DHR Recruits Chief Development and Marketing Officer for U.S. Humane Society

October 15, 2018 – Chicago-based search firm DHR International has recruited John Vranas as the new chief development and marketing officer for the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

Partners Debbie Graf and Kara Teising led the search.

“John brings the total package to a critical role like this one,” said Ms. Teising. “It’s very difficult to find a leader with a skill-set that is equally strong in both development and marketing. John has deep experience in both areas and has led teams up to 300.”

“This unique competency combined with his genuine passion for the HSUS mission brings us tremendous confidence in his ability to work effectively with the board, HSUS leadership, staff and donor community to further HSUS’ long standing track record of being the nation’s largest and most effective animal protection organization,” she said.

Mr. Vranas will manage the philanthropy, communications, marketing, and business development & corporate relations departments of the organization.

Non-Profit Veteran

He served as chief development and marketing officer as well as chief strategy officer for Make-A-Wish International for two years. In this position, he led fundraising and marketing initiatives, served as global leader and strategy adviser to the president and CEO, and the international board of directors, and supported and assisted affiliate chapters in 50 countries. He joined Make-A-Wish America in 2014 as vice president and chief marketing officer.


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Before that, Mr. Vranas served as vice president of fundraising for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and SVP of field operations at ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

HSUS provides hands-on care and services to more than 100,000 animals each year, and helps professionalize the field through education and training for local organizations. 

Non-Profit Consultants

DHR’s non-profit practice provides senior-level retained executive search to non-profit organizations. Consultants in practice bring industry experience to all sectors of the field. The firm’s non-profit clients include cultural organizations, international development and social service organizations, zoos and aquariums, gardens and arboreta, economic development organizations and trade association, foundations and educational organizations.


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Ms. Graf has served as partner in the firm’s New York office since 1999. She is a member of the consumer, human resources, non-profit and retail practice groups. In 2003, she was appointed to DHR’s executive committee. Ms. Graf has developed client relationships that have propelled her to recognition as one of the firm’s lead billing consultants. She has made significant placements at the CEO and president level, as well as CFOs, CIOs, senior vice presidents and vice presidents in operations, finance, merchandising, marketing, human resources, information technology, sales, real estate, ecommerce and logistics. Companies Ms. Graf has represented include global and domestic clients ranging from start-ups to top Fortune 100.

Ms. Teising serves as partner specializing in non-profit searches for Jobplex Inc., a DHR International company based in the firm’s Nashville office. She recruits nationwide in the non-profit arena with special attention to values and mission driven searches in the private and non-profit sectors. Ms. Teising has experience recruiting for a broad range of clients. Her expertise lies in recruiting talent for C-suite and director-level roles in development, communications/media, program and senior leadership.

Both partners have years of experience specializing in non-profit recruitment, including previous searches for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Habitat for Humanity International, Earthjustice and the Wilderness Society.

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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