Jackie Roach

Executive Director, Northwest Arkansas

Best Friends Animal Society

Jackie has long believed that we can only begin to make a difference in the lives of animals when we enhance and improve the lives of the humans caring for them. Jackie has been a self-proclaimed guest experience fanatic since her first “real” job working in guest services and VIP experience for Walt Disney World. Fast forward a bunch of years: She landed her dream job, being responsible for Best Friends’ work in Northwest Arkansas where she is leading the effort to build a community-based pet resource center in Bentonville, Arkansas. Jackie also founded and leads the Northwest Arkansas Partnership for Animal Welfare (NWAPAW), a coalition of more than 40 members serving both ends of the leash in the region. Though she doesn’t come from an animal welfare background, Jackie spent most of her career in business leadership, primarily in e-commerce where change is a way of life. She was able to find a perfect balance in change management through proactive communication, fostering a culture of rethinking, asking “why not” and celebrating failures. Her first animal welfare experience was in 2008, volunteering as an adoption counselor for Nebraska Humane Society, Omaha's open-admission shelter. In 2010, she and her husband, Mike, founded Taysia Blue Rescue, which has foster and volunteer teams in seven states: Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Colorado, Arkansas and Tennessee. Last year volunteers logged more than 28,000 service hours working with dozens of pet owners and more than 90 municipal shelters to transfer in excess of 350 huskies and malamutes needing help.