AAHA Board of Directors welcomes new officers and directors in 2015

AAHA is welcoming a diverse team of eight leaders to the helm in 2015. AAHA welcomed three new officers and two new directors to the AAHA Board of Directors at its annual meeting during the 2015 AAHA Yearly Conference in Tampa, Fla.

Additionally, this is the third consecutive year that three women have been selected for the president, president-elect, and vice president roles on the AAHA Board of Directors.

The new officers and new directors on the 2015-2016 AAHA Board of Directors include:

Tracey Jensen, DVM, DABVP (C/F), CVA, is AAHA’s president for 2015-2016. She earned her DVM from Colorado State University (CSU) in 1996. Since 1999, Jensen has owned Wellington Veterinary Hospital in Wellington, Colo. AAHA accredited since 2008, Wellington Veterinary Hospital is a three-doctor, small animal practice located in Northern Colorado. The practice received the AAHA-Accredited Practice of the Year Award and a Veterinary Economics Hospital Design Merit Award in 2012. Jensen was elected to the Council of Regents for the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in 2011. Active in her community, Jensen volunteers with veterinary students at CSU, helping to train them through externship programs. She has also co-authored multiple publications.

Nancy Soares, VMD, serves on the AAHA Board of Directors as president-elect. She earned her VMD from the University of Pennsylvania in 2002, and her bachelor’s degree from Temple University in 1987. In 2007, after working as an associate veterinarian for 5 years, Soares established her own practice, Macungie Animal Hospital, where she serves as owner and medical director. Her practice became AAHA accredited in 2008, taking home the AAHA-Accredited Practice of the Year Award in 2013, and has grown to include three full-time veterinarians. Macungie Animal Hospital consistently gives back to the community by offering an educational lecture series, youth activities, shadowing opportunities for those interested in animal medicine, and pro bono health care for special needs cases. Soares has been published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, and has served as a lecturer for multiple veterinary conferences.

Wendy Hauser, DVM, is the Association’s new vice president. Hauser received her DVM in 1988 from Oklahoma State University College of Veterinary Medicine and served as an associate veterinarian for nearly 10 years before opening her own practice: Coal Creek Veterinary Hospital, in Centennial, Colo. Coal Creek became AAHA accredited in 1999 and was an AAHA-Accredited Practice of the Year Award finalist in 2011. In 2008, Coal Creek was purchased by a national corporation and Hauser continued as the hospital’s managing veterinarian. In 2013 she accepted a position with Merial, Inc. as the Pacific Northwest technical services veterinarian, a position which afforded her the opportunity to visit about 25 practices per week and allowed her to scientifically support a team of eight field-based territory managers and their district manager. In January 2015, Hauser left Merial to found Peak Veterinary Consulting. She has been an active AAHA member, participating in multiple programs and yearly conferences over the years. 

Mark McConnell, BVMS, MRCVS, joins AAHA as a new director. A graduate of the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Glasgow in Glasgow, Scotland, he earned his BVMS (Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery) and MRCVS (Member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons) in 1992. He began his veterinary career at a mixed animal practice in California, but has been at his current practice, Emergency Veterinary Hospital in Springfield, Oregon, since 2006. McConnell is co-owner of the AAHA-accredited, 24-hour, referral facility, where he is a practicing clinician and is involved in all aspects of management. McConnell is active in the veterinary community; he served as a governor-appointed member and past chair of the Oregon Veterinary Medical Examining Board. He currently serves on the PAVE and RACE committees for the American Association of Veterinary State Boards. In his home town of Eugene, Ore., he volunteers for Pro-Bono, a non-profit veterinary clinic that helps the homeless care for their pets, and is often found training for various endurance races.

Pamela Nichols, DVM, is welcomed by AAHA’s board as a new director. She received her DVM from the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Colorado State University in 1996 and her bachelor’s degree in Spanish from the University of Utah in 1987. Her background is varied and includes work as a financial consultant, veterinary technician, veterinary receptionist, and associate veterinarian. Nichols opened Animal Care Center in West Bountiful, Utah, in 1999. The AAHA-accredited facility includes the K-9 Rehabilitation Center, which opened in 2002, making it one of the first in the country of its kind. Nichols is the recipient of multiple awards, including Utah’s Best of the State Award in 2013 and 2014, Utah’s Small Business Woman of the Year in 2004, and she was a nominee for AVMA’s Bustad Award in 2012. She also owns and operates two dog day care/boarding facilities, the Utah Dog Park Woods Cross and Utah Dog Park Airport, which were recently nominated for the 2015 Best of State award.

Several 2014 AAHA directors will be returning in 2015 as well.

2015-2016 AAHA Board of Directors

  • President: Tracey Jensen, DVM, DABVP, CVA
  • President-Elect: Nancy Soares, VMD
  • Vice President: Wendy Hauser, DVM
  • Secretary/Treasurer: Hilary Mellor, DVM
  • Immediate Past President: Kate Crumley, DVM, MS
  • Director: Heather Loenser, DVM
  • Director: Mark McConnell, BVMS, MRCVS Director
  • Director: Pamela Nichols, DVM Director

The 2016 AAHA Yearly Conference will be held in Austin, Texas. It will be the first time AAHA has hosted its conference in Austin.