Lauren Nickerson Named Hawaii Island Humane Society CEO
KAILUA-KONA, HAWAII (6-1-21)—The Hawaii Island Humane Society (HIHS) Board of Directors has named its current Chief Operations Officer Lauren Nickerson as Chief Executive Officer. Nickerson replaces interim CEO Dr. Elizabeth “Beth” Jose who remains as the organization’s West Hawaii Veterinarian. Dr. Beth Jose has served on an interim basis as CEO since 2019 while simultaneously serving as the Veterinarian for the Hawaii Island Humane Society’s Animal Community Center in Kona and the Mobile Spay & Neuter ‘Waggin
“We appreciate Dr. Beth’s contributions and commitment to the HIHS mission. We are indeed thankful that Dr. Beth will lead our organization’s efforts the now under construction 10,000 square foot Anne Barasch Ryan Animal Hospital on our campus in Kona,” said HIHS President Adam Atwood.
“Lauren’s education and expertise in shelter operations, coupled with her knowledge and experience, has made her the ideal candidate for this position. No one is more dedicated to the Hawaii Island Humane Society’s mission and success of our operation than Lauren,” said HIHS President Adam Atwood.
Lauren Nickerson was hired in January 2019 and served previously as Community Programs Director and Chief Operating Officer for Hawaii Island Humane Society before being named CEO. She graduated from the University of Hawaii Manoa with honors and holds a Masters Degree in Education from Harvard University.
Providing passionate care for animals is at the heart of who Lauren is. Lauren has worked diligently to study and incorporate national best practices of animal sheltering. She has developed several lifesaving programs to improve the lives of people and animals including a Pet Support Program designed to keep pets in homes, additional opportunities for pets to get shelter breaks through field trips, sleepovers and fostering, reducing barriers to adoption by utilizing progressive, conversation-based adoption counseling, and by providing enrichment opportunities for shelter and foster animals to meet their social and emotional needs.
Lauren first became involved with the Hawaii Island Humane Society in 2016 when she and her husband adopted a blind and deaf dog named Pearl. Lauren volunteered her time to help with fundraising for HIHS through photography and by utilizing an Instagram account for Pearl. She has used social media to educate, advocate and give back and has raised thousands of dollars for the Hawaii Island Humane Society and other organizations.
“I’m excited about the progress we’ve made at the Hawaii Island Humane Society. We’re utilizing modern, science-based training techniques to help shelter animals thrive. We’re making great strides and I’m happy to report that the Hawaii Island Humane Society has an Average Live Release rate of 95%,” said Lauren Nickerson.
“We’re also bringing in volunteers and making plans to open both our Keaau Shelter and the Animal Community Center in Kona after being shuttered for over a year due to the pandemic. We remain steadfast and committed to our mission to prevent cruelty to animals, eliminate pet overpopulation and enhance the bond between humans and animals and look forward to working with our island community to accomplish these goals.”
Director of Lifesaving Operations
“I’m proud to announce that Alyssa Tabert is stepping into a new role as Director of Lifesaving Operations. Alyssa has a long history of volunteering with various rescue organizations in Washington and Oregon and has been volunteering and fostering at Hawaii Island Humane Society since 2018. She most recently was Hawaii Island Humane Society’s Lifesaving Programs Coordinator,” said CEO Lauren Nickerson.
Hawaii Island Humane Society is a nonprofit organization with a mission to promote respect for all animals, prevent cruelty to animals, eliminate pet overpopulation, and enhance the bond between humans and animals. Since 1965, Hawaii Island Humane Society has promoted spay/neuter as a vehicle to eliminate pet overpopulation and has continued outreach island wide at its two shelters in Keaau and at the Animal Community Center in Kona. The Hawaii Island Humane Society utilizes its Mobile Spay & Neuter ‘Waggin to increase the number of appointments and expand its reach into the rural communities on island. Its innovative fostering programs increase lifesaving efforts by allowing more space in the shelters and additional room to hold incoming animals.
For more information about Hawaii Island Humane Society, visit hihs.org.
About Hawaii Island Humane Society
The Hawaii Island Humane Society has been serving the Hawaii Island community for 56 years with a mission to promote respect for all animals, prevent cruelty to animals, eliminate pet overpopulation, and enhance the bond between humans and animals. Hawaii Island Humane Society offers pet adoptions, foster-to-adopt, foster, community spay and neuter, Community Pet Pantry, field trips for shelter dogs, and end of life euthanasia services. The Hawaii Island Humane Society is supported by Bissel Pet Foundation, Greater Good Charities, Petco Love, Petfinder Pro, Petsmart Charities, Tiffany & Co., West Hawaii Humane Society and Wings of Rescue. To adopt or foster a pet, volunteer or donated to the Hawaii Island Humane Society log on to hihs.org for more information or call 808-329-1175 in West Hawaii and 808-966-5458 in East Hawaii. Follow HIHS on social media for the latest information.