Jill Erbland is proof positive that our Defining Principles are cross-species! As the long-term leader of the Global Social Venture Competition (GSVC) she’s guided hundreds of entrepreneurs which is, at times, like herding cats. She also manages the entrepreneurship faculty and is a longstanding volunteer for Haas initiatives like the Event Space Management Committee and coordinator for the Haas WorkFit class. However, if you scratch beneath the surface, there’s something even more interesting.
Jill rescued her lovely silver tabby cat, Leo from Cat Town, an all-volunteer, foster-based rescue organization started by shelter volunteers to find homes for cats that were too traumatized, scared or shy to interact well in a shelter setting.
Inspired by the folks she met during the process, Jill committed to using her many talents and skills to support Cat Town’s expanding mission. She’s been instrumental as a Cat Zone Lead and helping to train volunteers for the recent opening of Oakland’s Cat Town Café and Adoption Center. The Café is the first in the US and is already showing incredible results. Since the Café opened in October 2014, close to 100 cats have been adopted, helping alleviate stress and overcrowding at Oakland Animal Services.
You can find Jill on Saturdays leading volunteers and connecting potential adopters with kitties in the Cat Zone. Stop by for some coffee, a Caturday Cupcake and a heaping helping of furry love. The Cat Town Café and Adoption Center is open Wed-Sun, 10am-7pm. Reservations are suggested on weekend days if you want to spend time with the cats. The café opens at 8am.