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.
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!