Two newest members will start their six-year terms in June
Drs. Carol G. Ryan and Michael P. Lent were declared elected to the AVMA Board of Directors (BOD) in February after running unopposed for two open seats.
Dr. Ryan will succeed Dr. Chuck Lemme as District VII director, representing AVMA members in Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Dr. Lent will take over for Dr. Melanie Marsden as District IX director, representing Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Utah.
Drs. Ryan and Lent begin their terms on the Board this June during AVMA Convention 2024 in Austin, Texas, and will serve until 2030.
Dr. Ryan is a mixed animal practitioner and partner owner of the Troy & Wentzville Veterinary Clinics in Missouri. She and her husband, Dr. Bruce Rhodes, also own the Elsberry Animal Hospital in Elsberry, Missouri.
Dr. Ryan has represented Missouri as its alternate delegate and delegate to the AVMA House of Delegates (HOD) since 2014. She has also served in the positions of vice president, president, and executive board chair of the Missouri VMA.
Other past leadership roles include being an American Association of Veterinary State Boards’ Registry of Approved Continuing Education program screener and chair of the Missouri Veterinary Medical Board.
She is a 1992 veterinary graduate of the University of Missouri. Dr. Ryan was raised on a registered Angus and Yorkshire swine farm and is still involved in the production of cattle and row crops.
“I have been involved in organized veterinary medicine since I graduated veterinary school in 1992. I have volunteered a multitude of hours for the Academy of Veterinary Practitioners, Emergency Management Team, Wellness and Suicide Task Force, state convention planning and countless committees,” Dr. Ryan said. “My passion has focused on mentoring pre-veterinary and preceptor students for over 30 years. I admire all the previous leaders that have committed their time and talent to our veterinary profession. … I intend to carry forth the enthusiasm to make our profession shine.”
Dr. Lent is a small animal practitioner at Pantano Animal Clinic in Tucson, Arizona. He and his business partner, Dr. Jack Quick, owned the clinic for 20 years, after buying it from its original owner, Dr. Chuck Helwig, former executive director of the Oklahoma VMA. In 2016, they sold the clinic to a private company, Lakefield Veterinary Group. Dr. Lent continues to work as medical director of the clinic.
A 1991 graduate of Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Lent grew up in northern New Jersey and graduated from Bowdoin College, a private liberal arts college in Maine, as a biochemistry major.
He has been involved in organized veterinary medicine for almost 32 years, starting at Purdue, where he served as president of the former Student Chapter of the AVMA (now SAVMA). He’s served as president of the Arizona and Southern Arizona VMAs and as a member of the Arizona State Veterinary Medical Examining Board. More recently, he has served as Arizona’s alternate delegate and delegate to the HOD since 2019.
Dr. Lent is also a charter member of the Animal Cruelty Task Force of Southern Arizona since its inception in 1998, assisting law enforcement with investigations and educating the public about the link between animal abuse and human violence, especially domestic violence and child abuse.
He and his wife, Dr. Stacey Lent, have chickens, Pygmy goats, and three dogs on about 5 acres adjacent to Saguaro National Park East.
“I've found involvement in organized veterinary medicine has helped me grow as a person and veterinarian by serving and representing others. I've been very fortunate to make some lifelong friends and mentors, and always felt like I got back more than I gave from the experiences,” Dr. Lent said. “I’ve been challenged to see issues from many different perspectives and learned a great deal about aspects of the profession I love I otherwise would have not been exposed to. I also feel the most kinship and connection with my colleagues in the profession when I'm involved in something bigger than us as individuals.”