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Bainbridge Island man takes helm of Kitsap Humane Society
Eric Stevens on Bainbridge Island has been appointed as the next executive director of Kitsap Humane Society.
Stevens is known around the island as the former development director of the Bloedel Reserve from 2010 through 2012, before he stepped in as interim executive director for the humane society.
The interim position was only expected to last up to one year, but rather it served as a considerable courting period for the two parties, and officials said Stevens proved to be an impressive suitor.
“The key reasons Eric was hired last year for the temporary position were his vast knowledge and experience in nonprofit management and his proven leadership abilities,” said Rosemary Shaw, board president for the Kitsap Humane Society.
“But Eric’s tenure in 2012 turned out to be largely one of addressing crises, including a dire financial situation," she said. "In the midst of crisis management and in collaboration with a re-organized board and newly-recruited management team, Eric helped to right the ship and developed major plans to secure KHS’ future. The board felt strongly that Eric stay on to help us see those plans through.”
During 2012, Stevens helped to balance the Kitsap Human Society's budget with its programs.
Stevens himself didn't initially intend to stay on long.
“Though I immediately was drawn to KHS’ animal welfare mission, it was never my intent to stay on permanently,” Stevens said.
“But as circumstances revealed more challenges, we recognized that rebuilding long-term financial stability and growing philanthropic support to meet KHS needs were going to take several years, including the additional 10 percent in donations we need this year to fund our progressive services with a balanced budget. Also, we have formed a solid, trusting partnership between board, management and staff – and given where we need to take KHS, everyone seemed to feel it was too early to break that partnership up,” he said.