In brief

Nickerson named HIHS CEO

The Hawaii Island Humane Society Board of Directors has named its current Chief Operations Officer Lauren Nickerson as Chief Executive Officer.


Nickerson replaces interim CEO Elizabeth “Beth” Jose who remains as the organization’s West Hawaii veterinarian. Jose has served on an interim basis as CEO since 2019 while simultaneously serving as the veterinarian for the Hawaii Island Humane Society’s Animal Community Center in Kona and the Mobile Spay &Neuter Waggin’.

“Lauren’s education and expertise in shelter operations, coupled with her knowledge and experience, has made her the ideal candidate for this position. No one is more dedicated to the Hawaii Island Humane Society’s mission and success of our operation than Lauren,” said HIHS President Adam Atwood.

Nickerson was hired in January 2019 and served previously as Community Programs Director and Chief Operating Officer for Hawaii Island Humane Society before being named CEO. She graduated from the University of Hawaii Manoa with honors and holds a master’s degree in education from Harvard University.

Nickerson first became involved with the Hawaii Island Humane Society in 2016 when she and her husband adopted a blind and deaf dog named Pearl. She volunteered her time to help with fundraising for HIHS through photography and by utilizing an Instagram account for Pearl. She has used social media to educate, advocate and give back and has raised thousands of dollars for the Hawaii Island Humane Society and other organizations.

“I’m excited about the progress we’ve made at the Hawaii Island Humane Society. We’re utilizing modern, science-based training techniques to help shelter animals thrive. We’re making great strides and I’m happy to report that the Hawaii Island Humane Society has an Average Live Release rate of 95%,” said Nickerson.

In addition, Alyssa Tabert is stepping into a new role as director of Lifesaving Operations. Tabert has a long history of volunteering with various rescue organizations in Washington and Oregon and has been volunteering and fostering at Hawaii Island Humane Society since 2018. She most recently was Hawaii Island Humane Society’s Lifesaving Programs Coordinator.

Hawaii Island Humane Society is a nonprofit organization with a mission to promote respect for all animals, prevent cruelty to animals, eliminate pet overpopulation, and enhance the bond between humans and animals. Since 1965, Hawaii Island Humane Society has promoted spay/neuter as a vehicle to eliminate pet overpopulation and has continued outreach island wide at its two shelters in Keaau and at the Animal Community Center in Kona.

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Flight attendants to receive extra vacation for getting vaccinated

United Airlines will give its flight attendants an incentive to get the COVID-19 vaccine, but it will not require the shots.

Flight attendants who choose to get vaccinated will get up to three extra vacation days in 2022, the union representing United’s flight attendants said. To get the maximum number of days, flight attendants must have received at least one dose by June 9.

The Association of Flight Attendants and United want to get flight attendants vaccinated “as quickly as possible,” both for the health benefits and to be prepared if countries start requiring flight crews to be vaccinated, the union said.

Chicago-based United reached a deal with its pilots union last week that provides additional pay for pilots who choose to get the vaccine. As of Friday, about 80% provided proof of vaccination, United said.

The airline’s CEO, Scott Kirby, said earlier this year he wanted to make the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for United’s workforce, as long as other companies also made shots mandatory for employees.

While employers can require the COVID-19 vaccine, many are encouraging, but not requiring, workers to get vaccinated.

Delta Air Lines is requiring all new hires be vaccinated, unless they qualify for an accommodation. American Airlines does not require vaccines but offered employees an extra vacation day in 2022 and $50 in employee reward program points as an incentive.


Southwest Airlines said it encourages employees to get the vaccine, but has not offered an incentive.

By local and wire sources

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