Makena Yarbrough, Mid-Atlantic regional director
Makena Yarbrough is the Mid-Atlantic regional director for Best Friends Animal Society. She began her animal welfare career in 2000 with the Richmond SPCA, first as the director of education and then as the director of operations. Before her position at the Lynchburg Humane Society, Makena was the associate director for the Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA.
In July 2009, Makena joined the Lynchburg Humane Society in July 2009 as its first executive director. She quickly worked with the innovative board of directors to develop and implement a long-range plan to take the community to no kill. Under her guidance, the organization tripled the size of the board of directors, developed a more equitable relationship with the city of Lynchburg as their contracted pound, begun managing the regional spay/neuter clinic, created a citywide free spay/neuter effort for community cats, and increased community awareness and involvement in the cause. The organization also decreased intake and implemented a number of new programs that have increased the number of lives saved from 49 percent to 94 percent.