Paws and profits: Highlighting new business achievements in the veterinary industry


Check out the latest news in the veterinary industry with these 5 recent position promotions

Veterinary enterprises and organizations are essential for maintaining pets' well-being, relying on a careful blend of medical proficiency, compassionate treatment, and efficient administration. Strong leadership in this field influences the standard of pet care and supports the professional growth of teams. Industry leaders also cultivate an environment conducive to innovation while staying abreast of the latest advancements in veterinary medicine.

Various veterinary businesses and organizations recently announced new promotions and appointments. The following 5 individuals are among those making career advancements:

Linda Rhodes, VMD, PhD, board of directors member at Akston Biosciences

Linda Rhodes, VMD, PhD, board of directors member at Akston Biosciences. (Photo courtesy of Akston Biosciences and Business Wire)

Linda Rhodes, VMD, PhD, board of directors member at Akston Biosciences. (Photo courtesy of Akston Biosciences and Business Wire)

Akston Biosciences’—a developer and manufacturer of protein therapeutics for veterinary use—recently appointed Linda Rhodes to its board of directors. With 30 years of experience, Rhodes has founded several organizations, including AlcheraBio, Feather in Her Cap, and Aratana Therapeutics. She also developed and obtained FDA approval for 3 drugs in a span of 5 years, and is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Michelson Prize and Grants, where she has has worked to advance the discovery of a single injection treatment for permanent sterilization of male and female felines and canines. Moreover, Rhodes has been honored by the Animal Health Corridor with the Iron Paw Award for her lifetime achievement in animal health.1

“Akston is dedicated to accelerating the pace of innovation in animal health, building on our ultra-long acting dog and cat insulins that we licensed to Dechra Pharmaceuticals,” Todd Zion, PhD, president and CEO of Akston Biosciences said in a news release.1 “Linda’s experience in how to accelerate high quality drug development in a small company environment will be valuable as we develop our crop of new candidates.”

“I enjoy working with early-stage companies that have innovative solutions for animal health unmet needs. Akston combines a track record of inventing pioneering new therapies with the in-house capabilities critical to successful development to commercial manufacturing. I look forward to helping Akston leverage cutting-edge science to bring its products rapidly to market,” expressed Rhodes in the release.1

Yvonne Hsu, MBA, president and general manager at Hill’s Pet Nutrition, United States

Yvonne Hsu began her new position as the new president and general manager of Hill’s Pet Nutrition US division, a science-led dog and cat nutrition company, in May 2024. With 25 years of tenure at Hill’s parent company and an MBA from the Samuel Curtis (SC) Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University, Hsu takes on the new role as a strategic business leader with a track record of achieving substantial portfolio growth for multiple brands, according to a news release.2

Hsu last served as the executive vice president of global innovation and growth at Hill’s, where she led the strategy for the company’s brands, innovation, digital transformation, and analytics. With her leadership, Hill’s 2025 strategic plan and efforts to fulfill the plan were formed.2

Additionally, Hsu played a fundamental role in the company’s implementation of a new Brand Promise Framework, comprehensive 3-year innovation grids, continued expansion of its digital ecosystem, and the construction of Hill’s data foundation. This creation of digital and analytics capabilities has driven growth for Hill’s and positively influenced the broader parent enterprise—Colgate-Palmolive.2

Douglas Gladue, PhD, vice president of veterinary pharmaceutical development at Seek Labs

Seek Labs, a healthcare innovation firm specializing in advanced point-of-care molecular diagnostic systems and new CRISPR-based pharmaceutical technology, recently welcomed Douglas Gladue as its new vice president of veterinary pharmaceutical development. As a globally renowned virologist and specialist in African Swine Fever (ASF) research and development, Gladue will leverage his expertise in ASF vaccine research to lead Seek Labs' efforts in advancing CRISPR-based veterinary pharmaceutical projects.3

“I am excited to join Seek Labs and lead veterinary pharmaceutical development,” Gladue said in a news release.3 “Seek Labs is trailblazing new solutions for complex viral diseases like African Swine Fever with their CRISPR technology approach. Seek Labs’ unique approach shows great promise to develop a targeted and effective solution for ASF as well as other agricultural diseases.”

Before joining Seek Labs, Gladue spearheaded the development and commercialization of vaccines for foreign animal diseases at the Plum Island Animal Disease Center within the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). During his tenure, he played a pivotal role in pioneering and successfully launching the first and second live-attenuated vaccines for African Swine Fever (ASF). For his accomplishments in his ASF vaccine, Gladue received the Arthur S. Flemming award—an achievement attained by few ARS recipients in history.3

Robin Bennett, CPDT-KA, Blue-9 Pet Products

Robin Bennett, CPDT-KA, Blue-9 Pet Products (Photo courtesy of Blue-9 Pet Products)

Robin Bennett, CPDT-KA, Blue-9 Pet Products (Photo courtesy of Blue-9 Pet Products)

Blue-9 Pet Products, a developer of dog training products, expressed its excitement in announcing the arrival of Robin Bennett, speaker, author, educator, and Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA), to its team. With extensive experience in dog training and behavior, as well as a background in education, Bennett will concentrate on strategic planning, crafting compelling and informative content, devising innovative marketing campaigns, broadening Blue-9 Pet Product’s outreach to new customers, and delivering practical advice based on effective training methods to customers.4

"I am delighted to join Blue-9 Pet Products and contribute to their mission of supporting dog owners with reliable and effective training resources," said Bennett, in an organizational release.4 "I look forward to sharing my passion for dog training and helping pet owners achieve their training goals."

"We are thrilled to have Robin on board," said David Blake, CEO of Blue-9 Pet Products. "Her knowledge and experience align perfectly with our commitment to promoting the well-being of dogs and enhancing the bond between pets and their owners."4

Janis Shinkawa, DVM, CPA (HI), chair of the 2024-2025 NAWBO board of directors

The National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) has instituted Janis Shinkawa as chair of the 2024-2025 NAWBO board of directors. NAWBO represents 13 million women business owners nationwide, with its membership encompassing their business size, stage of business development, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, geographic business locations, political perspectives influencing policy views, and sectors and communities served.5

Currently, Shinkawa is the medical director and founding partner of Ohana Pet Hospital, as well as the founder of the Lokahi Foundation, a 501c(3) organization that focuses on training and providing wellness education to veterinarians and support staff. She also owns VETLevelUP, a startup software company that provides a digital development tool for the veterinary industry.5

"NAWBO stays strong through our commitment to our three pillars: advocacy, leadership, and education," Shinkawa said in a news release.5 “As an organization, we know when women do well, economies do well, and it takes a community of people dedicated to ensuring a vibrant ecosystem for women business owners.”

“As I lead this organization, we focus our advocacy efforts on the microbusiness owner. More than 90% of NAWBO's women-owned businesses are micro-businesses, and by giving these businesses the resources to grow, we will see an opportunity to increase wealth in our most underserved populations," she continued.5


  1. Dr Linda Rhodes joins Akston Biosciences’ Board of Directors. News release. Akston Biosciences. June 17, 2024. Accessed June 27, 2024.’-Board-of-Directors
  2. Hill’s Pet Nutrition announces promotion of Yvonne Hsu as U.S. president and general manager. News release. Hill’s Pet Nutrition. June 27, 2024.
  3. Renowned African Swine Fever researcher, Douglas Gladue, PhD, joins Seek Labs as vice president of veterinary pharmaceutical development. News release. Seek Labs. June 3, 2024. Accessed June 28, 2024.
  4. Robin Bennett, CPDT-KA, joins Blue-9 Pet Products Team. News release. Blue-9 Pet Products. June 25, 2024. Accessed June 28, 2024.
  5. NAWBO Installs Dr. Janis Shinkawa to the 2024-2025 Board of Directors. News release. National Association of Women Business Owners. June 4, 2024. Accessed June 28, 2024.
Related Videos
Nontraditional jobs for veterinary technicians
© 2024 MJH Life Sciences

All rights reserved.