A Mathews County native has taken over the helm of the Gloucester-Mathews Humane Society, promising to ensure the organization’s service to the community remains a top priority.
Amanda Wroten, an avid climber and animal lover, came out ahead of more than 70 applicants interviewed since the departure of GMHS director Ellen Thacker, who took a similar position with the Peninsula SPCA last November.
Prior to coming to the GMHS, Wroten worked for several organizations including the Boy Scouts of America, Ferguson Enterprises and was most recently executive director of the Newport News Green Foundation.
Wroten said being offered the position of executive director at the GMHS fulfills two of her biggest passions. "I’m a big animal lover and I also love to give back to the community."
Being raised in the community, Wroten said she will have a better understanding of how the GMHS can work with various hunt clubs and livestock owners, on aspects of the rural area that may not be pertinent to similar organizations in more populated localities.
Another initiative Wroten said she will take as executive director of GMHS is to actively recruit new volunteers. "Even those with allergies—there are a variety of ways you can volunteer," she said. "There is still the opportunity to donate, stuff envelopes, foster pets, etc. I want to encourage people to look at the opportunities and we will find a way for them to get involved."
She also said this time of year, the GMHS takes in a huge number of unwanted orphan kittens that are in need of adoption or a foster home.
Maintaining a sense of community is also important to Wroten. "I want to make those connections," she said, "and help people find the right animals."
She also said she will maintain an open-door policy with the community, inviting anyone to contact her—even publishing her personal cell phone number. "I want people to feel free to reach out to me," she added.
On Monday, which was her first day on the job, Wroten pledged first and foremost to listen to the staff, board members and volunteers that have been a part of the ongoing success of GMHS to ensure that all of the animals get placed in loving homes.