New Business

Team > New Business

Christine Googins

Director of Project Management

vets with dog on table

Teammates? We Like the Sound of That

If you are looking to join our doggone awesome community, zoomie over to our careers page because working for Rarebreed is better than chewing on a never ending bully stick.

If you know any veterinary hospital friends with a best-in-show skillset, refer them through our ruff-erral program.

Nir Ben-Ari, DVM

Chief Medical Officer

Fun Fact: Dr. Ben-Ari is an avid surfer and will (occasionally) be seen braving a New England winter day in the water.

Pet in Photo: Leo

Dr. Ben-Ari was born in Israel but spent most of his childhood in the Boston area. He and his family relocated to Israel while he was in high school. Shortly after finishing school, he was enlisted into the Israeli Airforce where he served for three years. He later obtained a degree in biology with a business minor at Boston University, followed by a veterinary degree at Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. He attended a small animal rotating internship in San Diego, where he fell in love with emergency medicine and surgery. Back in the Boston area, he worked as an emergency veterinarian for six years. During that time, he noticed a need for an “urgent care” type of service within the industry. He founded PetMedic Urgent Care, opened its first clinic in 2020, and later partnered with Rarebreed to replicate the model. He enjoys teaching, mentoring staff, and interacting with clients. He and his wife have two sons. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, sports, spending time with his family, and seeing his boys grow.

Jacob Strong

Project Manager

Fun Fact:  Jacob won a collegiate hockey national championship as a player and a Maine high school hockey state championship as a coach.

Pet in Photo: Meeko

Prior to joining Rarebreed, Jacob spent over two years at Covetrus where he held several roles related to project management and financial analysis. Prior to that, he spent five years in Boston, working as an advisory consultant for accounting firms EY and BDO, servicing clients across North America and Europe. He specialized in process optimization, contract compliance, and risk mitigation across serval industries such as healthcare, financial services, and professional sports and entertainment.

Jacob holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of New Hampshire where he dual majored in finance and accounting. He now lives in Scarborough, Maine, with his wife and their Native American Indian Dog, Meeko. Outside of work, Jacob loves to golf, spend time with friends, volunteer with the New England District of USA Hockey, and serve as the assistant coach for the Scarborough high school varsity hockey team.

Jim Baron smiling with a dog

Jim Baron

Vice President of Growth

Fun Fact: Jim had a leadership role in setting up the state of Maine’s human COVID testing lab at the beginning of the pandemic.

Pet in Photo: Mac

Prior to joining Rarebreed, Jim spent 15 years at IDEXX in a variety of leadership positions. With 10 years in IT leading software development teams and large strategic projects, he established the IT PMO. He then moved to the reference labs where he built a global PMO that grew to 25 project managers with a portfolio that included acquisitions, new instrument platforms, PCR automation, digital pathology, software projects, and new labs around the world.

Jim served in the US Army as a pathfinder and infantry officer. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Brenau University and a Bachelor of Business Administration from Augusta State University. He also attended Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and is a licensed private pilot. Jim enjoys Maine outdoor activities, especially chasing his daughter down the hill at Sugarloaf. He lives in Scarborough, Maine, with his wife, daughter, rescue plot hound, Lucy, and German shepherd, Mac.

Christine Googins

Director of Project Management

Fun Fact: Christine has been to over 30 different campgrounds throughout New England.

Pet in Photo: Csilla

Prior to joining Rarebreed, Christine spent eight years at IDEXX where she led project teams in successfully opening veterinary diagnostic and PCR automation laboratories. She has worked in a variety of fields over the years including healthcare, recruiting, and human resources. She attended Plymouth State University concentrating in business/marketing and is working toward a master’s degree in counseling through the University of Southern Maine. In her role at Rarebreed/PetMedic, Christine will work toward establishing trust, reliability, and process in the pursuit of achieving the company’s next-level goals.

Christine is a proud Greater Portland Maine native. In her free time, she enjoys being with her family, which typically includes either ice fishing or camping.

LouAnn smiling with a dog

LouAnn Santerre

Project Manager

Fun Fact: LouAnn is a huge sports enthusiast and loves cheering on her beloved Boston Bruins, New England Patriots and Boston Red Sox.

Pet in Photo: Brady

LouAnn grew up in Maine and graduated from St. Joseph’s College where she triple majored in accounting, management and marketing. She also attended the University of Maine, earning a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and teaching. After spending 23 years in North Carolina working in NASCAR, selling real estate and rescuing dogs, she relocated to Maine and joined Rarebreed to combine her career with her passion for and love of animals. LouAnn spends her free time with her dog, Fender, and her family, which includes 15 nieces and nephews.

Sam smiling with a cat

Sam Thibault, CVT

Regional Manager

Fun Fact: Sam is an avid antique collector and enjoys woodworking and restoring furniture..

Pet in Photo: Ollie

Sam is a native of the Syracuse, New York, area where she began her career as a kennel attendant at a local shelter. She found her purpose there and pursued her passion for animals by attending Mount Ida College to obtain her veterinary technology degree. She moved to Nantucket where she excelled in general practice and became a member of the New England Aquarium Marine Mammal Field Response Team. After leaving Nantucket, Sam worked for an emergency and referral hospital where she spent time in the ER/ICU and in dermatology and later worked as a supervisor. Taking a step out of practice, she refined her skills as a practice consultant.

Sam lives in the hamlet of Leeds, New York, with her wife, her dog, Petunia, three cats, Gilly, Max, and Tomato, and 15 chickens. She enjoys homesteading and restoring her 1890 farmhouse.