Director of Operations, Sanctuary Animal Care
Mike joined Best Friends Animal Society in July of 2018 after serving six years (2012-2018) as operations manager and director of shelter operations for the Animal Welfare Society of Camden, New Jersey. When he came aboard at Best Friends, he was immediately embedded as executive director of the Palm Valley Animal Society (PVAS), one of the most challenged organizations in the country. In more than 22 months under Mike’s leadership and supported by Best Friends, PVAS reevaluated its entire operation and went from a save rate of 34% to 90%. The amazing turnaround showed further proof of the success of Best Friends’ embed concept and it’s another example of the importance of collaboration between organization and putting resources where they’re most needed. After Palm Valley, Mike moved to an embed position as animal services director at Abilene Animal Services (Texas), where he presided over an increase in lifesaving from 55% to 88%, with several months exceeding 90%.Mike left Best Friends in 2021 and served in two executive roles with Companions and Animals for Reform and Equity (CARE), an organization that worked with Best Friends in the initial phase of Best Friends’ diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) programming. He returned to Best Friends in March of 2022 to accept the position of director of operations at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, where he oversees animal care and works with animal care leadership and other divisions across Best Friends. His job specifically focuses on how to best support Best Friends’ mission of achieving no-kill nationwide by 2025. Mike was a 2021 participant in the animal welfare Executive Leadership Certification program, a partnership between Best Friends Animal Society and Southern Utah University.