Letter From the Executive VP: Update on the Fall Conference

We have good news and sad news. 

Let’s get the sad news out of the way first. For the past few weeks, we have been deliberating on whether to move ahead with the in-person conference in New Orleans. We were looking forward to seeing everyone, connecting, and spending time with colleagues. However, after considerable discussion and input from members, speakers, attendees, and sponsors, we have made the difficult decision to move our Fall Conference back online to the virtual space. With the COVID numbers and travel concerns, it just doesn’t feel responsible to host an in-person event yet. We want everyone to be healthy, safe, and feel comfortable when we are together again.

The pandemic has not stopped the important work of animal welfare. Now, more than ever, we have many urgent and emerging trends to discuss as a field, and we invite you to wrap up the year with us virtually, this December 7-9, at Looking Forward: The Future of Animal Welfare. We’re still working on the final agenda for this three-day online event, but we’ll be diving into what’s ahead for the field in technology, human resources, reaching at-risk communities, cats, and always, always, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Full scholarships will be available.

For those who have already registered for the conference, you will receive a full refund of the registration fee this week. If you booked your hotel room, please don’t forget to cancel your room reservations. We still hope to be in Chicago next spring, so cross your fingers and do keep that in mind when postponing your airline travel.

Looking forward to connecting with you.

All my best,

Katherine M. Shenar, CAWA
Executive Vice President
The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement

Learn More

Details, registration, tentative schedule, and scholarship application


Katherine M. Shenar brings 26 years of experience to her role as executive vice president for The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement. She has served as CEO for two animal welfare organizations and held leadership roles with four others. She frequently speaks on topics including leadership development, organization culture, coalition building, marketing communications, fundraising, and emerging trends in animal welfare. She is the author of the book Coalition Building for Animal Care Organizations, a how-to guide for animal advocates to work collaboratively in communities.


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