Canines for Service will soon welcome Bethany Leighton as its next executive director, according to a news release.
Leighton, currently the fundraising director for StepUp Wilmington, will take on the new leadership role with Canines for Service (CFS), a Wilmington-based service dog provider in North Carolina, on Oct. 5, officials said.
“After a comprehensive search with a field of remarkable candidates, we are thrilled to have Bethany Leighton be our next Executive Director,” Aaron DiGregorio, CFS board chair, said in the release. “Heading into our 25th year, Canines for Service needs a leader who has a forward-thinking vision to create and implement plans for strategic growth.
"Bethany brings to the job an exceptional combination of energy, sensitivity, and proven leadership," he said. "We have great confidence she will develop rich and meaningful relationships within the community, among our Veteran clients, and within the service dog industry.”
Leighton has worked in the nonprofit sector for the past 14 years, with a focus on fundraising and helping organizations grow.
“I’m looking forward to bringing the work of this essential organization to more people,” Leighton said in the release. “Growing up in a military family, I have witnessed firsthand the mental health challenges that many of our Veterans face after completing active duty service. I also know the unconditional love of a dog, having a rescue of my own.
"I have been privileged to witness the impact of good people giving back to the community and know that together, we are stronger. It is in this spirit that I begin my work at Canines for Service," she said. "I am excited to lead an exceptional staff and board of directors to help the organization meet its current challenges and develop its vision for the future.”
Leighton earned a bachelor's degree from Georgetown College and a master’s degree from University College London.
She has also led the Association of Fundraising Professionals local chapter.
Leighton received an executive certificate in nonprofit leadership from Duke University. She was also part of WILMA magazine's Leadership Institute.