Meet George & Tina Skestos
George and Tina Skestos are no strangers to doing something that has never been done.
At 16, George was the youngest student to attend the University of Michigan and he was the first to earn an M.B.A. and a law degree at the same time. Tina attended the world’s first academic program in sports administration at Ohio University. She became the program’s first female graduate when she earned her MSA.
Together, George and Tina built successful companies, foundations and philanthropic ventures. When they saw the difficulties that hardworking staff members were facing in many Ohio dog shelters, they wanted to address the challenge.
In 2016, George saw firsthand what rural shelters were facing:
- A higher number of dogs than adoptive homes in certain areas
- A need for vaccines to fight and lower the spread of disease
- A need for surgical intervention in certain cases
- A method to identify and address behavior problems
- A facility with built-in quarantine areas for ill dogs
Any one of these challenges made it difficult, particularly for rural dogs, to find a forever home. Most of the shelters that George toured faced all of challenges and they didn’t have the resources to deal with the obstacles. George quickly realized that all of these factors were creating additional expense to the dog sheltering process.
The problem was systemic. Never afraid to back down from monumental challenges, George and Tina harnessed fresh thinking, assembled an expert team and began to craft a vision to create something that had never been done. An idea was born.
Building a Dream
As the founder of Homewood Corporation, a successful residential home builder, George was no stranger to building homes for people. What if he could transfer those skills to building a facility for dogs?
He mobilized his capable team to build a first-of-its kind campus devoted to shaping the future of how to best address dog homelessness. The result was a 15,000 square foot facility devoted to high quality care, efficiency, disease control and stress reduction to give rural dogs the best possible path to adoption.
Before & After
Funding the Future for Veterinarians who Choose Shelter Medicine
George and Tina’s deep commitment to shelter medicine isn’t limited to Gigi’s. In 2017, they established The Skestos Scholarship program for residents at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine.
The 2-year scholarships are available to residents majoring in rescue and shelter and behavioral medicine. Currently, 15 students are receiving these life-changing scholarships.