Mary Kay Phelps Named New Chief Philanthropy & Marketing Officer

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Mark Stubis 202-677-4227 marks@americanhumane.org

CHARITY THAT PIONEERED KEY PROTECTIONS FOR U.S. CHILDREN AND ANIMALS OVER PAST 136 YEARS NAMES SENIOR EXECUTIVE TO EXTEND HELP AND HOPE TO NATION’S MOST VULNERABLE

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American Humane Association Brings On Noted Nonprofit Leader Mary Kay Phelps as Chief Philanthropy and Marketing Officer

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 29, 2013 – American Humane Association, which for 136 years has been at the forefront of virtually every major advance in improving the welfare of the nation’s children and animals, has named noted nonprofit leader Mary Kay Phelps to a new senior organizational role as Chief Philanthropy and Marketing Officer.  Phelps is the latest in a growing roster of major thought leaders who have been recruited over the past two years as part of a transformative agenda championed by American Humane Association President and CEO Dr. Robin Ganzert to help more of the most vulnerable among us. 

Phelps will draw on 20 years of top-level experience in fund-raising, marketing, and communications to help support and expand vitally important programs currently reaching more than 400 million children and animals. In her new position, she will help drive creative, mission-focused growth at American Humane Association, which since 1877 has worked to create so many landmark protections for U.S. children and animals (see historical timeline below).

“I have spent a lifetime working for many tremendously worthy causes and I feel this is my most exciting position yet,” said Ms. Phelps. “American Humane Association is an iconic charity that has fundamentally changed the world and made it a safer and kinder place for children and animals. As chief philanthropy officer, I will be able to combine my personal philanthropic interests with my skills in integrating fund-raising, marketing, and communications. My aim is to create a greater synergy and provide a significantly greater degree of support for their historic mission.” 

Ms. Phelps has a long history of success in advancing the missions of leading charities. For the past five years, she has been a senior leader and fundraiser for WETA Public TV 26/ 90.9 Classical FM in Washington D.C., first as vice president of membership, then senior vice president of development, where she led the fundraising team for this thriving, nationally esteemed station, consistently exceeding their ambitious revenue goals. Before that she was senior vice president at Development Resources, Inc. where she worked with a variety of non-profit organizations, assisting them with strategic planning, leadership development, organizational capacity building, and resource generation planning. During that time she served in interim leadership positions for two Washington, D.C. nonprofits, the Washington Animal Rescue League and the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. Previously, Ms. Phelps served as vice president of communications, marketing and development for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America, where she directed the development, implementation and integration of all strategies and activities relating to marketing, fund-raising, communications and public relations, resulting in total revenue of nearly $150 million annually for the National Office and nationwide network of 75 chapters. Phelps also served as senior director for five years at the  American Red Cross, where, among other tasks, she helped lead direct response fund-raising, cause marketing, and planned giving, and developed a three-year strategic plan and marketing programs that doubled revenue in the first year and raised an average of $50 million annually.

“The needs of America’s children and animals are growing, and we are bringing on top-notch experts to help meet those needs,” said American Humane Association President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Robin Ganzert. “Mary Kay Phelps’ personal passion and experience align perfectly with our mission and focus on children and animals, as well as the human-animal bond. She is recognized throughout the field for her creative, innovative philanthropy and marketing strategies, including online fundraising and social media, and her skills will help further accelerate our growth. We are very grateful to have her join our team.”

About American Humane Association

American Humane Association is the country’s first national humane organization and the only one dedicated to protecting both children and animals. Since 1877, American Humane Association has been at the forefront of virtually every major advance in protecting our most vulnerable from cruelty, abuse and neglect. Today we’re also leading the way in understanding the human-animal bond and its role in therapy, medicine and society. American Humane Association reaches millions of people every day through groundbreaking research, education, training and services that span a wide network of organizations, agencies and businesses. You can help make a difference, too. Visit American Humane Association at www.americanhumane.org today.

American Humane Association: Historical Highlights and Timeline

1877 American Humane Association was founded on October 9 in Cleveland, Ohio, by local humane society representatives from around the United States. The new organization’s first goal was to secure humane treatment for working animals and livestock in transit.

1886 American Humane Association’s constitution was amended to officially include children in its agenda.

1894 The Link® between violence toward animals and violence toward people was first mentioned at American Humane Association’s annual convention: “The man who was cruel to his beast would be unkind to his wife and child.”

1909 American Humane Association took on the issue of child labor.

1913 American Humane Association’s quarterly magazine, The National Humane Review, was published for the first time. The magazine featured articles on humane issues, profiles of prominent humanitarians, briefs on humane legislation and reports from local organizations.

1914 American Humane Association called for safe, off-street playgrounds.

1915 American Humane Association initiated Be Kind to Animals Week® and launched a national poster contest for children. Be Kind to Animals Week is still celebrated annually during the first full week of May and is one of the oldest special weeklong observances in the U.S.

1916 The U.S. Secretary of War invited American Humane Association “to undertake the work of doing for Army animals what the American Red Cross is doing for soldiers.” American Humane Association created American Red Star Animal Relief to rescue wounded horses on the battlefields of World War I.

1921 American Humane Association called for legislation to protect children working in the motion picture industry.

1931 American Humane Association approved a set of standards for child protection societies, which urged them to maintain the privacy rights of the children and adults they serve and to employ professional caseworkers. The organization also encouraged child welfare agencies to protect families and remove children from their parents only when absolutely necessary.

1940 After the 1939 filming of Jesse James, in which a terrified horse was killed after being forced to run off a cliff, American Humane Association opened its Western Regional Office in Hollywood, California, to fight cruelty to animals in film and television. 

American Humane Association lobbied for a bill protecting the bald eagle, which President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law.

1941 American Humane Association established standards of operation for animal protection societies. 

The Association of Motion Picture Producers agreed to give American Humane Association open access to the sets of all movies using animals.

1941 American Humane Association’s famed Red Star Animal Emergency Services program deploys following the attack on Pearl Harbor.

1945 American Humane Association started a program to provide therapy dogs for recovering World War II veterans.

1950 American Humane Association issued Standards for Child Protective Services Agencies, which clearly defined physical abuse, neglect and emotional abuse and identified a three-stage process of child protective work, including fact-finding, diagnosis and treatment.

1963 American Humane Association proposed that all 50 states pass laws requiring doctors who discover injuries inflicted on children to report the cases to child protective services.

1969 American Humane Association supported the passage of the Endangered Species Conservation Act, which provided protection for and prohibited the import of species in danger of worldwide extinction. 

American Humane Association’s first comprehensive study of sexual abuse of children found that child sexual abuse occurred in far greater numbers than did reported cases of battering.

1970 American Humane Association tackled pet overpopulation, suggesting that owners spay or neuter their animals. Critical attention was also drawn to the emergence of mass breeding operations, or “puppy mills.”

1971 An article in The National Humane Review exposed the widespread existence of cockfighting in the U.S. and called on law enforcement to crack down on the inhumane contests.

1972 American Humane Association’s first “No Animals Were Harmed”® end credit was issued to the movie The Doberman Gang.

1975 American Humane Association observed its first annual Adopt-A-Cat Month®, to encourage the adoption of cats from overcrowded animal shelters.

1976 With a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, American Humane Association began its National Study on Child Neglect and Abuse reporting in every state, collecting and analyzing child abuse reports to determine their characteristics.

1981 American Humane Association celebrated its first annual Adopt-A-Dog Month®, to encourage the adoption of dogs from local animal shelters.

1991 To keep soldiers from having to permanently give up their pets, American Humane Association developed guidelines for animal shelters to foster pets of military reservists sent to the Middle East during Operation Desert Storm.

1995 American Humane Association became a primary proponent of family group decision making (FGDM) in the U.S. FGDM is an innovative method of getting extended families involved in making critical decisions about children who are in the child welfare system. 

American Humane Association established the Second Chance® Fund to provide grants to local animal care agencies to pay for medical expenses of animal victims of malicious violence.

1997 American Humane Association launched The Front Porch Project® to directly involve community members in child protection.

1999 American Humane Association’s first Tag Day™ was celebrated to help lost pets get reunited with owners.

2000 American Humane Association launched its farm animal program to establish standards for the humane care of animals in agriculture and began certifying farms committed to raising livestock humanely.

2001 After terrorists attacked the Pentagon and the World Trade Center, American Humane Association’s Red Star™ Animal Emergency Services delivered supplies and equipment to New York City and provided medical examinations, care and decontamination for search-and-rescue dogs.

2005 Red Star Animal Emergency Services deployed to Louisiana to help animal victims of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma. With 18,000 man-hours logged by volunteers and staff over more than six weeks, it was the longest and most extensive disaster response in American Humane Association’s history.

2006 American Humane Association hosted its first differential response conference. Differential response is an approach that allows child protective services to respond differently to each child abuse report, depending on the severity of the abuse, the family’s history and other factors. To address growing issues in child welfare, American Humane Association established the Immigration and Child Welfare initiative and the Fatherhood initiative.

2007 American Humane Association established the Child Protection Research Center to address long-standing issues related to the improvement of public child protective services. The Center examines the child welfare system’s racial disproportionality, among other issues.

2008 American Humane Association established the Child Welfare Disparities Resource Center to address issues of how services are managed, resourced and provided based on race and ethnicity.

2009 UNICEF chose American Humane Association’s Child Protection Research Center and its partner, Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, to work on its international household surveys on child discipline. 

The majority of the nation’s cage-free egg producers became certified by the American Humane Association Certified™ farm animal program.

2010 Along with other animal welfare organizations, American Humane Association joined the Animal Relief Coalition for Haiti to provide funding and emergency response services for animals affected by the earthquake.

2010 Began a ground-breaking partnership with Zoetis (formerly Pfizer Animal Health) to determine how animal-assisted therapy can improve the health and well-being of children with cancer and their families.

2011 Established the Animal Welfare Research Institute to explore and achieve advances in predictive, preventive and participatory methods to save animals’ lives and improve their quality of life.

Launched the American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards™ to honor dogs who transform people’s lives through unconditional love, devotion and intuition.

American Humane Association provided vital help following the earthquake and nuclear disaster in Japan, the massive floods in Memphis, TN, and the killer tornado in Joplin, MO.

2012 Launched the Children’s Innovation Institute to study the key issues affecting children and families.  

Deployed and brought hundreds of thousands of pounds of critically needed food and medicine to shelters across the Northeast following Superstorm Sandy.

2013 American Humane Association deployed its famed Red Star rescue team to aid the animal victims of the devastating EF-5 tornado in Moore, Oklahoma.

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