Jon Spoon, Executive Director of CARE, brings a passion for the mission along with years of experience as an accomplished non-profit director, college administrator, and small business owner. He holds a B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Asheville and a law degree from North Carolina Central University. Jon, a proven leader in the community and region, graduated from Leadership Chatham as well as the Rural Economic Development Institute through the North Carolina Rural Center. He is a two-time participant in Go Global’s Latino Initiative program and was selected as a Goodmon Fellow for Emerging Leaders through Leadership Triangle. Jon currently serves as the Vice Chair of the Chatham County Planning Board and enjoys his free time making pottery and being outside with his rescue dogs, Scarlett and Violet.
Questions & Answers
We asked Jon some questions to help us get to know him better.
Tell us why you are passionate about the CARE mission. And, please tell us about your rescue dogs.
I am excited to have the opportunity to work for CARE because its core mission is something that is near and dear to my heart. I grew up surrounded by animals, most of which were rescues or strays that found their way to us. As a kid, I remember my mom bottle feeding two tuxedo kittens that a neighbor found in a field and left at our house. As an adult, I have benefited greatly from the companionship I have found with rescue dogs. I adopted Scarlett from the Vet Tech school at Central Carolina Community College (CCCC) almost ten years ago and regard her as one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. The weekend before I started my new role at CARE, I walked to Pittsboro for lunch and l returned home with an adorable puppy I named Violet. She was from an unintentional litter of puppies and I am happy to be able to give her a good home. CARE has a tremendous network of volunteers that are fully devoted to bettering the lives of cats and dogs in Chatham County and doing their best to help assure that those animals receive adequate medical care, including being spayed or neutered. I feel fortunate to be able to lead an organization with a mission that so closely aligns with my personal passion for animal welfare.
You are a Chatham native with big love for and connections within this community. Tell us about the connections you are hoping to build and expand in your new role at CARE.
I am an established Chathamite and this community is very special to me. My parents met teaching at Jordan-Matthews High School and I spent a lot of my childhood at my grandparents’ farm in Goldston. I went to middle and high school in Pittsboro before moving away for undergrad and law school. It only took me a year in Washington D.C. to figure out that I would rather make a big difference in a small place that I love than a small difference in a big place that wasn’t home. Since moving back to Chatham, I have built solid connections within the community through both work and civic involvement. I served on the board of directors for the Chatham Arts Council and am the Vice-Chair for the Chatham County Planning Board. I am glad to start re-establishing the connections I had with the business and non-profit community while working for CCCC. I am excited to see the growth of Chatham County and look forward to connecting with the new residents and businesses that are moving here. CARE’s mission resonates with so many in Chatham County, I am looking forward to representing CARE and to building relationships within the community on its behalf.
What is something you are looking forward to in the Executive Director role? Tell us a little bit about your experience running organizations and working with volunteers.
I am thrilled to be taking the reins of a well-functioning and longstanding institution in Chatham County. CARE is nearly fifty years old and for most of its history it has been a board and volunteer run organization. Getting to work with this passionate and dedicated group of volunteers is a great inspiration for me. I was previously the Director of the NC Arts Incubator in Siler City and learned just how big an impact a non-profit can have in a community when it is empowered by a dedicated board and an active volunteer base. I am looking forward to taking responsibility for many of the administrative and operational duties so that the volunteers are free to engage with the activities that truly bring them joy. Eventually, I want to grow the organization’s fundraising and volunteer base to the point where CARE becomes an unquestionably permanent fixture in Chatham and those who have dedicated so many years to its development will know that its mission will be carried on in perpetuity. Please reach out to me anytime at email@example.com.