Tuesday, August 9, 2022

PAWS Introduces New Executive Director Steve Schindler

Cheeto and Chunk are a PAWS success story in their furever home.

PAWS of Coronado made big shifts in the last few months. Teresa Leighty, President of PAWS Board of Directors, shares that, “PAWS has a broader view of the steps they are taking to make the organization sustainable and to continue to build our programs to be responsive to the animal care needs in our community.” In March, Sharon Sherman stepped down from the Board to focus on running the day to day management of the Animal Care Facility. The ACF remains in the capable hands of Karen Dwinell, and the ACF Administrative and Medical Directors. Teresa filled Sharon’s former position as President/Chairman of the Board of PAWS. Since then, PAWS also added several new Board members, including Casey Tanaka. Lisa Missett stepped into an Officer role as Vice President.

Since its inception, PAWS has been a 100% volunteer organization. Teresa shares her journey to the board, explaining that she has extensive business experience and began volunteering as a dog walker at PAWS. Combining her passion and her practice she says, “I love animals and it’s important that we can bring this organization forward.” PAWS currently has hundreds of volunteers that work in all areas- social media, dog behavioral training, landscaping the facility yards, cat petters, puppy fosters, and many more. Every piece of PAWS is due to the generous community.

Steve walking in the Independence Day Parade.

There has never been a paid employee at PAWS- until now. Steve Schindler enters the organization as its first Executive Director, with a nonprofit background, specifically with animals. Previously, he was the Senior VP and Marketing Director at the Baltimore National Aquarium. A San Diego native, Steve has moved away a few times but always finds himself back home.

This change is not taken lightly, Steve shares, “it is a privilege to join an organization at this point of transformation. PAWS has been operating successfully and has a great relationship with the city. I want to help link ACF (Animal Care Facility) with PAWS, connect with the community, share the importance of philanthropy, and take care of our animals in the best possible way.” Steve will be responsible for overseeing the day to day operations of PAWS and reporting to the Board.

Canine Mayor, Gus. Photo Credit: PAWS Volunteer Kim.

While PAWS is involved already in the community through the Canine Mayor Race (looking at you Gus), McP’s Yappy Hour the last Wednesday of each month, Coronado Rotaract’s Millennial Trivia, and more, Steve sees an area that he would really like PAWS’ influence to expand- CUSD. “There is an opportunity to think more about participation with the schools. We would love to see the kids involved. Not only walking dogs and interacting with cats, but seeing things from the medical side. STEM careers are important and can lead to a variety of successful jobs and different futures.” In general, Steve says that he sees, “a tremendous amount of care, love, and community at PAWS.” Adding that he believes it is a good indicator that, “how people care about their animals is a sign for how they care about themselves.”

Looking to get involved, adopt, or something else? Visit the PAWS website here.


Alyssa K. Burns
Alyssa K. Burns
Alyssa is a graduate of Coronado High School and was in the founding broadcast journalism class at CHS. She earned her BA in Communication from CSU East Bay and completed her MBA from CSU San Marcos. Her passion for writing and interest in the behind the scenes of business, leads her to write frequently about Coronado businesses. You can find Alyssa walking around the ferry landing with her husband and shih-tzu terrier or enjoying a cup of coffee at one of Coronado's favorite cafes.Have a story for The Coronado Times to cover? Send news tips or story ideas to: [email protected]