Dr. Haston received a PhD in geophysics from the University of California Santa Barbara and an MBA in finance from Rice University. Prior to his time in animal welfare, he worked in the oil and gas industry and was an entrepreneur who started and owned several successful businesses. In 2012, Dr. Haston dedicated himself full-time to animal welfare and now is the Chief of Analytics at PetSmart Charities. He also serves on the boards of Emancipet, Animal Grant Makers, National Council on Pet Population and Shelter Animals Count. At the 2018 CFHS National Animal Welfare Conference, Dr. Haston will be presenting a session entitled Innovative Approaches to Helping People and Pets: Bringing It All Together. We reached him at his PetSmart Charities office in Phoenix, Arizona.
Canadian Federation of Humane Societies (CFHS): I have to say I’m curious about how you found your way into animal welfare given your background in business and geophysics. How did that come to be?
Dr. Roger Haston: Well, I have a PhD in geophysics and an MBA in finance and spent most of my career working in the oil and gas industry and in technology. But I’ve always had a love for animals. So, I started volunteering at a local humane society – the Humane Society of Boulder Valley – and soon got involved with their Board of Directors. Around the same time, I had started doing some non-profit consulting. I really enjoyed making a difference in animal welfare and working within the charitable sector. As fate or luck would have it, a friend of mine told me about an organization in Colorado called Animal Assistance Foundation that was seeking an executive director. I ended up taking that position and I’ve been in animal welfare ever since.
CFHS: How long were you there?
RH: I was at the Animal Assistance Foundation for about five years, and then an opportunity at PetSmart Charities of North America came up. It was exciting to me to be able to have a larger impact on the lives of pets right across the continent, so I moved down here to Phoenix about 18 months ago.
CFHS: Can you talk a bit about your role at PetSmart Charities and PetSmart Charities of Canada and what your focus of work is there?
RH: As Chief of Analytics, I have a broad scope here at PetSmart Charities. My responsibility is to look at a lot of data – I’m kind of the big data guy there – to better understand trends that are happening in animal welfare, both in the U.S. and Canada, and measure the impact that grants, like those from PetSmart Charities, are having on those trends. I’m also leading the innovation and research projects that we’re embarking on, as well. Essentially, I have a position that’s very forward-looking and focused on understanding how PetSmart Charities can have the biggest impact with our dollars and what are some of the key trends that are going on that help to direct our granting budget.
CFHS: And in your presentation at the National Animal Welfare Conference in April, that’s what you’re going to be focusing on – sharing the insights that you’ve gained from your work with data and programs.
RH: Yes, I really wanted to use this talk to highlight some of the most interesting and innovative programs that I’ve seen around the country – ones that stand out to me as indicators of where animal welfare is headed. During the session, we’ll also be looking at some of the data and trends that are influencing the changes we’re seeing in the sector, as well.
CFHS: From what I understand, you’ve come across some really interesting community-based programs that people could adapt to address animal welfare concerns in their communities, too.
RH: You’ve just touched upon one of the biggest changes that we see happening in animal welfare: it’s really starting to move outside the shelter system and beginning to be much more about providing resources for pet parents – especially in under-served communities. We’ll talk about some interesting cat programs that I’ve seen and look at some emerging research on the power of the human-animal bond. We have a very interesting research study PetSmart Charities of Canada has funded at the University of British Columbia, looking at early childhood development and its relationship to pets. I’ll be talking about that and providing a broad look at the life-long relationship between people and pets, and how the animal welfare industry, pet parents, community groups, granting organizations and veterinarians are all working together to explore, maintain and enhance the human-animal bond.
CFHS: Interesting. Who do you think would most benefit from your session?
RH: Well, I believe there will be something for everybody in this session. What I really hope is that hearing about emerging trends and new programs will spur some new thinking across the Canadian animal welfare industry. I hope people might pull some ideas from my presentation, adapt them and consider how they may apply some of these learnings to their own shelters and communities.
CFHS: What do you hope people will walk away with after attending this session?
RH: What I hope they walk away with is an understanding (a) that the world of animal welfare is changing very quickly and we need to start responding to that, and (b) that the world of animal welfare is so much more than just animal sheltering. So much of the work that needs to be done is out in the community, helping people and their pets. With this mindset, we’ll soon see even more new and innovative programs for people and pets – and that’s what we’re all hoping to do at this year’s conference – to learn what we can to help save and enhance the lives of animals everywhere.
TUESDAY, APRIL 24
Moderator: Derek deLouche, Director of Resource Development and Member Services, Canadian Federation of Humane Societies (CFHS)
Don MacIntosh, Sales & Marketing Director of Professional Division, Royal Canin Canada
Dani Mailing, Regional Relationship Manager, PetSmart Charities of Canada
Allison Schultz, Agency Development Associate, The Calgary Foundation
This session will outline the ins and outs of how different funders can work together to help you realize your programming and capital campaign goals, write a great funding plan, measure impact and report back in ways that meet expectations and maintain positive relationships with your funders. Each speaker represents a different funder perspective and how funding organization are collaborating to make a difference in our communities.
- How foundation, corporate and private partners can come together to fund your projects.
- Addressing community needs with multiple partners working together rather than working apart.
- Communicating results and ensuring funder satisfaction.
Derek deLouche has devoted his career to making positive change in the world in the area of children and youth and, now, animal welfare. He is a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) and is the immediate Past-President of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), Ottawa Chapter. He has received multiple awards during his professional career, including the United Way Ottawa Community Builder Award in 2016 and AFP’s Outstanding Fundraising Executive Award in 2004. Derek’s personal passions include volunteering and social media, and he has a love of dining out. Originally from Newfoundland and Labrador, Derek and his husband Brad moved to Ottawa in 2010, and they live in Barrhaven with their rescue dog Turbo. Derek volunteers as a presenter with United Way Ottawa’s Community Builder Awards, on the board of the Youville Centre and is a past board member of the Ten Oaks Projects.
Don MacIntosh leads Royal Canin’s Professional Division, which works closely with many shelters across Canada. The Professional Division is dedicated to nutrition, providing education & sharing best practices between shelter partners across Canada and beyond. Don is an experienced marketing leader with proven results across several businesses and campaigns in Canada and the USA over the past decade. Don was awarded the Global "Make The Difference" Award for Mars in 2016 for his leadership on the launch of a large charitable partnership (Red Nose Day, USA), which has successfully raised $100 million since 2015. Don is passionate about spending time with his family and their dog Jerry. Together, they enjoy road trips, hiking, skiing and (of course) the Blue Jays!
With a deep passion for issues related to animal welfare, the environment, and social justice, Dani Mailing believes in the power of charities to address the challenges of our time. Dani is the Regional Relationship Manager for PetSmart Charities of Canada. She volunteers her time as a board member of the Sustainability Network, and as treasurer for Be Good Be Social, a free social media conference for non-profits. Dani lives in Toronto and spends her free time hiking (and eating ice cream) with her senior dog Clementine.
Allison Schulz is a seasoned fundraising professional with 20 years of experience in planning and integrating comprehensive development strategies. As the Agency Development Associate, Allison collaborates with team members to assist charitable organizations optimize the multiple benefits of having a relationship with the Calgary Foundation. This proactive relationship management approach assists organizations to build long-term revenue generation strategies to support working capital requirements through diversified funding streams. As an active member of her community, Allison dedicates her time to the parent advisory council at her son’s school, is a coach for a local cross-country running group, and is a dedicated volunteer for organizations working with housing insecure or homeless single parents. Allison, together with her husband and son, enjoy spending their spare time in the great outdoors on skis or their mountain bikes.