Asheville Humane Society Appoints New Executive Director Jeff Hassel

ASHEVILLE, NC – The Asheville Humane Society Board of Directors has named Jeff Hassel the new Executive Director of Asheville Humane Society. Hassel assumed the role on August 22nd and began managing all day-to-day operations for Buncombe County’s only open-intake animal shelter.

“I believe we have a new leader who will work tirelessly to amplify our already dynamic organization while respecting and investing in the people around him and employing creativity, structure, humor, and integrity. Jeff has hit the ground running, advocating for animals in need in our community to thrive and live a life worth living,” says Carla Henry, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Asheville Humane Society.

Jeff cut his teeth in the nonprofit world doing emergency home repairs with the Appalachia Service Project, based in Johnson City, Tennessee. As a Methodist pastor in Western North Carolina, he served five communities, including East Flat Rock and Sylva. In the early 2000s, Jeff moved to Lithuania to work as a Construction Project Manager, returned to the States, and became the Mission Director at a large church in Davidson, North Carolina. He moved to Guatemala in 2012 to learn Spanish, became the Executive Director of a rural medical clinic, then led a large human services organization in Massachusetts. He is glad to be back in Western North Carolina! Jeff rescued four dogs in his life; his favorite was Chandler, a Great Dane. He is thrilled to be part of an organization that advocates for the well-being of animals daily.

“At the end of my first day with Asheville Humane, I walked to my car and thought, ‘You know, Jeff, you’ve just landed in a place that suits you!’ After meeting the Board and all our senior leaders, I still feel that way! Asheville Humane is filled with people – staff, Board, donors, and volunteers – who care deeply and work tirelessly for the animals in our care. Our journey together will be incredible!” says Jeff.

Hassel succeeds Interim Executive Director John Haas, long-time supporter, volunteer, and former Asheville Humane Society Board of Directors Chairperson, who assumed the role in June 2021.