A love of New Orleans music is one of the things that attracted Deidre Bruce from the Albany, N.Y. area where she grew up to the Crescent City. After several years in the corporate world, plus a fulfilling sideline as a volunteer for the Louisiana SPCA, she was transitioning to a job in the non-profit sector when Hurricane Katrina put her life on a different trajectory. That ultimately brought her to the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine as the newest director of development for giving and engagement with the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Foundation.
What made you want to go into this field?
I sort of fell into it in a way. After 12 years of working in the corporate sector I had just taken a non-profit job with Touro Hospital, a small community hospital, when Hurricane Katrina hit. Like so many people I had to evacuate, and I started out staying with my sister back in Albany. I ended up staying in Albany for eight years, first working for the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society, before getting an opportunity in development with the Albany Medical Center Foundation. That’s where I discovered that I love this kind of work. Eventually I went back to New Orleans to work in development at Tulane University, but I found the city wasn’t the same anymore, and that’s when I ended up taking a position in North Carolina.
What will you be doing in your new role?
As director of development, my job is to seek and raise support for the work being done at the college and to interact with the great faculty, staff and students here and with the people in the community who have a passion for what we do. To have the opportunity to still work in health care and with animals, too, is icing on the cake.
What are you most excited about in your new role?
It really excites me to work with the people who care so much about the things being done here. I love meeting the people who are doing the hands-on work at the college and the people who really want to support it.
What is your background?
I come from a big family and we always had lots of pets. I actually grew up as a big nature lover. I majored in marketing in college, and after I discovered my passion for non-profit work I also earned a certificate in non-profit management.
When you’re not on campus, where could we find you?
Probably walking my dog. I love checking out new restaurants, the outdoors and spending time with my pets, family and friends.
Tell us about your pets.
I have three cats, all from the streets of New Orleans, and one dog, Trixie, a German shepherd I adopted from the Stanly County Humane Society. The cats are named Mecca, Pookie and Teddy Bear.
What’s something someone would be surprised to learn about you?
I took piano lessons for years as a kid. I quit when I got to high school, and my mom always told me that I would regret it. She was right.