March Letter from the President

March Letter from the President

Dear Friends,

In late 2015, SAWA merged with the National Federation of Humane Societies. The move enabled us to combine forces and streamline our efforts to support and improve the animal welfare and animal care and control industries. Together, we knew we could be better and stronger. And we continue to look for opportunities to grow.

It gives me great pleasure to announce that we have combined our year-round Peer Packs and our bi-annual Birds of a Feather event into one program: SAWA OnPOINT (Partners Organized to Innovate, Navigate and Transform).

Peer Packs are relatively small group discussions that center around key components of operations (like fundraising walks) or key industry issues (like the evolving business model for shelters). They are made up of professionals with a special interest or expertise around the topic, and are led by SAWA members. Discussions are held on a quarterly basis, mostly via conference call. We recently had a Peer Pack schedule a virtual Happy (Yappy?) Hour for its members!

If you’ve been to a SAWA Conference lately, you’ve likely attended our Birds of a Feather sessions, where industry leaders present short presentations (think TED Talks) on a particularly innovative program or activity, followed by an audience Q&A session. This has quickly become one of the most popular sessions at our conferences.

As we begin to merge these two amazing programs, here are some of the changes you can expect: Peer Packs will become SAWA OnPOINT teams, and the conference sessions will be titled SAWA OnPOINT. It is our hope that many of the talks given at the SAWA OnPOINT conference events will stem from the work of the OnPOINT teams. We know there are terrific ideas generated by these teams and we want to make sure the whole industry benefits from their efforts.

As with most everything SAWA does, SAWA OnPOINT is member-driven. Members lead the SAWA OnPOINT teams and members are recruited to submit abstracts for presentations at the conference OnPOINT sessions. This is just one more example of the great strength and power of our network and I hope you will take full advantage of these opportunities.

Because I know you don’t have enough items on your “to-do” list, may I suggest you add a couple more:

And one final note — scholarships are available for the Management Conference! If you need financial assistance to help you attend the conference, please complete the online application. Or, if you know of another industry leader who should attend, but may not have the means, encourage them to apply.

I wish for you all a great spring, smooth sailing through kitten season and perfect adopters for all the animals in your care!


Jim Tedford

Jim Tedford, CAWA, is President and CEO of the Society of Animal Welfare Administrators.


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