Leadership | HABRI


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

J. Michael McFarland, DVM, DABVPChief Medical Officer, ZoetisChair

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 Chief Medical Officer at Zoetis.

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.

Susanne KogutPresident, Petco LoveVice Chair

Susanne Kogut has been the President of Petco Love since June 2013. Before joining Petco Love, she served as the Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA Executive Director, where she transformed the open-admission SPCA into an award-winning, nationally recognized lifesaving model. Prior to that, Susanne held several positions at Capital One Financial Corporation and was an attorney with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and Brown & Wood. Susanne shares her home her with five dogs and a variety of different foster pets.


Pete ScottPresident and CEO, American Pet Products AssociationTreasurer/Secretary

Peter Scott is a proven leader with over 20 years of experience in growing global non-profit organizations and individuals specializing in association management, governance, risk, relationship management, product development, digital transformation, experiential design, and event management as well as corporate strategy/innovation.

Before joining the American Pet Products Association as President & CEO, Scott served as CEO of the American Academy of Optometry. Prior to that, he spent more than six years as chief operating officer of the North American Veterinary Community (NAVC).


Eugene O’NeillCEO, North American Veterinary Community (NAVC)

Eugene (Gene) O’Neill joined the NAVC in 2013 as Chief Financial Officer. He was promoted to Deputy CEO and CFO in 2018 and was named CEO in late 2019. O’Neill helped transform the NAVC’s educational portfolio which consisted primarily of its annual veterinary conference(VMX) to now include: a media division that has become the veterinary industry’s largest trade publisher; an online news station; a robust online learning platform (Vetfolio); certification programs; and an online recruiting tool for veterinarians. This strategy enabled the NAVC to more than double its revenue. Under Gene’s leadership and vision, the NAVC has expanded its virtual portfolio, taking the events and continued education opportunities through which the NAVC built its global reputation and making them available to veterinary professionals worldwide.

Prior to joining the NAVC, O’Neill held executive and financial leadership roles at the Institute of Internal Auditors, IIA-Australia and SeaWorld of Florida. He has held CPA and CIA designations throughout his career. O’Neill served as the Interim CEO for The Institute of Internal Auditors-Australia, based in Sydney. During his four month term there, he was able to implement new programs and benefits that turned around a declining membership base, develop an operating business plan for the organization that matched the changing dynamics of the structure of The Institute and produce a world-class conference for members in Australia and SE Asia. Prior to joining The IIA, O’Neill spent 10 years with SeaWorld of Florida, holding positions in Administration and Finance areas. He also spent eight years as the General Manager of Baseball City Sports Complex, the spring training site of the Kansas City Royals.

A New Jersey native, he lives in Orlando with his wife Pam. They enjoy spending time with their 4 children and 2 grandchildren. He loves to spend time on the water and is an avid golfer and a music enthusiast.

Janet Donlin, DVMChief Executive Officer, AVMA

Dr. Donlin was Chief Executive Officer of AVMA Professional Liability Insurance Trust (AVMA PLIT) since April 2013. Dr. Donlin’s hiring as CEO 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.


Carrie Deverell

Vice President, Global Head of Science and Corporate Affairs

Carrie Deverell is Vice President, Global Science Corporate Affairs at Mars Petcare. Since joining Mars Petcare in 2018 Carrie has created a scientific advocacy & communications function aimed at helping pet owners, veterinarians and other pet professionals better understand scientific and technological advances in pet care that bring insights and learnings to support Mars Petcare’s purpose: A Better World For Pets.

Previously Carrie lead global communications and advocacy for major biotech and pharma companies such as Amgen in California, AstraZeneca in the UK and Roche in Switzerland. Carrie also held policy communications positions for the British Government, at the Department of Trade & Industry, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and the Cabinet Office; and for the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care in Toronto, Canada.


Vic Mason

President, WPA

Vic Mason has a 40-year tenure in the pet industry. Mason served as CEO and co-founder of Replenish Pet. Previously, he was director of business development and key accounts at Veterinary Service, a large West Coast distributor servicing the animal health industry. Mason has been a WPA board member since 2010 most recently serving as chairman.

Aimee Gilbreath

Aimee Gilbreath is the President of PetSmart Charities® and PetSmart Charities® of Canada, where she oversees the direction and vision for the strategic grant-making organizations, and North America’s leading funder of animal welfare.

A seasoned leader in both non-profit and private-sector organizations with extensive experience in a range of industries spanning biotech, consumer goods and philanthropy, Aimee has a proven track record of driving organizations to achieve growth and success.

As the executive director of the Found Animals Foundation, Inc., a non-profit supporting pet owners and animal welfare organizations with a mission dedicated to saving pets and enriching lives, Aimee spearheaded activities for the foundation’s 1,000+ B2B clients and 5 million B2C customers nationwide, as well as more than 90 grant recipients and 30 strategic partners worldwide.

Prior to her role at the Found Animals Foundation, Aimee served as a principal at the Boston Consulting Group, where she created solutions for Fortune 500 clients by developing and implementing strategic and operational improvements. She also previously served as a process engineer and research associate for Motorola, launching and building the company’s start-up biotech research and development division.

Aimee holds an MBA from Stanford University and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Arizona. She shares her passion for pets and community by serving on the board of Spay4 LA and is affiliated with numerous other non-profit organizations.


Heidi Sirota
Chief Pet Officer, Nationwide

Heidi Sirota serves as Nationwide’s Chief Pet Officer, leading the nation’s first and largest provider of pet insurance in its quest to protect 1 million pets. She joined Nationwide in 2018 as vice president of marketing for the Retirement Plans business and led an expansion of its capabilities and markets.

Before joining Nationwide, Heidi transformed consumer experiences in health care. As UnitedHealth Group’s Optum Bank vice president of marketing, she pioneered the retailization of health savings accounts, and as a marketing executive at Aetna and ConnectiCare she introduced new, engaging ways for consumers to shop for health insurance and get care.

Heidi started her career in commercial bank operations, then moved into investment and insurance marketing leadership at The Phoenix Companies. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from Loyola Marymount University and completed executive education from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Robert L. VeterePresident & CEO, American Pet Products Association (2002-2019)Board Member Emeritus

Bob Vetere was the President and CEO of the American Pet Products Association and served 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.

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.


Steven Feldman

Steven Feldman is the President 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.