Julie Bank Abruptly Quits as Pasadena Humane Society President and CEO

Spokesman said the organization is on solid footing, will embark on national replacement search

Published : Tuesday, September 11, 2018 | 3:01 PM

The sudden resignation and departure of Pasadena Humane Society President and CEO Julie Bank on Friday, September 7 has left more questions than answers.

Even Humane Society Director of Communications Jack Hagerman had few answers when reached for comment Tuesday.

“I’m not exactly sure of the circumstances,” he told Pasadena Now. “I just know that she decided to resign her position and pursue other opportunities. That’s … the statement provided by the board.”

Hagerman said Bank’s resignation was effective immediately.

“She’s no longer with the organization,” he said.

Bank had been with the Pasadena Humane Society for two years, replacing long-time President Steve McNall.

Hagerman said he was confident that Bank’s departure did not necessarily leave a hole in the organization’s structure or management.

Vice-president of administration Ruthie Hughes, a ten-year veteran of the Humane Society, will fill the top position in the interim, he said.

“She’s known and trusted and admired,” said Hagerman. “She’s really a phenomenal choice for the interim position. People really do trust her ability to lead the organization with confidence.”

He said that Hughes is working with Pasadena Humane Society’s executive team to lead the organization through the transition in a seamless way.

“I think we’re, in a really strong position. We’re financially strong. We’re stable. Even though this is sort of out of the blue, we’re fortunate to be in a position to not have to worry.”

In an official statement on the group’s website, the Society’s Board of Directors said, “Julie has accomplished a great deal since she assumed leadership of our shelter in early August 2016. In two short years, she has increased our adoption rate, solidified relationships with key industry and non-profit partners throughout the U.S., and navigated our organization through challenging circumstances. Julie has directed a lot of positive changes at PHS, and for that, we are grateful.”

With Hughes as interim CEO, the Board of Directors said the Society will “continue to provide all of our many services and programs to the communities we serve.”

According to Hagerman, the Board will now engage in an executive search for a permanent CEO, with the next step being that the Society will identify a search firm and then initiate a national executive search.

Still, the interim leadership may remain for some time. Hagerman was unwilling to elaborate on how long a search might take.

“I don’t know that anyone can speculate the time span,” he said, “They just really want to make sure that they make the most thoughtful decision for the long term. So it will take as long as it takes.”

Bank joined the Pasadena Humane Society and SPCA in August 2016 and replaced Steve McNall who retired as CEO. She is a nationally recognized animal welfare advocate and leader who has been working in animal welfare for nearly 30 years, performing a variety of leadership roles.

She has worked at large animal control organizations in New York, California, Arizona and Oklahoma, where she served as Superintendent of Oklahoma City Animal Welfare.

The Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA, a donor-supported, nonprofit organization, provides animal care and services for homeless and owned animals in the Greater Los Angeles Area. Animals in its care come from 11 animal control contract cities, as well as partner shelters across the Los Angeles area and beyond.