American Humane Association New Board Chair


American Humane Association has a new Board Chair: Below is the official press release. I want to add some personal thoughts and observations. John Payne is force of nature in the world of companion animal health. Payne has a long history of setting logical courses, even if it means changing the course of the status quo. He is also simply a man with a very large heart. I was on the Board of Directors at American Humane Association for six years, and believe the current Board’s decision to choose Mr. Payne is downright inspired. 

Global animal healthcare leader John Payne, who has served in top positions at Bayer Healthcare, Mars Global PetCare, and Banfield Pet Hospitals, has been named chairman of the board at American Humane Association, the country’s first national humane organization and for more than 136 years the leading pioneer in the protection of children and animals.

Payne, a well-known veteran in both the international and domestic animal wellness and welfare spaces, brings more than 30 years experience to the venerable charity, and his work, knowledge, and global influence will help pave the way for another century of growth and innovation at American Humane Association.

“It is an honor to be elected to the board of an organization with such a rich history of protecting society’s most vulnerable,” said Mr. Payne. “Our work is vital in protecting hundreds of millions of children, pets, farm animals, service animals, and animal actors from cruelty, abuse, and neglect. In just the past two years, under the leadership of Dr. Robin Ganzert, the organization has made remarkable advances, quadrupling the number of children and animals under its protection, launching innovative research efforts designed at helping children with cancer and lowering pet abandonment rates, and saving animals in peril around the globe. I look forward to working with my fellow board members and Dr. Ganzert to further extend the organization’s reach and their position as the most respected voice in the animal and child welfare field.”

Mr. Payne has received worldwide recognition for his work, including plaudits from the charity he now serves as well as leading animal health organizations. Among many other encomiums, he was honored at the American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards™ for his significant achievements in the field of animal welfare, including his commitment to bringing “human quality” medicine and healthcare to pets. Looking forward to the next generation, Pfizer Animal Health, now known as Zoetis, funded the John Payne Veterinary Student Research Initiative, which provided a stipend to a veterinary student researcher as part of the Humane Scholar class of 2012.

Mr. Payne is currently the CEO and Founder of Pet Health Innovations, LLC. He previously served as the President and CEO of Medical Management International, Inc, which is the nation’s largest private veterinary practice with more than 800 full-service hospitals, operating in the United States under the name  Banfield Pet Hospitals. He also served as a member of the Mars Global PetCare leadership team based in Brussels, representing over $11 billion in the pet industry segment.  Prior to Banfield and  Mars, Mr. Payne served as President and  General Manager of Bayer Healthcare’s North American Animal Health Division, part of the $33 billion diversified international conglomerate.

“John will be a tremendous asset to the board,” said J. Michael McFarland, DVM, a member of American Humane Association’s board of directors and a veterinarian with Zoetis. “He has had a profound impact on the world of animal health, knows how to build organizations on a global scale, and is committed to furthering the human-animal bond more than anyone I know. He will help to significantly strengthen the good work of American Humane Association.”

“John Payne will be a tremendous asset to our board and a powerful voice for the interests of children and animals,” said Dr. Ganzert. “His unparalleled experience, leadership skills, and passion will help us expand our reach and aid us in our quest to improve the welfare of both animals and people. With his help, we will make great strides in our efforts to build a more compassionate world for all of us.”