HSUS Board Chairman David O. Wiebers, a neurologist at the Mayo Clinic, flew in from Rochester, Minnesota to preside over the historic occasion, only the sixth time in The HSUS's 50-year history that a new CEO has been installed in office.
"Today, we are here to celebrate Paul Irwin's outstanding record of service to The HSUS
as he now moves to the status of president emeritus," Wiebers
told a conference room packed with HSUS employees as well as members of Irwin's immediate family.
"Paul has been more than a leader of The HSUS
...Irwin went on to acknowledge a few of people who have helped him during his career, including Wiebers, former board chairman Coleman Burke (the late attorney who, Irwin said, wrote a check to purchase The HSUS building on L Street in Washington D.C., money that the organization paid back "after a while"), Executive Vice President Patricia Forkan, and his long-time Executive Assistant Pat Gatons.
then told the gathered crowd that there would be a formal retirement celebration for Irwin in October, but that the staff had created something special for this June send-off: an oversized card signed with personal thank yous from those who had worked under Irwin.
ushered in The HSUS's
"new era of leadership" by calling Pacelle "one of the nation's leading advocates of social reforms to benefit animals."
And our staff, as David Wiebers
has indicated, is the key resource that we possess.
...Before closing the ceremonies, Wiebers, the physician, offered some eloquent thoughts on how The HSUS widens the circle of compassion among humans.
"When a human is born, his
first and foremost concern is with personal comfort and safety," Wiebers
"Our society is in the process of awakening to the significance of this step, so that it might evolve to the next level," Wiebers