Veterinary Leadership Conference

Leadership in Times of Change
Virtual – 25 hours of CE on demand
Register now


Meet the leaders who will be speaking at this year's Veterinary Leadership Conference

Rich Allen

Rich AllenRich is on a mission—to help business owners and senior leaders build radically-engaged teams so they can unlock hidden profits, allow their businesses to scale and provide business owners with new-found freedom!

Rich used his practical approach to team engagement while running and growing a manufacturing business to well over $100M in annual revenues. Rich has published two books, Tour de Profit – A 52 Stage Race to Grow Your Business (2011) and The Ultimate Business Tune Up – A Simple Yet Powerful Business Model That Will Transform the Lives of Small Business Owners (2017).

He is a high-energy speaker, strategic implementer, business owner guide and successful entrepreneur.

Hernani Alves

Hernani AlvesHernani Alves is an expert that makes the most complex skill in business, awesomely simple.

Hernani started as a part-time employee and eventually grew to become the President for a $3 billion company (from Sacramento, called Sleep Train) that was regularly voted as Best Workplace. Today, he's an author, an international speaker that helps leaders build world-class teams focused on getting results. Hernani has been featured in: Stanford University, iHeart Radio,, Recruiter, Idea Mensch, CEOWorld Magazine, Conscious Company, The Revolution, Extreme Leadership, and more.

Ashley Bourgeois

Ashley BourgeoisDr. Ashley Bourgeois is known for her podcast and Instagram account, @thedermvet, where she spreads her joy for veterinary dermatology. At the same time, she advocates for her fellow veterinarians to stay healthy both physically and mentally. She has spoken at several national conferences, including Fetch, VMX, and WVC.

Melanie Bowden

Melanie BowdenMelanie Bowden is passionate about starting a revolution in the veterinary industry. Having worked in corporate, family-owned, and emergency clinic settings, Dr. Bowden has witnessed first-hand the burn-out, compassion fatigue, and emotional exhaustion that is plaguing the veterinary industry. Through helping veterinarians realize and develop their career potential while also partnering better with pet owners, she hopes to build a better future for the veterinary profession and the animals we all love. Dr. Melanie Bowden is a graduate of WSU College of Veterinary Medicine and a practicing veterinarian with active licenses in Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Maine and New Hampshire. She currently owns Vacation Vet, LLC which provides relief services, practice consulting, career coaching and speaking services.

Priscilla Bowens

Priscilla BowensIn the pursuit of innovation where diversity is highly valued, Dr. Priscilla Bowens brings a rich background as a 14-year licensed veterinarian, internationally published public health researcher, health preparedness educator, and healthcare legal counsel.

In her role as senior corporate counsel, Dr. Bowens helps cause-driven businesses exceed corporate, stakeholder, and societal objectives by providing regulatory reviews, leadership council, functional leadership, advice on commercial contracts, risk management, and compliance expertise.

As a veterinarian, Dr. Bowens developed broad leadership experience leading diverse teams in the rigorous, compliance-based practice of veterinary care as a small animal practitioner (general practice and emergency medicine and surgery).

Dr. Bowens received her law degree from the University of Texas at Austin, her Master of Public Health degree from the University of Florida and her DVM and BS degrees from Tuskegee University.

Throughout the course of her career, she has written several articles on topics including the opioid epidemic, food safety standards, and human healthcare service delivery models. She has also given presentations on board rules compliance, practice mitigation and risk reduction strategies. Currently, she co-hosts M.D. + D.V.M., a One Health medicine show on YouTube, with her cousin, a human neurologist where their goal is to bring human and animal together to save the world.

Jen Brandt

Jen BrandtCreating robust and thriving work cultures requires that we recognize individuals as part of multiple, overlapping systems rather than as separate from their teams, organizations, and communities. As AVMA's Director of Wellbeing, Diversity, and Inclusion Initiatives, Jen Brandt, Ph.D., guides healthcare professionals to maximize individual and organizational wellbeing by integrating macro and micro interventions, identifying what's working well, and applying solution-focused approaches. Her education and outreach efforts focus on removing barriers to wellbeing, diversity and inclusion, eliminating toxic work cultures, promoting workplace civility, increasing self-awareness and self-efficacy, transforming conflict effectively, and enhancing team communication.

Dr. Brandt received her Ph.D. and Master of Social Work from The Ohio State University. She holds a BA in Social Work and Sociology with a Minor in Spanish from the University of Indianapolis.

Allen Cannedy

Allen CannedyDr. Allen L. Cannedy is a native of Fredericksburg, Virginia. He earned an Associate degree in Arts and Science from Germanna Community College, Bachelor of Science from Virginia State University and Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine. He did a Rotating Large Animal Internship at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine and a Ruminant Production Medicine Residency at North Carolina State University- College of Veterinary Medicine (NCSU-CVM). Dr. Cannedy was a ruminant group faculty member at NCSU-CVM as a Clinical Assistant Professor from 1997 to 2000 until became the Director of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs for the College of Veterinary Medicine. His primary duty as the veterinary college diversity director is to promote veterinary professional careers to underrepresented minority groups. Dr. Cannedy also owns and operates the small ruminant and camelid mobile veterinary private practice that specializes in care for Llamas, Alpacas, Goats and Sheep.

Highlights and Accomplishments:

  • Began career at NC State Veterinary College in 1995 as a Ruminant production Medicine Resident
  • Started Small Ruminant & Camelid Mobile Veterinary Practice in 2004
  • Began serving as Diversity Director at NCSU-CVM in 2004 greatly increasing minority student enrollment/success.
  • Served as the Veterinary Medical Loan Repayment (VMLRP) program panel manager 2014 – 2016
  • President of the NC Association of Minority Veterinarian from 2006 – 2016
  • Served on a panel of experts representing the veterinary profession at the White House on December 1, 2015
  • Received 2016 Outstanding Tuskegee Veterinary Medical Alumni Service Award
  • Received 2016 for NCSU Chancellor's Creating Diverse Communities Award
  • Received University Professional & Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) Faculty Award 2016
  • Received 2017 American Veterinary Medical Association (AAVMC) Iverson Bell Award for promoting diversity in the veterinary profession.

Mia Cary

Mia CaryDr. Mia Cary, a 1999 UF CVM (Go Gators!) graduate, specializes in leadership, communication, strategy, teamwork, innovation, and wellbeing with the purpose of activating others to thrive. Her professional experience includes leadership and education roles at the AVMA, NAVC, Boehringer Ingelheim, and Novartis Animal Health. She currently serves as CEO and Change Agent for Cary Consulting, CEO for the Pride Veterinary Medical Community (PrideVMC), serves on the board of advisors for the Veterinary Entrepreneurship Academy (VEA), and is a Past President of the AAIV. She resides with the Cary Crew in Greensboro, NC.

Heather Case

Heather CaseDr. Heather Case is the Chief Executive Officer of the International Council for Veterinary Assessment (formerly the National Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners) where she serves in both a key strategic planning and day-to-day managerial role for the corporation. She is board-certified in Veterinary Preventive Medicine and is a Certified Association Executive.

Latonia Craig

Latonia CraigDr. Latonia Craig serves as the Assistant Dean for Inclusive Excellence at Purdue University's College of Veterinary Medicine. She formerly served as the director of graduate recruitment and diversity retention at the University of Louisville, where she completed her undergraduate and graduate degree, earning a master's degree in Pan-African Studies in 2006. Dr. Craig also holds a master's in educational leadership from the University of Cincinnati and in 2014 earned her Doctor of Education degree at Spalding University.

Christina Doughtery

Dr. Christina Doughtery is the Clinical Relations Lead Veterinarian and Assistant Professor at Lincoln Memorial University, School of Veterinary Medicine. She holds a veterinary medicine doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania. She is a past president of PVMA and is currently our delegate to AVMA's House of Delegates.

Jon Geller

Jon GellerDr. Geller is an emergency veterinarian who received his DVM from Colorado State University in 1995 and obtained board certification in 2010 from the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in 2010 in Canine and Feline Practice. He co-founded four emergency hospitals in Colorado and has worked as an emergency clinician for the past 20 years, as well as being a Certified Veterinary Hospital Manager. He is also the founder and Director of two non-profits, The Street Dog Coalition, which provides free medical care to pets of the homeless, and The Ladybug Fund, which provides funding to pet owners with financial hardships whose pets require emergency medical treatment. In 2019, he attended Stanford Graduate Business School Executive Program in Social Entrepreneurship.

Lisa Greenhill

Lisa GreenhillDr. Lisa M. Greenhill serves as Senior Director for Institutional Research and Diversity. Her work primarily focuses on the ongoing development and implementation of the DiVersity Matters initiative at the national and local levels as well as promoting the veterinary medical profession within communities of color.

Lisa also directs the association's national research agenda. She collects and analyzes data and produces reports related to academic veterinary medicine to include the applicant pool, enrollment, institutional economic impact and diversity.

Previously, she worked as a Research Associate at the American Indian Higher Education Consortium and as the Legislative Manager for the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses.

Kathy Gruver

Kathy GruverKathy Gruver, Ph.D. has graced stages on three continents, two cruise ships and a handful of islands (including TEDx). She has earned her PhD in Natural Health and is the twelve-time award-winning author of seven books including, Conquer Your Stress, Workplace Wellness, Conquer your Stress at Work, The Alternative Medicine Cabinet, and Journey of Healing. She has studied mind/body medicine at the famed Benson-Henry Institute for Mind-Body Medicine at Harvard and has been featured as an expert in numerous publications including Glamour, Fitness, Time, WebMD, Prevention, Huffington Post and Dr. Oz's The Good Life, and has appeared on over 250 radio & TV shows including Lifetime, NPR, CBS Radio and SkyNews London.

Kristina Guldbrand

Kristina GuldbrandKristina Guldbrand worked as a certified veterinary technician for 12 years before becoming an account manager for a veterinary staffing firm. In her role as a manager and helping clinics with their staffing needs, she discovered her love of leadership and wellbeing. She has received training through the International Coaching Federation and provides workshops, leadership and wellbeing coaching as well as team building for practices.

Wendy Hauser

Wendy HauserWendy Hauser, DVM, established Peak Veterinary Consulting in January 2015 after working as an industry Technical Services Veterinarian. With a DVM from Oklahoma State in 1988, she has practiced for 30+ years as an associate, owner and relief veterinarian. She is highly engaged in AAHA leadership, having served as a member of the Board of Directors as the Board Vice-President and currently serves as the AAHA Delegate to the AVMA House of Delegates. The co-author of The Veterinarian’s Guide to Healthy Pet Plans, she joined Crum & Forster Pet Insurance Group, serving as their AVP of Veterinary Relations.

Gerelyn Henry

Gerelyn HenryDr. Gerelyn A. Henry is a medical executive, veterinarian, scientist, and educator. Dr. Henry is the President and CEO of YW August Companies, Transcendent Pathology, and The Center for Integrative Veterinary Medicine, Inc, and practices small animal medicine and pathology. Dr. Henry is the former Deputy Director of the Tulane-Xavier Center of Excellence in Women's Health, and Immunohistochemistry Section Chief in the Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine Diagnostic Laboratory. Dr. Henry is a former Professor of Pathology, and has deep experience in toxicologic pathology with a focus on developmental, reproductive, dermatopathology, and oncologic pathology.

Dr. Henry earned her Global Executive MBA from the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business, and she has an avid interest in marketing, strategy, innovation, and organizational leadership, specifically involving the veterinary industry.

Elizabeth Johnson-Million

Elizabeth Johnson-MillionDr. Elizabeth Johnson-Million is the Assistant Director of Outreach and Engagement of the International Council for Veterinary Assessment.

Dr. Million grew up in the mountains of east Tennessee. After graduating from the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, she worked as an Associate Veterinarian at a busy small animal practice outside Houston before jumping back into the academic world and serving in a unique role as the first Assistant Dean of Student Success at Lincoln Memorial University College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Million stays involved with the Veterinary Leadership Initiative (VLI), honing her communication and group facilitation skills.

Dr. Million and her husband, A.J., live in Atlanta. She also works in veterinary hospice and end-of-life care.

Shimi Kang

Shimi KangAn award-winning medical doctor, researcher, and expert on the neuroscience of innovation, leadership, and motivation, Dr. Shimi Kang provides science-based solutions for health, happiness, and achievement in the workplace, classroom, and at home. With 20 years of clinical experience and extensive research in the science that lies behind optimizing human intelligence, Kang provides practical tools to cultivate the key 21st century skills of resilience, connection, creativity, and more.

Dr. Kang is currently a clinical associate professor at the University of British Columbia and has made promoting wellness a priority. She is also the founder of Dolphin KIDS: Future-Ready Leaders—an organization that offers positive mindset and social-emotional life skills programs to students, teachers, and parents around the world—and CEO of Spark Mindset.

A thought leader, Kang has been featured in major media outlets around the world, including BBC World News, NPR, Al Jazeera, South China Morning Post, CBC, and The Washington Post. Her featured blogs can be found in The Huffington Post, Psychology Today, US News & World Report, and TIME magazine. She is also the host of "Mental Wealth with Dr. Shimi Kang" on YouTube.

Kang is also the author of The Self-Motivated Kid, and the critically acclaimed The Dolphin Parent: A Guide to Raising Healthy, Happy, and Self-Motivated Kids, which is a #1 Canadian bestseller and won the 2015 US News International Book Award. Her latest book, The Tech Solution, provides neuroscience-based strategies to optimize technology's incredible benefits while minimizing its many drawbacks.

An entertaining and experienced speaker, Kang has presented at events ranging from the world's largest conferences to customized workshops for small groups. She has shared the stage with cutting edge scientists, movie stars, CEOs, professional athletes, and global leaders. Her TEDx presentation on the power of adaptability has been viewed more than a million times.

Kang has been honored with five national awards in mental health and the YWCA Woman of Distinction Award in Health. She is also the proud recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her years of outstanding community service.

Hannah Keene

Hannah KeeneHannah's approach to teaching revolves around the autonomy and agency of her students. While guiding a mindful and alignment-based class, she encourages students to make free, expressive, and playful movements, developing the skill of listening to the language of the body, mind, and breath. Each practice is led with the intention of slowing down, taking each moment in, and allowing for an introspective reset. As a practitioner of yin and restorative yoga, Hannah combines rest and movement to create dynamic, even-paced classes that allow for the release of deep tension and stress.

Hannah received her RYT 200hr certification from Tula Yoga in 2017.

Kathy Koar

Kathy Koar, CVT, M. Ed., is the Program Director of PA's oldest Veterinary Nursing Program at Harcum College. Ms. Koar attended Harcum College to become a CVT in PA. She continued her education and received a Master's in Education for the University of Pennsylvania. She is a strong voice for PVMA and the National Veterinary Technician Association, serving as co-chair of the Veterinary Nursing Initiative.

Heather Kvitko-White

Heather Kvitko-WhiteDr. Heather Kvitko-White is a small animal internal medicine specialist practicing in Kansas City, Missouri. Dr. White has been a consultant for VIN on the topics of internal medicine, urology, and nephrology since 2014. She is highly engaged in leadership with the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine serving as committee member and past chair of the Advanced Continuing Education Committee and the current chair of the Specialists in Private Practice Committee. Outside of the practice of internal medicine, Dr. White's professional interests include collaborative value-based veterinary medicine, professional wellbeing, and educating. Dr. White is a full-time working wife and Mom with a DVM to two girls. Her favorite pastimes include playing ice hockey, watching football, audiobooks, and traveling.

Elise Lacher

Elise LacherElise Lacher is a recovering social worker and a CPA. She helps veterinarians reframe their mindset, so they reconnect with their "Why." Once this happens, she works with them to help their practices become in alignment with their vision. This includes working with the six principles of Next Stage Organizations, improving communication skills and developing the Emotional Intelligence Quotient of the entire team.

Andrew T. Maccabe

Dr. Andrew Maccabe is the CEO of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges. He holds a doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from The Ohio State University, a Master's in Public Health from Harvard University, and a Law degree from University of Arizona. His resume also includes working for the US Air Force for programs in occupational health, communicable disease control, and health promotions.

Teresa Malcolm

Teresa MalcolmTeresa Malcolm, MD, FACOG, MBA, CPE, CPXP, is driven by a passion to elevate and develop clinical teams through inclusivity to achieve extraordinary results. In her role as a Physician Development Coach, Dr. Malcolm strives to be a trusted partner of her physician colleagues. Her coaching philosophy, rooted in emotional intelligence and positive psychology, is to deliver superlative, results-focused guidance through the fusion of traditional and elite-modern techniques. She is in service to physicians—serious about maximizing their leadership and wellness potential—to deliver actionable insights and propitious support. As a technique to ensure success with and for her clients, Dr. Malcolm staunchly advocates supportive accountability.

Kathy Michel

Dr. Kathy Michel is the Associate Dean of Education at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine. She is also a professor of Nutrition at PennVet and is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition. She holds two master's degrees—one in Comparative Medical Science and the other in Medical Education.

Michael Miller

Michael MillerMichael W. Miller, DVM, is a part-owner of a four-location small animal practice in the far southwest suburbs of Chicago. He has a special interest in reptile medicine and started a rescue for injured turtles at his hospital. He also created a blog called Harry Potter Vet, which uses references from the wizarding world to help veterinary professionals discover the magic in veterinary medicine.

Ashley Morgan

Ashley MorganAshley currently leads AVMA's state-related advocacy efforts and engagement with the state and allied veterinary medical associations in legislative and regulatory activities. Prior to serving in this role, Ashley advocated at the federal level on behalf of the AVMA and completed an AVMA Congressional Science Fellowship in the United States Senate. She is a graduate of Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine, practiced equine medicine in southern Virginia, and is a Certified Association Executive.

Makenzie Peterson

Makenzie PetersonAs a member of their program leadership team, Makenzie Peterson serves as the Director for Wellbeing at the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC). She works to advance AAVMC’s strategic goal of fostering a culture of wellbeing throughout academic veterinary medicine by promoting preventative systems-based initiatives. Makenzie provides subject-matter expertise on the science and application of evidence-based wellbeing practices, as well as the development and implementation of strategic organizational changes to improve the overall wellbeing of academic communities. She speaks on a variety of wellbeing-related topics, and also currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Women’s Veterinary Leadership Development Initiative. Born and raised in Alaska, Makenzie graduated from the University of Utah with a master’s degree in health Promotion & Health Education and will complete her Doctorate of Social Work from the University of Southern California in 2022.

Kimberly Pope-Robinson

Kimberly Pope-RobinsonDr. Pope has been in veterinary medicine for over 20 years, practicing in both the large and small animal sectors. Her broad career experience has provided her a unique understanding of the stresses involved with maintaining a career in this industry. She now dedicates her time to a movement she developed called 1 Life Connected, which provides wellbeing support for the profession through one-on-one coaching and developing customized team events. She is the author to The Unspoken Life and The Unspoken Life Coloring Book and is a dynamic international speaker.

Addie Reinhard

Addie ReinhardDr. Addie Reinhard is a graduate student in the Department of Community and Leadership Development at the University of Kentucky researching the intersection of community development and veterinary well-being. She is a 2015 graduate from the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine and has collaborated with her alma mater to pilot a professional development program to support veterinary graduates during the transition to practice. She strives to create community among veterinarians and empower veterinary professionals through leadership training. She was a 2019-2020 KVMA Power of Ten Leadership Program participant and will be finishing the UT Veterinary Human Support Certificate in October 2020. In her free time, she volunteers for This is How We "Role" through Purdue University to encourage diverse students to pursue careers in science and veterinary medicine.

Jamie Rodgers

Jamie RodgersJamie Giles Rodgers is the Deputy Director of the National Association of State Chief Administrators (NASCA) overseeing the association’s national research and policy agenda. Jamie speaks on behalf of the association to the cabinet members, national media, think tanks, federal agencies, and related associations.

Julie Squires

Julie SquiresJulie Squires is a Certified Compassion Fatigue Specialist & Coach who brings a unique perspective and approach to support the sustained energy and passion of those exposed to the highly stressful and traumatic environment of veterinary medicine. She does this in a very distinct way, by empowering them to help themselves through easy-to-implement, yet powerful, practices and insights.

Julie has over twenty-five years of experience within the veterinary industry leading organizations, developing and executing training, workshops and 1:1 coaching for the industry leading companies. She is a Certified Compassion Fatigue Specialist through the Traumatology Institute, Certified Life Coach, and Corporate Wellness Coach.

Rebecca Steers

Rebecca SteersDr. Rebecca Steers is a small animal clinician in Florida who has served as a board member for the Women's Veterinary Leadership Development Initiative (WVLDI) since March 2017. She advocates for getting involved and enjoys helping others find where they can contribute their passion.

Dr. Steers knew she wanted to be a veterinarian when she realized that it joined her love of animals with her desire to help people. She graduated from Boston College with a Spanish major and a Chemistry minor. While at the Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, she was a delegate to, and then the national president of the Student American Veterinary Medical Association (SAVMA). After she graduated from Tufts in 2010, she served in the US Army in Okinawa, Japan. Go Army, Beat Navy!

Jeff Thoren

Jeff ThorenDr. Jeff Thoren, a chair of the Veterinary Leadership Conference Planning Committee, is the founder of Gifted Leaders, LLC, an established executive and team coaching company based in Phoenix, AZ. He's committed to building engaging and innovative workplace cultures and I understand the mindset required to effectively lead and influence others in a business environment that is increasingly uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. Jeff is an ICF-credentialed and board-certified Coach with over 300 hours of accredited, coach-specific training and CE, and one of only three veterinarians in the world who also hold a credential from the International Coaching Federation.

Stacy Wood

Stacy WoodStacy Wood brings a wealth of leadership, training, and sales experience into her boutique coaching practice from years as a successful medical sales consultant, time as an adjunct professor with the University of Richmond, as well as having been a training manager for Novartis Animal Health. Her degree in Animal and Equine Sciences has led her to develop unique equine assisted coaching programs, utilizing her "Equine Factor" design.

The focus of "Through the Woods" is to help professionals create intentional success in their lives through impactful communications and focused women's leadership development. Stacy relies on science, nature, powerful communication skills, and personal awareness to guide her clients along the journey of clarity and intentional success.

Sarah Wooten

Sarah WootenDr. Sarah Wooten graduated from UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 2002. A member of the American Society of Veterinary Journalists, While Dr. Wooten has 16 years clinical experience and passionately speaks on leadership, communication, and personal development, her greatest joy is helping veterinary professionals create wellbeing through her game, Vets Against Insanity.