Stephen Munday

From serving our country to serving up dishes at some of the country’s finest restaurants, Stephen Munday’s life journey found its way to HHS in Oct. 2023. Upon joining as a volunteer, Stephen immediately learned how to properly clean our cat and small animal cages and assisted with other shelter tasks.
Stephen has also dedicated his own time to complete Fear Free shelter training and dog enrichment training, gaining a deeper understanding of the effort required to care for our animals. He proactively seeks additional tasks, undergoing training for dog kennel cleaning, a challenging responsibility with over 50 dogs in the shelter. Read about Stephen in the March Volunteer Spotlight. 
Below are some words from Stephen Munday.
I retired in January 2020 after 40 years of devotion to the life of a chef. After serving in the U.S. Navy for 6 years, I decided to attend the Culinary Institute of America and gain experience working in restaurants in NYC. Upon graduation and marriage to my fiancé, Gail, we embarked on our adventure. Gail was a Registered Nurse. For the next 15 years I gained experience and knowledge working at four different 4-Star golf and tennis resorts on the East Coast. This gave me the confidence to start my own upscale catering business, Creative Cuisines, in Williamsburg. Upon “retirement”, I decided to pursue a new passion. I wanted to become a glass artist. This was a bit of a daunting task considering the Covid – 19 pandemic was upon us in March of that year! Prior to the pandemic, I had taken basic glass blowing classes at the Chrysler Museum Glass Studio along with a stained-glass class and glass fusing classes. Just before the complete shutdown of our world, I was enrolled in two 1-week courses at Corning Museum of Glass Studio. With all the commercial studios closed down, I decided to set up my own stain-glass studio in my basement in order to have an outlet for my creativity. As the pandemic eased up, I was able to return to Corning Museum of Glass Studio for several workshops that ranged from 3 days to a week at a time. I’ve had very good fortune over the past 3 years with the highlight being part of a glass sculpting team in Richmond. As a member of this team, I’ve had the opportunity to travel, something I love to do! Over the past 2 years I’ve been to Seattle, Tucson, Americus, Istanbul and Paris, to name a few.
I’ve been a lover of dogs since early childhood. Our first family dog was a show collie. Over the course of my lifetime, I’ve always had an affinity for larger dogs. Unfortunately, these dogs aren’t blessed with a life as long as ours. This has led to having 5 dogs as our companions at various times. With this new life pursuit, I just don’t have the proper amount of time to care for another dog companion. An alternative came to mind; to become a volunteer for HHS. Doing so, enables me to enjoy the interaction with dogs which I have found to be very beneficial. I currently volunteer 3 days a week. My focus is to work with the larger dogs and help relieve their shelter stress as best as I can. This involves taking them on long walks, cueing in on any behavioral issues as well as enrichment that is specific for each dog, as I get to know them. My ultimate goal, through working with these dogs, is to make them a better candidate for adoption into their forever homes.