Lucy Marsh is one busy lady. She is passionate about many causes and involved in many charitable organizations. She’s a roll-your-sleeves-up-and-get-down-to-work kind of gal. We first met Lucy during our StyleBlueprint Charity Giveaway contest, where readers voted and Greater Birmingham Humane Society came out on top. The grand prize? StyleBlueprint gave the charity $5,000! In addition to her many other roles, Lucy is the current president of the organization. Welcome, Lucy!
Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.
I am the director of a philanthropic family foundation, The Thompson Foundation. It was humbling that the Greater Birmingham Humane Society was able to win a popularity contest when stacked against such stiff competition.
I am also a part of Thompson Tractor Co.’s truck group (Caterpillar truck sales). If you need a CAT or a dog, I’m your girl!
I sit on several boards including the United Way of Central Alabama and Associated Builders and Contractors. Besides Chairing the Board of the Greater Birmingham Humane Society, I also manage a farm and am raising two daughters, who are five and one.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Birmingham. I lived short stints in other cities but always planned to return here. I am a girl with deeper roots than wings, and I love the thought of following in the footsteps of family members that came before me.
Tell us about your work with GBHS.
My work with GBHS has been one of the most satisfying parts of my professional life. I have learned patience, governance, teamwork, fundraising and how to overcome many obstacles! I’ve learned about dealing with the state legislature and I’ve successfully chaired my first capital campaign. The most rewarding part of working for this great organization is being surrounded by some of the most passionate people on earth. I forged deep friendships for which I am grateful.
What can our readers do to help support the efforts of GBHS?
Talk us up! Although we are most known for animal adoptions, we do so much more for our community. We operate a pet pantry so financial obstacles do not get in the way of pet ownership. We go into elementary schools to teach the value of humane treatment to animals and people. We are a dedicated EMA site in times of disaster. We operate a cruelty line for pets in crisis. Because animal cruelty, child abuse and domestic violence are all aligned, there have been times our cruelty department has uncovered a dire circumstance for the people in the home that has gotten them proper assistance. GBHS wants to be the leader for animal welfare in this region and we have big plans to get us there. Please support us with your time, talent or treasure!
Is there anything that pet owners can do to help alleviate the problem of homeless pets?
This sounds so cliche, but pet owners need to spay and neuter their pets. The number of unwanted pets in this city, state and region is mind blowing. When you think about the fact that GBHS is only one shelter and over the last decade we have averaged close to 10,000 unwanted pets a year, it begins to shed a light on a very “fixable” problem.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
My dad always tells me that the world is run by people that show up. Not that I want to run the world (haha) but I think he is trying to tell me to always try. If there is a problem, keep trying to fix it. I will never give up trying to eliminate overpopulation of domestic animals. This is a cause where indifference just isn’t an option.
What advice would you give to others?
Whether or not you realize it, you are a uniquely talented person. There is no one else that can bring your perspective, so please, get involved with a great non-profit organizations, like any of the ones involved in the StyleBlueprint contest. Your life and someone else’s will be better for it.
What upcoming local event are you most looking forward to?
The GBHS Jazz Cat Ball and the fifth Regions Tradition golf tournament at Shoal Creek. This event has generated over 2 million dollars to Alabama charities including Children’s Hospital. I have two children, which brings their wonderful work closer to home!
Favorite thing to do on a Saturday night?
I am an introvert! The perfect Saturday night for me would include my husband, daughters, dogs and an Ford F150 somewhere deep in the woods.
Favorite local restaurant?
What are you listening to these days?
There will never be another voice like Whitney Houston’s. Seriously, who can hit those notes?
What books are you currently reading?
“How to make money growing trees (haha).” I have many different interests!
The best novel I have read lately was Field of Dead Horses. It isn’t gruesome like the title suggests, and every story is better that includes animals.
Do you have any personality quirks or irrational fears?
I didn’t know how to answer this question so I asked my mom, and she quickly reminded me that it is very weird when I jump into character mode. I can recite the Cheerwine commercial from 1985!
If your house was on fire what’s the one non-living thing you would grab?
Oh without a doubt, my children’s baby pictures and my grandmother’s portrait. Most things are replaceable but those you just can’t get back.
Name three things you can’t live without (excluding friends, family and faith!).
My morning latte, my freedom and the great outdoors.
Thanks for sharing, Lucy!
And thank you, Beth Hontzas, for today’s beautiful photos! www.bethhontzas.com