Hawaii Island Humane Society Reorganizes, Hires CEO

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The Hawaii Island Humane Society’s volunteer board of directors has been exploring options on how best to align its mission of preventing cruelty to animals, eliminating pet overpopulation and enhancing the bond between humans and animals while accommodating a growing population and an increasing need for services.

HIHS operates three shelters—Kea‘au, Waimea and Kona—and covers over 4,000 square miles and a diverse rural population.

To meet its goals, HIHS is restructuring its management and operations with new leadership and resources. After a nationwide search, HIHS hired a new CEO with extensive experience to lead the management team and oversee all facets of the organization. The new CEO, Charles Brown, starts in early August 2019.

Brown comes to HIHS with a wealth of shelter experience, overseeing shelter operations and animal control services as a director of shelters in Indiana, Tennessee and Maryland. He previously served as a member of the board of directors for a humane society in Idaho and has worked closely with law enforcement agencies to investigate animal cruelty complaints.


“To best utilize our resources, the restructuring plan also calls for the elimination of two positions—director of finance and director of shelter operations.

“We thank both Regina Serrano and Robert Belcher for their service to the Hawaii Island Humane Society and we wish them the best in their future endeavors,” said HIHS President Adam Atwood.

Once the new CEO is on board, the board of directors will again focus on long-term strategic planning for the organization.


In an effort to be the best organization the Hawaii Island Humane Society can be, it has hired the nationally known firm Humane Logic. The organization is working directly with Humane Logic President Nicolas Gilman to provide an overview and assessment of all operations including policies, procedures and protocols for animal evaluation and euthanasia practices to insure that the organization is following nationally recognized best practices and procedures. Gilman has extensive experience nationally and working at the local levels at animal shelters doing everything from direct care of animals to executive director.

As an organization, HIHS remains committed to continually improving its operations.

The state-of-the-art Animal Community Center in Kona is well under construction and phase 2, which includes a Welcome Center and Adoption Areas, is looking to be completed by early 2020. Phase 3, which will include a Vet Clinic, Animal Control Receiving and a Large Animal (horses and cows) Barn, will begin construction in 2020.


The two Central Bark Dog Parks for both large and small dogs opened last year.

“We remain committed to animal welfare and it truly takes a village,” said Atwood. “We are so appreciative of our team of dedicated staff, volunteers, community supporters and generous philanthropists that support the Hawaii Island Humane Society.”

About Hawaii Island Humane Society

The mission of the Hawaii Island Humane Society is to promote respect for all animals, prevent cruelty to animals, eliminate pet overpopulation and enhance the bond between humans and animals. HIHS holds a contract with the County of Hawai‘i to enforce certain animal-related laws and it offers 24-hour service for injured animals and other animal emergencies, humane education classes, low-cost spay and neuter services, lost and found assistance, micro-chipping and more. Learn more at or call (808) 329-1175.

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