NCVEI names new chief executive officer

Published on June 15, 2008
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Dr. Karen E. Felsted
Dr. Karen E. Felsted

The National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues has named Dr. Karen E. Felsted as its new chief executive officer, effective June 25. Dr. Lawrence E. Heider served as the NCVEI interim chief executive officer.

Dr. Felsted has practiced as a veterinarian and as a certified public accountant, and she comes to the commission with more than 15 years of experience in consulting with veterinary practices and animal health companies on business issues.

Dr. Ralph Richardson, chair of the NCVEI, added: "She is well-known among (the commission's) corporate sponsors for both her industry-related consultation work and her previous efforts in helping to create some of the benchmarking tools that have made the NCVEI so valuable for our profession.

"I cannot think of anyone with better credentials, experience, and more passion for carrying out the mission of NCVEI—'To improve the economic base of the veterinary profession, ensuring that the delivery of veterinary care and service meets the needs of society.'"

Dr. Felsted's previous position was with Gatto McFerson CPAs, a veterinary-focused financial and consulting firm in Los Angeles. She also spent a number of years at Brakke Consulting, which serves the international animal health industry, working with veterinary practices and corporate clients.

While at Brakke, Dr. Felsted helped develop the NCVEI's online benchmarking models that allow veterinary practices to compare economic data with averages and from year to year. She was instrumental in the design of the initial tools for companion animal and equine practices.

Additionally, Dr. Felsted served as one of Brakke's project managers for the 2005 AVMA-Pfizer Business Practices Study. The project expanded on a 1998 Brakke study that helped prompt the AVMA, American Animal Hospital Association, and Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges to found the NCVEI.

"The NCVEI has played a significant role in the increase of veterinarians' earnings over the past five years, and there continue to be so many more things we need to do to keep our profession economically strong," Dr. Felsted said. "This economic vitality is critical to providing outstanding patient care, fulfilling the expectations of veterinarians in the public and corporate arenas, and continuing to attract the best and brightest students to our profession."

Before becoming a veterinarian, Dr. Felsted spent more than a decade in accounting and business management—and earned a master's degree in management and administrative science from the University of Texas-Dallas.

In 1992, she started her studies at the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. After graduating in 1996, she practiced small animal and emergency medicine.

Dr. Felsted later opened the Dallas office of Owen E. McCafferty, CPA. The firm focuses on tax, accounting, and practice management services for veterinarians.