MANATEE -- Humane Society of Manatee County has a new executive director.
Rick Yocum, who will begin March 14, will be the next leader of the nonprofit at 2515 14th St. W., Bradenton.
"I am very pleased to be named the executive director of the Humane Society of Manatee County," Yocum said in an email. "I am joining an organization that has dedicated, professional and passionate staff members, board members and volunteers. The mission statement and goals of the HSMC closely align with my goals and priorities."
Yocum comes to the Humane Society of Manatee County from New Jersey where he served as president of the New Jersey Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for the past seven years. Yocum also was "a certified humane law enforcement officer who trained other officers and investigated animal cruelty cases," according to a news release.
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"Mr. Yocum will be an asset to our organization and the community," Marsha Forrest, Humane Society of Manatee County board president, said in the release. "His strong leadership skills and proven willingness to work as a team are exactly what Manatee County needs to
succeed in making a difference for all companion animals."
The executive director opening occurred after the board of directors made the decision to terminate Amy Van Dell's employment after nearly four years at the helm. Van Dell's last day as executive director was in November.
According to the release, Yocum was also the general sales manager for Warren Distributing Company, which is the largest beer distributing company in New Jersey, and was president of the Jefferson Township Council for 20 years.
The public will have a chance to meet Yocum during a welcome reception from 4-6 p.m. Tuesday, March 29.
Claire Aronson, Manatee County reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7024. Follow her on Twitter @Claire_Aronson.