MILWAUKEE – The Wisconsin Humane Society (WHS) announced recently that Anne Reed, president and chief executive officer (CEO), plans to retire at the end of September 2022. The Board of Directors has appointed Alison Kleibor to succeed Reed as president & CEO on October 1, 2022. Kleibor is currently the executive vice president of WHS.
“On behalf of the board of directors, staff, and volunteers, we want to thank Anne for her outstanding leadership and impact over more than a decade with the Wisconsin Humane Society,” said Dave Hecker, board chair. “Anne’s vision and strategy have transformed the organization, making a significant impact on thousands of animals and people in need, while deepening WHS’s strength and sustainability.”
Reed’s tenure has been defined by improved outcomes for animals and significant growth of the organization. Outcomes for animals improved substantially under Reed’s leadership, from an average live release rate of below 80% in 2010, to 91% in 2021, supported by a significant drive to reduce the time animals spend in the sheltering system. Progressive, people-centered approaches to adoption practices, medical and behavioral support, and foster programs have led to that success.
When Reed began at WHS in January 2010, there were 100 employees and a $6 million budget. Today, WHS employs 240 people with a $14 million budget. In Reed’s tenure, WHS has opened state-of-the art shelters in Saukville and Racine, launched the first high-volume public spay/neuter clinic in Milwaukee County, and acquired the animal shelters serving Racine, Green Bay, and Door County. WHS currently operates animal shelters in Racine, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Brown, and Door Counties, as well as the spay/neuter clinic in West Allis, and is the primary organization serving one third of Wisconsin’s animals and families.
“It has been an honor and privilege to serve as president and CEO during this period of impact and growth, and I want to offer my gratitude to our employees whose hard work, dedication, and openness to change have allowed WHS to achieve so much,” said Reed. “I also want to thank our volunteers, donors, and communities for their steadfast support of our work.”
“Anne has built a tremendous leadership team that consistently sets and exceeds challenging goals to improve the lives of animals and families in the communities we serve,” said Hecker. “We have excellent leaders across the organization, which is a huge strength that sets us up for continued success.”
Kleibor’s selection to be the next president & CEO is the culmination of a multi-year leadership development system and a succession planning process led by the board of directors.
Kleibor joined the Wisconsin Humane Society in 2007 and in her 15 years with the organization, has held multiple senior leadership positions in client services, animal care, shelter operations, and shelter management. Most recently, she has led the development, communications, and human resources teams.
In addition to obtaining a graduate certificate and a master’s degree in Veterinary Medical Sciences with a concentration in Shelter Medicine from the University of Florida, Kleibor has a master’s degree from Alverno College, and a bachelor’s degree from Marquette University. She is a Certified Animal Welfare Administrator, and a member of the Association for Animal Welfare Advancement.
Kleibor was at the helm of some of WHS’s largest animal rescues, from the emergency rescue of 94 animals from the condemned Orphan Kanines animal shelter in Racine in 2014, to the law enforcement seizure and intake of more than 160 animals from a home in Green Bay in 2021. She has also directed a dramatic expansion of WHS’s foster program, culminating in a COVID response in 2020 in which hundreds of new foster families were onboarded and animals safely placed in their homes in the space of just a few days.
In addition, Kleibor has been instrumental in the evolution of WHS’s people-centered philosophy, which guides the organizational approach to serving the public. In an industry that can often be judgmental or critical of people, WHS aims to build relationships with people using a welcoming, supportive, and non-judgmental approach. Kleibor’s leadership behind this approach has transformed the ways in which WHS serves the public and bridges gaps that exist for animals in the community.
The next six months will include transition planning and preparation, and Kleibor will officially assume the president & CEO role on October 1, 2022, which coincides with WHS’s fiscal year.
“I want to thank Anne for her distinguished leadership at WHS, and also the board and our staff for their confidence in me as I step into this role,” said Kleibor. “I am honored and excited to have the opportunity to continue to make a difference in the lives of animals and the people who love them.”
About Wisconsin Humane Society
The Wisconsin Humane Society (WHS), which offers the Featured Pet segment, is a private nonprofit organization whose mission is to build a community where people value animals and treat them with respect and kindness.
Founded in 1879, the WHS has been saving the lives of animals in need for nearly 140 years. WHS is a 501(c)(3) organization and operates animal shelters in Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Door, and Brown Counties, as well as a spay/neuter clinic in West Allis. WHS annually serves 40,000 animals. WHS receives no general government funding and is not part of any national umbrella organization. WHS is the largest shelter in the state of Wisconsin.