We have 44 state directors at the Humane Society. They come from different states, different backgrounds. They’re all very authentic and they all bring their own style to their role. And the only time we work together is on e-mail, on the phone, and at our annual Taking Action for Animals conference.
The work we do is so emotionally and physically draining that for the state directors, the pre-conference workshop you led was an acknowledgement that they are important, we really care about them and we’re making an investment in their mental health and keeping them balanced. It’s more than words; we have actually done something.
Before, it would’ve been, “We care. We care. Oh, well, here’s some more stuff.” Now, having done your program just once, I can’t imagine not doing something like this each and every year. The words don’t seem hollow anymore. We have meaning behind the words. The morale has shifted in terms of feeling a lot more like it was a safe place to be, and there’s a stronger connection for all of us.
I remember the first time we had a phone conversation, and I just felt right away that you were listening, and you heard me, and you were able to provide a program that worked for where our state directors were. You had just that right amount of touchy-feely soft stuff, but then also the stuff that builds credibility, where you’re a little more about the mind. I just knew you’d be able to strike that balance with our state directors.
This morning a state director who had never participated in anything like this told me that she put her goals into action this weekend. She turned off her phone on Saturday and worked in her garden all day. She said it was replenishing her insides. That’s somebody who had thought, “Well, I don’t know if I’ll get anything out of this program,” and then she took her goal home and made that happen on Saturday.
Your presentation allowed even the most skeptical and reluctant state directors to embrace what you were saying. And now they’re implementing that in the field. For me, that’s the greatest reward. If you were to know some of these people the way I know them, for them to be practicing it, that’s the best gift!
Kelly Peterson, Vice President, State Affairs
Humane Society of the United States