Paws and profits: Highlighting new promotions in veterinary business


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

Veterinary businesses and companies play a vital role in safeguarding the well-being of pets, skillfully balancing medical expertise, compassionate care, innovative technology, and effective management. Exceptional leadership within the veterinary industry significantly influences the standard of pet care and contributes to the professional development of their teams. By fostering a culture of evolution and staying up-to-date on the latest advancements in veterinary medicine, industry leaders create an environment that ensures the continued standards and quality in pet healthcare.

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

Karen Kline, DVM, MS, DACVIM (Neurology), NAVC board president for 2024 – 2025

Karen Kline, DVM, MS, DACVIM (Neurology), NAVC board president for 2024 – 2025. (Photo courtesy of NAVC)

Karen Kline, DVM, MS, DACVIM (Neurology), NAVC board president for 2024 – 2025. (Photo courtesy of NAVC)

Karen Kline, DVM, MS, DACVIM (Neurology), officially started her term as the North American Veterinary Community (NAVC) board president for 2024 – 2025. Kline was welcomed by the NAVC at its annual Veterinary Meeting & Expo event in Orlando, Florida, last month. Kline served on the NAVC board of directors for 6 years, before she took over the position from previous president, Bob Lester, DVM.1

Prior to her new role, Kline was the medical director from 2019 to 2024 at VCA Northwest Veterinary Specialists in Clackamas, Oregon. She has been a practicing veterinarian for 35 years and a board-certified neurologist for 30 years.1

"I am honored to be the next president of NAVC and I will carry on the tradition of excellence and innovation that this organization represents,” said Kline in a news release. “VMX 2024 was a fantastic experience for all participants from all over the globe and has gotten 2024 off to an exciting start.It was indeed the Show of Shows, and I look forward to continuing that energy and innovation throughout this year and my tenure as NAVC board president!”1

Carol G. Ryan, DVM, and Michael P. Lent, DVM, AVMA board of directors

Carol G. Ryan, DVM, and Michael P. Lent, DVM, were both elected to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) board of directors earlier this month after running unopposed for 2 open seats. Ryan will oversee District VII, which consists of AVMA members in Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Lent will be in charge of District IX, representing Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Utah. Both terms will officially begin in June during the 2024 AVMA Convention in Austin, Texas and both directors will serve for the next 6 years until 2030.2

Carol G. Ryan, DVM.

Michael P. Lent, DVM. (Both images courtesy of AVMA)

Ryan is described as a mixed animal practitioner, according to the AVMA, and is a partner owner of the 2 locations of Troy & Wentzville Veterinary Clinics in Missouri. “I have been involved in organized veterinary medicine since I graduated veterinary school in 1992. I have volunteered a multitude of hours for the Academy of Veterinary Practitioners, Emergency Management Team, Wellness and Suicide Task Force, state convention planning and countless committees,” Ryan said in the release. “My passion has focused on mentoring pre-veterinary and preceptor students for over 30 years. I admire all the previous leaders that have committed their time and talent to our veterinary profession. I intend to carry forth the enthusiasm to make our profession shine.”2

Lent is a small animal practitioner at Pantano Animal Clinic in Tucson, Arizona where he also serves as the clinic’s medical director. “I've found involvement in organized veterinary medicine has helped me grow as a person and veterinarian by serving and representing others. I've been very fortunate to make some lifelong friends and mentors, and always felt like I got back more than I gave from the experiences,” Lent stated. “I’ve been challenged to see issues from many different perspectives and learned a great deal about aspects of the profession I love I otherwise would have not been exposed to. I also feel the most kinship and connection with my colleagues in the profession when I'm involved in something bigger than us as individuals.”2

Holly May, chief human resources officer of Petco

Holly May, chief human resources officer of Petco. (Photo courtesy of Petco)

Holly May, chief human resources officer of Petco. (Photo courtesy of Petco)

Holly May was named the chief human resources officer of Petco Health and Wellness Company Inc, in which she is now tasked with formulating a human resources strategy for the company aimed at achieving both profitable growth and performance, while maintaining Petco's mission to enhance the well-being of pets.3

May comes to the Petco team having 2 decades of experience in human resources, her most recent role being EVP & Global chief human resources officer for Walgreens Boots Alliance.3

"Over the past week, I've had the pleasure of meeting many Petco partners, and I've directly observed their passion for taking care of pets and pet parents," May stated in a news release. "I look forward to helping this high-impact team further harness that passion to fuel both personal and business growth across the organization."3

João Marcelo Gomes, president of Kemin Animal Nutrition and Health – EMENA

João Marcelo Gomes has been appointed president of Kemin Animal Nutrition and Health – EMENA (Europe, Middle East, and North Africa) after nearly 30 years at Kemin Industries. Previously, Gomes has served as president of Kemin Animal Nutrition and Health for its South America division and president of Kemin Food Technologies – EMEA.4 Gomes will be responsible for enhancing the sales, marketing, and business development for the animal nutrition and health company.

"I'm eager to join the EMENA region and work together to continue the team's success, execute Kemin's growth strategy, and take the business to the next level," said Gomes in the company release. "Over the past few years, Kemin has invested significantly in the EMENA region with new production sites, innovative technologies, and local experts supporting customers. In the upcoming years, we will continue to focus our efforts on feed efficiency, feed protection, animal productivity, and cost reduction—all while investing in efficiency and progress toward net zero greenhouse gas emissions."4

Aaron Schacht, Gallant Therapeutics board of directors

Aaron Schacht was welcomed on the board of directors for Gallant Therapeutics, an animal health biotechnology company pioneering off-the-shelf stem cell therapies for pets. Schacht has previously held positions at BiomEdit, Elanco, and Eli Lilly, but comes to Gallant Therapeutics as the company grows towards potential conditional FDA approval for its inventions.5

"The field of animal health is hungry for innovative solutions to address our pets' health concerns,” said Aaron Schacht in the release. “Gallant's pioneering approach to developing 'off-the-shelf' cellular therapies that are disease modifying fills a needed gap in our industry. I look forward to supporting the Gallant team in their efforts to drive the industry's evolution by bringing a new class of therapies to the market.”5


  1. The NAVC welcomes Karen Kline, DVM, MS, DACVIM (Neurology), as 2024 - 2025 board president. News release. North American Veterinary Community. February 8, 2024. Accessed February 16, 2024.
  2. Ryan, Lent elected to AVMA board of directors. News release. American Veterinary Medical Association. February 5, 2024. Accessed February 16, 2024.
  3. Petco names Holly May as chief human resources officer. News release. Petco Health and Wellness Company, Inc. February 13, 2024. Accessed February 16, 2024.
  4. João Marcelo Gomes named president of Kemin Animal Nutrition and Health – EMENA. News release. Kemin Industries. January 29, 2024. Accessed February 16, 2024.
  5. Gallant Therapeutics adds animal health executive Aaron Schacht to board of directors. News release. Gallant Therapeutics. February 6, 2024. Accessed February 16, 2024.
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