ARC welcomes Carlos Navedo as development director
The Animal Refuge Center has announced the appointment of Carlos Navedo to the position of development director.
“ARC is very fortunate to find a candidate as talented as Carlos and we look forward to a long and prosperous relationship,” said ARC Board President Lee Allor.
“His years of experience in the non-profit world brings huge potential to raise awareness of ARC’s mission within the community and the corporate world,” continued board member and treasurer Betty Hughes.
Navedo comes to ARC with invaluable experience as development director of Healthy Start of Southwest Florida and Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Southwest Florida. In addition, he was appointed by Gov. Jeb Bush to join the disaster task force for Hurricane Wilma food distribution and to train volunteers in New Orleans for the Hurricane Katrina disaster.
Already facing formidable challenges to meet the daily operational needs of ARC’s animal residents, officials report that Navedo is eager to unite all his media, corporate and private resources together to further enhance how ARC can assist in the urgent need of so many animals in the area.
“Carlos will also move ARC forward in its 10-year plan to expand and double our ability to shelter and adopt,” added Hughes.
“I’m very excited to be working with ARC, but also for the hands-on experience on savings animals,” Navedo said.
“In my experience with Big Brothers and Big Sisters, I was the community relations director,” he said. “In my first year, 2004, I experienced my first hurricane — Charley. We had no power and had damage to the building, and staff had nothing to do because of lack of power and work. Our phones and computers were down.”
He said that he asked the staff to go out and volunteer with the Red Cross.
“It was at that moment we realized we could use our center as a distribution center,” he said “At the time, we were serving over 1,800 children in Southwest Florida and over 1,000 families.”
All of a sudden, there was a flurry of press activity at what his center accomplished.
“We got a tremendous amount of publicity and got donations from all over the country. That’s when Gov. Jeb Bush heard about this,” he said.
He said his work happened to coincide in same year that Big Brothers and Big Sisters had its Centennial Celebration in New York City.
“At that time, we did a national campaign with Chico’s to promote the anniversary,” he said. “Little did we know going to New York that we would receive an award for the number one agency in the country, concerning the amount of children served and fund-raising.”
At the centennial, President George W. Bush was there and got a commemorative piece of artwork. It was by Dr. Neil Farkas, an internationally known artist who has his work in the Smithsonian, he recalled.
“From there President Bush heard our story, and heard what we went through with Hurricane Charley. He said he was impressed how we were able to be the number one agency in the country for the amount of children served, fund-raising and case management,” he said.
That led to a lot more publicity for his organization. “From there it became a great snowball effect for me.”
He worked two hurricanes — Charley and Wilma — serving as distribution director for Wilma in LaBelle. “Nineteen tons of food was distributed there.”
This and other work prepared Nevado the recent appointment. ARC did an executive search for the development director position. It had over 400 applicants from all over the country.
ARC officials narrowed the search to five applicants, but most were from out of the area. Officials said they gave points for Navedo’s local contacts.
“I was fortunate that they choose me and looked at my local background and experience with local companies and organizations. I’m proud and honored to be working with ARC,” he said.
ARC currently houses 450 abandoned cats and dogs on a daily basis but has the capacity to house over one thousand if fully expanded on its nearly 23-acre facility.
Incorporated in 1988, the Animal Refuge Center is a not-for-profit animal welfare society, dedicated to caring for all homeless animals brought to its care in North Fort Myers. The sanctuary houses a Welcome Center, Canine Training Center, 13 feline facilities, 30 canine lodges and is home to more than 350 cats and 60 dogs.
For information concerning ARC, go to animalrefuge.com or call 731-3535.