ACVC 2019: 5 Things you didnt know about this years speakers


Which Atlantic Coast Veterinary Conference speaker started dancing ballet three years ago? Whose pets made the cover of JAVMA? And who has an obsessive relationship with spray cheese? Read on for these answers and many more interesting tidbits about this years speakers.


When veterinary professionals attend live conferences like the Atlantic Coast Veterinary Conference (ACVC), they learn a lot from speakers. But odds are they don't learn much about the speakers themselves. That's about to change. We asked some of this year's speakers to tell us five things that most people don't know about them. Here's what six told us.


Dr. St. Denis paints the scenery during a canoe camping trip.Kelly St. Denis, MSc, DVM, DABVP (Feline Practice)

Charing Cross Cat Clinic

Brantford, Ontario, Canada

I started my first career at age 10 when I recorded a country music album in Nashville with my father and my sister. I recorded a second album at age 12 and performed my music in various venues on weekends, including bars (yep, bars) and department stores. I sometimes think this is why I love to lecture so much; it's the natural “performer” in me. (That and sharing my love for cat medicine, of course!)

I've been addicted to backcountry canoe camping since my first trip in 1991. I can't get enough of it. There is something so rejuvenating about unplugging from the internet and reconnecting with nature. Getting back to basics, carrying the bare necessities in a backpack and paddling beautiful lakes and rivers is where I love to be!

When I graduated from veterinary college, I wanted to work with dairy cows and specialize in bovine reproduction. And now I am a cat specialist! Whaaat?!

I am an artist. My favorite medium is watercolor. This hobby goes quite nicely with backcountry canoe camping, allowing me to capture the beautiful places I visit.

I started dancing ballet three years ago and quite simply love it. I've wanted to try ballet since I was young, so I finally signed up. Lesson learned? Life is short! Don't be afraid to get out there and try stuff!

Ginny and her dog enjoying a hike.

Ginny Price, MS, CVT, VTS (Behavior)

St. Petersburg College

In 2015, I earned the Distinguished Faculty Award from St. Petersburg College's Center of Excellence for Teaching and Learning.

My husband and I used to have two dogs, two cats, two rabbits and two birds. Think Noah's Ark.

I am one of the founding members of the Society of Veterinary Behavior Technicians and the Academy of Veterinary Behavior Technicians.

One of my favorite activities is hiking in the woods with my dog. 

I love to dance and sing. I can lose myself in music. 


Dr. Berry's dogs were featured on the November 2018 cover of JAVMA.

Clifford R. (Kip) Berry III, DVM, DACVR

University of Florida

My hobby is chip carving (using wood carving tools to remove selected “chips” of wood from the project in a single piece).

I spent a year in the seminary and am a devoted follower of Christ. I believe in God's grace and mercy, even for someone like me.

My passion is teaching-students, interns, residents, technicians and veterinarians.

Our two dogs, Obadiah and Nehemiah, appeared on the cover of JAVMA in 2018 in a portrait painted by one of my recent residents, Elodie Huguet, DVM.

My family loves water sports. We have a boat and go on a local lake whenever we have an available weekend.


Kristen Cooley, BA, CVT, VTS

Kristen Cooley, BA, CVT, VTS (Anesthesia/Analgesia)

University of Wisconsin

I love chickens and currently have a flock of nine.

I am a single mom to 7-year-old boy/girl twins.

I have a turtle named Francis I've had for 30 years.

I am an artist as well as a scientist. 

I have a gold tooth.

Dr. Troyer and her family are ready for adventure.Heather Troyer, DVM, DABVP (Canine & Feline Practice), CVA, CVPP

Oradell Animal Hospital

Oradell, NJ

I run five times a week, love to cook and enjoy binge watching British crime shows on Netflix. I have three kids, four cats and a rabbit, and a husband for whom I live every day.

My nickname in high school was "Ha Ha."

I have periodic obsessions with color. I don't usually notice I'm doing it. My assistant pointed out that last year it was lime green, and apparently now it's purple.

I love to vacuum. I love the lines in the carpet and the lack of crumbs. It makes me feel complete.

I love anything with spray cheese.


One of Dr. Davis' day lilies.Meghan Davis, DVM, MPH, PhD 

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Baltimore, MD


One of my favorite memories of practice was working with Amish and Mennonite dairy farmers in Pennsylvania. One morning after a particularly early calving, I came back to my truck to find that the farmer's wife had left me a freshly baked loaf of bread. No loaf ever since has met that bar!

I'm an avid gardener, and our property supports a variety of pollinators, birds and other wildlife, including a fox den. Our butterflies and I have recently become obsessed with day lilies. 

Teaching is a passion. I come from a family of teachers; in my generation, we have a special education teacher, a high school music/band teacher and me. An aunt and an uncle are (now emeritus) professors.

My craziest publication moment was the day I opened the mailer with contributor copies and realized that my review article had been chosen to inspire the cover of that issue of The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

I was an English major in college, and I won the department's writing award at graduation. Given their reactions when I hand them edits to their papers, I suspect my own graduate students have mixed feelings about this.

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