Friends of Noah hires first paid executive director

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Shelly Birkelo
August 20, 2015

JANESVILLE—Friends of Noah has a new executive director.

Lisa Brown of Milton was introduced to volunteers Wednesday during the monthly meeting for the volunteer-run dog, cat and rabbit rescue group, said Steve Servantez, board president.

The reaction was mixed, he said.

“Everybody is in love and grateful for everything Lois (Corwin) has done over the past six years but also super enthusiastic about having Lisa coming on board and the new opportunities this could provide for us,” Servantez said.

Corwin, who founded the nonprofit animal rescue nearly seven years ago after moving to Rock County from Cincinnati, announced her retirement in July. She will remain a volunteer and help with the job transition over the next month.

Brown, a business banking and mortgage associate at Blackhawk Bank in Janesville, will start her new duties Sept. 1.

Before joining Blackhawk Bank, she was the community relations manager for Agrace Hospice for seven years.

“It's super exciting," Brown said of becoming Friends of Noah's first paid staff person.

Brown has a bachelor's degree in communication and multimedia and an associate degree in supervisory management. She said she is eager to use those skills.

“The work experience I've had on the Milton chamber board of directors, as a Forward Janesville ambassador and at Agrace are pieces that bring so many good elements to this," she said. "I will be able to utilize the lessons I've learned from working with other partners and specific entities.”

Brown also is excited to spread Friends of Noah's message, which focuses not only on finding new homes for stray and abandoned pets, but also on education and help for pet owners struggling to care for their animals.

“Lois paved the way nicely. It's great the board has invested and committed to continuing to make things happen. I'm humbled and honored to be charged with that,” she said.

Friends of Noah received 20 executive director applications, mainly from Rock County but also a couple from Dane County, Servantez said.

 “We wanted to have somebody who had connections in the community and somebody to live in this area,” he said.

“We had five or six finalists we thought were capable for the job, but Lisa by far was the top (candidate),” he said.

“She's got a strong passion for the job and is going to do really well as far as media presence, her speaking ability and getting out in the public and advocating for Friends of Noah.”

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