Regional Director, Mid-Atlantic Region
Makena Yarbrough is the MidAtlantic regional director for Best Friends Animal Society. She is working with coalitions and partners in North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia to establish lifesaving programs and policies to help them reach nokill by 2025. In her home state of Virginia, she is a board member for the Virginia Federation of Humane Societies and has been working toward a nokill Virginia for many years. Before joining Best Friends, Makena was the executive director of the Lynchburg Humane Society, the largest nokill organization in the state of Virginia, and was recognized by Maddies Fund as a recipient of the 2018 Maddie Hero Award. When she joined Lynchburg Humane Society in July 2009 as its first executive director, the organizations save rate was 49 percent. She quickly worked with the organizations board to develop and implement a longrange plan to take the community to nokill. Under her leadership, the organization tripled the size of the board of directors developed a more financially equitable relationship with the city of Lynchburg began managing the regional spayneuter clinic created a citywide effort to provide free spayneuter for community cats and substantially increased community funding, awareness and involvement in the cause. The result was an increase in the save rate to 94 percent. Makena began her animal welfare career in 2000 with the Richmond SPCA, first as the director of education and then as the director of operations. Before assuming her position at the Lynchburg Humane Society, Makena was the associate director for the CharlottesvilleAlbemarle SPCA.