DEARBORN — Friends for Animals of Metro Detroit Executive Director Elaine Greene will retire July 1 after 24 years at the helm.
FAMD Director of Development Kim Cross will assume the newly created posts of president and CEO.
In the past 24 years, Greene has overseen the growth of the organization — formerly known as Friends for the Dearborn Animal Shelter — from a staff of one (herself) to 16 full-time and 15 part-time employees and 311 volunteers, with an annual operating budget of $1.7 million.
Caring for over 2,500 animals each year, Greene played a central role in building the organization from a city-run animal pound to a regional animal adoption and education center, operating a state-of-the-art facility in Dearborn. Under her leadership, FAMD has saved the lives of 100 percent of adoptable animals since 1999.
“My time with this group of truly dedicated staff, volunteers and supporters has been inspiring and unforgettable,” Greene said. “I am so proud to have been part of the success of FAMD. I have seen our organization grow from a small group of passionate Dearborn residents to an animal welfare organization that has a reach across southeast Michigan and many states beyond.
“In September 2018, we opened the MaryAnn Wright Animal Adoption and Education Center which has significantly improved and enriched the shelter experience for the animals, staff and adopters. I am looking forward to FAMD providing the same to all of the animals in our care by completing Phase Two of the center.
“Above all, my most gratifying accomplishment is that we have changed the lives of thousands of animals. The Friends organization has been my everyday focus for 24 years, and retiring will be a huge change for me, but not for the organization.
“I am confident that Kim will do a fabulous job and excited to see her lead FAMD to new heights.”
The FAMD Board of Directors unanimously voted Greene to the board on March 19, FAMD Board Chairwoman MaryAnn Wright said.
“Elaine has been the backbone of our organization and we are deeply appreciative of her incredible dedication to FAMD and the growth we have realized under her leadership,” Wright said. “She will continue to provide expertise and mentoring to Kim and the team as well as ensure a seamless leadership.”
Cross joined FAMD in November 2018 and has extensive fundraising, management, and volunteer experience with several Michigan nonprofits including Michigan Humane Society, Leader Dogs for the Blind, Michigan Animal Rescue League, and also several San Francisco nonprofits such as San Francisco SPCA, San Francisco Zoo, and the Metropolitan Club.
She also has a business and financial background through her leadership roles at Goldman Sachs, Kidder Peabody, Merrill Lynch, Nantucket Multi Managers and as founder, president and chief investment officer of Highland Capital Management in San Francisco.
“Kim has a unique set of skills and experiences from the nonprofit and financial sectors that the board feels will serve FAMD well,” Wright said. “The board looks forward to working with Kim to continue to grow FAMD as a premier animal adoption and education organization, including completing Phase Two of our capital campaign to have the entire organization under one roof and all the animals and staff in a safe and healthy environment.”