Tara Yurkshat, Chief Operating Officer

Tara Yurkshat brings over 20 years of operations experience in the animal welfare industry to SPCA Tampa Bay as a chief operating officer. Yurkshat has deep experience in many facets of operations, including budget oversight, team and operational leadership, strategic planning, project management, revenue generation and fundraising.

At SPCA Tampa Bay, Yurkshat oversees the direction and supervision of all animal-related programs, procedures and resources, which includes animal housing and adoptions, veterinary care at the shelter and transfers between other animal welfare organizations and rescues. She guides a team of animal welfare experts who provide an exceptional customer experience and embrace “humanimality” – SPCA Tampa Bay’s term for the nearly indescribable joy that comes from the human-animal bond.

Before joining SPCA Tampa Bay, Yurkshat was the vice president of operations for animal welfare at Houston SPCA, which is one of the nation’s largest animal shelters. Her responsibilities included directing operations for an organization with $45 million in net revenue and overseeing domestic and farm animal care, client care, veterinary services, animal cruelty investigations, volunteers, and facilities maintenance.

Previously, Yurkshat was the director of operations at Dumb Friends League, an animal shelter in Denver, Colorado. She helped manage a $13 million campaign to enhance infrastructure and medical scope in caring for animals, which included a new remote facility and 40,000-square-foot additions to existing buildings. Earlier in her career, she served as the executive director of Woodford Humane Society in Versailles, Kentucky, where she redesigned the organization’s operating model.

She is a Certified Animal Welfare Administrator (CAWA) by the Association for Animal Welfare Advancement (AAWA). She received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia.