Shanna Gage Lai
Global Veterinary Academy
Co-Founder, Director, CEO
Although I never became a vet, my passion for animals has driven me to help fulfill the dreams of young animal enthusiasts. By founding and directing the Global Veterinary Academy, I can work with animals, animal enthusiasts, and professionals uniquely. I anticipate that leading and running Global Veterinary Academy will be a fun, challenging, and rewarding endeavor. I enjoy connecting with aspiring veterinary students and supporting them throughout their career via the Global Veterinary Academy mentorship program. Global Veterinary Academy is a business I feel passionate about; it is an innovative opportunity to bridge the current gap in education, particularly for students who want to attend vet schools such as colleges and universities. Global Veterinary Academy is connected to value and ethics as opposed to being a profit-driven business. The primary goal of the company is to contribute towards the sustainability of corporate social responsibility, animal welfare, and community.
Shanna is an avid equestrian who found her passion early in life. For more than thirty years, Shanna’s love for horses has taken her on many incredible journeys. Shanna, a Bay Area native, born in San Francisco, currently lives at the base of Mount Diablo, in the heart of Walnut Creek’s horse community with her two children. She is an international award-winning horse rider and breeder. Her notable accomplishments as a rider include three Arabian Horse Association’s National Champion titles. She is heavily active in spearheading and leading numerous community outreach programs for youth who are interested in veterinary medicine. Her projects seek to engage traditionally underrepresented groups in the veterinary medical profession and have a global reach. In addition to the curriculum/workshop-saturated program, BAE Pre-Vet Program provides volunteer leadership training for young people. Shanna is the founder of Global Veterinary Academy, co-founder, and director of the BAE Pre-Vet Program, she is also the co-founder and serves on the Board of Directors for the Bay Area Equestrian Club, a nonprofit organization.
In 1998, the year she graduated from Northgate High School, she founded Horse ‘N Around Riding Academy. “I was so eager to jump into business that I started my first company at age 17, while attending High School, an enormously rewarding endeavor, financially, and from a personal development perspective.” She served as an advanced riding instructor in her teens and ’20s and CEO through 2014. In 2012 she co-founded with her daughter Taylor, the nonprofit Bay Area Equestrian Club whose mission is to provide underprivileged youth with access to horses and education in the field of veterinary medicine. In addition to her equestrian-related achievements, Shanna is also a successful entrepreneur in real estate investment. She founded and serves as CEO for Everest International in San Francisco.