AVMA Trust welcomes new trustees and elects new officers to its board

StephanieBlaseratavmalife [dot] com (Stephanie Blaser)
AVMA Trust Director of Marketing and Communications
Phone: 847-649-6115

For immediate release:

(SCHAUMBURG, Illinois)—The AVMA Trust, the organization that provides members of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) with access to insurance and employee benefit programs, has made several changes to its Board of Trustees.

The Board of Trustees is now led by noted equine veterinarian Dr. Stuart Brown II. He is joined by Dr. Pamelar Hale, who serves as Secretary-Treasurer, and outgoing Vice-Chair Dr. Paula Rode, who is completing her term as a Trustee in 2024.

“We are fortunate to have Drs. Brown, Hale, and Rode as leaders within our organization,” said AVMA Trust CEO Tracey Gray-Walker. “They not only bring a wealth of experience in the field of veterinary medicine, but they also continue to push us to do all we can to fulfill our mission and bring value to members of the AVMA.” Gray-Walker added, “We owe a debt of gratitude to Dr. Rode for her years of service to the Board.”

Dr. Brown is Vice-President of Equine Safety at Keeneland Association in Lexington, Kentucky; chairman of the Gluck Equine Research Foundation; and a member of The Jockey Club. He serves as the American Association of Equine Practitioners delegate to the AVMA House of Delegates and is a member of the House Advisory Committee. He received his DVM from Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Hale, a highly engaged veterinary industry consultant, has held numerous high-level leadership roles within veterinary medicine, from chief of staff to chief medical officer. She received her DVM from Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine. She also holds a Master of Business Administration from St. George’s University and a Juris Master’s degree from Florida State University. Dr. Rode is the founder of Chelsea Animal Hospital in Chelsea, Michigan. She received her DVM from Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

The Trust is also pleased to welcome Dr. George Robinson and Dr. José Arce to the Board. Dr. Robinson is the founder and former CEO of Heartland Veterinary Partners, a Chicago-based veterinary support organization. He received his DVM from the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine and holds an MSPH degree from the Howard University School of Medicine. Dr. Arce is the founder and president of Miramar Animal Hospital in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He received his DVM from the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine and served as AVMA President for the 2021-2022 association year.

“We are excited to welcome these new additions to our Board of Trustees and look forward to seeing the ways in which they will enhance the AVMA PLIT and AVMA LIFE programs,” said Gray-Walker. “Our new Board members bring a wealth of diverse experience that will enhance our ability to help members protect what matters most while offering guidance and resources for managing risk.”

Rounding out the Board of Trustees are Dr. Kent McClure and Dr. Robert Knapp. Dr. McClure, who received his DVM from Texas A&M and his JD from the University of Texas, currently leads all aspects of the AVMA’s advocacy work, both in Washington and at the state level. Dr. Knapp owns and operates Knapp Veterinary Hospital, which was founded by his grandfather in 1945. He received a Master’s degree in Animal Science from Texas A&M University and his DVM from The Ohio State University.

“We are honored to have the dedication and expertise of this diverse group of servant leaders guiding the work of the AVMA Trust as we develop new resources and continue to focus on building value for AVMA members,” said Gray-Walker. “We also want to express our profound gratitude to two members of our board who recently stepped back: Dr. Joseph Kinnarney and Dr. Thomas Meyer. Along with Dr. Rode, we deeply appreciate the service and vision these leaders provided to the Trust, and we look forward to staying connected with them for years to come.”

About the AVMA

Serving more than 105,000 member veterinarians, the AVMA is the nation's leading representative of the veterinary profession, dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of animals, humans and the environment. Founded in 1863 and with members in every U.S. state and territory and more than 60 countries, the AVMA is one of the largest veterinary medical organizations in the world. Informed by our members' unique scientific training and clinical knowledge, the AVMA supports the crucial work of veterinarians and advocates for policies that advance the practice of veterinary medicine and improve animal and human health.

About the AVMA Trust

The AVMA Trust, through AVMA LIFE and AVMA PLIT, offers unparalleled insurance programs and other services available to AVMA member veterinarians and affiliated organizations. From business and professional insurance to life and disability coverage, and now an array of employee group benefits, the Trust is here to protect and support veterinarians, their teams, and their families at every stage of their personal and professional lives.