Four women pioneers in animal health receive a Feather In Her Cap

March 2, 2018

Veterinary industry leaders recognized at inaugural event during 2018 VMX.

Four women in the animal health industry have received a Feather In Her Cap award for their achievements and contributions to the industry and for mentoring other women leaders. At a dinner and award presentation held at the Orlando Museum of Art in conjunction with VMX, the following women were presented with the inaugural Feather In Her Cap awards:

Kimberly Allen, president of commercial operations for Henry Schein Animal Health, was the first woman to serve on and chair the American Veterinary Distributors Association Board, among other accomplishments, according to a release from the Feather In Her Cap organization.

Catherine Knupp, DVM, MS, executive vice president and president of research and development for Zoetis, has encouraged women scientists to pursue project team leadership opportunities, and today, nearly half of project team leaders at Zoetis are women.

Marie-Paul Lachaud, DVM, founded the first animal health clinical research organization in Europe, and for the last 10 years has been an independent consultant to pharmaceutical companies in veterinary medicine. Dr. Lachaud has also been a mentor to those around her, helping women advance in their careers and in the industry, the release states.

Joyce Lee, president of North America for Bayer Animal Health, has led teams in general management, strategy, sales, marketing, research and development, engineering, manufacturing and information technology in the course of her career. Lee is known for championing other women by utilizing mentorship as a development tool and serving as a connector among women in the industry.

New group formed for women in industry

A kickoff event for Women in Leadership and Management in Animal Health (WILMAH) was also held during VMX. The association says its mission is to connect and support women leaders through professional resources, development opportunities and advocacy. According to materials distributed at the event, WILMAH members aim to:

Establish paths to help, encourage and inspire each other in current and evolving roles.

Identify and overcome common barriers to success.

Provide resources and mentorship opportunities to improve career possibilities.

Provide advocacy, action and enrichment for women in animal health.

To learn more about the group, visit

The Feather In Her Cap award was established in 2017 by a group of women leaders in animal health-including Linda Rhodes, VMD, PhD; Susan Longhofer DVM, MS, DACVIM (SAIM); Diane Larsen, DVM, PhD; Lesley Rausch-Derra, DVM, MS; Kristen Khanna, PhD, MBA; and Julia Stephanus-who formed a nonprofit association to honor women who have made outstanding contributions in animal health and demonstrated commitment to mentoring women in the industry.

“The quality and breadth of the work represented by all of the nominees is exceptional and inspiring,” says Dr. Rhodes, president of the Feather In Her Cap Association, in the group's release. “The enthusiastic response to this new award … validates the need to recognize our women leaders who have contributed much to the success of the industry.”