Embarking on a New Adventure: A Farewell Letter from Brittany Filby

A photo of four guests enjoying the Picasso Pets gala in 2023.

TALES BLOG / Embarking on a New Adventure: A Farewell Letter from Brittany Filby


Friends of Hand in Paw,

After six incredible years serving as Hand in Paw's Director of Communications, the time has come for me to embark on a new adventure. I am thrilled to announce that I will be stepping away from my role at Hand in Paw to embrace a brand-new job title: Mother.

This decision was not made lightly, but I am excited for the journey ahead and the opportunity to welcome a new addition to my family.

During my tenure of creating Hand in Paw’s communications, design, and branding, I have learned many life lessons. Here are six that stick out to me – one for each year I have been a “HIPster.”

  1. Hand in Paw volunteers are the most kind, selfless, and generous people you will ever meet. I can speak from personal experience that Hand in Paw volunteers truly go above and beyond the call of duty to bring joy and comfort to the lives of others.
  2. Nothing great was ever accomplished alone. It takes an amazing group of people to do good work and make mission moments possible. I am grateful to have worked with such talented coworkers and volunteers who, by working together as a team, are able to continually do so much good for Hand in Paw and our community.
  3. How you choose to spend your time and energy matters. Whether it’s through your work, volunteering, or hobby, taking time to give back and do things that “fill your cup” will not only bring you joy, but also make a true difference.
  4. Furry friends are more than “just pets.” During my time at Hand in Paw, I have witnessed firsthand the amazing power of the human-animal bond. Pets provide companionship, lower heart rate and blood pressure, decrease cortisol levels, and so much more that is scientifically proven to be beneficial! Never let anyone downplay how important pets are for your well-being.
  5. You can’t say “thanks” enough. Saying thank you and showing appreciation will never go out of style. Take the time to hand write that thank you note or send that thank you text! You never know the impact a simple “thank you” can make.
  6. Being a jack of all trades, master of none is actually a good thing. Have you ever heard the full version of this well-known proverb? It’s “a Jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one.” In the nonprofit world (and many other fields), being able to wear many hats and know “enough to be dangerous” about many skills is so beneficial. Be a lifelong learner and open to figuring things out as you go! You will become a more well-rounded person and an asset to many.
Below are some of my favorite photos from the past six years. ❤️

With bittersweet ends come exciting new beginnings!

I am so happy to share that Hand in Paw has hired a new Director of Communications, Michael Hansen! Michael is an accomplished nonprofit leader, advocate, and storyteller, with nearly two decades of experience, including eight years as Executive Director of another local nonprofit organization called GASP. Michael’s experience also includes two years as Director of Public Relations at The Modern Brand and three years coordinating public relations at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

I have had the joy and privilege of working with Michael this past month to make the transition as easy as possible and can attest to his talent and experience! Michael (and his adorable Frenchie, Hugo) fit right in at Hand in Paw, and I have no doubt that he will do amazing things during his time serving as Director of Communications.

If you ever have Hand in Paw mission moments, photos, or ideas to share, please do not hesitate to reach out to Michael at michael@handinpaw.org. He would love to hear from you!

While I will miss being a part of this amazing organization and working alongside such wonderful coworkers and volunteers, I am grateful for the memories we've shared and the impact we've made together.

Cheers to six wonderful years!

Brittany Filby

A handwritten signature that reads "Brittany."

Brittany Filby poses with her dogs Chester and Cooper in the gardens at Hand in Paw's offices.