Judith A. Gardner
President/CEO, Arizona Animal Welfare League
Judith Gardner joined AAWL as President & CEO in January 2008 after moving to Phoenix from New York. Born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa, she also lived in Georgia and Wisconsin. Her previous career was as Vice President of American Express Multinational Accounts and Business Development in New York City for 16 years. Since taking over the leadership position at AAWL, Judith has tripled the number of animals adopted, raised money to build a new adoption center and cattery, opened the first low-cost public clinic in Phoenix, and opened the first adoption center in a high end mall , replacing a puppy-mill store. AAWL is now a $5.5 million leading animal welfare organization with more than 100 employees. Most recently, Ms. Gardner and her team developed the “Rural Rescue” program with 32 partners across the state of Arizona. They intake more than 4,700 animals each year and have a 98% live release rate. Her two adult children and families live near by and her one grandchild, Mark, is the light of her life, followed closely by her two rescue dogs, Bella, a Spaniel mix and Penny whose ancestry is undefined.