The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement (formerly the Society of Animal Welfare Administrators) announced today that Potter League for Animals Executive Director, Brad Shear, CAWA, was elected as the organization’s Board Chair. Shear has led the Potter League since 2016.
AAWA is an international network of professionals who actively lead and manage community animal shelters and animal control agencies and develop and promote industry best practices for cultivating collaboration in the animal welfare profession.The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement, an independent national organization and animal welfare’s only national professional association mission is to help develop strong leaders and promote standards of practice in the animal welfare profession. There are currently over 1,300 members internationally.
“It is a tremendous honor to be named Board Chair of The AAWA,” said Shear in a statement. “I believe The Association is the most important national organization in animal welfare. The Association is focused on improving leadership in local organizations around the country and finding the leaders of tomorrow so we can continue our vital work to help animals.”
During the pandemic, The AAWA has shifted from in person training and conferences to virtual. Their recent virtual fall conference had 1,270 attendees, a record for conference attendance. The Association is also the organization that oversees the Certified Animal Welfare Administrator (CAWA) program, the nation’s only certification program for animal welfare professionals.
In addition to his position as Board Chair of The Association, Shear chairs their Best Practices and Emerging Trends Committee. Brad also serves on the Hill’s Pet Nutrition Shelter Advisory Council, and is the Treasurer for the Ocean State Animal Coalition. Brad was a founder of the New York State Animal Protection Federation where he served as Board President for 7 years. He previously served on the board of Community Works of New York State and is a past chair of the Tech Valley Nonprofit Business Council.
Prior to leading the Potter League, Brad served for ten years as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society, the oldest and largest animal protection organization in New York’s Capital Region.
In 2013, Brad received the Badge of Honor Award from the Albany County District Attorney’s Office and in 2016, he received the President’s Medal from Excelsior College. In 2017 he received the Community Hero Award from Unity House of Troy. In 2018 Brad was named a “Man Who Makes a Difference” by the Women’s Resource Center in Newport Rhode Island.
Prior to his time in Albany, Brad was the Director of Operations for the Atlanta Humane Society where served on the advisory committee of the Georgia Governor’sDomestic Violence Fatality Review Board. Previously Brad managed the Brooklyn Shelter for New York City Animal Care and Control.
Brad began his animal welfare career at the Humane Society of Boulder Valley in Colorado where he managed animal shelter and animal control programs and was a commissioned cruelty investigator and served as the director of the Boulder County Animal Response Team.
Brad was born and raised in New York City, received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder and currently lives in Peace Dale, Rhode Island with his wife, 2 children, 1 dog, and 4 cats.