Although saving animals may not be your typical business model, Vistage is a perfect fit for Martha Boden, CEO of SPCA Tampa Bay, an animal welfare organization in St. Petersburg, FL
.“It’s changed the way I manage my team and made me much more informed about best management practices,” she said. “My natural style has always focused on a ‘more heads working toward a solution will be inspiring’ attitude. With Vistage, I’ve found that multiple minds looking at the same issues really makes a difference.”
SPCA Tampa Bay also is a totally different animal since Boden joined Vistage. Its annual budget nearly doubled with the addition of a veterinary hospital open to the public that offers a “lifetime of care” for animals already in homes, as well as low-cost spay and neuter as a long-term solution to addressing pet homelessness.
“My Vistage team was with me from the very concept to the cost of buying and converting a human outpatient facility, then opening and marketing a hospital with four vets and room for eight vets over the long term.”
Vistage also helped her look outside the box of traditional animal rescue. She was a key part of a five-agency coalition that helped cut the number of animals euthanized nearly in half. “Working with other groups in the county has helped us all make great strides.” The number of owners who surrender their animals as well as the number of strays has decreased while adoption increased by 16% over the past six years as the SPCA, Pinellas County Animal Services, The Humane Society of Pinellas, Pet Pal Animal Shelter and Friends of Strays work together.
"The more unified our vision, the more accessible our resources become," Boden said.
That commitment to teamwork makes Boden an asset to her entire Vistage group, notes Mack DeVine, Chair. "Martha embodies all of the traits a Vistage Chair looks for in member. Her commitment, enthusiasm and dedication to our team are second to none."
And the fact that the SPCA has continually renewed Boden’s membership in Vistage over the past six years shows how strongly both she and her board feel about her success. “Most CEOs just make the decision to join Vistage without needing approval from a board. My board sees how that investment is paying off.”