Kelly Ballantyne, DVM, DACVB
Animal Behavior Services
Dr. Ballantyne, a veterinary behaviorist and medical director at Insight Animal Behavior Services, hails from Chicago's North Shore. Her passion for veterinary medicine blossomed in childhood, leading to a bachelor's from the University of Illinois in 2001 and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 2005. After four years in general practice, she pursued a non-traditional residency in veterinary behavior, achieving board certification in 2015. Over a decade at the University of Illinois, she established their first behavior service and contributed to publications. Dr. Ballantyne is an esteemed speaker and a member of various veterinary and wildlife organizations. In her leisure, she enjoys traveling, reading, hiking and wildlife photography with her husband, Robert.

Mary L. Berg, LATF, RVT, VTS
Beyond the Crown Veterinary Education
Mary L. Berg is a charter member of the Academy of Veterinary Dental Technicians, achieving her Veterinary Technician Specialty in dentistry in June 2006. Presently, she holds the treasurer position at both the AVDT and the American Society of Veterinary Dentistry. A former KVTA president and NAVTA board member, Mary boasts more than 22 years of research experience, focusing on enhancing companion animals' oral health. Previously, she served as a practice manager and dental technician specialist at Gentle Care Animal Hospital in Lawrence, Kansas, for more than seven years. Currently, Mary leads Beyond the Crown Veterinary Education, a veterinary dental consulting service. She and her husband, Doug, reside on a farm near Lawrence, Kansas, alongside their diverse animal family.

Dawn Boothe, DVM, PhD
Auburn University College of Medicine
Dr. Boothe, a Texas A&M University (TAMU) graduate, completed her BS in 1977-78, followed by a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1980. She pursued further studies, achieving an MS in physiology, small animal internal medicine residency (1985) and a PhrMA Fellowship and PhD in Veterinary Clinical Pharmacology (1989) at TAMU. An early diplomate of the American College of veterinary clinical pharmacology (1991), she excelled at TAMU, eventually joining Auburn University as a professor. Dr. Boothe leads the Clinical Pharmacology Laboratory, aiding numerous veterinary practices. Her extensive academic and research contributions have earned her significant awards and recognitions. Planning retirement in 2022, she aims to continue her impact in veterinary clinical pharmacology as a consultant and editor. Dr. Boothe resides in Auburn, Alabama, with her husband, children and a menagerie of animals.

Eli Cohen, DVM, DACVR
NC State University College of Veterinary Medicine
Dr. Cohen, a marine science and biology graduate from the University of Tampa (2001), earned his DVM from Tufts School of Veterinary Medicine (2008). He completed a diagnostic imaging residency at the University of Georgia in 2012, becoming a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Radiology in 2013. Dr. Cohen then lectured at Massey University in New Zealand and later joined North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2014. His expertise lies in cross-sectional imaging (CT, MRI), zoo/exotic/wildlife animal imaging and effective teaching in diagnostic imaging.

Theresa Cosper-Roberts, RVT, CVPM, ACE (DE), CVBL
National Veterinary Solutions
Theresa Cosper-Roberts is a Certified Veterinary Practice Manager and Registered Veterinary
Technician. A distinguished expert of the Academy of Veterinary Educators, she has more than 10 years of
experience educating veterinary professionals. She is the senior practice management consultant for
National Veterinary Solutions, LLC, an organization providing consultations and training services tailored
to veterinary technicians, students and assistants. She also serves as the surgical training center
manager at a renowned school of veterinary medicine, where she has been annually appointed to the
dean’s merit honor roll as an instructor, the only registered veterinary technician to ever obtain that

Monica Dixon Perry, CVPM
Burzenski and Co PC
Monica Dixon Perry, CVPM, with more than 35 years in veterinary medicine, is the director of veterinary consulting services at Burzenski and Company. She held significant roles at Mission Veterinary Partners during the pandemic, including vice president of strategic partnerships and director of practice management. Previously, for 15 years, she was a consultant/partner at VMC, Inc., presenting "Principles of Veterinary Practice Management" across the US and Canada. Monica's rich career involved managing a successful veterinary practice and directing operations at Bowman Animal Hospital & Cat Clinic, Inc. A sought-after speaker, she holds a biology degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is a passionate advocate for CVPM certification, serving as the 2022 VMX Veterinary Meeting and Expo Practice Management Speaker of the Year. She actively engages in professional associations and contributes to her community as the Youth Director at her church and a board member at Casa Esperanza Montessori Charter School in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Melissa Evans, LVT, CVT, VTS
United Veterinary Care
Initially aspiring for Broadway stardom, a shift in passion led Melissa to animal care. She volunteered at shelters and wildlife rehab, realizing her love for animals. Pursuing a second college stint, she gained an AAS in veterinary technology, becoming a Licensed Veterinary Technician in 2013. Specializing in Emergency and Critical Care (ECC) became her new dream, fulfilled in 2018. She has served in specialty hospitals across New Jersey and New York, focusing on patient care and sharing knowledge. Today, she work as a relief technician at various specialty hospitals in New York City, driven by a passion for teaching and learning.

Karen Felsted, CPA, DVM, CVPM, CVA
Dr. Felsted, a CPA and veterinarian, specializes in financial and operational consulting for veterinary practices and the animal health industry. With more than 15 years of experience, including a CEO role at the National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues, she's a notable figure in the field. A prolific writer and speaker at national and international veterinary events, she holds important roles in organizations like VetPartners and the CATalyst Council. Recognitions include the Western Veterinary Conference Practice Management Continuing Educator of the Year (2011) and the VetPartners Distinguished Life Member Award (2014). Dr. Felsted's passions extend to exotic international travel, embodying a zest for exploration.

Tim Hackett, DVM, DACVECC
Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine
Dr. Hackett boasts a rich background of nearly 22 years in practicing emergency and critical care medicine. After earning his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Colorado State University in 1989, he pursued an internship at West Los Angeles Animal Hospital. Dr. Hackett then embarked on a journey back to CSU, undertaking a three-year residency in Emergency and Critical Care coupled with a master’s program in clinical sciences. Following his residency, he became the inaugural Diplomate in Emergency and Critical Care in Southern California, practicing there for two years before making his mark as a CSU faculty member in 1996.

Sarah Hamer, DVM
Texas A&M University
Dr. Hamer is a Professor of Epidemiology at the Texas A&M School of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. She runs a research lab focused on the ecology and epidemiology of diseases that emerge at the human-wildlife-domestic animal interface with a focus in the U.S. and Latin America. Her MS is from University of Illinois, and her PhD and DVM degrees are from Michigan State University. She is a Diplomate in the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine and is also board-certified in epidemiology. Her work spans avian health, vector-borne disease, animal reservoirs of SARS-CoV-2 and more.

Mariel Hendricks, RVT
Mariel graduated from Purdue University's veterinary technology program in 2010, initially working in general practice before specializing in surgery, focusing on small animal surgical assisting and anesthesia. Currently, she is in clinical development at Noah's Animal Hospitals, contributing to staff education through presentations and hands-on training. Engaged in veterinary associations, she served with the Indiana Veterinary Technician Association from 2017 to 2021 and joined the executive board of the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America in 2022. Her dedication to knowledge extends to enrolling in a master’s program in veterinary education at Lincoln Memorial University, leading to a graduate assistant position with MentorVet.

Lisa Durso Keel, DVM, DABVP
Alamo Feline Health Center
Dr. Lisa Durso Keel, a Pennsylvania native, graduated in the top 10% of her class from Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2014. Following a year of emergency medicine practice, she pursued a small animal rotating internship. She moved to San Antonio with her Air Force pilot husband in 2020 and welcomed their first child in 2021. Dr. Durso has completed advanced courses in ultrasonography and acupuncture and achieved board certification in canine and feline medicine in 2021. She currently serves as the main editor for the upcoming sixth edition of "The Feline Patient," set to release in spring 2024. In her free time, she enjoys family time, running and outdoor activities.

Heidi Reuss-Lamky, LVT
Oakland Veterinary Referral Services
Heidi Reuss-Lamky, a graduate of Michigan State University’s veterinary technology program, is an experienced surgical technician associated with Oakland Veterinary Referral Services in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Certified by the Academy of Veterinary Technicians in Anesthesia and Analgesia since 2003, she also holds a founding member position at the Academy of Veterinary Surgical Technicians and sits on its executive board. Noteworthy for her professional contributions, Heidi has served in various roles, including the NAVTA Committee on Veterinary Technician Specialties and holds the Fear-Free Elite Certified Professional status. A recognized author and lecturer, she was honored with the 2013 NAVC Dr. Jack L. Mara Memorial Lecturer Award.

Renee LaCorte, LVT, VTS
Fetch Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Center
Renee entered the veterinary field as a second career, having managed for Microsoft and been a dairy farmer's wife for nearly 20 years. After diverse experience in general practice, research and emergency, she achieved her VTS (ECC) status in 2017. She's an ambassador for the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society, a Recover Guidelines CPR instructor and a mentor for those pursuing VTS status. With roles ranging from clinical training for VIP to hybrid online professorship, she owns a consulting business, educating technicians on various veterinary care topics. Her dedication elevates veterinary medicine through training, lectures and gold-standard care practice. She has spoken at numerous conferences, including IVECCS and internationally in Australia through Exotic Vet Nursing.

Kelley Thieman Mankin, DVM, MS, DACVS (Small Animal)
School of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University
Kelley Thieman Mankin, DVM, MS, DACVS (Small Animal), is an assistant professor at Texas A&M University. Dr. Thieman earned her DVM from University of Missouri. She completed an internship at University of Tennessee and a residency at University of Florida. Her clinical interests include soft tissue surgery, reconstructive surgery and oncologic surgery.

David McCormick, MS, CVA
David McCormick is an expert in veterinary practice appraisal, brokering and transactions, with a wealth of experience spanning more than 20 years. His mission is to assist veterinarians in practice valuations, transaction facilitation and achieving their practice ownership goals. David is a renowned national and international educator, covering crucial topics like practice value, financial health, buying/selling practices, exit planning and ownership matters. He actively manages veterinary brokerage firms Simmons Mid-Atlantic and Simmons Great Lakes.


Angela Pelzel-McCluskey, DVM, MS
USDA-APHIS-Veterinary Services
Angela Pelzel-McCluskey, DVM, serves as the equine epidemiologist at USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Veterinary Services, based in Fort Collins, Colorado. She earned her veterinary degree from Texas A&M University in 2001 and has a rich background in equine private practice across Texas and Colorado. Since 2004, she has excelled in epidemiology roles within state and federal animal health agencies. Currently, she leads the federal response for reportable equine disease outbreaks across the nation and has played a pivotal role in managing more than 25 state, regional and national disease outbreak responses throughout her combined state and federal service.


Erica Pickens, DVM, Diplomate, ACVIM (SAIM)
Dr. Pickens is a board-certified small animal internal medicine specialist who has practiced in the DFW Metroplex since 2004. Dr. Pickens is an alumna of Texas A&M University, where she graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in biomedical science in 1995. She remained at Texas A&M University and graduated in 1999 with her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. Following veterinary school, Dr. Pickens completed a yearlong internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Metroplex Veterinary Centre in Irving, Texas, before working as a general practitioner in the Houston area for the next two years. Further pursuing her interest in internal medicine, Dr. Pickens went on to complete a two-year residency in small animal internal medicine at Louisiana State University, leading to her board-certification as a veterinary internal medicine specialist. While Dr. Pickens maintains an interest in all aspects of veterinary internal medicine, she has a particular passion for hematology, endocrinology, infectious diseases and diagnostic ultrasound. She is dedicated to improving an animal’s health by developing a treatment plan to help her patients maintain a good quality of life. She also enjoys building relationships within our profession to help others be successful and fulfilled.


Ashley Morgan, DVM, CAE
American Veterinary Medical Association
Ashley Morgan, a Certified Association Executive, directs the American Veterinary Medical Association's Division of State Advocacy, leading state-related advocacy efforts and engagement with allied veterinary medical associations. Formerly advocating on pharmaceutical issues in the AVMA's Government Relations Division for eight years, she also completed an AVMA Congressional Science Fellowship focusing on public health matters in the United States Senate. An equine medicine practitioner and Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine alumna, Ashley possesses a rich background in veterinary medicine and advocacy.

UT Southwestern Medical Center
Dr. Pritt earned her DVM at Washington State University and then completed an MBA in Healthcare Management and MS in Managerial Science. She is a Diplomate of the American College of Animal Welfare (ACAW) and was President of ACAW from 2020-2021. Currently, Dr. Pritt serves as the Associate Vice President, Research Support and Regulatory Management, at the UT Southwestern Medical Center. In this position, she administers the institutional animal care and use committee and other research compliance programs. She has served in numerous leadership positions with veterinary and research organizations, including vice president of the AVMA and chair of the TVMA Animal Welfare Committee.

Alexis Thompson, DVM
Texas A&M University
Dr. Thompson graduated from the University of Kentucky with a bachelor’s degree in animal science in 2015. She earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 2019, completed a residency in Population and Preventative Medicine in 2022 and earned a PhD in 2023, all from Mississippi State University. In her role as the bovine veterinary diagnostician, Dr. Thompson fulfills TVMDL’s service mission through outreach, education and offering testing guidance and coordination to the laboratory’s food animal clients.

Valerie Tynes, DVM, DACVB, DACAW
SPCA of Texas
A Texan native, Dr. Tynes earned her DVM from Texas A&M University. A rare expert, she is one of 90 veterinarians board-certified in Animal Welfare and Behavior and one of only two in animal shelters. With 14 years in private practice, she pursued a residency in clinical animal behavior at UC Davis in 2000. A diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists since 2003, she's also Board-Certified in Animal Welfare. Her focus is on the behavior and welfare of pet pigs, exotic pets and zoo animals. Actively contributing to the Fear-Free initiative, she's a noted global speaker and prolific author in the veterinary field.


Ashley Saunders, DVM
Texas A&M University
Dr. Ashley Saunders is a professor of cardiology in the School of Veterinary Medicine and
Biomedical Sciences at Texas A&M University, where she has served as a faculty member since
2005. Dr. Saunders has a post-graduate certificate in veterinary education from the Royal
Veterinary College in London. In 2022, she was recognized as Texas A&M University's
Presidential Professor of Teaching Excellence. She is passionate about cardiac imaging and
interventions, pursuing opportunities to improve care for those affected by Chagas disease,
creating innovative teaching methods to promote learning and training future cardiologists.

Brian Speer, DVM, DIP ABVP, ECZM
Medical Center for Birds
Dr. Speer received his DVM degree from the University of California at Davis in 1983. Since 1989, he has limited his practice in the San Francisco Bay area to include exclusively bird species. His patients include companion and aviary birds, breeding bird collections, zoologic display collections and performing animals. He received his board specialty status through the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in February 1996 and was certified in the European College of Avian Medicine and Surgery (ECAMS) in 1999. ECAMS was the founding organization for the European College of Zoological Medicine in 2009, and he is now a recognized avian specialist in ECZM. An active member of the Association of Avian Veterinarians (AAV), Dr. Speer has served as chair of the Aviculture Committee, as a director of the board and as president. He is currently a consultant for the Veterinary Information Network for avian medical topics. He is co-author of Birds for Dummies.

Patricia Wakenell, DVM, PhD
Perdue University College of Veterinary Medicine
Dr. Wakenell, originally from San Antonio, Texas, is a poultry medicine professor emerita at Purdue University, heading avian diagnostics at the Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory from 2008 to 2019. She established the Wakenell-Eilenfeldt Avian Diagnostic Residency program at Purdue in 2012 and directs it while offering diagnostic services, farm visits and teaching poultry courses. Known affectionately as the Poultry Princess and Duck Duchess, her poultry passion extends to fashion. Formerly at the University of California-Davis since 1990, she was Chief of Poultry Medical Service, taught courses and researched embryo vaccination, genetics and pathology. Dr. Wakenell holds BS and DVM degrees from Michigan State University, a PhD in pathology from MSU and the USDA Avian Disease and Oncology Laboratory and is board-certified in veterinary clinical pathology. She has also served as director of poultry research and IACOC veterinarian at Sanofi Animal Health and held the presidencies of the Western Poultry Disease Conference and the American Association of Avian Pathologists.