April Letter from the President

Dear friends,

There are many things I have long admired about SAWA.

First, I think our leadership development training opportunities are unparalleled in our industry. I haven’t missed a conference in over 20 years because the content SAWA delivers challenges me to think beyond the boundaries of my industry — my comfort zone. Secondly, SAWA is where I get to be with MY people! Where else can I tap into the collective experience of over 1,000 leaders in the field I love? And, finally, I truly admire the fact that we, as an industry, TRULY care. We care about the animals we strive to protect. We care about the people with whom we interact. We care about the communities we serve and make better through our efforts. Let’s face it… caring about the animals is the easy part. Caring about our WORLD as a whole can be much more challenging. But at SAWA, we do it.

During the economic disaster we faced for so many years in this country, many people and many communities struggled mightily to keep their heads above water. Detroit, the site of our upcoming Management Conference, serves as a metaphor for those struggles. But, Detroit also embodies what it means to survive AND to thrive. There is a renaissance happening in this great American city. They have risen from the ashes! And, our friends at the Michigan Humane Society, along with many of their colleagues, have been a part of that rebirth. I am looking forward with great anticipation to getting a tour of the new Detroit campus of MHS. It’s a symbol of all that is good in our country and in animal welfare. And, while we’re at it, we’ll be treated to the tastes and sounds of the city that brought us Motown and Mustangs!

The Management Conference has something for everyone in our industry. This year we’re launching the “Birds of a Feather” session during which several of our colleagues will share success stories in quick presentations. We are hopeful that these presentations will generate conversations among attendees with similar interests. That is perhaps the best thing about SAWA. Not only do we learn from compelling speakers, but we learn from each other. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to see old friends, make new ones and recharge your batteries.

As Marvin Gaye — another great product of Detroit — crooned: “Ain’t nothin’ like the real thing…” Our network is definitely the REAL thing.

See you next month in Motown!


Jim Tedford

Jim Tedford, CAWA, is President and CEO of The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement.

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