Patty Hegwood, a New Orleans native, is a powerhouse of energy and optimism, and glows with enthusiasm for the cause. You might find her emceeing at Best Friends’s annual Strut Your Mutt, or inspiring a national network of volunteers to do more to increase life saving in communities across the country.

Patty first came into contact with Best Friends Animal Society shortly after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans. Best Friends was performing immediate rescue and triage for pets that had been affected by the storm, among many other rescue groups including Animal Ark, a community focused animal hospital and wellness facility serving the greater New Orleans area, founded by Patty in 1997.

Patty said the Best Friends crew emerged out of the mist like firefighters out of the smoke, wearing dog leashes across their chest and she knew at that moment that she belonged on their team. She moved from the deep South to the Kanab, Utah desert in 2006 to start working with Best Friends as the Clinic Manager. She has since transitioned to the Volunteer Engagement Division as Director of Volunteer & Visitor Experience, a role which works to ensure that supporters of the Best Friends animal sanctuary have a positive and inspirational experience that will offer them educational and research opportunities upon returning to their home communities.

Patty remains connected to New Orleans by keeping a position on the Board of Directors of Spaymart, a New Orleans animal welfare organization. She now lives in Kanab, Utah with her family and enjoys hiking and gardening. She uses her national travels to inspire the masses, and is always on the lookout for local shops and cute shoes!

Best Friends has a base of over 20,000 Volunteers who share their talent and time at the Best Friends Sanctuary in Utah and through National Events and Programming. Patty will focus on helping you set your organization up for success by tapping into Volunteer Leadership, the benefits of Volunteer Training and the resulting increased capacity which will create a force of dedicated and devoted Volunteers focused on your mission of saving animal lives, locally and nationally.

Haven’t registered for the conference yet? Join Patty and other local and national leaders, as we put our heads together to MAKE AMERICA NO-KILL! Register now: www.americanpetsalive2014.eventbrite.com

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