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Executive Director Search

In March 2023, Bellwether Harbor began the transition from being a program of Bellwether Foundation to a public charity and recently finalized the process of becoming a 501(c)3 organization.  Read more here:

Bellwether Harbor Animal Shelter has an immediate opening for the position of Executive Director. This exciting opportunity will require enthusiastic, forward-thinking leadership to guide Bellwether in helping as many companion animals as possible, along with the community that cares so much about them. Interested candidates can find more information below.

Bellwether Harbor Animal Shelter

7645 W 48th Street, Fremont MI, 49412

231-924-9230 –

Executive Director

Position Title: Executive Director

Reporting To: Board of Directors


Bellwether Harbor, located in Fremont, MI, has been sheltering homeless animals since 2002. We primarily take in dogs from area shelters to reduce overcrowding and provide assistance in the form of medical care and training. Bellwether’s cats come from the community either as strays or cats that need to be rehomed. View more about the shelter here.


Bellwether Harbor Animal Shelter’s mission statement is: Helping animals and people make a connection through education, training, and adoption. We are dedicated to helping abandoned, abused, and neglected dogs and cats who live in our shelter on the way to their forever homes. We do this through medical care, socialization, training, and sometimes behavioral rehabilitation.

 Additional Programs Beyond Sheltering Animals and Facilitating Adoptions

Pet Pals – An in-shelter educational, hands-on program for children 7-14. The children learn about bite prevention, dog training, health, and grooming.

Pet Pals Goes to School – We bring our bite prevention program to area schools for third grade students.

Pet Pals on the Road – We bring our bite prevention program to summer day camps for children and to community events.

Dog Training for Shelter Dogs – Every dog in Bellwether’s care is assigned to a staff member for training to help them become well-mannered family members. Volunteers who walk dogs learn how to reinforce appropriate dog behavior as well.

Dog Training for the Public – We offer group classes and private sessions for people looking for help with training their dogs at the beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. We also help people learn how to address some behavioral issues with their dogs.

Senior for Senior Foster – We provide area senior citizens who wish to foster a senior feline with all the medical care and supplies the cat needs. This wonderful program allows senior citizens to enjoy the unconditional love that a senior cat can offer, but without the financial responsibility that is often difficult for seniors to provide.

Volunteer Program –Our volunteers make a huge impact on the lives of our shelter animals with dog walking and socializing, cat socializing, kitten fostering, dog bathing/grooming, shelter dog training, and animal enrichment. They also help with education, kennel cleaning, laundry, fundraising and events.

The Executive Director Opportunity

As the leader of Bellwether Harbor Animal Shelter, the Executive Director will be responsible for operating the shelter and managing staff, developing and implementing Bellwether’s programs, managing its annual budget, and fundraising to help ensure a prosperous future for the shelter.

The Executive Director will be the face of Bellwether and will serve as its primary spokesperson. and cultivator of relationships with donors, community leaders, the veterinary community, animal welfare advocates, government officials, media, and volunteers.

The Executive Director will report to Bellwether’s experienced Board of Directors who will work in concert with the Executive Director to accomplish the organization’s goals. For the right candidate, this represents a rare opportunity to fully pursue their dream of helping shelter animals and the people who care for them on a local level.

The Ideal Candidate

  • Is an experienced, compassionate, and collaborative leader with a commitment to the mission of Bellwether Harbor Animal Shelter.
  • Has achieved success in raising philanthropic support and working with a Board of Directors.
  • Has demonstrated the ability to build, engage and leverage strategic partnerships.
  • Has sound fiscal, business management, and human resources skills.
  • Is experienced in understanding financial statements for planning, monitoring, and evaluation of organizational efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Is committed to ensuring an organizational culture of inclusivity, collaboration, respect, and accountability.
  • Has exceptional interpersonal and communication skills, strong personal integrity, and an ability to build effective relationships at all levels.
  • Resides within 30 minutes of the Shelter.

 Required Education and Experience

  • Five to 10 years recent continuous experience in a nonprofit leadership role.
  • Proven fundraising experience and results.
  • Experience in animal shelter management.
  • Bachelor’s degree from a four-year college/university.
  • Experience developing opportunities for professional and personal development of staff at all levels.

There are 11 total staff, with 5 direct reports to the Executive Director:

  • Animal Adoption Coordinator
  • Animal Care Coordinator
  • Marketing and Promotions Coordinator
  • Administrative Assistant and Bookkeeper
  • Facilities and Grounds Maintenance Manager

 Board Relations

A collaborative and productive working relationship with the Board of Directors is critical to the success of the organization. 

The Executive Director will:

  • Work closely with the Board to establish and guide the strategic vision for Bellwether Harbor Animal Shelter.
  • Ensure that relevant issues are raised and addressed by the Board in a timely and organized fashion. 
  • Keep the Board routinely advised of the activities and the financial position of the organization.
  • Make recommendations to the Board on operating policy, future directions, programs, fundraising activities, and outreach endeavors. 
  • Work with the Board’s Nominating Committee to ensure that the Board is diversified, of the highest quality, and committed to the welfare of the animals.


The Executive Director is the lead fundraiser for Bellwether Harbor Animal Shelter and is responsible for its fundraising success.

The Executive Director will:

  • Work to identify and cultivate relationships with high priority donors and prospects.
  • Actively solicit major gifts in collaboration with the Board of Directors.
  • Ensure that a sound development strategy is in place to raise money among individuals, foundations, and corporations.

 Advocacy & External Relations

The Executive Director serves as the face and voice of Bellwether Harbor Animal Shelter, as well as the leading advocate for the organization and its mission. 

The Executive Director is responsible for:

  • Serving as an articulate and effective spokesperson for the organization.
  • Building positive relationships with a diverse group of stakeholders, including the nonprofit and business communities, and the media.
  • Advocating for Bellwether Harbor, its mission, and programs to local and surrounding communities.
  • Making effective and professional oral presentations to the public concerning the programs and needs of the organization.

 Salary & Benefits

  • Starting at $55,000 annually.
  • Paid time off and holidays.
  • A cell phone for business use.

  Procedure for Applications and Inquiries

Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume, no more than four pages, in one PDF to Natacha Valmont at

Bellwether Harbor