June 2019 Issue
Women in Leadership and Management in Animal Health
Mentoring Pilot Program For WILMAH Members!
Mentorship is key to any and all personal and professional development. At WILMAH we are passionate about mentors and mentees, both male and female. Mentors are here to influence, guide and direct us. Mentees benefit from advisement, training and counseling. Ultimately, we hope to support and learn from each other!

WILMAH is kicking-off a mentorship pilot in August with five of our Board Members: Heather Fox, Jessica Bayer, Kristin Kasselman, Lesli Stasiek and Meggan Harris. Mentorship pods will be formed with a 1:8 ratio of mentors to mentees. Sign-up is on a first come first served basis for all paid WILMAH members (this includes individual and corporately sponsored members). There will be quarterly discussions via webinars in August and November after which we will huddle as a Board to discuss launching a more formal mentor program in 2020.

Please review our Board Member profiles on our website and keep an eye out for a communication on July 1st with a sign-up link for your mentorship pod. The aligned mentor will send out webinar details directly to you. Any questions? Reach-out to Kristin Kasselman at or Heidi Madsen at
We really enjoyed hearing from Julia Stephanus, the first guest in our Summer Leadership Series. Julia shared insights she has gained during what she titled the "Evolution of an Entrepreneur". She described her journey from sales to product manager to start-up and what she learned along the way. Julia provided ten steps we can all take to advance our careers and help us find success on our own journeys. She took questions after the webinar which yielded additional tips on how we can manage change, be an effective leader or handle failure.
We have two more exciting leaders lined up for our Summer Leadership Series in July and August! These webinars are only available to WILMAH members. If you haven't joined yet visit our website to do so. Check your email for the login information for these webinars (look in your spam or junk mail if you're not receiving all of our emails as they like to hide there).

Meet Your Board

This month we wish a fond farewell to one of our founding board members, Mary Pat Thompson. Mary Pat joined WILMAH early on because she shared the vision of igniting a culture of empowerment for women leaders in animal health that Julia Loew and the other founding members of WILMAH also shared. These women wanted to provide a pathway and structure of support for other women on their journey of upward movement. They wanted WILMAH to provide guidance
and opportunity for women who have good experience, who have perhaps pursued higher education or a leadership role and who are ready to take the next step in their career. Mary Pat points out that women are our number one customer in animal health if you consider the demographics of graduating veterinary students. She feels we're slowly starting to mirror our customers by having more female executive leaders such as Kristin Peck, EVP & President, US Operations, Business Development and Strategy at Zoetis  and Sarena Lin, EVP & President, Corporate Strategy and Global Marketing at Elanco US. While these women have achieved significant roles in animal health there are still opportunities for improvement in leadership roles considering that the majority of graduate today are women.

We asked Mary Pat to reflect on her time as a member of the WILMAH board and she shared how much she enjoyed working with such smart, talented and hard working women. She felt it was inspiring to be around them and that the positive energy that came from the group was wonderful. She also described how impactful WILMAH's activities have been, especially the panel discussions that have connected industry leaders, men and women, with WILMAH members and supporters. Mary Pat feels it's important not to exclude men as they will be the mentors that help women get promoted since they still hold so many leadership positions today. She's pleased that the WILMAH community continues to include men and women.

Now that Mary Pat is no longer involved in animal health she is doing some consulting work for the private equity firm that she worked with when she helped take MWI Animal Health public in 2005. She is also currently serving as Chairwoman of the Twelfth District Economic Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. In addition, she is a board member for both Regence BlueShield of Idaho and AAA of Oregon/ Idaho and she serves on the Business Advisory Board of Zions Bank. She's having fun! After 31 years in animal health she says it's exciting and interesting to be looking at other industries.

When asked what parting advice she'd like to share with WILMAH she said women have to dream big. If you dream it, you can do it but if you're afraid to have an aspiration, you'll never get there. Stand up and take the risk. You may not succeed but if you aren't brave enough to try, you definitely won't. Even if you aren't successful from the challenge, you learn, grow, become more well rounded and are more prepared for the next time that you get tapped for an opportunity. Raise your hand, take that risk and you'll never regret it!
Are you interested in becoming a member of the WILMAH Board? Reach out to another board member or send us an email.  We look forward to having a new team member who is as excited about our mission of building a community of professional women who aspire to inspire and develop current and future generations of female leaders in the animal health field as we are!
June is PRIDE Month!
We know many of you enjoyed various celebrations of the LGBTQ community this month. WILMAH member Avery Hurst shared this with us: I am so excited and proud to announce that Vetsource walked in Portland, OR’s Pride Northwest parade yesterday [June 17th] with over 50 people (and 7 dogs) in attendance from the company and related family/friends! Vetsource founded its Equity & Inclusion Task Force in October 2017 with the intention of supporting its employees through an added channel for input and education. In the past year and a half, the task force has held meetups in the Portland area for coworkers/friends/family and it just completed a company-wide equity, inclusion and diversity survey to understand Vetsource’s baseline. We are extremely excited for the progress we’ve made thus far and look forward to future celebrations. Thanks for sharing Avery and thank you Vetsource for being a WILMAH sponsor!
Thank You To Our Newest Sponsor: Patterson Companies
   Patterson Veterinary Supply and Animal Health International are divisions of Patterson Companies, Inc., a value-added distributor focused on providing best-in-class products, services and technology to the dental and animal health markets. Patterson entered animal health in 2001 when they acquired Webster Veterinary and expanded their presence by acquiring Animal Health International in 2015. They serve companion and production animal professionals in retail, farm stores and veterinary hospitals.
   Not only does Patterson support WILMAH but they have also been recognized for supporting women in leadership in the Twin Cities area. Take a few minutes to learn more about Patterson and the products and services they offer. Thank you Patterson for your support!
As a Diamond Level Sponsor, Patterson enjoys many benefits including recognition as a sponsor at our events and during our webinars as well as 50 complimentary memberships allowing their associates access to member exclusive WILMAH events and content. To learn more about becoming a corporate sponsor email us.
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