The MAARS Board of Directors is pleased to announce the promotion of Ms. Galiena Cimperman to the role of MAARS Executive Director and board member effective January 1, 2012. Founder and CEO Eileen McCarthy is taking a much-deserved sabbatical to focus on specific animal protection and advocacy issues that she initiated while leading MAARS since its founding over 13 years ago.
Galiena will have responsibility for all day-to-day operations of the MAARS facility, The Landing, and the MAARS organization and programs, as well as direct supervision of the Senior Staff. As Executive Director, Galiena plans to maintain MAARS’ “Birds First” strategy that helps to make the sanctuary a unique environment for both the avian and human flock.
Galiena joined MAARS in 2004 as a volunteer and was promoted to a Shift Manager in 2005 when she began working more closely as an assistant with Eileen on avian medical and behavior concerns and management. In 2007, Galiena formally joined the MAARS Senior Staff Leadership Team where she held the position of Director of Intake Services. She has also served as a Placement Counselor overseeing placements and as a valuable member of the Avian Care Committee, which is responsible for overseeing the health, well-being, and medical needs of our Flock.
As a founder of MAARS and its Executive Director since 2004, Eileen oversaw the busiest captive avian welfare, intake, placement, and advocacy program in the country. From 2001-2009 MAARS placed over 1500 birds into permanent homes. She was also a leader in establishing welfare guidelines for parrots in shelters and developing a shelter handbook for non-avian rescues to be able to care for any birds surrendered into their care.
MAARS is the oldest avian rescue in the Midwest and continues to be a leader in avian protection. It was founded in July 1999 by Eileen and others in response to the ever-increasing need for sanctuary for displaced parrots, promotion of the well-being of parrots in captivity, education, and conservation. In addition, MAARS has been dedicated to helping end the legal and illegal trade in wild animals as pets.
Under Eileen’s leadership MAARS launched the first-in-the-nation in-store parrot adoption program with PetSmart in St. Louis Park, MN. She worked tirelessly with other organizations to bring the welfare issues of captive parrots into the forefront.
The year 2009 was a turning point in MAARS’ evolution with the purchase of its own building to permanently house the MAARS Flock. This achievement symbolizes MAARS’ deep commitment to the future to secure the long-term wellbeing of the MAARS flock. It is literally a brick and mortar symbol of the enduring commitment to MAARS’ mission, vision, and the future.
While Eileen’s leadership and vision will be greatly missed, Galiena’s experience, skills, and commitment to the Flock and the organization will allow MAARS to maintain its high standards and core principles.
MAARS is a 501c-3, non-profit avian rescue providing permanent sanctuary and rehabilitative services to approximately 85 parrots living in captivity.