Press Release:  HSS Executive Director Resigns



Humane Society of Sedona Announces Resignation of Executive Director

April 2, 2019 – It is with a mix of gratitude and sadness that the Board of Directors of the Humane Society of Sedona (HSS) announces the departure of their Executive Director of the last three years, Austin Gates. Gates is stepping down in order to return to Michigan to be closer to her aging mother.

“Austin has done an exceptional job for HSS and we are very sorry to see her leave – but respect her decision to be close to family.” says HSS Board President, Sheila Hoffmeyer. “During her tenure she has initiated new programs and developed collaborative relationships to further our collective goals of improving the quality of life of pets in our community and beyond.”

Under Gates’ leadership shelter adoptions have been at record highs for the organization, hours given by volunteers have risen, the thrift stores are thriving, and thanks to a generous animal-loving community the finances of the organization have stabilized. In April 2017 the HSS realized a major accomplishment in paying off the mortgage on the building which opened in 2009. The program to transfer animals from North Arizona and Maricopa County shelters to Sedona has resulted in the ability of HSS to help save the lives of hundreds of animals.

“It has been an honor to work with such a great staff, volunteers, and Board. I will always love HSS and am so proud of what we’ve accomplished together” said Gates.

The Board has begun the search for a new Executive Director to replace Gates. They are confident that a qualified talented candidate will be found who can continue HSS along its successful trajectory.

An appreciation event in thanks for Gates’ service at HSS is planned in conjunction with the HSS Volunteer Appreciation Event on April 11th from 12 to 2 p.m. at the shelter. “Having Austin’s party with the volunteer event is perfect because she loves the volunteers so much. It will give her an opportunity to thank them and say her goodbyes.” said Hoffmeyer.

The community is welcome to attend the event and tours of the shelter will be offered. For questions or to speak with Austin please call 928-282-4679 or email at To reach Sheila Hoffmeyer email