In any business, whether for profit or not, changes are inevitable as the organization learns and grows. The Weirdo Cat Lovers of Cleveland is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that is operated with the guiding principles that are set forth in our by-laws, as a legal entity. The Weirdo Leadership believes honesty is everything and transparency is priceless. In keeping with this, we wanted to offer a forum of discussion around the recent changes in the structure of the Board and Administration Team. We deeply value and appreciate beyond words the daily participation and of course, generosity of our members when needed, especially in these difficult times and wanted to give you all a peek behind the curtain and a chance to understand how an entity such as ours must work with legalities, regulations, and structure. As you know, there are three Weirdos no longer in Leadership – Christy K O’Malley (Prior Board Chair), Rachel Deemer Choike (Prior Executive Director) and Lesley Pontin (Prior Site Administrator and non-board member).
The majority of the board in place in March 2020 – Christy Higbee (Treasurer), Cassandra Bean Ungvarsky (Community Engagement Director), Dawn Thomas (TNR Director) and Ivy Novosel (Records Director) were not comfortable with what became a disjointed communication structure and lack of a cohesive vision for the future. These things happen within any organization or group or collective of any kind, due to differences of opinion, vision and leadership techniques. We do not take these changes lightly as they were deeply involved with our group and their removal was done without any bitterness or spite, but rather with a deep breath and a look to the horizon.
As such, a vote was set forth as per the terms of the Weirdo Cat Lovers of Cleveland’s by-laws and Christy, Rachel and Lesley were removed from the Board and from their Administrative duties by majority vote. At that time, new board members were elected (all returning board members or Weirdos) – Brandy Dita Alderson (Board Chair), Amber Tischler (Executive/Creative Director), Meredith Janik (Compliance Director) and Mandi Stevens (Director of Grants).
We feel a renewed vigor and a lighter weight on our shoulders. We are so, so appreciative of all of our members. Your stories, anecdotes, offers of help to those in need, and of course the photos of your precious fur babies are why this group exists and thrives. We are always here for your questions or concerns. Stay safe, stay healthy. Weirdos unite!