Summer 2019 BOD Candidates
September 20, 2018

ESRA Board of Directors Candidates

Thank you for taking time to review the questions and answers prepared by the candidates for the 2020 election. As the board notified members, the election was uncontested. After consulting with ESRA's lawyer, ESRA declined to conduct the election and has appointed incumbents Nicole Bellemare and Dan Replogle to the open board seats. Their three-year terms will run through summer 2023.

Click on each name to review their responses. Presented in alphabetical order by last name.

The views presented are those of the candidates and do not necessarily represent the views of English Springer Rescue America, Inc., its members, or its board of directors.

If you have questions, please email [email protected].

How long have you been an ESRA member?
I have been a member of ESRA since 2013 when I found out about the organization by following a woman that had a Springer on Instagram. I was inspired by her posts and wanted to get involved with the breed I love so much.

What volunteering have you done for ESRA?
I started out with ESRA by performing screening calls for potential adopters. Since I was an avid Instagram user and had an Instagram account for my Springer Tommy, I begged to start an ESRA Instagram account. I was finally given permission and recruited four fellow Instagrammers to help run the account with me. That team is still going strong. From there I joined the Social Media Committee and became the chair of that committee. Since my background is in Marketing, I have always enjoyed fundraising, so I assisted in that area and then became Fundraising Chair. When an opening on the Board became available, I was appointed to my current Board of Directors position. I also serve on the Newsletter committee, the Planned Giving Committee and anywhere else I am needed.

Where do you see opportunities for continued growth in ESRA, and in what ways can you help bring about this growth?
I see opportunities to recruit new members and grow the organization. We have nearly 19,000 followers on Facebook and nearly 10,000 followers on Instagram but roughly 2,000 active members of ESRA. That's a lot of people to join us! I also see opportunities in Planned Giving and educating the public on ways they can help Springers even long after they are gone. I love helping people find ways they can help our mission; once they are involved, it’s hard to not become more active in rescue.

I believe in continued education of the public. When we let people know ways they can get involved, ways they have never thought of before, we see an increase in new members and new and renewed excitement within the organization. I also believe in transparency and open communication. The current board has done an excellent job of keeping drama to a minimum so we are distraction free in achieving our goals.

What would be your top three goals as a board member?
My top three goals are to increase membership, increase bequests to ESRA and finding interesting ways to fundraise for ESRA in the era of COVID-19. As fundraising chair, we have had our best years ever in terms of profit and I hope to continue that upward trend.

Nominated by Barb Doolin

Click here for Nicole Bellemare's ESRA Service Resume.

How long have you been an ESRA member?
Although I have only been a member of ESRA since 2016, I have been active with the organization since my wife joined in 2006.

What volunteering have you done for ESRA?
Up until I retired, my involvement was primarily to help my wife with the many foster dogs that passed through our home. After I retired, I increasingly became more involved with pulling, transporting and fostering dogs throughout Alabama, Texas and the Southeast. We have frequently fostered senior and special needs dogs.

Since January 2018, I have served as the adoption and foster home application review coordinator for Texas and Oklahoma. In doing so, we reached out to other coordinators in the U.S. to import good practices developed elsewhere for that process, organized and trained a group of volunteers to conduct phone interviews and home visits and developed a tracking system for the applications.

In January 2019 I was nominated to fill a vacancy on ESRA’s Board and have served in that role since then. During this assignment, I proposed creation of ESRA’s Business Planning Committee and have subsequently chaired that committee. More recently, this committee has developed and implemented a COVID-19 response plan. I also proposed creation of ESRA’s Foster Home Excellence Committee and have subsequently co-chaired that committee. I have also been a member of a small team which is developing a succession plan for ESRA’s leadership.

Where do you see opportunities for continued growth in ESRA, and in what ways can you help bring about this growth?
This organization has transformed itself over the past 4 years, having revamped its bylaws, policies and procedures, strengthened processes of financial control and substantially increased cash reserves, all while continuing to be one of the (if not THE) best breed rescue organizations in the country.

So for me, the question is -- what’s next? Does ESRA simply want to continue to strive to be the very best breed rescue organization? Or do we want to do more? I believe that we should never allow ourselves to lose focus on our primary mission, which is to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome Springers in the U.S. I also believe that we can do more without losing that focus. Things like community outreach programs to raise awareness of the importance of spay/neuter, vaccination and heartworm prevention, creating stronger partnerships with organizations of aligned interests (e.g. shelters, other rescues, AVVA, etc.) and doing yet more to promote the health of the breed.

I don’t pretend to know the answers to these questions. But if elected, I would hope to continue to lead the efforts of ESRA’s Business Planning Committee and develop a long-term business plan that will.

What would be your top three goals as a board member?
1. I am most passionate about continuing to co-chair the Foster Home Excellence Committee. Foster homes are the cornerstones that make ESRA successful. We can do a better job of recruiting, training and supporting foster homes. I feel the committee has done a lot since its formation in January 2020, but there is much more we can do.

2. As stated above, I would like to continue to chair the Business Planning Committee and finish developing and communicating a long-term business plan for ESRA.

3. Finish development of a succession plan for ESRA leadership and state coordinators, which deepens and diversifies the leadership of this organization and positions it for the future.

Self-nominated

Click here for Dan Replogle's ESRA Service Resume.

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