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North Beach PAWS President and Co-Founder Lorna Valdez Steps Down After Two Decades of Service to Animals of Grays Harbor County

Long-time Volunteer and Board of Directors Member and Project Manager for New Dog Shelter Project Carol Jamroz Elected North Beach PAWS President 

Outgoing North Beach PAWS President Lorna Valdez with Lulu.

North Beach PAWS president and co-founder, Lorna Valdez, has stepped down from day-to-day shelter operations after more than 20 years of service. Valdez co-founded North Beach PAWS, along with her sister-in-law Debbie Valdez, in 2002. Vice president and project manager for the new dog shelter project, Carol Jamroz, was elected as the next North Beach PAWS president during a recent board of directors meeting.


“North Beach PAWS is a dream come true. It started as an idea, turned into a vision, and is now a thriving reality,” said outgoing North Beach PAWS president Lorna Valdez. “With ongoing community support and our dedicated volunteers, North Beach PAWS will continue to save and find loving homes for as many cats and dogs as possible in the years to come. Carol Jamroz is a proven leader, the shelter is in good hands.”


Thanks to Valdez’s steadfast leadership and stewardship, North Beach PAWS has grown from a grassroots effort with a small network of concerned citizens, friends, and neighbors to the largest animal shelter in Grays Harbor County. Over the course of the last 22 years, North Beach PAWS has gone from foster homes for a handful of wayward animals to a shelter complex with on-site dog and cat shelters, and a building that houses a popular weekly garage sale. In 2023 alone, North Beach PAWS provided shelter services and outreach to more than 1,600 dogs and cats. 


“I thank my husband Michael for his support and legal advice over the years, and my family and sister-in-law and co-founder Debbie Valdez who have also dedicated the past 22 years of their lives to making North Beach PAWS the successful operation it is today,” Lorna Valdez said. “I’m looking forward to spending more time with my family and re-discovering my hobbies.”

New North Beach PAWS President Carol Jamroz with Morag.

Michigan-native Carol Jamroz relocated to Ocean Shores in 2013 and has worked with North Beach PAWS in numerous capacities for the last seven years and was instrumental in renovating the cat shelter that now services more than 1,000 cats per year.


“When I retired from my business career, I was ready to focus on animal welfare which has always been an important cause to me,” said Jamroz. “My wife, Cindy, and I discovered North Beach PAWS and we both started work as shelter shift volunteers. Both Cindy and I feel that this is the most rewarding work we have ever done. The volunteers and Board of Directors at North Beach PAWS are passionate about saving the lives of homeless and abandoned dogs and cats.  Their commitment inspires me every day.” 


Under Jamroz’s direction, the We Can Build a Better Place initiative to construct a new, modern dog shelter has reached close to $900,000, roughly 35% of its funding goal. North Beach PAWS officially launched the multi-faceted fundraising campaign in May 2023 to address the overwhelming need in our community for increased shelter services for dogs and puppies.


“Lorna’s legacy has brought us to a new chapter for North Beach PAWS,” said Jamroz. “She has passed on a solid foundation to me and the Board of Directors. This provides us with the vision and the means to take North Beach PAWS into the future. I am proud and excited to lead the organization to the next phase of our mission as we strive to provide shelter to increasing numbers of dogs and cats that need help in our county and to create a world where every animal is valued and loved.


Lorna Valdez will assume the title of president emeritus of North Beach PAWS and will continue to offer expertise, knowledge, counsel, and guidance as the shelter continues its all-important mission, while Carol Jamroz begins her tenure as president and sets out to lead North Beach PAWS into the future.


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