Carey '93 with her dog Coco
Profile: Pam Carey '93
Kellogg alum is working to ensure that every dog — and
cat — has its day
by Raksha Varma
it comes to her professional life, Pam Carey '93 does not
believe in starting from scratch — even if some of her
cherished clients are fond of scratching.
are too many lives at stake to re-invent the wheel,"
says Carey, who is the executive director for Pets
Are Worth Saving (PAWS) Chicago, Chicago's largest nonprofit,
no-kill humane organization. "Our energy should be spent
on saving animals. We ensure that this mission can continue
by paying close attention to our fiscal health and using strong
business skills throughout our organization."
oversees a multitude of programs for PAWS, which employs one
full-time veterinarian, a group of vet technicians, 20 staff
members and nearly 300 volunteers.
from Joliet, Ill., Carey, 44, graduated in 1982 from the University
of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign). With this degree and a CPA
certificate, she went to work for BP Amoco (formerly Amoco)
the years passed, my management style became sharper because
I had the opportunity to interact with a variety of groups
and (functional) disciplines," says Carey, who spent
16 years as a manager with BP Amoco, one of the world's largest
oil companies, in both the Chicago suburbs and Houston.
of using the command/control style, I shifted to a participative
style of management," Carey says, noting that this approach
encourages excellence and team building.
working for BP Amoco, Carey entered the Kellogg School's part-time
MBA program in 1988, where she specialized in marketing.
helped me to develop further my team-building skills,"
she says. "And whether you're an individual contributor
or a leader, Kellogg instills the value of exceptional interpersonal
and communication skills."
she completed the program in 1993, Carey eventually left BP
Amoco in 1999 and took a two-year sabbatical from the work
wanted to make a huge change," explains Carey, who helped
her husband build their dream house in Lake Forest, Ill.,
during the sabbatical. "Although leaving the work force
is a risk, it's a calculated one."
father was also diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2001. "Being
off from work also meant I had more time to dedicate to my
father and family during this most difficult time," she
says. "That experience taught me to re-assess my life."
re-entered the labor force in 2002, in a job she felt passionate
about. "When I evaluated my life, I realized I wanted
to work in the animal welfare field," says Carey, who
has two dogs and a cat.
Carey attained a full-time position, she educated herself
about the field. "Volunteer programs and workshops helped
me get my bearings," recalls Carey, who volunteered for
United Way and local Chicago programs, where she walked, groomed
and cared for dogs. "A little bit of volunteering makes
all the difference. It's an outlet for those who want to contribute."
Carey's volunteer work brought her to PAWS, where she was
hired initially as a consultant.
in 1997, PAWS is a nonprofit whose mission involves ameliorating
Chicago's pet overpopulation. More than 28,000 dogs and cats
were euthanized in the city last year, Carey says, adding
that PAWS uses its adoption agency, spay/neuter clinic and
humane education center to combat this situation.
can't 'adopt' your way out of this (overpopulation),"
Carey says. "The real solution is targeted spay/neuter
programs to prevent these unwanted litters in the first place."
organization's Lurie Family Spay/Neuter clinic performs nearly
50 surgeries per day. In total, the clinic has done more than
23,000 surgeries, which are free for the pets of those on
public assistance and to anyone who lives in one of PAWS'
14 targeted low-income ZIP codes in Chicago. Other clients
pay $40 for the services. PAWS plans to increase its clinic's
work by 20 percent in the next year.
who became executive director for PAWS in 2004, is responsible
for the clinic, adoption programs and community outreach.
strategic approach is governed by the business skills Kellogg
helped provide: Carey says she emphasizes a culture of accountability
that values volunteerism and collaboration.
from the vet technicians to the volunteers, plays a critical
role," says Carey. "We work together because we
share a common goal — saving the lives of animals."
more information about PAWS, visit pawschicago.org.