Humane Society Silicon Valley (HSSV) is an independent, nonprofit organization offering high-quality adoptions, medical services, education programs and pet care services to enhance the human-animal bond. Make a pledge a get listed:
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Reinventing Humane Society Silicon Valley
Former President, Humane Society Silicon Valley (HSSV) for 17 years. Retired in September 2010.
If you're seeking inspiration, you will find it here from Humane Society Silicon Valley's recently retired President, Christine Benninger. She describes the organization she inherited as a cesspool, rife with drug dealing staff, disorderly management, sour community relations, and cruel animal care. She recalls her quickly orchestrated six-month plan to keep the organization afloat - and how dire circumstances made her monumentally more creative and successful. Christine served as President of Humane Society Silicon Valley (HSSV) for 17 years. During her tenure, Benninger made substantial changes to HSSV that have saved the lives of tens of thousands of animals and significantly reduced the pet overpopulation problem in Santa Clara County. Key accomplishments under her leadership include:
• Instituted a "spay/neuter at adoption policy", an affordable spay/neuter vaccination clinic, and encouraged local municipalities to offer discounted spay/neuter voucher programs.
• Worked with local municipalities to build two additional city-funded animal shelters in the South Bay to reduce euthanasia rates.
• Today, more than 68 percent of the animals entering shelters in Santa Clara County find new homes compared to just 30 percent when Benninger took office 17 years ago.
• Increased the shelter’s donor base from 300 to 30,000 donors.
• At HSSV, 100 percent of the animals available for adoption are re-homed and the organization routinely embarks on regional rescue efforts, taking in animals from other shelters that are in danger of being euthanized due to lack of space, time or resources.
• Increased the Humane Society's volunteer base from 50 to more than 800 volunteers who in 2010 donated over 72,000 hours of time representing over $1.3 million.
• Most recently, she oversaw the planning, funding and building of HSSV's new $25 million Animal Community Center. The Center, which opened in April 2009, is the nation's first Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified Animal Community Center in the country and has quickly become an inspiring model of humane animal care, green building design and community involvement for shelters nationwide.
Christine is a lecturer at Stanford University’s Entrepreneurship Corner with her course Humane Society: Successful Non-profit Leadership, and a featured speaker with the Kauffman Foundation Entrepreneurship Thought Leadership lecture series. In addition to her passion for animals, Christine has a strong business background, having spent four years as an auditor with Arthur Andersen & Co. and 15 years with Hewlett Packard Corporation. At HP, Christine held several managerial positions both domestically and in Europe. Christine is a Certified Public Accountant and holds an M.B.A. degree from Stanford University.
BONFIRE LESSON: Your vision for a better world will rise to the highest peeks; no matter how low the start point.
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