PetSmart Charities Adds Entrepreneur Ben Jacobs to Board of Directors

Press release: PetSmart Charities

Ben Jacobs, celebrated entrepreneur in the veterinary and pet care space, has joined the board of directors at PetSmart Charities 

The foremost funder of animal welfare in North America welcomes Jacobs’ unique blend of experience and vision. As 42 million Americans may cope with food insecurity in 2021, PetSmart Charities is working to serve pets by reaching the people in need caring for them. 

Jacobs, pet parent to his own adopted dogs Duke and Rex, joins a board of community leaders from the corporate, financial and animal welfare sectors. Together they deliver governance, oversight and expertise to the charity dedicated to improving the quality of life for pets.  

“Caring for pets makes us all better people,” said Aimee Gilbreath, president at PetSmart Charities. “While pet ownership is at an all-time high, we know 80 million pets in the U.S. don’t receive adequate veterinary care. We’re especially excited Ben is joining us now as we develop new strategies to open access to affordable, quality veterinary care.” 

Grief that fueled a passion for pets   
Jacobs, a Yale graduate, credits his career path to his childhood pet who passed away rather suddenly – a German shepherd named Bear. His grief turned into a lifelong passion for helping pet parents better identify problems earlier. Bear’s story served as inspiration for launching Whistle, a company that redefined veterinary care and was acquired by Mars Petcare in 2016.  

Following Whistle’s acquisition, Jacobs partnered on Mars’ ventures Companion Fund and Leap Venture Studio that back pet care products, technology and services — visionary programs designed to support consequential growth across pet care start-ups as they begin to scale. 

In his current role as managing partner at Atmosphere, Jacobs brings long-term capital and operational partnership to companies that deliver meaningful value in everyday life. He previously worked as a management consultant at Bain & Company, helping clients across technology, private equity and consumer goods sectors. 

“Many of the challenges facing us today are large and complex — access to adoptable pets from reputable sources and rising costs of care as two examples — and require organizations to think differently,” said Jacobs. “I’m honored and humbled to contribute to this exceptional group of leaders. Together with committed donors, we can make a meaningful impact on the future of animal welfare.” 

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