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November 16, 2018

Vets First Choice names top execs for finance, HR

Courtesy / Vets First Choice
Courtesy / Vets First Choice
Christine Komola takes on the CFO role previously held by Timothy Ludlow, and Jim Young is the chief officer for HR, Vets First Choice announced on Thursday.

Vets First Choice, the Portland-based animal pharmacy services company merging with the animal health business of Henry Schein Inc. (Nasdaq: HSIC), has named a new chief financial officer and a chief human resources officer.

Christine Komola takes on the CFO role previously held by Timothy Ludlow, and Jim Young is the chief officer for HR, Vets First said in a news release Thursday.

Ludlow has moved to a new position within Vets First, chief transformation officer, where he leads an office created to guide integration with the Schein spinoff, according to the release.

Komola comes to Vets First from office supply giant Staples Inc., where she served for 20 years, most recently as executive vice president and CFO. At Vets First, Komola will be responsible for accounting, financial planning and analysis, financial reporting, internal audit, investor relations and other reporting and treasury-related functions.

Young was formerly executive vice president and CHRO at Aptuit LLC, a biotech and pharmaceutical services company based in Italy. He also held senior HR and operating roles at General Electric Co., WebMD and Viacom Inc. In this newly created position, Young will be responsible for Vets First's global HR organization and operations.

The recent hires build the Vets First management team in preparation for completion of the Schein merger, expected later this year or in early 2019, the release said.

Other senior hires have included Georgia Wraight, who joined Vets First early this year as chief operating officer and was promoted to president in August, and Erin Powers Brennan, who joined as general counsel.

The merged company, to be called Vets First Corp., will remain based in Portland. Senior leadership will consist of current Vets First Choice CEO Benjamin Shaw and executives from both businesses.

Vets First is also building a 170,000-square-foot headquarters at 12 Mountfort St., Portland, to support the anticipated growth.

The company, which currently is at 7 Custom House St. and employs about 800 people, expects to accommodate 1,500 workers in the complex when complete by April 2020.

In September, the city approved plans for the $20 million structure, which will include a pharmacy, fulfillment center, labs and office space.

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