Proven Strategies

Steven Martinez York County SPCA

The Best Friends Podcast Episode 133

A radical transformation at the York County SPCA
October 20th, 2022

When the York County SPCA (YCSPCA) hired a new executive director at the end of 2019, it set in motion plans to transform how the organization operated. To reach and sustain a 90% save rate of animals coming into the shelter, Steven Martinez knew success in his new role would require executing an audacious strategic plan focused on five pillars of change.

By overhauling the IT infrastructure, implementing a community cat program, revamping the adoption processes, and improving internal and external communications, the YCSPCA proved that going big isn’t just a bold strategy - it can be a winning one.

This week, we hear from Steven about the last three years as he shares what he feels were the keys to their success and his advice about how your organization can go about its radical transformation.

Watch the video of Steven's presentation at the 2022 Best Friends National Conference on youtube, and you can also download a PDF version of the deck.

Don't miss this week's program spotlight, which goes into more detail about the five pillars the YCSPCA used to guide its transformation.

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Steven Martinez - York County SPCA

Steven Martinez

executive director, York County SPCA

Steven Martinez is the executive director for the York County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). Steven became the Executive Director in September 2019. Steven oversees a passionate staff of 60 employees, an engaged group of nearly 340 volunteers, an operating budget of over $4 million, and a 25,000 square-foot building that can house over 100 dogs, 320 cats, 50 small animals, a veterinary wing, a high volume spay/neuter clinic, and lots of animal enrichment, human service, and educational programs.

In the fall of 2019, Steven, and the entire York County SPCA team implemented a strategic plan they called the Best Practices Transformation, which increased their average save rate from 53% in 2018 to 95% as of October 2022. To increase the York County SPCA’s save rate by 42 percentage points in less than three years indicates how passionate, dedicated, and hard working the staff and volunteers are to this mission. It has been a remarkable journey, filled with interesting stories and lessons learned.

Prior to serving at the York County SPCA, Steven was the Communications Director for the Community Action Association of Pennsylvania where he supported the communication strategy for Pennsylvania’s 43 Community Action Agencies.

Prior to his nonprofit management work, Steven spent the first 10-years of his career in the for-profit sector working in the venture capital and investment sectors where he supported many technology-based start-up companies.

Steven earned his Master of Business Administration from Loyola University Chicago and his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Oklahoma State University. In 2010 Steven thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail, a 2,180 footpath that starts in Georgia and ends in Maine. He continues to cultivate his interest in the outdoors by fly fishing, golfing, and exploring rail trials. Steven and his wife Alison enjoy spending time with their three dogs, three cats, and five chickens.

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