Executive Director of Lynchburg Humane Society
Makena Yarbrough joined the Lynchburg Humane Society in July 2009 as the first executive director for the organization. She quickly worked with the innovative board of directors to develop and implement a long-range plan to take the community to no-kill. Since her arrival, the organization has tripled the size of the board of directors, developed a more equitable relationship with the city of Lynchburg as their contracted pound, begun managing the regional spay/neuter clinic, created a citywide free spay/neuter effort for community cats, increased community awareness and involvement in the cause, and improved the save rate from 49% to 96%.
After a very successful capital campaign that raised $5.2 million in two and a half years, the new Edythe Elizabeth Stauffer Center for Pets opened in March 2015. On January 1, 2017, the Lynchburg Humane Society began managing the public shelter for Appomattox County. Their current save rate is 100%.
Makena began her animal welfare career in 2000 with the Richmond SPCA, first as the director of education and then as the director of operations. Before coming to Lynchburg, Makena was the associate director for the Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA.