Humane Society of Elkhart County

In 2019, the Humane Society of Elkhart County (HSEC) hired a new Executive Director, Rob LaRoy. Our CEO, Jess Koscher, had facilitated a board retreat for the organization when they were launching their capital campaign. LaRoy wished to revisit the direction of the organization now that their new building was built. As an organization that was known for its animal protection work, the board decided to focus more on community building and adoptions.

In 2021, Koscher was again invited to facilitate a board retreat. The focus of this retreat was to determine how to use the organization’s resources to the full extent. The retreat set them on the path for their next strategic plan.


  • Reviewed the mission, vision, and alignment with the board.
  • Explored new avenues for messaging and programming to better communicate services.
  • Explored physical, intellectual, and volunteer resources and determined how best to utilize them.

Jess did an excellent job gathering information prior to the meeting and was well prepared to lead our team throughout the day. She challenged our group to think outside the box and to delve deeper into the question of “what if”. By the end of the day, many things were accomplished: newer board members had a clearer understanding of the HSEC and their mission; the Executive Director’s job was more well-defined and an outline for a strategic plan was formulated. Her leadership skills allowed us to move through a packed agenda at a manageable pace, resulting in an excellent outcome. Speaking from the point of view of a non-profit agency, we would highly recommend Jess and Write Connections for your next strategic planning retreat.

Lana Davis, HSEC Board Chair