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Virginia Beach SPCA Welcomes New Chief Executive Officer 

The Board of Directors, staff, and animals are excited to announce Dia DuVernet as the new Chief Executive Officer of the Virginia Beach SPCA. Ms. DuVernet comes to the organization with 15 years of experience in nonprofit administration, most recently as Executive Vice President of The Up Center since 2004.  She holds a Bachelor’s in Psychology from Yale, a Masters in Social Work from Smith College, a Certificate in Fundraising Management from the University of Indiana Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, and she is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE).  She was a 2011 recipient of the Women in Business Achievement Award from Inside Business magazine. 

Ms. DuVernet succeeds Sharon Q. Adams, who retired in February after 22 years of service as the Executive Director of the VBSPCA.

Board Chair Trish Blue said, “We are excited to begin the next chapter in the evolution of the VBSPCA. During her tenure, Sharon has positioned the organization as a leader in animal welfare in the region and the Commonwealth.  We are confident that Dia will build upon that success and will grow the organization’s outreach and ability to execute its mission of creating a more humane and responsible community by decreasing our tolerance for cruelty and increasing our capacity for compassion.”

Over its 48-year history the Virginia Beach SPCA has grown to a $2.8 million a year, open-admission animal shelter that boasts: a consistent 90% adoption rate; a robust Humane Education Department reaching over 28,000 school-aged children a year; a vast Pet Therapy program reaching over 26 different rehabilitation centers and nursing homes throughout Hampton Roads; an extensive Wildlife Rehabilitation Program caring for, rehabilitating, and releasing 1,500-2,000 wildlife animals a year; a widespread foster care program involving staff and volunteers, and caring for over 500 unweaned animals annually, as well as animals whose owners are undergoing difficult financial or personal struggles; and a full-service clinic responsible for spaying/neutering over 5,000 animals a year, while offering affordable pet care to income-eligible individuals residing in Hampton Roads, throughout the region, and into Northeastern North Carolina and rural parts of Virginia. 

In recognition of her decades of service to the organization, advocacy on behalf of animal welfare, and numerous accomplishments in the field, Ms. Adams will receive the VBSPCA’s Life Saver award at the 26th Gala on Saturday, April 5, 2014, 6:30p.m. – 11 p.m. at The Sheraton Virginia Beach Oceanfront. This year’s gala, “Gimme Shelter" features a 1960s theme, fantastic food and drinks, music, and presentation of the Lifesaver Award by generous supporters and 2013 recipients Dennis and Jan Ellmer.  Guests will also enjoy a top-notch silent auction and a live Circle of CARE pledge drive. VBSPCA alumni and adoptable animals will be there to join in the fun. This event raises more than $100,000 to benefit adoption programs, humane education initiatives and the CARE fund, which subsidizes medical care for animals at the shelter.

Reserved tables and individual tickets can be purchased online at For more information, sponsorship