The Belleville Area Humane Society recently named Kim Hudgins Vrooman as its new executive director.
“I am coming in after and with the support of transformative leaders — two past executive directors Katie Nelson and Shoshana Mostoller — and an amazing staff already providing outstanding support in our community. I also have the incredible support of board members who believe passionately in animal welfare,” she said.
Vrooman established roots in Southwestern Illinois more than two decades ago when her father, a colonel in the U.S. Army, moved the family from the Chicago area to the Metro East. Vrooman now lives in Freeburg with her family.
Moving to the area as part of a military family, she went on to earn an Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts from Southwestern Illinois College in Belleville, a Bachelor’s Degree in English Composition from Pierre Laclede Honors College at University of Missouri St. Louis, a Master’s Degree in Theory of Communication and Composition from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, and most recently a Postgraduate Certificate from Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in Developing and Leading Effective Teams.
She taught at SWIC, McKendree University, and SIUE while founding Tapestry of Community Offerings 501(c)(3) and the TOCO Shop and Textile Pantry, where she now serves as a volunteer. TOCO continues to serve 10,000 families annually through its location at 825 W. Main St. in Belleville.
During this period Vrooman learned about the efforts of the Belleville Area Humane Society and with the help of volunteers initiated a relationship between TOCO and BAHS. Over the years TOCO has helped provide BAHS with needed supplies while working to also keep textiles out of area landfills.
In her next role as director of AmeriCorps in Belleville at SWIC, Vrooman also helped strengthen the community partnership between BAHS and AmeriCorps. Many AmeriCorps volunteers have dedicated thousands of hours in service to the BAHS mission over the past 20 years.
While serving as a director at Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois, Vrooman partnered with BAHS’s first Executive Director Katie Nelson to increase collaboration between the two organizations.
The Belleville Area Humane Society, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, has been serving St. Clair County for more than 61 years. Visit www.bahspets.org.