Chief Executive Officer
American Animal Hospital Association
A 1983 graduate of the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Cavanaugh became the CEO of the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) in January 2010. In this capacity, Dr. Cavanaugh is responsible for AAHA’s national headquarters located in Denver, Colo. where he oversees a staff of 75 and an annual budget in excess of $12 million.
Dr. Cavanaugh manages the administrative affairs of the Association, carrying out its programs and policies. He also represents AAHA on numerous boards across the veterinary profession.
Dr. Cavanaugh practiced at AAHA-accredited hospitals in Illinois and Colorado before opening the AAHA-accredited West Ridge Animal Hospital in Topeka, Kan. in 1988. During his practice years, Dr. Cavanaugh was very active in organized veterinary medicine and held numerous volunteer leadership and committee positions within AAHA. He became a Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (Canine and Feline) in 1996, and recertified in 2006.
In addition to his experience as a companion animal practitioner, Dr. Cavanaugh gained valuable experience working in the animal health industry. He served as a part-time consultant with Hill’s Pet Nutrition until 1996 when he sold his practice, and as a technical services director for Heska Corporation for four years prior to joining Pfizer Animal Health in 2000. At Pfizer, Dr. Cavanaugh held positions of increasing responsibility, including director of veterinary hospital services where he led a group of nearly 50 veterinarians.
In 2002 he received the Alumni Recognition Award from Kansas State University, and in 2009, was named Industry Partner of the Year by the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association. Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine recognized Dr. Cavanaugh as the 2012 Distinguished Alumnus of the college. He is an affiliate faculty member in the department of clinical sciences at the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
Dr. Cavanaugh shares his home in Evergreen, CO with his wife of 34 years, Beth, and a wonderful border collie named Zoe and a black cat named June. Mike and Beth have 2 children, Caitlyn and Kevin who both reside in the Denver area.
Mike loves the outdoors and numerous activities including whitewater kayaking, canoeing, fishing, backpacking, rock climbing, bicycling, hiking and similar non-motorized endeavors. His motto is, “Live to tell about it!”