KHS names new executive director

PUHI — The Kaua‘i Humane Society Board of Directors on Thursday announced they have selected Shannon Blizzard to serve as the non-profit’s executive director.

“Blizzard joins the KHS ‘ohana from Phoenix, Ariz., where she served for many years as director of operations for the state’s largest and oldest no-kill shelter,” states a KHS press release.

Blizzard has been closely involved in a number of community programs and national projects that have strengthened the human-animal bond, significantly increased the adoption of homeless pets and helped to improve the sustainability of animal welfare organizations, according to the release.

“I’m so excited about the beginning of this new chapter for KHS. Shannon has an energy and passion toward animals and people that it is uplifting and contagious,” KHS Board President Laura Wiley said in a statement.

The KHS Board conducted a lengthy nationwide search — which spanned 10 months — for a ideal candidate to replace the organization’s former executive director, Becky Rhoades, who left suddenly last year amid a legal battle. Rhoades had been with KHS for 10 years and was instrumental in relocating the old Westside facility to the much larger one in Puhi.

Since Rhoades’ departure, Orianna Skomoroch has been serving as KHS Interim Executive Director.

“I’ve cherished this opportunity to work with the wonderful professional staff and dedicated board members of the Kaua‘i Humane Society, and I am now committed more than ever to this outstanding organization and its vital mission,” Skomoroch said in the release.

Skomoroch and Wiley earlier this year told the Kaua‘i County Council that KHS had chosen a candidate in the beginning of the year, but their choice fell through at the last minute.

Prior to Blizzard’s work in animal welfare, she traveled around the mainland working for Pet Resorts.

She has served as secretary for Alliance for Companion Animals and is a member of the Society of Animal Welfare Administrators.

“I am very excited about joining the Kaua‘i Humane Society. I take the responsibility of serving the animals and families of Kaua‘i extremely seriously. I look forward to continuing the wonderful mission of the organization as well as working with this team to develop new opportunities that secure the future for the animals of Kaua‘i,” Blizzard stated in the release, adding that she is thrilled to be able to combine her passion for animals and her desire to settle down in a location that amplifies the Aloha Spirit.

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