ACVC 2019: A riddle for you


What do woodworking, indoor gardening, painting and cake decorating have in common? Theyre the avocations of a few of the 2019 ACVC speakers. Get to know seven more of our conference lecturers here.

Introducing some (more) of the veterinarians, technicians and practice management consultants who shared their expertise at the 2019 Atlantic Coast Veterinary Conference.

Heather CarterHeather Carter, BS, LVT, VTS (Anesthesia/Analgesia)

Bush Veterinary Neurology Service

Frederick, Maryland

I worked with Rural Area Veterinary Services (RAVS) for 12 years. We established field clinics all over the globe and provided free veterinary care to those in need. Because of our remote locations, we became very adept at improvising. Some of my favorite memories include constructing an oxygen cage out of an igloo cooler, performing emergency surgery during a hurricane and removing arrows from a dog's back and abdomen. Don't worry-all of these patients did great and are in fantastic homes!

My family is very Scottish. I have a cat named after Scottish anesthesiologist Dr. David Waldie. Dr. Waldie discovered and pioneered the use of chloroform, but a colleague usurped the discovery of this progressive new anesthetic. Today, Dr. James Simpson from Edinburgh University is incorrectly credited as the pioneer of chloroform. 

I have developed a hobby of repurposing induction chambers into terrariums, gardens and even fish tanks.

I grew up in Colorado and was raised on hockey. I am wholly dedicated to the Washington Capitals and confident we will win another Cup in my lifetime.

My nickname for the past 15+ years has been Red. The name developed out of necessity when I worked with eight other people named Heather. We were all color coded, and I have been known professionally as Red ever since. 

Brandon and his wife on a trip to Italy.

Brandon Hess, CVPM, CCFP

VetSupport Inc.

Cincinnati, OH

I played semi-professional soccer in college and spent a summer traveling and playing soccer through Italy and Germany. 

My stress relief is woodworking. I took it up a few years ago, and now I like to spend a few hours a month working on projects for friends and family. 

When I am not traveling for work, my wife and I like to travel. We primarily enjoy overseas destinations. We got engaged in Rome, Italy, and one of our favorite destinations is a small island off of Venice called Lido. 

My dream is to get on the show Survivor.

My formal introduction to veterinary medicine was when my dog got parvovirus right after I graduated from college. He survived, and I fell in love with veterinary medicine. 

Dr. Scott's painted fundoscopy models.Erin Scott, VMD, DACVO

Texas A&M University

I enjoy painting in my spare time, and often joke that I should consider medical illustration as a second career! I hand painted fundoscopy models for our veterinary students' Professional and Clinical Skills Laboratory and love how they turned out.

I received the award for Best Oral Presentation at the 2019 European College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists Congress in Antwerp, Belgium, where I presented my research on the bacterial ocular surface microbiome of dogs before and after topical antibiotic treatment.

I acquired the nickname Rambo from my family. After watching the movies several times with my older brother (who was babysitting me), I went through a phase where I insisted on being called Rambo, and it stuck!

My husband and I are from Buffalo, New York. We have fun visiting family and friends in our hometown, enjoying winter sports, eating chicken wings and rooting for the Buffalo Bills!

Following our move to Texas, my husband and I started gardening. We love the variety of pepper plants that thrive in the Texas heat, and now make our own hot sauce every fall.

Part of Stephen's indoor garden.Stephen Cital, RVT, RLAT, SRA, VCCS, VTS-LAM (Research Anesthesia)

ElleVet Sciences

Portland, ME

I'm an avid indoor gardener, specializing in terrariums.

I was the first openly gay Latino to serve on the executive board of the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA). I'm currently the chair-elect of NAVTA's Committee of Veterinary Technician Specialties.

My favorite hobby besides cooking is social dancing, particularly to Latin music.

I won the 2017 California Veterinary Technician of the Year award and the 2019 VMX Speaker of the Year award. I have spoken at every major veterinary conference in the United States and continue to expand my educational prowess internationally.

My first ever dream career was to be a monk. My second was to be an entomologist.


Two of Dr. Garrett's cake creations.Laura Diane Garrett, DVM, DACVIM (Oncology)

University of Illinois

My absolute favorite thing to do is snorkel (I can't dive due to asthma). 

I've decorated cakes since I was 13 years old, self-taught using Wilton Way magazine.

I've had cats my whole life and currently also have a chinchilla and a ball python thanks to my children, but I've never had a dog. 

In my early teens I read Dorothy Dunnett's historical fiction series The Lymond Chronicles and it has influenced many aspects of my life, including my involvement in musical performance and my love of travel. (P.S. Read them!)

I lived in Minnesota for three years (one year interning and two years in practice). While there, I spent a weekend cross-country skiing on the Gunflint Trail when it was –30°F. Actual. Temperature.

Dr. LacroixCharlotte LaCroix, DVM, JD

Veterinary Business Advisors, Inc.

Whitehouse Station, NJ

My favorite book is The Little Engine That Could by Wendy Straw. I've learned to be determined and persistent in achieving my goals. It beats being smart or gifted. Having to work hard is a lot more fun than having life handed to you.

My nickname as a child was “Torpedo,” probably because I have never taken “no” for an answer and have always been very driven and determined.

I love teaching veterinary students and lecturing at CE meetings. Having provocative and interactive sessions with attendees is fulfilling, because you get to see how people think and process business and legal concepts.

I am, first and foremost, a veterinarian. I saw the need for a veterinarian's expertise in the legal field and became a lawyer in 1997. I am passionate about my colleagues and have a unique understanding of and appreciation for the veterinary industry and the specific risks associated with it.

I am a past president of NAVC and have also served in leadership roles for AVMA, AAHA, AAEP, the New Jersey Association of Equine Practitioners, and the New Jersey and Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Associations.


Southern Utah: Robin's "happy place."Robin Brogdon, MA

Blueprints Veterinary Marketing Group

Huntington Beach, CA

I was the first nonveterinarian to serve on the ACVIM Foundation Board of Directors, and I am proud to say I earned the Distinguished Service Award.

I love alpacas and red pandas. Aside from my dogs, they are my favorite animals.

As a graduate of the University of Michigan, I am a huge UM football fan. I even worked for the athletic department when I was in graduate school.

I am a snob about eating crab. I am a native Baltimorean, so if it isn't from Maryland it's not worth ordering.

Southern Utah is my happy place. It's got blue skies, red mountains, clean air and Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, where I like to volunteer.

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