10:01 AM

Nationwide announces transition among pet insurance leadership team

Dr. Carol McConnell retires; Dr. Jules Benson named Chief Veterinary Officer

Brea, CA. - After a 16-year tenure, including the last 13 years as Nationwide’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Carol McConnell DVM, MBA is retiring. Nationwide has announced Dr. Jules Benson will take over her role, effective April 2, 2020.

“I’m thankful to have witnessed first-hand the benefits of pet insurance to veterinarians, pet owners, and most importantly pets,” said Dr. McConnell. “I’m especially proud of the work I’ve done on behalf of Nationwide to promote business education for veterinary students and veterinary practice teams, helping to build organizations such as the Veterinary Business Management Association, the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association, VetPartners and, most recently, the Multicultural Veterinary Medical Association. Over the years, we have educated a whole generation of veterinary professionals. I can think of no greater legacy and I am proud to leave it in such capable hands as Dr. Benson’s.”

“Nationwide is profoundly grateful to Dr. McConnell. Her expertise and commitment in the areas of veterinary relations, education, marketing, business development and thought leadership have been invaluable to our company and the animal health industry,” said Nationwide Chief Pet Officer Heidi Sirota. “We’re very fortunate that Dr. Benson joined our team several months ago in anticipation of this transition. His experience in veterinary practice, as well as human and animal healthcare business, makes him exceptionally qualified as an integral member of the pet insurance leadership team.”

In his new role, Dr. Benson will serve as liaison with the veterinary industry, providing education and insight about pet health insurance to veterinary staff and students, and acting as a resource for Nationwide’s entire pet insurance team.

“Dr. McConnell is an extremely tough act to follow, but her amazing leadership and generosity of spirit have left a clear, if challenging, path for me to tread,” said Dr. Benson. “Since joining Nationwide in September of 2019, I’ve been hugely encouraged by the warm, inclusive culture; by the concept of mutuality that mirrors the client- and pet-focused attitude I learned in veterinary medicine; and by the mission of providing extraordinary care to our members and their pets.”

Dr. Benson is an experienced animal health strategist with expertise in innovation, start-ups and marketing. A licensed veterinarian, Dr. Benson is a graduate of the University of Liverpool’s school of veterinary medicine, and a member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. He has been active in conservation efforts in Africa, and he worked in clinical practice before moving into the animal health industry. Dr. Benson and his wife are Nationwide-protected pet parents to four cats (Jethro, Penguin, Jackie O and Westley), a chihuahua (Bean), and a leopard gecko (Tabitha Charles).

About Nationwide pet insurance 

With more than 800,000 insured pets, Nationwide is the first and largest provider of pet health insurance in the United States. Nationwide pet health insurance plans cover dogs, cats, birds and exotic pets for multiple medical problems and conditions relating to accidents, illnesses and injuries. Medical plans are available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Underwritten by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company (CA), Columbus, OH, an A.M. Best A+ rated company (2019); National Casualty Company (all other states), Columbus, OH, an A.M. Best A+ rated company (2019). Agency of Record: DVM Insurance Agency. Pet owners can find Nationwide pet insurance on Facebook or follow on Twitter. For more information about Nationwide pet insurance, call 800-USA-PETS (800-872-7387) or visit petinsurance.com.

About Nationwide

Nationwide, a Fortune 100 company based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the United States. Nationwide is rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s. An industry leader in driving customer-focused innovation, Nationwide provides a full range of insurance and financial services products including auto, business, homeowners, farm and life insurance; public and private sector retirement plans, annuities and mutual funds; excess & surplus, specialty and surety; pet, motorcycle and boat insurance. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.