Get to know the FVMA’s executive director
This article was originally published when Jim Naugle was named interim executive director and has been updated with new information to reflect his new position as executive director.
When a younger Jim Naugle told his mom he wanted to be a veterinarian upon growing up, he had no idea his path would land him leading an association that helps care for them.
That excitement for veterinary medicine might have been the spark that led Naugle to serve the animal care profession as the executive director at the Florida Veterinary Medical Association (FVMA). Despite the trajectory change, Naugle’s affection for the two’s shared mission has only grown.
“I enjoy getting up every day knowing that we help the veterinary profession, protect the public and care for animals,” Naugle says.
Judith Stamper’s 1989 What’s It Like to Be a Veterinarian—a gift from Naugle’s mom—served as the catalyst for his veterinary medicine passion. Combining that love with his experience for association management, Naugle called accepting his initial position at the FVMA over three years ago a no-brainer.
A youthful excitement for art turned into a deeper skillset of design and the marketing principles that drive it. Thus, Naugle found himself earning a marketing degree with a graphic design minor from the University of Mississippi.
A Pittsburgh native who grew up in Melbourne, Florida, Naugle’s connections brought him back to Florida immediately after college. He then garnered over 18 years of experience in marketing, sales and business development.
Naugle’s work with nonprofits made the transition to the FVMA a dream pairing. He spent much of his career educating medical and science professionals on laser safety alongside the non-profit Laser Institute of America, getting him ever closer to his early mission of using his passions to help care for others.
“I fell in love with the mission even more than the job itself,” Naugle says.
It was only natural when his time with the Laser Institute of America ended that Naugle looked for more opportunities with nonprofits. He joined the FVMA as the director of education and business development before serving as associate deputy director.
Now serving as the executive director, Naugle is intent on spending the immediate future learning from veterinary professionals how the FVMA can best serve them.
“We want to know what members want,” Naugle says. “We hear it, we read it, but we don’t live and breathe it like they do.”
An integral decisionmaker in the FVMA’s rebrand, Naugle is no stranger to growing and changing to best fit members’ needs.
“If we don’t adapt as an association, we will become extinct,” Naugle says. “We need to look at growing our membership and being innovative in the ways we disseminate this knowledge [so we can] fight for all members.”
Naugle was named interim executive director in October 2021 and was selected to take on the full executive director title by the FVMA Executive Board on March 17, 2022 at the board’s meeting during the FVMA Annual Conference 2022.
In that time, Naugle says he has learned more about veterinary medicine, a fact that will only help further his goal of understanding what the veterinary professionals the association serves want.
“I have gained a deeper understanding of veterinary medicine and what drives our veterinary professionals and the role the FVMA plays in protecting their business” Naugle says. “I look forward to many more years of growth and support.”
When not with the FVMA, Naugle spends his time with his family of six and his two cats. He still roots for the Pittsburgh Steelers from his days in his hometown, much in the same way he still carries forward his childhood mission of advancing the veterinary medical profession and promoting animal health.