Julie Legred, CVT Assumes Winn Feline Foundation Leadership As Executive Director


Julie Legred, CVT is the new Executive Director of the Winn Feline Foundation. The announcement was made in September 2018 and is now formal as Vicki Thayer, DVM, DABVP retired effective December 31, 2018.

Julie Legred, CVT

Julie Legred, CVT

Legred has held leadership positions in veterinary medicine throughout her career. Most recently she served as the Executive Director of the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America, where she was instrumental in elevating the status of technicians and supported the current transition to be called veterinary nurse. She represented over 15,000 veterinary technicians/nurses around the country.

Legred was previously the veterinary technician specialist for Banfield the Pet Hospital. Legred, who has appeared at most major veterinary meetings in America, is well known throughout the veterinary community, and continues to serve on several Boards.

“I am very excited to serve as Winn Feline Foundation Executive Director.” says Legred. “I have some big shoes to fill taking on Dr. Vicki Thayer’s position, but am truly committed to focusing on making a difference for our smaller four-legged friends’ lives by increasing much needed support for feline health research and bringing these important efforts in the forefront of the veterinary medical profession, as well as industry and to cat lovers.”

Incoming Winn Feline President Dr. Drew Weigner adds, “Julie brings her vast knowledge of veterinary medicine and her unique perspective as a certified veterinary technician to the type of innovative feline research Winn is known for.  This will ultimately benefit even more cats every day.  We’re excited to add her creativity to our organization.”

Legred replaces retiring Executive Director Dr. Vicki Thayer. After serving on the Board of Directors since 2008, Thayer was hired as the Executive Director in 2014.

Winn Feline Foundation logo

As Dr. Thayer’s retirement was announced, her many accomplishments were recapped:

  • Established October 20th as Cures for Cats Days, plus the focus this year with
    campaign on Feline Kidney Disease.
  • Established scholarships for veterinary students with a feline medicine interest with
    the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) and American Association of
    Feline Practitioners (AAFP).
  • Established the New Feline Investigator Award (now named for former Board
    member Fred Jacobberger).
  • Streamlined and updated the Winn Feline grant proposal practices/policies
    /procedures.
  • Supported many new education opportunities from veterinary conferences
    to speaking with cat owners to promote the work Winn Feline funds.

“It is truly a bittersweet moment as I look forward to my retirement as Executive Director for Winn Feline Foundation at the end of 2018,” says Thayer.  “I am very proud of my accomplishments, along with everyone associated with Winn over our 50 years in advancing Winn’s mission and feline medicine. I am also confident Julie Legred and the Board of Directors will continue the vision of every cat, every day benefits from Winn funded research.”

Under Dr. Thayer at the last review cycle, Winn funded over $500,000 in total funding to studies of cat health and behavior, which includes unowned outdoor cats and shelter cats.

“On behalf of Winn Feline Foundation board of directors, I would like to acknowledge and extend our appreciation for the amazing work done by Dr. Vicki Thayer for the time she was the Foundation’s Executive Director.” says Board President Dr. Glenn Olah. “She put in endless hours working on projects in the past four years that have truly taken the
organization to a higher level.  Through her diligence, she-motivation, dedication and leadership, Winn’s experienced phenomenal growth in meeting its mission to advance feline health by supporting research and education thereby helping every cat, every day.”

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