Chris Henney with the Ohio AgriBusiness Association

Henney moving from OABA to OVMA

The Ohio Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA) Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of its next executive director, Christopher Henney. Chris brings 25 years of experience in association management, strategic planning, leadership development, and advocacy.

“Chris has a solid history of volunteer and staff development, program implementation, and policy development,” said Eric Gordon, OVMA president. “I am excited to welcome Chris to the OVMA and am confident he is the right leader to move our organization forward to an even brighter future.”

Founded in 1884, OVMA’s mission is to foster the core principles of stewardship, compassion, community, and lifelong learning in veterinary medicine. As a respected leader in organized veterinary medicine, OVMA is best known for hosting the Midwest Veterinary Conference, the fifth largest veterinary convention in North America.

“I am thrilled for the opportunity to serve the members of the Ohio Veterinary Medical Association and appreciate the board’s trust in my leadership of this well-respected organization. Animals have played a large role in my life, from my childhood days showing horses and raising various livestock species, to the many family pets that have shared our home over the years. I look forward to representing Ohio’s animal care industry as the next Executive Director of the Ohio Veterinary Medical Association.”

Since 2011, Chris has served as the president and chief executive officer of the Ohio AgriBusiness Association (OABA), an organization of more than 225 member companies led by a 15-member Board of Directors. There, he guided the development of OABA’s first strategic plan in 25 years, resulting in a revenue growth of 50 percent over four years. 

His other landmark accomplishments include successfully lobbying the state legislature for a tax exemption for the grain industry, developing a first-of-its-kind certification program addressing environmental challenges, and establishing a suite of leadership programs for OABA members.

Prior to OABA, Chris worked at the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF), where he served in a variety of roles over his 13-year tenure, most recently as director of legislative relations. During his time at OFBF, Chris successfully lobbied for the passage of a number of key bills and increased member participation in the organization’s annual advocacy event at the Statehouse.

A leader in the agriculture community, Chris serves on the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine’s Animal Agricultural Advancement Board; the Ohio Agricultural Council; and the OSU College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences’ Vice President’s Advisory Council. He is also a member of both the American and Ohio Society of Association Professionals and is a certified association executive (CAE).

An Ohio native, Chris holds a bachelor’s in agricultural education and animal sciences from OSU and a master’s in business administration from Capital University. He will officially assume his new role as OVMA executive director, succeeding 26-year veteran Jack Advent, on Dec. 4, 2023.

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