Introducing Susana Della Maddalena, OK Humane CEO & President

February 21st, 2014

Letter from the Chairman

We are pleased to announce that after a six month long search made possible in part by a grant from the ASPCA®, the Board of Directors of OK Humane have appointed Susana “Sue” M. Della Maddalena as CEO to replace OK Humane Founder Christy Counts. Sue came to OK Humane with an impressive background in serving animals, and she is well known and revered in the animal welfare community. Sue has been with OK Humane since the beginning of the year after relocating from Phoenix, Arizona.

When asked her thoughts on taking the helm at OK Humane, Sue replied, “I have long-considered the Central Oklahoma Humane Society to be a best-practice organization. From the quality of its programs to the caliber of its staff, the organization has achieved national recognition for the difference it’s making for homeless pets in this community. I’m excited to join the team and to work with the staff, board of directors and the community to build on this momentum and eradicate pet homelessness in Oklahoma City.”

Prior to joining OK Humane, Sue served as Vice President and Executive Director of PetSmart Charities for ten years.  Under her leadership, the organization grew from $8 million in annual contribution income in 2003 to more than $40 million in 2012 and the organization became the largest funder in animal welfare in North America. During her time at PetSmart Charities, the organization saved the lives of more than 5 million pets through adoption and subsidized more than 2.1 million spay/neuter surgeries, preventing the birth of more than 7.5 million unplanned pets. Sue holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Iowa and a Master of Business Administration from the Thunderbird School of Global Management. She is a pet parent to four adopted dogs – Meg, Finnegan, Sam and Scooter, as well as three horses named Cash, Envy and Shelby.

Sue Della Madalena photo for Board Chairman Letter

Sue with two of her adopted dogs.

Christy Counts believes she has left the organization she worked so hard to build over the last seven years in capable hands. Christy would like to share the following message with you about her departure as Executive Director:

“My journey with OK Humane has been an incredibly rewarding experience. It has given me the opportunity to work side by side with amazing and talented people to create real change for animals in our community. As I transition out of my role as Executive Director, I feel confident that there could be no better fit for leadership of this organization than Sue Della Maddalena. Even though I will be moving out of state, I will remain on the Board of Directors of OK Humane and look forward to continuing this exciting journey in a different but equally important role.”

We look forward to our supporters getting to know Sue as we forge ahead to serve the pets that need us in our community. You are vital to the continued success of OK Humane, and our work would not be possible without you!

Julie Hall

Julie Hall signature

Board Chairman


6 Responses to “Introducing Susana Della Maddalena, OK Humane CEO & President”

  1. Heather Herrera says:

    I am so excited to see Christie pursue her own happiness! While she will be greatly missed by so many of us, I am excited to see where the organization grows in the future. These 2 women’s skills and talents merging into one organization will surely lead to great things.

  2. Jamee Suarez says:

    Welcome Sue Della Maddalena!

  3. Deana Wright says:

    Thanks to a wonderful person like Christie and Sue I have the two Loves of my life who has helped me have a purpose in life.
    I have Cancer and my partner and I have adopted to Boys Bruce and Roscoe. His name was (Ron Rico). They are a challenge that I love more everyday. The have two different personalities. I forgot two males can be a challenge. When I am not feeling well they are right there and force me to get out and walk everyday.
    Without the Central Humane Society I wouldn’t have these two wonderful boys. After I had lost my dog Buddy I was so depressed and finally agreed to go look and fell so in love and seen the care they has been under we adopted two with no regrets what so ever. Without any training they are able to detect my seizures and have saved me more than once. THANKS SO MUCH??

    • okhumane says:

      Deana, we are so glad we were able to help you find two pets who can help you so much! Thank you for your kind words and for adopting.

  4. Rex Chaney says:

    Hello Sue. Good to see you and your job. I am so happy you are doing well, and enjoying your work. It was great working with you at the Agency and Safeway. REX

  5. Gary Roberts says:

    Ms. Maddalena,

    Welcome to Oklahoma City. You sound like the kind of person we need more of. My wife and I are looking forward to meeting you. God Bless.

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