:  Hundreds of animals each year are sent on our relocation van to partner shelters across the country. Due to the low number of strays in these areas, shelters are willing to place specified animals into their care while giving us more space to take in additional Buncombe County animals.


Community Solutions:  We offer services and resources to pet owners in our community who need assistance with their pets due to personal or financial constraints. We make every effort to ensure that pets remain in their homes with the families who love them.


The Position

AHS seeks a creative individual who is well prepared to provide the inspired external and internal leadership required of this role. The new Executive Director must have proven, significant, and successful organizational leadership experience and the ability to oversee fundraising, programs, and overall operations while working effectively with both the staff, the board, and the volunteers to guide the organization. The Executive Director must also possess the talent to listen and communicate effectively and to build relationships with multiple constituencies, including the Board, staff, volunteers, donors, and agency partners.


The Executive Director reports directly to the Board of Directors and supervises the Chief Operations Officer, Medical Director, Development Director, Community Solutions Director, Chief Financial Officer, and Thrift Store Senior Manager.


Priorities for New Executive Director

AHS believes that pets and their people deserve a safe and healthy community in which to live and thrive…together. Toward that end, the new leader will lead the organization in focusing on the following priorities within the first 12-18 months of their tenure:

  • Increase spay/neuter and related adoption and care capacity to address increasing needs
  • Evaluate staffing and improve organizational communication and culture to address staff shortages, salary scale, and retention
  • Prioritize improved community engagement and brand awareness post-COVID to spark passion and fundraising in the community as well as providing safety net services to underserved community members
  • Create and implement a comprehensive development strategy that includes new and innovative revenue sources
  • Work closely with the board, staff, and other stakeholders to develop and implement a new strategic plan


Position Summary

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director will provide leadership to the organization and manage its ongoing affairs. The Executive Director is responsible for directing and formulating the plan for achieving the organization’s mission and annual goals; fundraising from diverse sources; budgeting and fiscal management; operations and human resource management; marketing and communications; board management; and strategic planning.


Key Responsibilities

  • Provide strategic leadership, administration, and management of the organization
  • Build an effective, cohesive staff team and culture
  • Be a skilled and active spokesperson for AHS – with the media, policy makers, partners, and supporters
  • Support marketing and public relations, act as liaison with partner organizations and government agencies, and nurture and expand the organization’s key external relationships
  • Lead organizational fundraising efforts in partnership with the board
  • Manage budget development, financial forecasting, and oversight in partnership with the CFO and Board of Directors
  • Provide advice, counsel, and support to the Board of Directors, and helps maintain and leverage an engaged, powerful board



  • Commitment to and passion for AHS’s mission and values
  • A proven track record of visionary leadership with at least five years of senior nonprofit management experience - including administration, staff supervision, strategic planning, evaluation, budgeting, and organizational innovation
  • Highly effective communicator, written and verbal, with a wide variety of stakeholders.
  • Exceptional leadership presence, experience serving as a spokesperson for an organization, and a demonstrated ability to leverage organizational visibility and credibility through the media and public relations sources
  • A record of successful and innovative fundraising with proven experience with individual donors and major gifts
  • Demonstrated ability to manage organizational operations effectively and efficiently.
  • Professional and personal style consistent with the supportive, open, collaborative team-oriented culture of AHS
  • Experience creating and maintaining an effective organizational culture that attracts, motivates, and retains a diverse, talented staff
  • High level of integrity and compassion
  • Strong financial skills - including budgeting, fiscal management, and analysis
  • High level of emotional intelligence – i.e., accurately perceive and express yourself, personal humility, develop and maintain social relationships, cope and adapt to challenges, and use emotions in an effective way


Additional Desired Qualifications:

  • Prior experience partnering with a nonprofit board of directors
  • Prior experience working with an animal welfare organization
  • An advanced degree in a relevant field or an equivalent combination of education and work experience



  • Salary - $120,000
  • Benefits
    • 5 paid holidays
    • 26 days paid time off
    • Employer paid medical and life insurance
    • 3% retirement match dollar for dollar and immediately vested
  • Signing bonus
  • Moving allowance
  • Housing allowance

Application Process

To apply, please send a resume and a detailed cover letter, that maps the fit between your experience and skills to the responsibilities and qualifications above, in one pdf file using the following naming convention: “Your Last Name-Your First Name.pdf”, via email only to:

AHS Search Committee


Please, no phone calls, faxes, or snail mail.

Application deadline: February 3, 2022


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

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