FAAS Begins Search for New Executive Director

Mim and Lita. Courtesy photo

Mim Carlson, FAAS’ first and only executive director joins one of the shelter’s past residents, Lita. Carlson has announced she’ll be moving on from FAAS early next year.

When I became Executive Director of Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter (FAAS) in January 2012, we had just taken over operations of the shelter from the Alameda Police Department.

We were a tiny group of super-motivated individuals with a monumental task of setting up FAAS to carry out the task of caring for our city’s homeless pets.

My highest priority in the early days was to build FAAS into an organization that could expand on the work of the police and provide the very best care possible for the animals housed here. My agreement with the FAAS Board of Directors was that I would stay for as long as it took to get everything organized, make sure the shelter was well run, and also well financed.

I’m proud to say we are there now. After three years, it’s time for me to move on and help other nonprofits. My last day with FAAS will be Jan. 30, 2015.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed leading the way to building this organization into the vibrant shelter it is today and I’m very proud of all we have done in a very short three years. Adoptions have increased more than 20 percent, transfers to rescues and other shelters have increased more than 150 percent, and our live release rate is an impressive 95 percent. The volunteer program has been completely revamped and expanded, helping us to have several new programs to improve the animals’ experience at the shelter and prepare them for adoption.

Additionally, our shelter has operated with a small financial surplus for the three fiscal years we’ve been here. We’ve also created an ambitious three-year plan to start us toward our vision of a new facility within 15 years and to begin new programs to meet the needs of our community.

We would never have done so much without the support of the community. I have been grateful every day for the generosity of individuals, groups, businesses and everyone who has given so much to make sure FAAS is successful. I have no doubt that FAAS will accomplish much more in the years ahead with your help. I’ll be looking for updates on all the exciting new initiatives that FAAS undertakes in the future.

The board has started the task of replacing me and has hired an expert executive search consultant to help them find the best person to take over the role of executive director (ED).

I’m confident they will find the right person to lead FAAS — someone who is caring, competent, committed and passionate about our mission. I anticipate a smooth transition as I finish out my remaining months at FAAS with some overlap with the new ED. I have agreed to stay until the new ED is firmly in place, so there will not be a gap in leadership.

I will miss everyone here when I leave, but I look forward to seeing you at future FAAS events and hearing about all the great success stories of abandoned animals placed happily into new loving homes.

Upcoming events

Artists Unleashed — FAAS and Redux Studios present an exhibit of artwork painted by animals at the shelter. Opening reception is tomorrow, Friday, Sept. 12, from 6 to 9 p.m. at Redux Studios, 2315 Lincoln Ave. Enjoy viewing creative paintings while sipping wine and meeting a few of the canine and feline artists. All the artwork is for sale with proceeds benefitting the shelter animals.

Fourth Annual After The Ball — This year the annual FAAS gala is on Friday, Oct. 17, at the Grandview Pavilion. We are planning a beautiful evening with wonderful food and wine, a live and silent auction, and more fun activities.

Shelter dogs will be attending this year to join in the festivities. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased online via a link on our website, alameda

Many sponsorship opportunities are available too. Contact Kim Stange-Herlihy at 337-8572 if you would like to be a sponsor. All proceeds from After The Ball help FAAS care for the more than 800 animals we shelter each year.

Wish List: Visit the FAAS Amazon Wish List for some great donation ideas at www.amazon.com/gp/wishlist. Type in "Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter" to go to our Wish List. Monetary donations are always appreciated too!

Like FAAS on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FAAS09

Mim Carlson is the executive director of FAAS. She can be reached via mimcarlson.faas@gmail.com.