HABRI’s Board of Trustees is comprised of an impressive group of dedicated leaders from the animal health and pet care communities. HABRI is grateful for the commitment, dedication and vision of the HABRI Board of Trustees, all of who work tirelessly to advance the HABRI mission for a healthier, more pet-friendly society.
Board of Trustees
Robert L. VeterePresident & CEO, American Pet Products AssociationPresident
Bob Vetere is the President and CEO of the American Pet Products Association and serves as President of the Human-Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI). Vetere has lead several pet industry wide initiatives including the formation of HABRI, the Pet Leadership Council (PLC) to strengthen and advance the pet industry and Pets Add Life (PAL), a national social media campaign promoting responsible pet ownership. In his many roles, Vetere has made his mark in the industry and is often featured as spokesperson with guest columns in publications including Pet Business and Pet Product News and television appearances on such acclaimed shows as CNNFN, ABC’s World News Tonight, and CNBC. He has also been quoted in leading print outlets including USA Today and The Wall Street Journal. He is also author of the book From Wags to Riches: How Dogs Teach Us to Succeed in Business & Life.
Responsible for APPA, HABRI, PLC and PAL, Vetere aligns industry goals and works in collaboration with members, Board of Directors, staff and other industry associations to support and further the interests and success of the pet industry. Along with APPA’s National Pet Owners Survey with the most comprehensive pet owner statistics, Vetere also compiles annual industry spending figures and identifies and forecasts pet industry trends.
Before joining APPA over a decade ago, Bob served as senior vice president, administration, general counsel and secretary at Oil-Dri Corporation of America, a publicly traded $175 million international developer, manufacturer and marketer of brand name and private label products for pets, fluids purification and agriculture. Bob’s management responsibilities encompassed the areas of human resources, facilities management, law, environmental health and safety, product compliance, payroll, corporate safety, permitting and government relations. His achievements at Oil-Dri range from restructuring the Law and Human Resource departments to successfully negotiating a new labor contract with the United Steelworkers Union.
Prior to his position at Oil-Dri, Bob spent 25 years at First Brands Corporation, a $1.2 billion publicly traded manufacturer and marketer of consumer products, including GLAD Wrap and Bags, Prestone Anti-Freeze, and Scoop Away and Jonny Cat Pet Litter. While at First Brands Corporation, Bob held a number of positions including associate general counsel/director of government relations, senior corporate counsel, corporate director of professional development and senior corporate staff engineer.
Bob earned a Juris Doctor from Seton Hall School of Law, an M.B.A. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and a B.S. in Management Science, also from R.P.I.
He is a member of the Connecticut Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association, the New Jersey State Bar Association, and the American Society of Association Executives.
Bob and his wife Brenda reside in South Windsor and Stamford, Connecticut. In his free time, Bob enjoys catching Giants football games with his two sons.
J. Michael McFarland, DVM, DABVPGroup Director, US Companion Animal Marketing, ZoetisVice President
Dr. Mike McFarland received his undergraduate degree in Animal Science from Texas A&M University in 1980 and his DVM from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M in 1985. He is board certified by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners. Before joining Pfizer Animal Health (now Zoetis), he was a companion animal veterinary clinician for 15 years, including 5 years as the Medical Director for one of the country’s first after-hours emergency practices in Dallas, Texas.
Mike started his career with Pfizer Animal Health in January 2000 as an Area Veterinarian in Texas and was given positions of increasing responsibility over the next several years. In 2010, Mike then served as the Group Director for Veterinary Medical Services. He was the Senior Medical Advisor on the US Operations Leadership Team, Chair of the US Veterinary Leadership Team and responsible for Veterinary Medical Information & Product Support (Drug Safety) as well as US Academic and Professional Affairs. His efforts were instrumental in establishing the multi-million dollar Pfizer Animal Health Veterinary Student Scholarship Award.
Mike is currently Group Director for US Companion Animal Marketing at Zoetis and a member of the US Companion Animal Leadership Team.
Mike serves on the board of directors for American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization. He is also one of the Founders, and currently Vice President of the board of trustees, for the Human Animal Bond Research Institute. He was honored as an Outstanding Alumnus of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M University in 2012 and received the National Humanitarian Medal from American Humane in 2016.
Kathy MitchellSenior Director, Government Affairs, PetSmartSecretary and Treasurer
Kathy Mitchell is currently the Senior Director of Government Affairs for PetSmart. In this role, she is responsible for developing and executing strategic government relations priorities for the company. Before joining PetSmart in October 2016, Kathy served as the Director of US Government Relations for Zoetis, the world’s largest animal health company, and held various positions at lobbying firms, trade associations, nonprofit organizations, and in the Executive and Legislative branches of the federal government. Kathy serves on several state retail association Boards of Directors and on the Advisory Board of Pet Partners. Kathy holds degrees and certificates from the University of Oklahoma, Columbia University, Fordham University, and Thunderbird School of Global Management.
While living and working in Phoenix, Kathy also is an active member of the Junior League of Phoenix and the Rotary Club. Kathy’s love for pets began at birth when she met the family Saint Bernard named Jodi. Since then, Kathy has been the proud pet parent of many furry, four-legged friends. She’s currently the proud owner of two rescue dogs: Ally, a dachshund, and Annie, a rat terrier mix.
Charlie PiscitelloChair, Board of Directors, Petco Foundation
Charlie is the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Petco Foundation, a leading public charity focused on lifesaving for animals, an organization that supports and enables thousands of animal welfare organizations across the United States.
Charlie is also Chair of the Board of Directors for the North San Diego Business Chamber, who’s mission is to educate and support it’s diverse members, while promoting the economic and social heath and vitality of the broad San Diego community and region.
Charlie was Chief People Officer for Petco from March 2007 to March 2018 and led the development and execution of Petco’s people and culture strategy. He was responsible for Talent Acquisition, Management, Development, Rewards, Employee Relations, Diversity & Inclusion, HR Operations, Communications & Public Affairs, Safety & Environmental Health, and Sustainability.
Prior to Petco, he was Vice President of Human Resources for Boston Scientific, a global medical device company, where he led Human Resources, Communications, and Community Affairs for the company’s interventional cardiovascular division. He also held prior HR and Operational leadership roles at First Data Corporation, Gateway Inc., Coors Brewing Company and Abbott Laboratories.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Marquette University.
Charlie also serves as a founding member of the Chief Human Resource Officers Council for the Institute for Corporate Productivity, i4cp, and served as member of the Executive Advisory Board for the Center for Peace and Commerce at the University of San Diego.
Janet Donlin, DVMExecutive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer, AVMA
Dr. Donlin was Chief Executive Officer of AVMA Professional Liability Insurance Trust (AVMA PLIT) since April 2013. Dr. Donlin’s hiring marks her return to the AVMA for which she first started working in 1991 as an assistant director in what was then the AVMA Scientific Activities Division.
Over the course of the next 17 years, she served as an Interim Division Director, Associate Executive Vice President and Assistant Executive Vice President at American Veterinary Medical Association. From 2000 to 2001, Dr. Donlin served at AVMA as interim Chief Executive Officer of the National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues, where she oversaw the establishment of the commission as a nonprofit organization.
From August 2007 to March 2013, Dr. Donlin served as Chief Veterinary Officer of the Global Veterinary Business Channel of Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. There she provided veterinary insights to drive development of innovative products and services to meet the evolving needs of the veterinary profession and pet owners.
Dr. Donlin has professional membership in several associations, including AVMA, the American Animal Hospital Association, the American Association of Bovine Practitioners, the American Association of Equine Practitioners, the American Association of Swine Veterinarians, the Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association, the American Society of Association Executives, and the American Association of Corporate and Public Practice Veterinarians. She was a board member of the American Association of Corporate and Public Service Veterinarians. She was a Trustee of the AVMA’s Group Health Life Insurance Trust (now AVMA Life).
She is a licensed veterinarian in Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Dr. Donlin is the first veterinarian to earn the Certified Association Executive credential from the American Society of Association Executives.
She received both her DVM and her Bachelor of Science degree in medical technology from the University of Minnesota. She is also a graduate of the veterinary technician program at the Medical Institute of Minnesota.
Tom BohnCEO, NAVC
Tom Bohn became CEO of the NAVC (North American Veterinary Community) in January 2013. He oversees the NAVC’s $24 million budget and more than 75 staff members and 150 seasonal personnel under the direction of the NAVC Board of Directors, including the delivery of products and services to NAVC’s growing domestic and international constituents. Working with the Board of Directors and NAVC staff, Tom supports each group toward growth and achievement of the organization’s strategic plan.
Tom is a Certified Association Executive (CAE) with over 20 years of experience working with local, state, national and international associations.
Tom has served as the executive director and CEO of several associations, including The Institute of Internal Auditors, ranging from $2-25 million in revenue representing many different constituencies and professions. He has personally directed all aspects of association management including marketing, event management, membership development, leadership development, conferences, fundraising, certification programs, lobbying and more. He has also led several associations through successful mergers.
In addition, he is a nationally recognized association leader whose articles have appeared in leading journals and magazines including the ASAE’s Associations Now and Association News Magazine. He has also copublished a peer reviewed academic paper on customer service best practices for associations. A sought after and dynamic public speaker, he has presented to groups large and small and has been a guest on Bloomberg News Radio and Fox Business Channel discussing topics on association management, document management, image to archive, taxation, automation and more. He has an MBA from the University of Central Florida. Tom has an Old English Sheepdog named Winston Churchill and a Golden Retriever named Derby. He lives in Orlando with his son, Hudson, and his wife, Jennifer. He’s a huge Springsteen fan and a fan of his son’s lacrosse skills!
Steven Feldman is the Executive Director of the Human-Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI). His mission is to advance the science that demonstrates the positive roles that pets and other animals play in the integrated health of individuals, families and communities.
Steven is an experienced public affairs advocate who has worked in the areas of wildlife conservation, animal welfare, healthcare and education. Prior to joining HABRI, Steve served as senior vice president for external affairs for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. He also worked at Powell Tate, a leading public affairs firm, and as a staff member in the United States Senate.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in International Affairs and a Master’s Degree in Political Management from the George Washington University.