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March 21, 2024

South Portland animal-health startup expands its leadership team

ElleVet Sciences, a South Portland animal-health startup specializing in cannabis-based products, is expanding its leadership team with the promotion of Haley Israelson to CFO and the addition of Ryan Shadrin as chief commercial officer.

Courtesy / ElleVet Sciences
Haley Israelson

Israelson, who previously served as the vice president of finance, operations and e-commerce, took on the role of CFO in January and now leads the company’s accounting, finance and treasury functions.

She will also work with the executive team to create strategies for ElleVet's future growth and serve as a business partner across departments to develop and execute other initiatives.

Israelson told Mainebiz that growing up with pets, she had always had a deep appreciation and respect for the role they play. Recognizing that passion was a catalyst for her to work in the industry.

“Seek out a company that aligns with your values and goals — for me, that was to be a part of a company that prioritizes science with the goal of improving the lives of pets, our most loyal companions.”

Prior to joining ElleVet, Israelson served as a finance and investment professional in venture capital and private equity, where she worked with numerous high-growth startups. She is a certified public accountant and earned her MBA and her bachelor’s degree in accounting from Husson University.

New hire with wide-ranging experience

Courtesy / ElleVet Sciences
Ryan Shadrin

Shadrin will lead the company’s e-commerce, marketing, customer experience and sales teams.

With over 25 years of marketing and operator experience, he has previously held the roles of chief marketing officer, chief revenue officer and global vice president for consumer companies ranging from startups to publicly traded corporations. 

Shadrin told Mainebiz the industry tends to attract individuals with either a strong affinity for companion animals or some past professional experience in the veterinary field. The draw is the opportunity to "merge avocation and vocation" or to express a personal commitment to improving animal welfare. 

“For me personally, there are a couple of things that influenced my decision to get involved in pet health and wellness. Dogs, and more specifically, hunting dogs, have been an integral part of my life for four decades. I have raised them, trained them, walked miles and miles of New England upland with them, sat in freezing duck blinds for hours before sunrise with them, and generally find their company to be superior to many humans I have known in my life. I’m only partly kidding," he said.

"So, working in this space allows me to pay forward the joy, friendship and bonds I’ve had with these remarkable animals by providing a better quality of life for all dogs everywhere.”

“My second reason is that people who share an appreciation and affection for helping animals tend to be empathetic, thoughtful, and kind humans,” he continued. “That combination typically makes for good corporate culture, attracts really smart and talented people, and enables us to move with intention and urgency in doing great work.”

Shadrin received his bachelor’s degree in history from Hamilton College and holds a certification in AI and machine learning from Stanford School of Engineering.

ElleVet Sciences is privately held and was founded in 2017 by Christian Kjaer, a former senior executive at IDEXX Laboratories Inc. (Nasdaq: IDXX), and Amanda Howland, who has a background in public health. 

The company says it's the only producer of cannabidiol (CBD) pet products for dogs and cats proven to work in clinical trials. It sells directly to veterinarians and consumers via a website.

Kjaer said, “Haley and Ryan will play integral roles in ElleVet’s leadership and future. Their unique and impressive expertise, passion, and energy will have a strong impact on ElleVet’s strategic goals and future growth.”

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