Meet our new Executive Director, Tara!
For many of you, this is my first opportunity to reach out and introduce myself. My name is Tara Bowser, and I stepped into the role of Executive Director in June, after serving as Interim Director for four months. Although this role is still very new to me, being an Animal Friends employee is one that is very familiar. •
My career with Animal Friends began 12 years ago, in October 2006, at the “old” shelter in Trenton. Then Executive Director, Leland Gordon, hired me on as part-time kennel help, which worked perfectly with my full-time schedule as mom to two rowdy toddlers, Breanna & Jacob. Being an animal lover since I was a toddler myself, I knew it was only a matter of time before I began investing even more of my time at Animal Friends. When a full-time office position opened up a few months later, I decided to apply for it and began working alongside Becky and LaShon that coming January. From there, I had the privilege of becoming Foster Coordinator, Rescue Coordinator, Kennel Manager, and then Operations Manager, a position created in 2011, and held only by me up until July of this year. Throughout the past 12 years, I have also spent my fair share of time working alongside our amazing surgery staff and the Dog Warden’s Office - from assisting with various surgeries to helping clear out animals from the homes of hoarders. I have even had the pleasure of being a puppy handler the last 3 years for all six of our Puppy Bowl pups, traveling each football season, with my husband Dan in tow, to New York City to film with Animal Planet. •
None of this, however, would have been possible without the support and guidance of our former ED, Meg Stephenson. I had the honor of working hand in hand with Meg during her entire career at Animal Friends. From her, I was able to learn what it takes to lead an organization to greatness. I appreciate the role Meg played in helping me get to where I am today, and I can only hope that my years as ED brings as much success as hers did.