On March 17th, we welcomed our new Interim Executive Director, Becky Pogorzelski! Becky has been a volunteer with Five Acres for several years and has an extensive background in the corporate realm. Her deep knowledge of Five Acres paired with her leadership skills and experience means we can continue operations of Five Acres without skipping a beat while we search for a permanent Executive Director.
Read more below to learn more about Becky, and please join us in welcoming her to this new role!
- How long have you been involved with Five Acres? I first encountered Five Acres when I adopted my dog, Mae, in 2006; it was in 2008 that I became a volunteer for the feline house because that is where they most needed volunteers. In the years since, I’ve gotten involved in several areas.
- What kept you at Five Acres for so long? I found that just by looking around and offering to help out that the possibilities are endless. I enjoy the work directly with the animals and found I am most comfortable with the cats. I also found opportunities to learn such as improving my skills with cats as I work with the ferals at Randolph, or, learning retail skills by working with the gift shop. I was also surprised at some work I didn’t think I’d enjoy; the prime example being AniMeals. I worked it one weekend and found I really enjoyed helping these families and hearing some of their stories.
- What excites you about the future of Five Acres? The team members and volunteers are so committed to helping the cats and dogs find forever homes. Our board is supportive of that mission and our community supports our work by spreading the word of our work, donating items for our shelter and food pantry. I continue to be amazed by how much our community supports Five Acres and that translates into helping our team members and volunteers do what they are passionate about. I’m excited to help lay groundwork for the future of Five Acres whether that is operational or strategic because it serves a vital need in our community.
- What is one of your favorite memories at Five Acres? Watching one of our AniMeals serve a customer and provide some comfort as she told her story. This customer nearly gave up her cats but learned of our program. She was so grateful she was crying. I watched our AniMeals volunteer give her a hug, provide food and send her on her way. This reminded me about the importance of service and the value of our community. There are so many great stories from taming feral cats, to watching long residents to home that reinforce the importance of our mission here.
- Do you have any pets of your own? I currently have two feline alumni. Mae, the dog that started my relationship with Five Acres has passed on and I haven’t added a new dog to my family yet. Many long-timers may remember Brandy from the old feline house – she is now 17+ and still unhappy about her “sister” Cami – who is 11 but it is all ‘talk’.
- What do you like to do in your free time outside of Five Acres? For fun, I love to travel, ski, cycle, and hike in addition to singing and playing guitar at my church. I am involved in a few other volunteer activities serving the young and old that help me stay connected and continue to learn. Two afternoons a week I offer Medicare counseling for residents of St. Charles and Lincoln county. This is an expertise I built in my working years and I wanted to continue to share it and help others.
Want to get in touch with Becky? You can send her a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.