IndyHumane names longtime volunteer, former board chair as CEO

The Humane Society of Indianapolis has named a new top dog who's already intimately familiar with the organization, having served as its board chairman and, most recently, its interim CEO.

david horthDavid Horth

The animal-welfare organization announced on Thursday that David Horth, 57, had been promoted from interim to permanent chief executive officer, as of Wednesday.

Horth, founder of Indianapolis-based Quest Commercial Real Estate LLC, has served in various volunteer roles for the group for nearly 17 years and was chairman of its board of directors from 2007 to 2008.

“David’s knowledge of and dedication to IndyHumane and its mission—together with his business and financial acumen gained from 20 years of owning his own business—make David the ideal leader to take IndyHumane into the future from a position of strength,” said Kyle Masur, current chairman of the board, in a media release.

Horth became interim CEO soon after the abrupt exit in late July of Steven Stolen, who took over the top job in June 2017. The organization declined to explain Stolen’s departure, but Stolen told IBJ at the time that he had been terminated.

“I was surprised … as we've made substantial progress in 2018 in every important area as articulated by the Board,” Stolen said at the time in an email to IBJ. “Mr. Masur and the Board disagree and have made that clear.”

Stolen had built a lengthy resume in arts, education and not-for-profit leadership and fundraising before joining the organization, which earlier this year began calling itself IndyHumane. He previously was vice president of corporate advancement for the Indy Chamber, a position he took in September 2015.

IndyHumane reported $7.9 million in revenue in 2017 and $7.2 million in expenses. It employed 122 people on a part-time or full-time basis last year and had 417 volunteers.

Under Horth, IndyHumane plans to focus on increasing its capacity to care for homeless animals by providing even greater support to fellow animal welfare agencies, expanding animal welfare services in low-income communities and increasing animal welfare education.

Horth told IBJ on Thursday that he intends to retain his sole ownership in Quest Commercial Real Estate and a peripheral involvement in its projects, “but my focus will be the Humane Society.”

Quest is a real estate brokerage and investment firm. Prior to launching Quest in 2003, Horth owned several companies that specialized in construction, environmental remediation and hazardous materials management.

Horth has held volunteer leadership positions in other civic organizations, including serving as president of The Penrod Society, board chair and advisory board member for Indianapolis Animal Care Services, and board member for the Indiana Repertory Theatre.

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