ABOUT YOUR SPEAKERS

Steve Adair, DVM, DACVS, DACVSMR, CERP
College of Veterinary Medicine/U. of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee
Dr. Adair earned his D.V.M from Auburn University. He completed a surgery residency at the University of Tennessee. He is presently an Associate Professor, in the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Tennessee and is Director of the Equine Performance Medicine and Rehabilitation Center. He is board certified as a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons and as a charter Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation. He is certified in Animal Chiropractic and a Certified Equine Rehabilitation Practitioner. His primary research areas include Equine Musculoskeletal conditions, Regenerative Medicine and Equine Rehabilitation.

Mike Bass
TexCap Insurance, Dallas, Texas
Mike is the Co-President & Chief Business Development Officer for TexCap Insurance. As Co-President, he is jointly responsible for the management and strategy for all of the organization’s practices. As Chief Business Development Officer, he oversees the Advisors and the flow of overall business relations. In addition to his leadership role, Mike also advises his business insurance clientele. Mike graduated from the University of Texas in 1987 with a bachelor’s degree in economics. Later that year, he began his insurance career with Mutual Benefit Life in Dallas. In 1988, Mike accepted a position at Miles & West Agency where he received extensive agent training. He remained with that firm as an agent and owner through its purchase by Texas Capital Bank in 2005 and during the form of TexCap Insurance. Mike is a member of the Texas Veterinary Medical Association and the Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association. He lives in Dallas with his wife Brooke and their three children.

Ben Buchanan, DVM, ACVECC, DACVIM (LA)
Brazos Valley Equine Hospital, Navasota, Texas
Dr. Ben Buchanan grew up in Navasota, Texas. He went to Texas A&M and graduated from there with his DVM in 2001. Afterwards, he completed two residencies; Large Animal Internal Medicine at University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 2004 and Emergency and Critical Care at University of Pennsylvania in 2005. Ben is one of the very few people in the world to be board certified in Internal Medicine and Emergency Critical Care. Ben joined BVEH Navasota in 2005, where he works alongside his father, T-Bone. He is also active in community outreach by speaking at meetings and events around the world regarding equine care. Ben is married to the lovely Shana, whom he met in veterinary school. Shana is a small animal veterinarian and owner of Lake Conroe Vet Group. They have two children, Jane Marie and Terrell.                   

Jessica Colborn, DVM
Magnolia, Texas
Jessica Colborn, DVM, is a graduate of Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine who lives in Magnolia, Texas. Dr. Colborn practices as a relief and emergency veterinarian. She is particularly interested in dermatology, soft tissue surgery and emergency and critical care. Dr. Colborn also enjoys working with senior pets and looking for ways to improve their quality of life. She is a member of the American Heartworm Society and the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society. In her free time, Dr. Colborn enjoys swimming, hiking, camping and gardening with her husband and daughter. Their family also includes a standard poodle, Phoebe, and Simon, a boxer puppy.

Heidi Cooley, DVM
Vancouver, Washington
Dr. Heidi Cooley, who works on Banfield’s client experience and advocacy team, writes about how rewarding it is when veterinarians build great relationships with clients. Before beginning her current role at Banfield, Dr. Cooley practiced as a clinical veterinarian at Banfield hospitals in North and South Carolina. She now works with hospital teams on client experience at more than 1,000 Banfield hospitals nationwide. Dr. Cooley is certified in hospice and palliative care (CHPV), earned her bachelor’s and doctoral degrees from Auburn University, and recently became a certified client experience professional (CCXP).

Trey Cutler, JD
San Luis Obispo, California
Trey Cutler graduated from the University of Texas with his law degree in 1987. Trey holds bar memberships in both Colorado and Texas. He has been the Founder and Principal of the Cutler Law Firm since 2002. His practice area is in veterinary transactions such as veterinary practice purchase and sale transactions, partner transaction, real estate transaction, non-veterinary ownership structures, employment agreements and other contractual matters.

Tracy Dowdy, CVPM
Coronado, California
Tracy helps veterinarians and their teams operate successful, thriving practices. As a certified practice manager, a former practice owner, and the daughter of a veterinarian, Tracy knows the veterinary profession inside and out. Tracy is known throughout the industry for her unique and transformative consulting, which has propelled hundreds of practices to incredible heights of success. Her Relationship Centered Practice Academy is second-to-none when it comes to online practice management courses and is an excellent alternative option for practice owners and managers who are looking to improve their practices. Tracy is recognized nationally and is frequently invited to speak at events and conferences across the country. Tracy is a charter member and past president of VetPartners.

Lorrie Gaschen, DVM
School of Veterinary Medicine, LSU, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Lorrie received her DVM from the University of Florida, was in private practice in Florida for two years after which time she did a diagnostic imaging residency at the University of Bern in Switzerland and became a diplomat of the European College of Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging. She received her PhD in renal transplant imaging in animal models at the University Medical School in Utrecht then returned to the University of Bern where she became an associate professor upon completion of her work in vascular ultrasound of the canine gastrointestinal tract. She has been a professor of diagnostic imaging in the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine, Dept. of Veterinary Clinical Sciences for 15 years and has authored publications and book chapters mainly in the field of gastrointestinal ultrasound where she has done the majority of her research.

Stephanie Gilliam, RVT, MS, CCRP, VTS (Neurology)
Moberly Community College, Mexico, Missouri
Stephanie Gilliam received her associate degree in veterinary technology from Jefferson College in 2005 and worked in private practice before joining the University of Missouri as the neurology/neurosurgery technician in 2007. She received her certification in canine rehabilitation from the University of Tennessee in 2008 and her bachelor’s degree in veterinary technology from St. Petersburg College in May 2011. Gilliam became a veterinary technician specialist in neurology in 2013. She earned a master’s degree in biomedical sciences with an emphasis in veterinary medicine and surgery at Missouri University. Stephanie now serves as the Director of the Veterinary Technology Program at Moberly Area Community College in Mexico, Missouri. She shares her home with her husband, Kyle; two sons, Sawyer and Korban; three dogs, Harley, Remington and Payton; and a bunny named GW. She loves to spend free time outdoors.

Elizabeth Homerosky, DVM, MSc, DABVP
Veterinary Agri-Health Services, Airdrie, Canada
Dr. Elizabeth Homerosky, DVM, MSc., DABVP is a consulting veterinarian at Veterinary Agri-Health Services, a beef-cattle specialty practice in Airdrie, AB. She was born and raised on a commercial cow-calf operation in southern Ohio and attended The Ohio State University where she completed a bachelor's degree in Animal Science in 2008 and DVM in 2012. Dr. Homerosky practiced in western Iowa for one year before being accepted into graduate school at the University of Calgary. There she obtained her Master of Science and became a Diplomat of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in Beef Cattle Practice. Dr. Homerosky officially joined the Veterinary Agri-Health Services team in October 2016 and serves as an Adjunct Clinical Instructor through the University of Calgary, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. She has a strong interest in cow-calf and feedlot production medicine and consulting, as well as, applied research and teaching and is honored to have been named AABP's 2019 Emerging Leader. Dr. Homerosky also ranches west of Airdie and is currently building up her own Red Simm-Angus commercial cow herd.

Thomas Koenig, LVT
TAMU-CVM, College Station, Texas
Tommy Koenig is a graduate of Texas State Technical Institute. He is currently a Veterinary Technician III at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M University. He is a charter member of the Academy of Veterinary Dental Technicians (AVDT) and presently serves on its examination and education committees. Tommy is a past vice-president and secretary of the Texas Association of Registered Veterinary Technicians (TARVT) and has served as secretary of the Capital Area Hospital Managers Association.

Alexandra Kohrs, VP
Veterinary and Medical Division, Bank of America Practice Solutions
Alexandra provides practice financing for doctors entertaining transitions, acquiring practices, forming partnerships, expanding and acquiring real estate. She helps her clients surround themselves with the right team in order to ensure a smooth transition for new business owners, or seasoned owners looking for growth opportunities and exit strategies.

Patty Lathan, VMD, MS, DACVIM (SAIM)
College of Veterinary Medicine, Mississippi State University, Mississippi
Dr. Lathan is an associate professor of small animal internal medicine at Mississippi State University. Her primary areas of interest are adrenal function testing, diabetes mellitus, and stress hyperglycemia. Dr. Lathan completed an internship at Mississippi State University, followed by a small animal internal medicine residency at Purdue University.
                                                                                                  
Elisa Mazzaferro, DVM, PhD, DACVECC
College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Stamford, CT
Dr. Mazzaferro is a graduate of Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine, completing an internship at the Veterinary Institute of Trauma, Emergency and Critical Care in Wisconsin. She completed a residency in Emergency-Critical Care at Colorado State University, where she also earned her PhD. She was board certified by the American College of Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care in 2002. Dr. Mazzaferro is internationally renowned and a leader in her field. She is Past-President of the American College of Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care and is the current President of the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society. She is also a prolific publisher, having authored four books as well as numerous chapters and manuscripts on a range of topics relating to Emergency and Critical Care Medicine. She lectures extensively nationally and internationally, having given presentations in more than 21 US states and 9 countries. Internationally, Dr. Mazzaferro is recognized for her accomplishments as a lecturer and author. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, gardening and spending time with her pugs and cat.

Melinda Merck, DVM
Veterinary Forensics Consulting, Austin, Texas
Dr. Melinda Merck is the owner of Veterinary Forensics Consulting in Austin, Texas. She provides expert case consultations and testimony. Dr. Merck provides training for veterinary, attorney and law enforcement professionals internationally on the use of veterinary forensics in the investigation and prosecution of animal cruelty cases. She serves on the Association of Prosecuting Attorney’s Animal Cruelty Advisory Council. Locally she volunteers with SAFE, the Austin shelter for domestic violence and sexual assault survivors. She is a contributing author of textbooks on veterinary forensics and animal cruelty investigations.

Wendy Myers, CVJ
Communication Solutions for Veterinarians, Kansas City, Missouri
Wendy S. Myers, CVJ, has been training veterinary teams for more than 20 years as owner of Communication Solutions for Veterinarians. She helps teams become confident communicators, so more pet owners say yes to medical care. Wendy shares her expertise through conferences, online courses, and monthly CE credit webinars. She is a certified veterinary journalist and author of five books. For five years, Wendy was a partner in an AAHA-accredited specialty and emergency hospital, which was sold to a corporate group. Her passion is to help practices like yours thrive and grow through effective communication skills.

Christine B. Navarre, DVM, MS, DACVIM
School of Veterinary Medicine, LSU, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Dr. Navarre received her DVM from Louisiana State University in 1990.  Following graduation, she worked in a private mixed animal (primarily dairy cattle) practice in Sulphur Springs, TX before going to Texas A & M for a large animal internal medicine residency and masters degree.  Dr. Navarre joined the Food Animal Section at the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital where she spent 11 years providing clinical service and teaching of food animal medicine and surgery.  Dr. Navarre is currently Extension Veterinarian with the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center.  She serves the State of Louisiana by providing continuing education and herd disease investigation services to livestock producers, extension agents and veterinarians, and as state BQA coordinator.  She is a Past President of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners and Past President and current Treasurer of the North American Veterinary Community. 

Amy Newfield, CVT, VTS
BluePearl Veterinary Partners, Upton, Massachusetts
Amy is currently employed with BluePearl Veterinary Partners as a Project Manager for Training and Health and Wellness and owner of Veterinary Team Training. After working in general practice for many years, Amy found her passion in emergency medicine and went on to obtain her VTS in Emergency and Critical Care. She has held several board positions in the Academy of Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care Technicians & Nurses including president.  Besides emergency medicine, Amy’s new focus is on team and leadership development. Amy is well published in over 20 subjects and recently published her own book “Oops, I Became a Manager” in 2020. She lives in Massachusetts with her wonderful furry kids where you can find her eating chocolate, running in the woods, competing in agility and diving in the ocean.

Steven Pittenger, DVM, DABVP
Memorial 610 Hospital for Animals, Houston, Texas
Dr. Pittenger is chief of staff at Memorial-610 Hospital for Animals. Dr. Pittenger attended college at Texas A&M University, earning a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science. He earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree in 1995 from Texas A&M University. His areas of interest include nutrition, orthopedic and soft tissue surgery, ultrasound, internal medicine and computer applications in veterinary medicine. Dr. Pittenger obtained his Diplomate status from the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners with a specialty in Canine and Feline Practice in 2006. Dr. Pittenger is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Texas Veterinary Medical Association, the Harris County Veterinary Medical Association, (Past President), the Veterinary Information Network, the American Animal Hospital Association, the International Association of Veterinary Pain Management and past president of the Association for Veterinary Informatics.

Holly Roberts, DVM, DACVD
DVM STAT Consulting, Louisville, Kentucky
Dr. Holly Roberts is a graduate of Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine. After completion of veterinary school, she performed a rotating internship at Fifth Avenue Veterinary Specialists in New York City. She then went on to complete a dermatology residency as well as obtain her Masters of Science at Ohio State University. Dr. Roberts became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Dermatology in 2014 and has practiced in Delaware, Northern Virginia, Texas, and Ohio since that time. She currently practices at Metropolitan Veterinary Specialists in her hometown of Louisville, KY.

Ashley Saunders, DVM
TAMU-CVM, College Station, Texas
Dr. Ashley Saunders is a Professor of Cardiology and Assistant Department Head for Teaching at Texas A&M University.  She is board certified in the specialty of cardiology by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.  Dr. Saunders has a Post Graduate Certificate in Veterinary Education from the Royal Veterinary College, London.  She is a recipient of the Texas A&M Association of Former Students College and University Level Teaching Awards.  Her research interests are in cardiovascular imaging, interventional techniques, heart failure management and novel teaching methods. 

Glen Sellers, MS, MBA
J.T. Vaughan LA Teaching Hospital, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama
Glen Sellers completed undergraduate studies in Animal Sciences at Auburn University in 1998. Between 1998 and 2006, he gained valuable experience in pharmacology and anesthesia as a technician in the J.T. Vaughan Large Animal Teaching Hospital providing care for both equine and food animals. While working as a technician, he earned his MS degree from Auburn University in 2006. In 2007, he accepted a clinical lecturer position in Anesthesia in the Department of Clinical Sciences.  In the spring of 2009, he also earned an MBA from Auburn University. Between 2005 and 2016, he supervised staff in Anesthesia, sterile process and surgery room operations of the Vaughan Large Animal Teaching Hospital.  In 2016, his clinical lecturer position expanded to include practice management. He currently provides clinical service in anesthesia to the J.T. Vaughan Large Animal Teaching Hospital and teaches the clinical practice management rotations and business courses at the College of Veterinary Medicine.

David Sessum, LVT
Lone Star College, Tomball, Texas
David Sessum is a trailblazer in the veterinary profession. He’s the Director of the Veterinary Technician Program at Lone Star College in Tomball, Texas, serves on the Board of Directors for the Texas Veterinary Medical Association, the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners, and is an ardent champion of veterinary technician utilization. He was awarded the TVMA RVT of the Year award in 2009 as well as the TVMA LVT of the Year award in 2019. David also serves as the chair of the TVMA Paraprofessional Committee.

Audrey Yu Speight, DVM, DACVO
Veterinary Eye Center, Austin, Texas
Dr. Audrey Yu-Speight is a board-certified diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists and is owner of Veterinary Eye Center, PLLC in Austin. Dr. Speight has over 19 years of experience providing specialized animal eye care for all species except humans.

Lori Teller, DVM
TAMU-CVM, College Station, Texas
Dr. Lori Teller is a graduate of Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences (TAMU CVM), and she is a board-certified diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in canine and feline practice. She worked at Meyerland Animal Clinic for many years, starting at the age of 12 and continuing after graduation from veterinary school. In 2018, Dr. Teller joined the faculty at TAMU CVM as the clinical associate professor of telehealth. Dr. Teller has been very involved in the veterinary profession and is a past president of both the Harris County and Texas Veterinary Medical Associations (TVMA). She was a recipient of the TVMA's Recent Graduate of the Year Award in 1995 as well as the President’s Award in 2007, 2009, and 2016. Teller currently serves as chair of the AVMA Board of Directors, where she represents District VIII. She also chairs the AVMA’s State Advocacy Committee. In addition, she is a trustee for the TVMA’s VPAC and helps to raise awareness and funds for political causes important to veterinary medicine.

Fritz Wood, CPA, CFP
Lenexa, Kansas
Fritz owns and operates an animal health consulting practice in Kansas City, where his clients include veterinarians and animal health companies. Fritz holds Bachelor of Science degrees in Accounting and Business Administration from the University of Kansas (1986). Besides being an animal health consultant, he also has a vibrant personal financial planning practice, helping veterinarians reach their lifetime financial goals. He’s focused exclusively on the veterinary profession for 25 years. Fritz has conducted important research examining veterinary productivity and attributes of high-performing practices. He’s a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Financial Planner.

Ken Yagi, MS, RVT, VTS (SAIM and ECCS)
Tetlow and Roy Park Innovations Lab, Cornell University, Stamford, CT
Over the 19 years in practice, Ken has discovered and refined his role as a veterinary technician by promoting compassionate and progressive care for the patients and their family. He obtained his VTS certification in emergency and critical care as well as small animal internal medicine and obtained his master's degree in Veterinary Science. He served as the ICU Manager and Blood Bank Manager at Adobe Animal Hospital until 2018 and is now is the Program Director for the RECOVER CPR Initiative and the simulation lab manager of the Tetlow and Roy Park Innovation Laboratory at the Cornell University. Ken has co-edited the Manual of Veterinary Transfusion Medicine and Blood Banking and has published over 25 text chapters and articles in various publications. He speaks internationally and has given over 800 presentations on topics in ECC, Transfusion Medicine, and the veterinary technician profession.

Audrey Yu-Speight, DVM, DACVO
Dr. Yu-Speight earned her DVM from Texas A&M University as well as her B.S. and M.S. in Chemical Engineering from Stanford University. She is the owner of Veterinary Eye Center, PLLC in Austin. Dr. Yu-Speight is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists.