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Humane society appoints new CEO after unexpected resignation

KAILUA-KONA — The Hawaii Island Humane Society has a new CEO following the resignation of Charles Brown after just four months on the job.

Brown, who took the position in early August following a national search and restructuring of the organization, “unexpectedly resigned” during the Thanksgiving holiday, said HIHS Board of Directors President Adam Atwood.

“While Charles Brown’s tenure was short, we appreciate his contributions and commitment to the HIHS mission and we wish him well in his future endeavors,” Atwood said in a prepared statement Tuesday.

Prior to Brown’s appointment, the organization went without a leader for months after Donna Whitaker stepped down in December 2018 after more than a decade as executive director. That’s not the case this time, as a new CEO was already named.

Atwood said the society’s board met during the weekend and selected veterinarian Elizabeth “Beth” Jose as the new CEO.

Born and raised on the Big Island, longtime HIHS board member Jose went to St. Joseph School and the University of Hawaii at Hilo and Oregon State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. She is married to fellow veterinarian Dr. Aaron Lorshbough and is the mother to a young boy.

“Caring for pets and animals is my passion,” Jose said in the prepared statement. “I’m committed to improving our operations and look forward to working with management, staff and volunteers in the implementation of national shelter standards and best practices to serve our island community.”

Attempts to reach Brown were unsuccessful as of press time Tuesday.

Brown’s departure will not result in a delay to the construction of an Animal Community Center in Keauhou Mauka, the statement said.

“The construction team is making great strides and HIHS plans to host an Open House for major donors in January to reveal the near completion of phase two of the 12-acre campus,” the statement said.

The Hawaii Island Humane Society is awarded a $2 million contract from the county annually for animal control on the Big Island. According the humane society’s 2016-17 annual report, the most recent available, an additional $1.3 million came via fundraising, grants, fees and other sources.

The report also states nearly 13,000 animals came through the organization’s three shelters in Kailua-Kona, Waimea and Keaau. All “adoptable dogs and cats” that entered shelters that year were adopted.

Email Chelsea Jensen at
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald

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