The Humane Society of the Flint Hills has hired a new executive director.

As a creative collaborator, Stephanie Achille plans to bring in fresh ideas while incorporating art and innovating connections to her new position. She brings a high quality of creative executive experience.

Growth and advocacy are two things Achille wants to implement to the HSFH.

“I am also an avid lover of animals, have had the pleasure of adopting pets in the past, believe in the power of [animal] education,” she said “And [I] look forward to using my strengths and passions in fundraising for this dear cause of the love of animals and their safety in the community.”

Animal education entails educating the community about who to call, what they can do, what shelters can offer, what the humane society can help them with or other rescues in town.

“Building our presence in town and Lyon County will assist less animals in our shelter, and that is definitely a huge goal of ours!” she said.

Within her first week, Achille reached out to several local businesses to talk about future collaborations such as building funds for the Emporia Animal Shelter and educational program offerings.

“I hope that the community welcomes us as we push forward with some new ideas, events and initiatives,” Achille said.

She has already begun planning the 2021 event calendar and has made initial plans for an active membership and volunteer drive for HSFH and plans for a grand celebration.

“May 2021 is the 50th anniversary of the HSFH. We really plan to have some sort of large celebration, possible gala event, a kind of 50 for 50,” she said excitedly. “We’re going to do a campaign to raise funds and we’re keeping it under wraps for our ideas.”

At the board meeting on Wednesday evening, Achille informed that she brought new ideas and thoughts to the table that had not been thought of before.

Achille has served in the Emporia community as a local business owner and instructor of Paint Date and Decor Events as well as the Assistant Manager of Four Seasons Apartments.

Achille received her Bachelor of Arts in Studio Arts at Wells College in Aurora, New York. She was the former director of student activities and Student Center at Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota.

Now, she is finishing her Master’s Degree in Arts Leadership and Management through Wichita State while beginning her new journey with HSFH.

Despite the ongoing novel coronavirus, Achille is still grateful for the local love the community expresses.

“I’ve been very happy that the local love is there and people are supportive,” she said. “Even during these challenging times of COVID, we all have to rely on one another.”

Achille said the humane society is looking forward to being able to be more open to volunteers and the community again.

Currently, there are 25 kittens that need spay and neutering services. Achille is planning to have a drive to provide those services.She hopes to eventually tackle a capital campaign for the growing number of services provided.

“With a little help from our community friends, I have no doubt that the light at the end of the 2020 tunnel will become bright and brighter,” she said.

Picasso’s words are a strong motto in her life: “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.”

“I plan to make this shine through for my new position with HSFH,” Achille said.

For more information about the Humane Society of the Flint Hills, visit http://humanesocietyflinthills.org or follow HSFH on Facebook @humanesocietyfh to stay up to date with news, animals for adoption, donations and volunteering opportunities.

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