Fall Conference For Animal Welfare Day 1: 5 Key Takeaways

Sure, we knew a little about what to expect based on the Spring Conference for Animal Welfare. But after The Association’s President & CEO Jim Tedford announced that we’d shattered the record for conference attendance with 1,156 registrants, it’s clear the ceiling can’t hold us!! Thank you to the speakers, attendees, sponsors, and exhibitors for helping us to kick off Day 1. These 5 tips are just a tease—we will dig into the inspo and info shared in many of the sessions in future blogs. Stay tuned, and we’ll see you later for Day 2!

We Can’t Let Equity Be a Fad

In his keynote, Vu Le of Nonprofit AF shared some ideas for continuing the important work we all must do surrounding diversity and inclusivity in our hiring practices, including:

  • Post salary ranges on job listings
  • An overall moving away from white, Westernized traditions & cultural assumptions, such as expecting hand-written thank you notes after a job interview
  • Level of education shouldn’t be used as a way to weed out folks who apply for jobs

Nobody Likes To Give Negative Feedback….

But everyone wants to hear it. Josh Davies shared the following infographic in his session, “Strengthening Trust & Accountability in the Workplace.”

Hiring? Make Sure YOU Look Good!

In Tom Lutzy’s session on “Recruiting Today’s Hourly Workers: It’s Different. And It’s Not,” we learned that hourly job seekers (83% are millennials, FYI) are visiting three key sites—your website, Facebook, and Instagram—to learn more about your brand and what kind of employer you’ll be. Make sure the info’s up-to-date and reflects your mission and who you are.

Are Good Intentions Contributing to Systemic Racism?

Co-presenters Katherine Shenar, Ed Jamison, and Steve Zeidman dug into how systemic racism can be pre-baked into adoption policies. Possible solutions:

  • Consider eliminating/looking thoughtfully at adoption and reclaim fees
  • Consider whether or not your policies are based on an incorrect assumption that wealthier people make better pet owners

Go Forth and Visit the Exhibit Hall

We know you’d do it anyway, but as added incentive, Jim Tedford really wants you to check out the virtual Exhibit Hall. “Without our sponsors, we wouldn’t be here,” he says. “They put the gas in our tanks.” You can pop in anytime to grab info, but the exhibitors will be there in real time to network and answer Qs today, December 2, from 10:30-11:30am and 2:30-3:30pm ET, and tomorrow, December 3, from 10-11am and 1-2pm ET.

EXTRA EXTRA! Bonus tip: Make like Vu Le at your next big Zoom meeting and randomly flash pics of cute baby animals to help you through the more uncomfortable parts of the discussion.

Leave us a comment and let us know what rocked YOUR world yesterday!




Thank you to roving conference reporters Zoe Bonnell, Kelly Cunningham, and Jordan Fues, who contributed to this blog


The Association is the only international society of leaders actively leading and managing community animal shelters/animal control agencies.


'Fall Conference For Animal Welfare Day 1: 5 Key Takeaways' has 1 comment

  1. December 2, 2020 @ 9:38 am Kathy Duncan

    Great start to what will be an incredible three days! Day 1 was excellent. This is my first opportunity to attend an AAWA conference after being a member for 10 years. I’m thrilled and honoured to join this group of leaders in Animal Welfare.


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