Lauren Olavessen, DVM

Board President

Lauren earned her DVM in 2002 from the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine.  She also holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Colorado in Earth Sciences with an emphasis in Oceanography.  She practiced veterinary medicine in Memphis, TN as an associate veterinarian for 5 years before joining Merial Limited as a Technical Service Veterinarian in the Mississippi Delta where she provided scientific, technical, and business support for veterinary practices in the Mississippi Delta as well as educational support at Mississippi State and the University of Missouri Colleges of Veterinary Medicine.  Her main scientific focus was heartworm disease, treatment and prevention and has lectured across the US and in Canada on this topic.

It was through this role in industry that she was introduced to the foundations of servant leadership and the VLE.  Since then, she has participated as a facilitator for VLE, the University of Missouri’s VET (Veterinary Enrichment and Teambuilding) and IMPRINT (IMProving Resident and Intern Non-Technical skills) programs, the University of Georgia’s BLE program and the Primary Care Educators’ Symposium.  Through her work with bringing awareness to the non-technical skills of communications, emotional intelligence and servant leadership in the veterinary curriculum, Lauren began looking for ways to introduce these same concepts in the corporate world of veterinary medicine. Her work with a few other colleagues at Merial saw the creation of FAMLE, Merial’s Field Veterinary Services VLE-like event.  This led to a collaborative effort between Merial and Gifted Leaders, LLC in creating a ‘Gifted Coach’ certification program for Merial’s Field Veterinary Service department which she successfully completed in 2012.  In July 2015, Lauren earned an opportunity to continue her professional leadership development within veterinary industry when she transitioned into a new role with IDEXX Laboratories, Inc as Senior Manager of Medical Outreach Programs within the Companion Animal Group’s Medical Organization (CMO).  She worked to develop programs for Universities and find collaborative opportunities working with Key Thought Leaders and professional organizations within the industry.  In 2018, Lauren then moved to leading the CMO’s Medical Affairs team and then into the role of Senior Medical Director for the entire CMO organization a year later.  She now serves as Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer for PetIQ—a pet product and veterinary services company.