Mollie Mesman Aldridge, DVM, DACVD
Earned both her bachelor’s degree and DVM from Louisiana State University in 2007 and 2012, respectively. After graduating, she completed a small animal rotating internship at Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Aldridge then went on to complete her dermatology residency with the Animal Dermatology Clinic in Marina del Rey, CA from 2013-2016. She obtained Diplomate status with the American College of Veterinary Dermatology (ACVD) in November 2016. Since 2018, she has been with the Southeast Veterinary Dermatology & Ear Clinic in Greenville.
Kara Amstutz, DVM, CCRT, CVPP
Dr. Kara Amstutz is a 2000 graduate of the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine. She and her husband, Dwight, founded Hometown Veterinary Hospital & River Canine Rehabilitation in 2002 in Springfield, Missouri. After 13 years of general practice and surgery, Dr. Amstutz decided to focus her career on helping pets in pain with mobility issues and sports medicine and rehabilitation. She earned certifications including: Canine Rehabilitation through Canine Rehabilitation Institute (CRI), Certification in Veterinary Pain Management through the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management (IVAPM), and Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist through the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS). Dr. Amstutz is currently a resident in the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation. In February 2022, Dr. Amstutz became the new CEO for CRI. She is looking forward to maintaining CRI's standard of excellence while offering the most up to date, science driven, education to students. Dr. Amstutz and Dwight also own Canine Arthritis Resources & Education (CARE), an extensive online website dedicated to providing pet owners and veterinary professionals comprehensive information on osteoarthritis. Dwight and Kara have 4 wonderful children ranging in age from 24 to 11. They love their spoiled dogs and crazy chickens.
Kate Baker, DVM, MS, DACVP (Clinical Pathology)
Dr. Kate Baker grew up in Nashville, Tennessee and completed her DVM at the University of Tennessee in 2012. She then went on to complete a small animal rotating internship and then a clinical pathology residency and Masters degree at the University of Illinois. Dr. Baker became board certified in Veterinary Clinical Pathology in 2016 and currently works as an educator, diagnostician, and consultant. She offers continuing education courses through her website, Veterinary Cytology Schoolhouse, as well as telecytology consultations through her app-based diagnostic service, Pocket Pathologist. She lives on a small farm in Tennessee with her husband and two small children.
Jess Barrera, DVM, MS, DACVS-SA ACVS Fellow, Surgical Oncology
Originally from western Montana, Dr. Barrera received her undergraduate degree from University of Miami, and DVM from Colorado State University in 2006. She completed a rotating internship at Animal Surgical and Emergency Center in Los Angeles, CA, followed by a surgical internship at Oregon State University. Dr. Barrera then returned to Colorado State University to complete a residency in small animal surgery, followed by a rigorous one-year fellowship in Surgical Oncology at Colorado State University’s Animal Cancer Center. Dr. Barrera has published articles in the areas of endocrine and minimally-invasive surgery, adores showing how fun surgery can be to general practitioners, and teaches surgery CE laboratories multiple times a year. Dr. Barrera enjoys all aspects of small animal surgery, with particular interests being trauma surgery, surgical oncology, soft tissue and orthopedic minimally-invasive surgery, and endocrine surgery. Dr. Barrera has worked at VCA Veterinary Specialists of Northern Colorado for nine years. Outside of veterinary medicine, Dr. Barrera enjoys travel, road trips in her camper van Huckleberry, climbing Colorado’s 14ers, backpacking, cooking, mountain biking, reading, and spending time with her husband John, daughter Rylee, and mountain mutt Lucy Goose.
Sue Ettinger, DVM, Diplomate ACVIM
With over 20 years of experience in veterinary oncology, Dr. Sue Ettinger, also known as Dr. Sue Cancer Vet®, is a widely recognized and respected authority in her field. She leads a thriving oncology service at Guardian Veterinary Specialists located in Brewster, New York and is one of only 450 board-certified specialists in medical oncology in North America. Dr. Ettinger completed her residency in medical oncology at the prestigious Animal Medical Center in New York City and has been honored with numerous awards, including the 2019 Western Veterinary Conference Small Animal Continuing Educator of the Year. She is also a sought-after international speaker, a book author, and engaging YouTube vlogger.
In addition to her professional achievements, Dr. Sue is passionate about raising cancer awareness and promoting early detection through her "See Something, Do Something, Why Wait? Aspirate.®" campaign. She has a strong social media presence, with over 45,000 followers on Facebook and 22,000+ on Instagram, where she shares valuable resources and support for pet owners and veterinary professionals.
Outside of her work in veterinary medicine, Dr. Sue is a proud mother to two teenage boys and shares her home with two fun-loving Labradors, Penelope and Matilda. In her free time, she enjoys running, traveling and exploring new places, and relaxing on exotic beaches.
Kristin Fischer DVM,DACVO
Dr. Kristin Fischer was born and raised in Oak Ridge, TN, where the Atomic Bomb was developed and where the Oak Ridge Boys got their name. She graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine in 2007. After completing a rotating general internship at VCA Alameda East Veterinary Hospital in Denver, CO, she stayed on for one year as an emergency doctor. She returned to Knoxville in 2009 to complete her ophthalmology residency at UTCVM. She is board certified in ophthalmology and is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists. Dr. Fischer currently works at Animal Eye Care of the Lowcountry. She resides in Mount Pleasant, SC with her amazing husband Scott, two children (Lucy and Knox), dogs (Tater Tot and French Fry) and Sphynx cat (Yoda). In her free time, she enjoys riding her horse Talia, watching SEC football, and relaxing with a good book at the pool or beach.
Donnell Hansen, DVM, DAVDC
Donnell Hansen, a Minnesota native, and a small group of friends joined together to form the Moxie Center (which was the first hospital to be now known as BluePearl) in Minnesota’s twin cities and splits time between the two local full-service referral hospitals. Although her daily life is spent in specialty care, in 2011, her and her husband, also a veterinarian, opened Rice Creek Animal Hospital which provides some balance and perspective about life in family practice. Recently, Dr. Hansen developed “Four Legged Tooth Fairy” a continuing education center for family DVMs and CVTs to enhance/develop their dental skills and improve their practice health. Dr. Hansen’s special interest is maxillofacial surgery, however the truth is, she loves the whole darn gig… especially when she gets to share veterinary dentistry.
Dani McVety, DVM
For some, there is a light that appears at the toughest moments of being a doctor. Dr. Dani McVety found that light early in her career, and it sparked an idea that has become one of the most unique and fastest growing businesses in the veterinary space. Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice is a nationwide network that has visited the homes of over 500,000 families. Dr. McVety is Founder and CEO of Lap of Love and co-host of PetCareTV. She frequently writes and speaks for audiences around the world. Her talks have the reputation of being “fantastically hilarious,” “bringing humor where it’s needed most,” “incredibly inspiring,” and “refreshingly authentic.” Dr. McVety and Lap of Love have been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Huffington Post. She graduated from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine and is the youngest recipient of both the college’s Distinguished Young Alumni Award (2013) and the Florida Veterinary Medical Association's President's Award (2014). She was most recently honored as the recipient of the AVMA's 2022 Bustad Companion Animal Veterinary of the Year Award.
Jane Quandt DVM, MS, DACVAA, DACVECC
Dr. Jane Quandt DVM, MS, DACVAA, DACVECC graduated from Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1987. After doing small animal practice for one year, she decided to pursue an anesthesia residency and Masters in anesthesia at the University of Minnesota. She became boarded in anesthesia in 1993. In order to improve her ability to manage critical cases, she did a second residency in small animal emergency and critical care and became boarded in 2007. She was on faculty at the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Minnesota for 10 years. She joined the faculty at The University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine in 2011, and is currently a tenured professor in comparative anesthesia. She has published several journal articles and book chapters and has presented at national and international conferences on topics related to anesthesia and analgesia in both small and large animal species. Dr. Quandt has had the privilege of being awarded the Carl Norden-Pfizer Distinguished Veterinary Teacher Award and the Zoetis Distinguished Veterinary Teacher Award.
Andrea Eriksson De Rezende, DVM, DACVIM
Dr. Andrea Eriksson De Rezende is a native of Eugene, Oregon and completed her undergraduate studies at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. She received her veterinary degree from Oregon State University in 2005, which was followed by a one-year rotating small animal and surgical internship at Oregon State University. She then completed a three-year residency in cardiology at North Carolina State University. Dr. Eriksson De Rezende became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (Cardiology) in 2009. Until mid 2011, Andrea was an assistant professor of cardiology at Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. Andrea then moved to Brooklyn, NY to join the Veterinary Emergency and Referral group. Currently, Andrea is managing partner at Skyline Veterinary Specialists in Matthews, NC. Her research interests include management of congestive heart failure with particular interest in the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system as well as cardiac imaging. Personal interests include cooking, travel & singing.
Lunch and Learn Speakers
Michelle Goodnight, DVM, DACVECC
Dr. Goodnight is a MWADVM who is board certified in emergency and critical care. She graduated from VMR-CVM in 2002, accepting a commission in the Army. Dr. Goodnight served at Parris Island, SC; Schweinfurt, Germany; Mosul, Iraq; and Fort Bragg, NC. She medically retired in 2015. Her military awards include the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Meritorious Unit Commendation, and Combat Action Badge. She completed her residency at The Ohio State University in 2011. Dr. Goodnight currently teaches veterinary technology at Gwinnett Technical College, works as a relief ECC veterinarian, and serves as Vice Chair of the board for a local spay/neuter non-profit. She lives with her husband, two teenage children, and more than 50 animals on their farm in Dacula, Georgia.
Maria Kintzley, DVM
Dr. Maria Kintzley is a MWADVM and industry veterinarian at Heska. Born and raised in West Virginia, she earned a marketing degree from West Virginia University in 2004 (Let's Go Mountaineers!) before moving to New York City, where she worked as an executive in the fashion industry. She eventually embraced her lifelong calling to become a veterinarian, and headed west to attend Colorado State University, earning her MBA in 2014 and DVM in 2017. Dr. Kintzley practiced small animal medicine in northern Colorado until she joined Heska in 2021. At Heska, Dr. Kintzley aligns her grit, strong business bones, and clinical experience to inspire the veterinary community with innovative and accessible diagnostic technology. Her passion aligns with Heska's creed: to improve the well-being of animals, the people who share their lives, and the veterinary professionals who care for them. Dr. Kintzley and her family reside in Fort Collins, CO.
Britt Carr Benson, DVM
Dr. Britt Carr Benson is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation. She earned her Bachelor of Science in biology from Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. She then attended the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. After earning her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Carr Benson completed a small animal rotating internship at the Animal Specialty Group in Los Angeles, California followed by a small animal surgery and sports medicine internship at Veterinary Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Group (VOSM) in Maryland. She then remained at VOSM to complete a residency in canine sports medicine and rehabilitation. During her residency Dr. Carr Benson attended the Canine Rehabilitation Institute and is also a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist. She has co-authored dozens of peer-reviewed publications and several textbook chapters. She is a national speaker and instructor as well as a recipient of many awards and honors for her work.
Jen Brandt, PhD
Elected as a distinguished fellow of the National Academies of Practice in Social Work, Jen Brandt, PhD, has worked for over 3 decades as a sociologist, suicidologist, social worker, educator, researcher, and clinician. Her focus areas include social justice, grief and loss, interpersonal violence, complex trauma, crisis intervention, mental health, communications, and developing work cultures and systems that support thriving professionals and teams. Brandt obtained her PhD in Social Work from The Ohio State University, is a certified Psychological Autopsy Investigator, certified crisis worker through the American Association of Suicidology, and certified anti-oppression informed practitioner through the National Association of Social Workers. She currently serves as the American Veterinary Medical Association's Director of Wellbeing Initiatives where she co-developed AVMA's Workplace Wellbeing Certificate and Wellbeing Educator Train-the-Trainer Programs. Brandt co-founded The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine's Honoring the Bond Program, one of the first programs in the nation aimed at recognizing and honoring the human-animal bond by providing culturally sensitive support and resources to animal owners and animal care professionals. She has worked as a senior trainer for the Institute for Healthcare Communication since 2004 and serves on their board of directors. Brandt is supervised by 4 cats, Sammich, Hammie, Squatch, and Mr. Fozziwig.
Wendy Bray, DVM
Wendy is a dual-certified Christian Life and Health Coach, and Veterinarian. Wendy earned her BA in Psychology in 1991, and spent 4 years working in a psychiatric hospital before attending Oklahoma State University CVM. Wendy received her DVM in 1998, working ER for three years. She purchased a SA clinic in 2001. During her tenure as a practice owner, she and her husband raised 3 children. Wendy has first-hand knowledge of the stresses life brings you daily as a working mom. Soon after selling her practice in 2018, Wendy became interested in life coaching. Through her own transformation, Wendy saw the need for this positive, empowering, forward-thinking mindset in veterinary medicine. With her background in Psychology, love for helping others, and love for this profession, Wendy set out to become a life coach for the veterinary profession. She now has the best of both worlds by serving clients and their pets, and veterinarians.
Ashley Emanuele, DVM
Ashley Emanuele graduated with a degree in Marine Biology from Roger Williams University in Rhode Island, before transplanting to North Carolina. Once in the south, she worked as an aquatics curator at the local natural history museum before attending NC State's College of Veterinary Medicine. After graduation, Ashley spent five years in exotics-exclusive private practice and became North Carolina's first Certified Aquatic Veterinarian. Ashley is currently the President of the American Association of Fish Veterinarians, and juggles her mobile aquatics practice with exotics relief work, an in-home end of life care practice, and single mom life with three young kids. She is passionate about demystifying aquatics and exotics, and making excellent care for these unusual species achievable for all vets.
Jennifer Bonovich, DVM
Dr. Jennifer Bonovich is a shelter veterinarian in Columbia, SC, where is the sole veterinarian for a large municipal open admission shelter in the heart of South Carolina. Her focus is on shelter medicine and veterinary forensics, and regularly handles abuse and neglect forensic cases for her city and county, but also has experience in state and federal cases. She has previous veterinary experience in emergency medicine, private practice, and mobile HVHQSN. She is a 2012 graduate of the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine and is graduating this August with her Master's in Veterinary Forensic from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. She enjoys HVHQSN and enjoys the autonomy of shelter life in being able to work on a variety of medical and surgical cases including trauma. Outside of veterinary medicine she enjoys volunteering for the National Park Service, Civil Air Patrol, and serving as a Girl Scout Troop Leader. She is married to her hubby of 22 years and has three children. Personal interests include camping, hiking, flying airplanes, and visiting national parks.
Lauren W. Johnson, DVM
Dr. Johnson is a Senior Technical Services Veterinarian with Virbac Animal Health. She serves as a veterinary brand liaison on the STELFONTA® (tigilanol tiglate injection) and Behavior Teams. Prior to joining Virbac, she practiced small animal and exotic animal medicine in the Upstate of South Carolina for ten years. Dr. Johnson is a 2007 graduate of the University of Georgia, College of Veterinary Medicine and obtained her B.S. in Psychology and Spanish from Wofford College in Spartanburg, SC. Dr. Johnson and her husband, Lance share their home with three cats, a dog and their 44 year old box turtle. She loves traveling and the outdoors but especially enjoys fishing and kayaking.
Rebecca Tremble, DVM
Dr. Rebecca Tremble is a graduate of the University of Missouri –College of Veterinary Medicine. After veterinary school Dr. Tremble participated in a rotating internship at Michigan Veterinary Specialists outside of Detroit. Following her internship she spent nearly 10 years in small animal practice outside of Kansas City, MO. Dr. Tremble began her career with Hill’s in 2015, as a Territory Manager in Kansas City. She has since progressed through several roles within the company and still practices veterinary medicine in a very part time capacity. Currently, Dr. Tremble is the Senior Manager of Partnerships and Strategy, leading development and coordination of the Hill’s go to market strategy within the profession and leading the Hill’s education team, as well as the professional partnerships and events team. She brings with her today nearly 2 decades of veterinary experience along with a passion for pets, people, and veterinary business.
Shirin Modaresi, DVM
Shirin Modaresi, a native of Rock Hill, SC, is the Hill's Emerging ProfessionalStrategic Initiatives Manager for the US & Caribbean. She received her BS in Biology from University South Carolina Honor's College, with a minor in Spanish, before getting a MS in Biology from Winthrop University. Shirin attended veterinary school at the University of Georgia and graduated cum laude in 2010. Afterwards, she practiced small animal medicine for four years in Georgia before moving to Charlotte, NC for her position with Hill’s Pet Nutrition. She still practices part-time in Rock Hill, SC as a relief veterinarian. Her special interests in veterinary medicine are nutrition, feline medicine, clinical pathology, and behavior. While in veterinary school, Shirin did parasitology research on Cytauxzoan felis, worked with Campus Cats to socialize feral kittens, and founded the UGA CVM Animal Welfare Club. When she's not working, Shirin enjoys cooking, traveling, reading, dancing, and spending time with her friends & family, including her husband, her sons (12 and 14), and her pets (3 kitties and an Aussie mix).