HSMSC Announces New Executive Director

HSMSC Announces New Executive Director

The Board of Directors of the Humane Society of Memphis & Shelby County (HSMSC) is pleased to announce Ellen Zahariadis as the organization’s new Executive Director.

Zahariadis brings a wealth of experience to her new role. With more than 20 years of experience working in nonprofit management, she has the combination of leadership and organizational development experience that will allow her to lead and grow the work and mission of HSMSC.

The HSMSC Board undertook an exhaustive review of the Executive Director position and leadership needs for the organization, which provided valuable insights and direction for the search. A national search for the position was conducted in June, generating over 100 applicants.

“After an extensive interview process with many highly qualified candidates, the Board was thrilled to bring Ellen on board. Her experience, knowledge of non-profit management and organizational development, and passion for our mission made her the ideal choice for HSMSC and our community,” said Tim Garrett, Board President. “The positive response and interest from a pool of talented professionals is a true testament to the good work HSMSC is doing as an organization in our community.”

Zahariadis joins HSMSC from Susan G. Komen North Central Alabama, where she served as the Executive Director for 14 years. During her tenure, Zahariadis and her team successfully opened the first Susan G. Komen Community Office in Birmingham, increased overall revenue by more than 400%, and created dynamic outreach and service programs. Most recently, Ellen served as the Vice President of Development and Community Engagement for the Susan G. Komen Memphis-Midsouth Mississippi Affiliate.

“Ellen’s previous position as Executive Director of Susan G. Komen North Central Alabama, and her extensive experience in the non-profit sector make her a perfect fit for her new role with HSMSC,” says Garrett. “Just as Susan G. Komen relies on donations and volunteers to fulfill its mission, HSMSC depends heavily on volunteers and individual donations to serve the animals in our care. As an experienced leader and advocate for causes, Ellen has the right mix of skills and knowledge that we need for HSMSC.”

Zahariadis says of her new appointment, “It is an honor to have the opportunity to carry on the great work that Humane Society of Memphis and Shelby County does in the community. This position allows me to blend my passion for animal rescue and adoption with my professional
experience and strengths. I am delighted to work with all the caring and generous individuals that make up this important organization, and I am confident that together we will continue to provide excellent care and services to the animals and citizens of Memphis & Shelby County.”

The 2019 HSMSC Board of Directors includes: Board President, Tim Garrett, Belz Architecture; Vice President, Lori Brunson, RocketFuel; Secretary, Laura Martin, Harris Shelton Hanover Walsh, PLLC; Treasurer Tony P. Roe, Deloitte Tax LLP; Past President, Ted Davis, Regions Bank and Members at Large Anu Debes, DVM, Walnut Grove Animal Clinic; Katie Mars, RocketFuel, Matt Savage, Metro Construction and, Lee Walker, MS Systems. The Board also welcomes new members Brandon Kano, KPMG and Anna Mullins, New Memphis Institute. Long-standing board members Maria Garrett, Renasant Bank; Anne B. Davis, Butler Sevier Hinsley & Reid, PLLC; and Susan Gaugh Fleck, Wunderlich Securities will move to advisory roles in 2019 before rolling off in 2020. Their years of dedicated and valued service to the organization are essential to help guide the board in this year of transition.

“It is a bittersweet moment for the organization as we say a heartfelt thank you to Anne, Susan, and Maria for their strength, endurance, guidance, dedication, and service. While their official service has ended, their efforts provide a strong foundation as the organization continues to grow and move forward,” said Garrett.


Since 1933, HSMSC has advocated for animal welfare in the Memphis area, providing shelter, food, medical care, and love for thousands of injured and abused animals. HSMSC currently operates a 23,000 sq. ft. facility with the capacity to house nearly 3,500 cats and dogs annually. Our mission is to provide lifesaving medical and behavioral programs for injured and abused animals as well as provide low-cost vaccine clinics and spay/neuter services to the public to reduce pet overpopulation. For more information or to get involved with HSMSC, visit www.memphishumane.org, call 901- 937-3900, or visit the facility at 935 Farm Road.

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