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WINN FELINE FOUNDATION WELCOMES NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Jan 11, 2021

Winn Feline Foundation

Drew Weigner, DVM
President
888-963-6946, extension 705
Media Info

Steve Dale, CABC
Media Contact and Winn Board Member
773-895-8696
Media Info

For Immediate Release

WINN FELINE FOUNDATION WELCOMES NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Wyckoff, NJ, January 11, 2021: Winn Feline Foundation welcomed Jackie Ott JaakolaJackie Jaakola photo as its new Executive Director on January 4, 2021.  With more than 30 years of experience in animal welfare, Jaakola is a seasoned professional with expertise in nonprofit management, strategic planning, education program development, and fundraising.

Jackie will be responsible for overseeing the Foundation's achievement of its vision, mission and growth well into the future. “Jackie’s professionalism and experience will propel Winn to achieve an even greater impact on the lives of every cat,” said President, Dr. Drew Weigner. “She’s demonstrated the ability and determination to leave her mark wherever she’s landed, and we’re so fortunate to work with her to elevate Winn to the next level.”

Jaakola most recently served as the Executive Director of Cat Depot – a unique, free-roaming cat shelter located in Sarasota, Florida where she guided business operations and led its communications, programs and development to serve thousands of cats and clients annually through the Cat Care Clinic, adoptions, educational opportunities, community foodbank, and community cats programs.  

“Celebrating the human-animal connection and serving animals and the people who love them are core to my personal mission. I am honored to work with a team dedicated to the health and well-being of all cats and look forward to embracing new collaborations in an even greater community of animal-lovers everywhere,” says Jaakola.  

Prior to Cat Depot Jaakola worked for the Annenberg Foundation, helping create Wallis Annenberg PetSpace - a unique 30,000-square-foot community space that features an interactive place for pet adoptions, an education center with innovative programs and a leadership institute. Also in Los Angeles, and for more than a decade, she served as the director of the Marine Mammal Care Center at Fort MacArthur, a hospital for wild seals, sea lions and dolphins. 

Along with announcing this transition, the Winn Feline Foundation wholeheartedly thanks Dr. Vicki Thayer for dedicating many years as a board member, President, and Executive Director. “There aren’t words to express what Vicki has meant to Winn these last 12 years, but it’s safe to say we wouldn’t be where we are today without her vision and dedication to our mission. Her wisdom and guidance have led us to achieve greatness and positioned us to excel in the future,” said Dr. Weigner, “and we owe her a debt of gratitude.”

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Winn Feline Foundation is a non-profit organization established in 1968 that supports studies to improve cat health. Since 1968, Winn Feline Foundation has funded more than $7.5 million in health research for cats at more than 30 partner institutions world-wide. For further information, go to www.winnfelinefoundation.org.