Noetic Executive Search Begins Hunt for Pasadena Humane Society Leader

December 5, 2018 – The Pasadena (CA) Humane Society & SPCA (PHS) has retained Noetic Search in Chicago to conduct a nationwide hunt to find its next president and CEO. The opening follows the recent resignation of Julie Bank, who led the organization for the past two years.

Ruthie Hughes, the humane society’s vice president of administration, is filling the role on an interim basis.

The president and CEO is responsible for oversight of PHS, which includes administration of all programs and services, said Noetic Executive Search. The individual is charged with developing and overseeing a budget of $13 million. In addition, the leader is responsible for the strategic processes of the organization, managing and developing a talented paid staff of 138 and more than 1,250 volunteers. The president & CEO’s direct reports are the senior vice president, vice president of development, vice president of communications, vice president of administration and director of human resources.

PHS’ next leader will assist the board in the review and execution of the 2017-2019 strategic plan as well as the development of strategic directions and policy in the fulfillment of the agency’s mission, said the search firm. The president and CEO is also expected to provide a leadership role in initiating and maintaining community relationships and securing the operating and investment funds necessary to sustain current and future operations.

Job Requirements

Core competencies for the role involve leadership, financial accountability, public relations and community outreach, as well as program and services development.

The Pasadena Humane Society wants a highly experienced leader and manager with demonstrated vision and passion for the humane and ethical treatment of animals, said Noetic Executive Search. A successful track record of strong, innovative and inclusive leadership, which will facilitate open communication to harmonize staff, the board and the other constituents with whom the individual will interface, are key factors for candidates.

They should also have experience in a senior leadership role in which they have either reported directly to or worked closely with a board of directors, said the search firm. The ideal candidate would be an executive from a humane society or animal control facility. Prospects should demonstrate a balance between creative thinking and management acumen as well as the ability to assess and maintain policies and procedures for moving an organization to a new level of excellence. Qualified candidates must have exceptional interpersonal skills, and be able to relate to all constituencies. This individual should also have demonstrated success in building and sustaining coalitions toward the achievement of goals.

Other qualifications include: significant financial management experience as well as demonstrated accomplishments in fundraising, including securing major and planned gifts from individual donors, foundations and corporations; an understanding of business principles applied to a non-profit enterprise, including a background of good budget management; and personnel management skills that include an ability to work collaboratively, listen, provide feedback, build morale, delegate, “roll up one’s sleeves” and make decisions.

Donor Supported

PHS’ next leader should also be an exceptional communicator who can demonstrate a successful background in external relations, including experience speaking with the media in a variety of situations, said Noetic Executive Search. This person will be a credible and passionate spokesperson who will welcome and respect the multiple perspectives and groups that demonstrate an active interest in animal welfare. An undergraduate degree from a four-year college or university is desired, but demonstrated experience leading an organization will be considered. A certified animal welfare administrator (CAWA) credential would also be helpful.

The Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA, founded in 1903, is a donor-supported, non-profit organization that provides animal care and services for homeless and owned animals in the Greater Los Angeles Area. The organization is dedicated to promoting humane treatment and compassion and care for all animals. The animals in its care come from 11 animal control contract cities, as well as partner shelters across the Los Angeles area and beyond. The Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA also offers lifesaving programs and services to the community that support the human-animal bond and keep pets in homes.


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Noetic Executive Search specializes in finding leaders in the non-profit sector. Its clients include animal welfare organizations, cultural institutions, foundations and human service groups, among others.

The search firm is led by founder and president Rhyan Zweifler. Throughout her 30-year career, Ms. Zweifler has focused on the charity sector through her work in executive recruitment, museum management and development. She launched Noetic Search in 2010. Specializing in CEO and senior management searches, she has placed more than 170 national leaders for cultural, human service, educational and grant-making organizations. Ms. Zweifler has overseen all aspects of the search process, including marketing and sales, client management, candidate development and closing.

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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