Who is Tawny Hammond? Tawny Hammond’s career started as a successful entrepreneur managing rental properties, working with owners, contractors and realtors in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. Tawny was recruited to promote and manage recreational programs for the historic Village of Oak Park, Illinois and eventually recruited for the full-time director of revenue facilities for Oak Park.
Tawny has more than 30 years of experience in the public service arena, creating and implementing programs and services for people and their pets, working effectively with appointed and elected officials, creating and leading teams focused on professional excellence and best practices. She is a coveted presenter and speaker at national, state, local industry and association conferences on leadership, change management, public service excellence, collaboration, coalition building, team building and municipal solutions. Tawny is a skilled facilitator and has worked consultatively with communities on process and policy improvements as well as strategic planning.
Tawny currently owns The River Outfitters in Traverse City, Michigan. The family run business offers kayak, stand-up paddle board and bike rentals along with trips and tours of Lake Michigan, the Boardman Lake and Boardman River in Traverse City and Northern Michigan. The River Outfitters corporate priorities are community partnerships and connectivity, natural and cultural preservation and interpretation as well as service excellence.
Tawny currently helms Best Friends Animal Society’s leadership development initiatives as the National Director for Leadership Advancement with a focus on strengthening existing leader’s skill sets for the goal of ending the killing of shelter pets in their communities. An additional focus is developing strategies to assist seasoned leadership from other fields and disciplines interested in making the transition into animal services leadership.
For the majority of Tawny’s career, she has facilitated leadership programs for professionals and community organizations, as well as focusing on the building of dynamic teams, professional development and succession planning.
Tawny has a proven track record of success, serving for more than 25 years in municipal government in Fairfax County, Virginia. She brought the Fairfax County Animal Shelter to a 90 percent save rate in less than two years by removing ineffective breed restrictions, growing a robust volunteer program, establishing a cutting-edge foster program for the dogs losing their lives, strengthening community cat programs and establishing the animal shelter as a community center for residents of Fairfax.
Tawny is also the former chief of animal services for the city of Austin, Texas. Under Tawny’s leadership, Austin and Travis County, Texas, reached a new milestone in 2017, achieving a save rate of 98% of the more than 17,000 animals who came through the doors.
Tawny is devoted to ending the killing of pets in shelters and believes that how we treat pets and their people is connected to social justice, community wellness and our compassion as a society.
Tawny, her spouse, Amy, and their dog, Rosie, live in Traverse City, Michigan, where they enjoy the beautiful Michigan outdoors.