Shout out and our undying gratitude to this month’s featured member AND the chair of the Fundraising track for the Spring Conference Committee. Meet one great reason why Cleveland rocks!
Name: Judy Hunter
Member of The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement since: 2010
Organization: Cleveland APL
Title: Senior Director of Development
Q&A with Judy Hunter
The Association: Describe yourself in 3 words.
Judy Hunter: Curious, compassionate, flexible
The Association: Describe Cleveland APL in 3 words.
Judy Hunter: Progressive, compassionate, inclusive
The Association: What is the most challenging thing about your job?
Judy Hunter: The most challenging is what I like the most! There is never a “normal” day. There is always a new challenge, something new to learn, and wonderful donors to engage with. The underlying challenge always is how much animal welfare organizations rely on fundraising!
The Association: Share one small victory you had this week—personally or professionally.
Judy Hunter: We do two telethons, and this week is the second year we have done the telethon with our NBC affiliate in the “new normal” way. I am so proud of our team, who has altered everything about this event to get it on the air, and to our volunteers, who are helping us with social distancing and COVID protocols in place.
The Association: How have you benefited from your involvement with The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement?
Judy Hunter: The first spring conference I attended, I was the only one who went from my organization. I was invited to a RKD Think Tank before the conference started. The people I met there are still dear colleagues who I reach out to to get advice and share ideas. That group has expanded with every conference! The professional friendships I have made are invaluable to me.
The Association: Thank you for being a part of the spring conference committee. What would you say to a colleague in the field who is on the fence about attending? Why is this conference the place to be this June 8-10?
Judy Hunter: It certainly is the place to be! The sessions are wonderful, and I love that more people can attend because it is virtual. Attendees get contact information for the presenters, and even though we cannot engage in person, you can reach out directly for more information! Just take a look at the brochure, and you will no longer be on the fence!
The Association: Can you share a little about the panel you will be moderating?
Judy Hunter: I am moderating Breaking the Mold in Times of Crisis: Updated Fundraising Ideas. Our presenters include colleagues who took their large fundraisers—galas and walks—virtual. We also have presenters who will speak about unique fundraisers they developed that were successful in times of COVID. Attendees will learn what our presenters have learned in these “virtual” times, and what they will incorporate into their efforts as our world gets back to normal.
The Association: This year’s conference’s theme is inclusion—with a pretty broad definition in order to be, well, inclusive. Keeping in that spirit, in what ways have you expanded your thinking or programs at The APL to include ideas or practices you hadn’t considered before?
Judy Hunter: The Cleveland APL has a DEI Committee that meets and shares their work with the entire team at all-staff meetings. Our Animal Care and Veterinary team is doing a community vaccination clinic that will include employment information for the APL. We are also looking at all our marketing pieces from a new perspective.
The Association: What’s one thing you’ve done to stay healthy and resilient this past year?
Judy Hunter: Read, exercise, enjoy my three cats, and have honest discussions with my close friends when it gets hard. Realizing I am not alone in what I was feeling has been critical.
The Association: What’s the last book you read?
Judy Hunter: I am reading The Midnight Library by Matt Haig for my virtual book club.