Industry Innovations

Adapting a Business Mindset to Animal Welfare

November 20, 2024

10:45 am - 11:45 am |

Adapting a business mindset to animal welfare doesn’t mean less compassion for people and animals. Nonprofits and public agencies operate differently than private agencies, often to the detriment of the organization’s goals. This session provides a case study of two mid-sized agencies, one NY nonprofit and one NC municipal, in how they embraced a business mindset to improve staff accountability and morale, increase donor and community engagement, and effect more positive outcomes for pets and families in their communities. Both of these agencies use innovative, collaborative leadership and strategic goal setting as a foundation for the tenets that shape their agencies.


Leaders of these agencies will share some of the key tenets that elevated their organizations to new levels of success while never compromising on their compassion or ethics. The actionable and easy-to-digest takeaways from this session are designed to support animal welfare leaders in embracing a for-profit perspective while maintaining our public service values and the compassion for people and animals that is fundamental to our field.



Jessica Arias, CAWA

Animal Services Director, Burlington Animal Services

Jessica Arias, CAWA, is Animal Services Director at Burlington Animal Services in North Carolina. She was recognized as one of Triad Business Journal's 40 under 40 for her work in Burlington, which included achieving and sustaining high levels of pet lifesaving and community support and spearheading a successful public-private partnership in the construction of a state-of-the-art Pet Adoption and Resource Center. Jessica holds a BA in conflict analysis and resolution from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and is pursuing an MPA at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Jessica is a Certified Animal Welfare Administrator (CAWA).

Cait Daly, CAWA

CEO, SPCA Serving Erie County

Cait Daly has been working in animal welfare for 15 years across three states and five organizations. Cait's work passions are helping people and animals, organizational efficiency, enthusiasm, and transparent communication. Cait uses those passions to continuously improve operations at the SPCA Serving Erie County, as well as in her capacity as a New York State animal shelter consultant. Cait is a Certified Animal Welfare Administrator (CAWA).