New director brings passion for advocacy to Brunswick humane society

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BRUNSWICK — Helping others has always been part of the fabric of Trendy Stanchfield’s working life.

Next week, the longtime nonprofit agency official will begin work as the new executive director of the Coastal Humane Society and Lincoln County Animal Shelter.

“I’ve pretty much spent my entire career on the nonprofit side,” Stanchfield, most recently senior director of mission investment and communication at Goodwill Northern New England, said. “I found very early on that working for a greater mission versus a company’s bottom line was much more attractive to me.” 

Stanchfield’s appointment comes after the humane society’s former director, Joe Montisano, left the organization in August. Montisano now is executive director of the Great Lakes Aquarium in Duluth, Minnesota. 

Since Montisano’s departure, Vice President Dorothy Wentworth has been serving as interim director at Coastal Humane, as well as assisting in the search for someone to permanently fill the position.

Wentworth said she enjoyed working with Stanchfield during Goodwill events in the past, and the humane society is excited to have her on board.

“We are delighted to welcome Trendy and we know that she is just the right person to lead Coastal Humane and Lincoln County as we grow and provide even better services to the animals in our communities,” Wentworth said.

Stanchfield said she has never worked with animals in the past, but part of the attraction of the new job is her kids’ love for animals. She said she was attracted to how her children could engage with her job in a way they never had before, and she could maintain her love for advocacy work. 

“I’ve (always) been an advocate for anyone that needs a voice, whether they have two or four legs,” she said.

The Brunswick resident also said the humane society’s convenient location “in her backyard” was also a lure, and she has a soft spot for the Mid-Coast region.

While working for Goodwill, Stanchfield managed donor cultivation and stewardship and a three-state volunteer program, developed a major gifts program, directed special events and established the Goodwill Veterans’ Fund.

Prior to her role at Goodwill, she worked for the Muscular Dystrophy Association in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and later in Minneapolis. 

Stanchfield and her family also developed a close tie to the humane society after adopting a 9-year-old tuxedo cat, Ermie, from the organization’s Range Road facility.

Stanchfield said “nobody believes her,” but the adoption preceded her hiring, and no one at the society knew who she was during the process. She and her family were especially happy to find Ermie, since Stanchfield’s husband has allergies that make owning pets difficult.

“I think the cool thing was I actually got to experience the adoption process through them, so I can speak to that for people who are considering adopting,” she said. “And nobody knew who I was; I was like ‘Undercover Boss.'”

Stanchfield said she is looking forward to her new position, and that the board of directors, staff, and volunteers at the organizations have created strong programming over the years.

She added, however, that the humane society also “needs a lot of help” to continue its work.

Donations can be made on the humane society’s website, which also has information about how to volunteer or host a fundraiser.

“I’m just really excited,” Stanchfield said. “It’s a cool opportunity that I can’t wait to get my hands on.”

Elizabeth Clemente can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 100 or Follow Elizabeth on Twitter @epclemente.

Trendy Stanchfield of Brunswick with her adopted cat, Ermie. Stanchfield begins work as the Coastal Humane Society’s new executive director Jan. 2, 2018.