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Vet Talk with Royal Canin | Royal Canin

Welcome to Vet Talk with Royal Canin

A series of podcasts that address an array of topics for veterinarians and veterinary clinics

We understand that veterinarians often face a unique set of challenges and circumstances, and these podcasts address some of those that occur most commonly. Hear wisdom as well as some advice FROM veterinarians specifically FOR veterinarians.

The series is moderated by Brenda Andresen, Chief Strategy Officer at Stephens & Associates.

Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity in Veterinary Medicine – Part 1

Featuring: Dr. Laura Pletz and Dr. Lisa Greenhill

Equity, inclusion, and diversity has been a hot topic, especially over the past year, and its direct tie to the veterinary industry is critical. In today’s episode of VetTalk with Royal Canin we will discuss what it means to be inclusive and diverse in veterinary medicine, trends in the industry, and perhaps most importantly, why this conversation matters currently and for the future of the industry.

Laura Pletz, DVM

Dr. Laura Pletz is a 2000 graduate of the University of Missouri-College of Veterinary Medicine. After graduation, she began work as an associate veterinarian in a small animal practice in St. Louis, MO, where she became one of the practice owners. During her time in practice, she was also the co-host of local radio show for pet owners seeking advice on the care of their pets. In 2012, she left private practice to join Royal Canin and currently holds the position of Scientific Services Manager, East US for Royal Canin.

Dr. Pletz also serves on the Board of Directors of the Women's Veterinary Development Initiative (WVLDI) and began her term as President-Elect of WVLDI in 2020. She is passionate about working to address the challenges facing today’s veterinarian and promoting opportunities for leadership in the veterinary profession, with a special emphasis on inclusion and diversity. She currently resides in the St. Louis area with her family.

Lisa M. Greenhill, MPA, EdD

Lisa Greenhill currently serves as the Senior Director for Institutional Research and Diversity at the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC). Dr. Greenhill directs the Association’s internal study of academic veterinary medicine through collaborative research, analysis and publication efforts. She also manages the DVM: DiVersity Matters initiative, which promotes increased representation of underrepresented persons in academic veterinary medicine, inclusive academic environments and the inclusion of diversity related professional competencies in the DVM curriculum.

Dr. Greenhill previously served nearly three years with the AAVMC, during which time she managed legislative and regulatory policy issues including agriculture production, biomedical research, professional education, food safety and environmental health. She holds a Masters in Public Administration with a concentration in public policy from George Mason University in Fairfax, VA and a Doctorate in Education from Benedictine University in Lisle, IL. She is mom to an amazing daughter and a terrier mix.

Innovation in Veterinary Medicine

Featuring: Bob Betz and Dr. Liz Bales

Emerging technologies and innovation are buzz words these days across all industries. And the veterinary industry is no exception. With innovation having such a broad definition, this podcast addresses a few unique ways the industry continues to innovate and thoughts on the future of the industry.

Bob Betz

Bob Betz serves as a Vice President at Royal Canin where he is responsible for leading a cross-functional team driving recommendation for therapeutic and healthy pet diets through e-commerce. He previously served as the Vice President of Veterinary Sales, where his team was instrumental in the unprecedented growth for Royal Canin within the veterinary channel. Betz has held several other positions within Royal Canin, allowing him to establish the first-ever planning and analytics team which developed a robust demand management process and deployed the S&OP+ standardized operations process to the US business unit. He received his BS from Truman State University and MBA from Washington University in St. Louis. Prior to joining Royal Canin, Betz held finance, sales, and marketing roles at Anheuser-Busch and A.G. Edwards & Sons. He currently resides in St. Louis, MO with his wife Jennifer, three children – Lucas, Hannah, and Alexander – their dog (Dexter) and two kittens (Oreo and Belle).

Liz Bales, DVM, Founder of Doc and Phoebe’s Cat Company

Dr. Liz Bales is a graduate of Middlebury College and The University of Pennsylvania School Of Veterinary Medicine. She focuses on unique behavioral and wellness needs of cats. Dr Bales is a writer, speaker and featured expert in all things cat around the globe, including multiple appearances on Fox and Friends, ABC News, How I Built This, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Cheddar, QVC and more. Dr. Bales is the Chief Veterinary Advisor for Modern Cat Magazine. She is the founder of Doc and Phoebe’s Cat Company, and the inventor of The Hunting Feeder for cats. Dr. Bales launched The Hunting Feeder in 2016 as The NoBowl Feeding System with a successful kickstarter campaign, joined the Philadelphia 76ers Innovation Lab for two years and licensed the brand to global manufacturing and distribution company Ethical Products, where she is the spokesperson, product developer and marketing designer for the brand, landing her a spot on Women & Wealth Magazine features 19 women to watch for 2019. She has just launched V2 of The Hunting Feeder and is expanding the Doc & Phoebe’s Brand with 5 new products Dec 2020.

Nutritional Management of Urinary Stones

Featuring: Dr. Craig Datz, Dr. Megan Sprinkle, and Dr. Martha Cline

In this nutrition episode of VetTalk with Royal Canin, we will be discussing one reason cats and dogs may present to the veterinarian, namely lower urinary tract disorders. We will specifically focus on urinary stones and the role nutrition can play in the management of these challenging cases.

Craig Datz, DVM, MS, DABVP, DACVN

Dr. Datz is a 1987 graduate of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. He spent 14 years in private companion animal practice and 11 years on the faculty at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine working in the areas of Community Practice and Clinical Nutrition. In 2012 he joined Royal Canin USA where he is the Director of Scientific Affairs. Dr. Datz is board-certified by the American College of Veterinary Nutrition and is dual board-certified in canine/feline and feline practice by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners.

Megan Sprinkle, DVM

For the past 3 years, Megan Sprinkle has served as the Scientific Communications Veterinarian with Royal Canin. Prior to working with Royal Canin, she completed a Small Animal Clinical Nutrition Residency at the University of Missouri. She is married and has a young Great Dane named Eva. Megan has a special interest in helping cats and dogs maintain or achieve ideal body conditions and in sharing pet nutrition with anyone who will listen.

Marth Cline, DVM, DACVN

Dr. Martha Cline is a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine. She completed a small animal rotating internship at Oradell Animal Hospital in Paramus, NJ and then returned to the University of Tennessee for a small animal clinical nutrition residency. She is board certified with the American College of Veterinary Nutrition. In 2013, she joined the staff at Red Bank Veterinary Hospital in Tinton Falls, NJ where she currently practices small animal clinical nutrition full time.

Dr. Cline is the current president of the American Academy of Veterinary Nutrition (AAVN) and has served on their executive board since 2013. She has lectured on topics surrounding veterinary nutrition at national and international conferences including the American Veterinary Medical Association Convention and the Southern European Veterinary Conference. Dr. Cline has also authored and co-authored several book chapters and peer-reviewed articles in veterinary nutrition. She is the co-editor of the textbook “Obesity in the Dog and Cat.” In her spare time, she enjoys running with her English pointer, Dave. She also shares her home with her husband and two orange cats, Jake and Charles.

The Latest Research on Puppy Microbiome

Featuring: Dr. Craig Datz, Dr. Jan Suchodolski

How often do you see puppies with gastrointestinal upset? Did you know that the GI microbiome has a significant influence on both healthy and disease states? We will hear from the world-renowned expert in microbiome research, Dr. Jan Suchodolski, on the latest research into the puppy microbiome and what we can learn about protecting the health of puppies from newborn to maturation.

Craig Datz, DVM, MS, DABVP, DACVN

Dr. Datz is a 1987 graduate of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. He spent 14 years in private companion animal practice and 11 years on the faculty at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine working in the areas of Community Practice and Clinical Nutrition. In 2012 he joined Royal Canin USA where he is the Director of Scientific Affairs. Dr. Datz is board-certified by the American College of Veterinary Nutrition and is dual board-certified in canine/feline and feline practice by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners.

Dr. Jan Suchodolski, MedVet, DrVetMed, Ph.D., AGAF, DACVM

Jan S. Suchodolski graduated with a veterinary degree from the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna, Austria. After working for several years in a small animal specialty clinic he returned to academia and in 2005, he received his Ph.D. in Veterinary Microbiology from Texas A&M University for his work on molecular markers for the assessment of the intestinal microbiota. He is also board certified in immunology by the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists (ACVM). He currently serves as Professor and Associate Director for Research of the GI Lab.

The Impact of COVID on Veterinary Education

Featuring: Dr. Jodi Davis and Dr. Johanna (Joie) Watson

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our entire society, including all levels of education. Specific to veterinary education., universities quickly adapted their approach to teaching to best support the needs of their students in this changing environment. On today’s episode, we will discuss how UC Davis has shifted their teaching due the pandemic and what they are doing to create a community of support among their students and even other universities.

Dr. Jodi Davis

Dr. Jodi Davis is the Senior Manager of University Relations with Royal Canin and a 2002 graduate of the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine. She has been with Royal Canin for eight years. Prior to joining Royal Canin, she spent ten years in small-animal general practice in Michigan. In addition to her veterinary degree, Dr. Davis has an undergraduate teaching degree from Michigan Technological University. She majored in Biological Sciences with a focus on secondary education and spent a year teaching high school students.

Dr. Johanna (Joie) Watson

Dr. Watson is a Professor of Equine Medicine and Associate Dean of Professional Education at the University of California, Davis. She is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. She dedicated 25 years as an Equine Field Service Clinician at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital and served as Service Chief of LA Internal Medicine for several years. As Department Chair of the Medicine and Epidemiology Department she worked to hire exceptional and diverse faculty. Her research program is focused on equine infectious and allergic respiratory disease. Dr. Watson has provided instruction in didactic and clinical teaching settings and received the School of Veterinary Medicine Faculty Distinguished Teaching Award in 2014. Dr. Watson serves on the Steering Committee for the Teaching Academy of the Consortium of West Region Colleges of Veterinary Medicine, helping to provide a platform for faculty to share ideas about teaching, learning and educational scholarship.

Who is a nutritionist? Critical Care Nutrition

Featuring: Dr. Craig Datz, Dr. Megan Sprinkle, and Dr. Lindsay Bullen

Many cats and dogs present to veterinary emergency services with various types of illnesses. Addressing nutritional needs of these animals is critical to management and recovery. In this nutrition episode of VetTalk with Royal Canin, we will be discussing the importance of nutrition in critical care cases with veterinary nutritionists.

Dr. Craig Datz, DVM, MS, DABVP, DACVN

Dr. Datz is a 1987 graduate of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. He spent 14 years in private companion animal practice and 11 years on the faculty at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine working in the areas of Community Practice and Clinical Nutrition. In 2012 he joined Royal Canin USA where he is the Director of Scientific Affairs. Dr. Datz is board-certified by the American College of Veterinary Nutrition and is dual board-certified in canine/feline and feline practice by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners.

Megan Sprinkle, DVM

For the past 3 years, Megan Sprinkle has served as the Scientific Communications Veterinarian with Royal Canin. Prior to working with Royal Canin, she completed a Small Animal Clinical Nutrition Residency at the University of Missouri. She is married and has a young Great Dane named Eva. Megan has a special interest in helping cats and dogs maintain or achieve ideal body conditions and in sharing pet nutrition with anyone who will listen.

Dr. Lindsay Bullen

Lindsey Bullen, DVM, ACVN earned her veterinary degree at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, where she also completed an internship, fellowship, and residency in clinical nutrition. She currently works as a nutritionist at the Veterinary Specialty Hospital of the Carolinas, which she created in 2017. Dr. Bullen is particularly interested in clinical nutrition application, specifically: critical care, multi-disease state, and assisted feeding. Though she is no longer in academia, Dr. Bullen brings experience and a strong passion for teaching. When she is not working in clinics, she travels across the country lecturing the veterinary community.

Dr. Bullen and her husband, Nathan, currently live in Apex, North Carolina with their sons Arthur (3) and Rowan (4 months), their cats, Ida and Maya, and dog, Heidi.

The Value Credentialed Veterinary Technicians Can Bring to Practice

Featuring: Brianne Morrow and Kelsey Carpenter

Credentialed veterinary technicians can be some of the most valuable members of a clinic team, but it can sometimes be a thankless job. Did you know there are so many incredible opportunities for veterinary technicians to contribute to the success of a business while finding fulfillment in their roles?

Bri Morrow

Brianne “Bri” Morrow, LVT, VTS (Nutrition) is the Nutrition Communications Lead for Royal Canin USA and has been with the company for ten years. Bri is a graduate from the State University of New York at Delhi with an A.A.S in Veterinary Science Technology and from Stony Brook University with a Bachelors in Anthropology. She obtained her license in veterinary technology in 2006 and has continued her professional development to become a Veterinary Technician Specialist in Nutrition, 2018. Bri has an enthusiasm and personal drive to embolden the passion in others around veterinary nutrition. She enjoys spending time with her husband David, son Emmett, two dogs Wally and Magik and her new quaran-kittens Dundee and Ruth Bader Ginspurr.

Kelsey Carpenter

Kelsey Beth Carpenter is a Registered Veterinary Technician, social media manager, singer/songwriter, speaker/performer, and content creator. Kelsey works in the ER at a large veterinary practice in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she enjoys being part of an open hospital structure and teaching others how to implement one for themselves. Kelsey also works as the Social Media Manager for DrAndyRoark.com, the Content Specialist for the Uncharted Veterinary Conferences and Community, and the manager of her own growing brand, Vet Tech Kelsey. With a background in the arts, Kelsey is passionate about the power of creativity, the importance of humor, and the magic that happens when art and science overlap.

The Importance of Mentorship for Young Veterinarians

Featuring: Dr. Brent Mayabb & Dr. James Barr

In the veterinary profession, mentorship is often a recent graduate or newly-practicing veterinarian seeking out a veterinarian with more experience to become more comfortable and confident working in their clinic setting. It is important to find the right mentor for an individual, as the impact a great mentor can span their entire career and beyond.

Dr. Brent Mayabb

Dr. Brent Mayabb is a veterinarian with both private practice and veterinary industry experience. He currently serves as the Global Chief Veterinary Officer for Royal Canin where he acts as a medical liaison between Royal Canin and corporate veterinary clinics and other key customers. Dr. Mayabb works alongside the global R&D and veterinary business teams to understand customer needs and translate those into innovation.

Prior to this role, Dr. Mayabb held the position of Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Chief Veterinary Officer for Royal Canin USA where he managed a team that built relationships with pet owners, veterinarians, veterinary specialists, regulators, government officials and non-profits to share knowledge and build the company’s reputation as thought leaders. Additionally, he has served as a Technical Service Veterinarian, Technical Service Team Lead and Manager of Learning and Development for Royal Canin USA. Before joining Mars, Dr. Mayabb worked in a small animal practice in Granite City, IL. He continues to do relief work in a small animal practice in St. Louis, MO, and is also an event volunteer for the Animal Protective Association of Missouri. He graduated from Murray State University with a degree in chemistry and earned his DVM from the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Mayabb and his wife, Dr. Julie Mayabb (also a vet) have a cat named Tessa and dog named Eli.

Dr. James Barr

James Barr, DVM, DACVECC, is the Chief Medical Officer for BluePearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital, which has more than 95 practices across 27 U.S. states. A native of northern Louisiana, Dr. Barr holds undergraduate and veterinary degrees from Louisiana State University. He was a staff criticalist at Florida Veterinary Specialists (BluePearl’s original hospital), then left to teach at Texas A&M University in 2009. Dr. Barr returned to BluePearl in 2017 to serve as a Group Medical Director, before becoming its Chief Medical Officer.

Nutrition into Every Visit

Featuring: Dr. Craig Datz, Dr. Megan Sprinkle, and Dr. Lindsey Bullen

Many pet owners are looking for nutritional recommendations when they visit a veterinarian, but often times, the topic is not discussed. Today, as part of our special nutrition series we’ll discuss potential reasons why that might be the case, ways to ensure the conversation occurs and the benefits of discussing nutrition at every client visit.

Dr. Craig Datz
Craig Datz, DVM, MS, DABVP, DACVN

Dr. Datz is a 1987 graduate of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. He spent 14 years in private companion animal practice and 11 years on the faculty at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine working in the areas of Community Practice and Clinical Nutrition. In 2012 he joined Royal Canin USA where he is the Director of Scientific Affairs. Dr. Datz is board-certified by the American College of Veterinary Nutrition and is dual board-certified in canine/feline and feline practice by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners.

Dr. Megan Sprinkle

For the past 3 years, Megan Sprinkle has served as the Scientific Communications Veterinarian with Royal Canin. Prior to working with Royal Canin, she completed a Small Animal Clinical Nutrition Residency at the University of Missouri. She is married and has a young Great Dane named Eva. Megan has a special interest in helping cats and dogs maintain or achieve ideal body conditions and in sharing pet nutrition with anyone who will listen.

Dr. Lindsey Bullen

Lindsey Bullen, DVM, ACVN earned her veterinary degree at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, where she also completed an internship, fellowship, and residency in clinical nutrition. She currently works as a nutritionist at the Veterinary Specialty Hospital of the Carolinas, which she created in 2017. Dr. Bullen is particularly interested in clinical nutrition application, specifically: critical care, multi-disease state, and assisted feeding. Though she is no longer in academia, Dr. Bullen brings experience and a strong passion for teaching. When she is not working in clinics, she travels across the country lecturing the veterinary community.

Dr. Bullen and her husband, Nathan, currently live in Apex, North Carolina with their sons Arthur (3) and Rowan (4 months), their cats, Ida and Maya, and dog, Heidi.

Is it Okay to Feed Human Food or Homemade Diets to Cats and Dogs?

Featuring: Dr. Craig Datz, Dr. Megan Sprinkle, and Dr. Lily Johnnson

As part of our special nutrition series, this podcast explores topics of particular interest to veterinary nutritionists: When is it appropriate to feed cats and dogs human food? Is it ever okay to prepare homemade diets? Learn directly from veterinary nutritionists what role they serve in working with veterinarians and pet owners to determine appropriate feeding for each individual cat or dog.

Dr. Craig Datz
Craig Datz, DVM, MS, DABVP, DACVN

Dr. Datz is a 1987 graduate of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. He spent 14 years in private companion animal practice and 11 years on the faculty at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine working in the areas of Community Practice and Clinical Nutrition. In 2012 he joined Royal Canin USA where he is the Director of Scientific Affairs. Dr. Datz is board-certified by the American College of Veterinary Nutrition and is dual board-certified in canine/feline and feline practice by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners.

Dr. Megan Sprinkle

For the past 3 years, Megan Sprinkle has served as the Scientific Communications Veterinarian with Royal Canin. Prior to working with Royal Canin, she completed a Small Animal Clinical Nutrition Residency at the University of Missouri. She is married and has a young Great Dane named Eva. Megan has a special interest in helping cats and dogs maintain or achieve ideal body conditions and in sharing pet nutrition with anyone who will listen.

Dr. Lily Johnson

Dr. Johnson earned her veterinary degree at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. She completed an internship in small animal medicine and surgery and returned to Tufts for her clinical nutrition residency. Dr. Johnson is a board-certified Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition.

Dr. Johnson’s clinical interests include food allergies, chronic kidney disease, challenging obesity cases, and formulation of home-cooked diet recipes. She enjoys educating both veterinary teams and pet owners about the importance of nutrition in pet health.

Why Is There a Gap in Regular Vet Care for Cats?

Featuring Dr. Gail Golab, Dr. Kendall Houlihan, and Dr. Laura Pletz

Americans love cats! According to a recent survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Royal Canin, 84% of those surveyed said their cat is important to them and therefore their health is important. So, why is there a gap in regular vet care for cats? This podcast discusses some of the reasons for this gap, the importance of preventive care, and how feline enrichment can aid in successful visits to the vet.

Dr. Gail Golab

Dr. Golab is Chief Veterinary Officer for the American Veterinary Medical Association, overseeing the association’s Animal and Public Health, Animal Welfare, and Global Outreach Divisions. Previously, Dr. Golab has served as Chief Advocacy and Public Policy Officer, as Director of the Animal Welfare Division, and in a variety of other roles in the AVMA’s Publications, Education and Research, and Communications Divisions. Before her tenure at the AVMA, she spent several years in private companion animal practice, and prior to that served as Biochemical/Biomedical Research Consultant at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois.

Dr. Golab is best known for her more than 30 years of work in the human-animal interactions/animal welfare field that began as an undergraduate; transcends both professional degrees; has included opportunities for exposure to a variety of concerns affecting diverse species; and includes experience in research, policy development, and practical applications. Accordingly, she has served on advisory committees on the care and use of animals in agriculture, biomedical research, the pet industry, entertainment, transport, and human healthcare applications.

She graduated with a PhD from Texas A&M University, a DVM from the University of Illinois, is certified as a member of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists (Animal Welfare), is a charter diplomate of the American College of Animal Welfare (an AVMA-recognized veterinary specialty board), and a Distinguished Practitioner in the National Academies of Practice.

Dr. Kendall Houlihan

Dr. Houlihan has served as Assistant Director in the Animal Welfare Division at the AVMA since 2014. In that role, she supports the mission and vision of the AVMA regarding the development and implementation of animal welfare policies utilizing sound scientific evidence and consideration of ethical and societal implications. With focus on companion animal issues, specific responsibilities include providing staff support to the AVMA Animal Welfare Committee and Steering Committee on Human-Animal Interactions, as well as serving on the AVMA's IACUC and attending allied organization meetings to foster collaborative relationships with a variety of other veterinary organizations and stakeholder groups. Previously, she practiced as a companion animal veterinarian in the Chicagoland area. Dr. Houlihan earned her undergraduate degree from University of Notre Dame, and her veterinary degree from University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.

Dr. Laura Pletz

Dr. Laura Pletz is a 2000 graduate of the University of Missouri-College of Veterinary Medicine. After graduation, she began work as an associate veterinarian in a small animal practice in St. Louis, MO, where she became one of the practice owners. During her time in practice, she was also the co-host of local radio show for pet owners seeking advice on the care of their pets. In 2012, she left private practice to join Royal Canin and currently holds the position of Scientific Services Manager, East US for Royal Canin.

Dr. Pletz also serves on the Board of Directors of the Women's Veterinary Development Initiative (WVLDI) and began her term as President-Elect of WVLDI in 2020. She is passionate about working to address the challenges facing today’s veterinarian and promoting opportunities for leadership in the veterinary profession, with a special emphasis on inclusion and diversity. She currently resides in the St. Louis area with her family.

Transforming Clinics to be FELINE-FOCUSED

Featuring Dr. Natalie Marks & Dr. Leslie Estelle

With less than half of all cats in the United States visiting the veterinarian on a regular basis, changes need to be made to encourage this trend to shift. Getting the cats to the clinic is only part of the problem. When practices are not designed to be feline-focused, the cat and cat owner may both have negative experiences. This podcast explores some simple, and not-so-simple, changes clinics can make to be more welcoming of cats.

Dr. Natalie Marks

Dr. Natalie Marks obtained her bachelor’s degree with High Honors in Animal Science from the University of Illinois in 1998, and then proceeded to obtain a Masters in Veterinary Medicine and Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine degree with High Honors from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. She became a Certified Veterinary Journalist in 2018.

She has been a veterinarian at Blum Animal Hospital since 2006, co-owner until 2018 and current Medical Director. Prior to 2006, Dr. Marks worked at a small animal practice just north of Atlanta, GA. Her media experience began in print when she created several monthly veterinary columns in multiple community magazines and was a frequent guest speaker for the German Shepherd and Bernese Mountain Dog clubs of Atlanta.

Since her return to Chicago, Dr. Marks became very active in the Chicago Veterinary Medical Association, serving on the executive board. She was also a past board member of the Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association and she is an active volunteer to the American Veterinary Medical Association and American Animal Hospital Association. Dr. Marks recently received the prestigious Dr. Erwin Small First Decade Award, presented to a veterinarian that has contributed the most to organized veterinary medicine in his or her first decade of practice. In 2012, Dr. Marks was awarded Petplan’s nationally-recognized Veterinarian of the Year. In 2015, she was awarded America’s Favorite Veterinarian by the American Veterinary Medical Foundation. And, most recently in 2017, she was awarded Nobivac’s Veterinarian of the Year for her work on canine Influenza.

Dr. Marks is very active and passionate about educating in all aspects of media, both locally and nationally. She has appeared on Good Day Chicago, WGN-Pet Central, NBC Morning News, ABC, CBS, NPR, WBBM, Northwestern University media channel and many local websites. Dr. Marks was featured nationally on the Today Show and CBS Nightly News during the canine influenza epidemic of 2015 and in multiple issues of JAVMA. She is a guest contributor in multiple media campaigns for Merck, Zoetis (formerly Pfizer), Boerhinger-Ingelheim, Ceva and Royal Canin. Additionally, Dr. Marks has a regular column in Today’s Veterinary Business, Healthy Pet magazine, has been published in Veterinary Medicine magazine, DVM magazine, Dogster, Vetted, PetVet and was a reporter for Veterinary News Network where she completed intensive media training.

Dr. Marks finds the ideal combination of teaching/mentoring and improving the emotional health of pets in the Fear Free movement. She sits on the Fear Free Executive Council and is a national educator helping other private practitioners develop these techniques. She also led her practice to become the 7th nationally and first practice in Illinois to become a Fear Free Certified Hospital. When Dr, Marks is not working, she treasures her time with her family and her three wonderful children: Sophia, Evan and Madeline. Dr. Marks loves traveling, scuba diving, cooking and spending time outdoors, especially anywhere there is a beach!

Dr. Leslie Estelle

Dr. Leslie Estelle received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2006 where she was awarded AAHA’s “Senior Student Clinical Proficiency in Companion Animal Medicine and Surgery”. Dr. Estelle then completed a 13-month internship at VCA South Shore Animal Hospital in Massachusetts. After she completed her internship she returned to Madison as a general practitioner where she has enjoyed many aspects of practice, particularly geriatric medicine, dentistry, nutrition and dermatology.

In 2015, Dr. Estelle joined Royal Canin as a Scientific Services Veterinarian and was the technical support for the upper Midwest. She was awarded the Royal Canin USA “Scientific Services Veterinarian of the Year” for 2017. As a Scientific Services Veterinarian she provided continuing education seminars, case consultations, and helped with outreach. In July 2020, she became Vet Services and Consumer Affairs Manager leading a team of vet and consumer nutritional advisors. Outside of veterinary medicine, Dr. Estelle has a strong interest in supporting women early on in their veterinary careers to gain confidence in their clinical and leadership abilities and is a promoter of diversity and inclusion in all aspects. She’s also an active member of AVMA, AAVN and Wisconsin’s VMA.

The Power of Giving Back

featuring Kim Van Syoc and Dr. Brent Mayabb

Research shows that a business has less turnover and more productivity when they make giving back a priority. And, we have heard time and time again that consumer make decisions on who they do business with based on a company’s purpose. This podcast will address the concept of giving back specific to the veterinary industry and how it can truly make associates feel a part of something greater just by having these opportunities.

Kim Van Syoc

Kim Van Syoc is executive director of the Banfield Foundation, the charitable arm of Banfield Pet Hospital, the largest general veterinary practice in the world. Under Kim’s leadership, since its launch in 2015, the Banfield Foundation has awarded more than $8.5 million in grants and improved the health, safety and wellbeing of more than 3.5 million pets in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and Guam. Kim also helped launch, and currently serves as president of the Better Together Fund, a separate public charity which empowers Banfield and BluePearl associates to support one another with critical financial assistance in the event of natural or manmade disasters.

Kim joined Banfield Pet Hospital in 2009 after spending more than 12 years working in public relations. Prior to her role at the Banfield Foundation, Kim served as Banfield’s director of external communications, overseeing public relations, crisis communications, stakeholder engagement and Corporate Social Responsibility. Kim’s achievements include the creation and management of the annual State of Pet Health Report, the largest report of its kind, now in its 10th year. She has also been instrumental in elevating the importance of pets when it comes to disaster relief and preparation, spearheading efforts with Banfield Pet Hospital and the Banfield Foundation to raise awareness and provide direct financial assistance to impacted communities and pets.

Kim was listed in 2017 as one of PR News’ “Top Women in PR,” and her efforts have received numerous awards and recognitions, including PR News Platinum PR Awards, PR Week Awards, PRSA-NY Big Apple Awards, Mars Petcare Leaders Choice Awards, and two Mars Make the Difference Global Awards.

Kim serves on the Board of Trustees for the Oregon Zoo Foundation and is the chair of the Tourism Advisory Board for the City of Lake Oswego, Oregon, where she lives with her family.

Dr. Brent Mayabb

Dr. Brent Mayabb is a veterinarian with both private practice and veterinary industry experience. He currently serves as the Global Chief Veterinary Officer for Royal Canin where he acts as a medical liaison between Royal Canin and corporate veterinary clinics and other key customers. Dr. Mayabb works alongside the global R&D and veterinary business teams to understand customer needs and translate those into innovation.

Prior to this role, Dr. Mayabb held the position of Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Chief Veterinary Officer for Royal Canin USA where he managed a team that built relationships with pet owners, veterinarians, veterinary specialists, regulators, government officials and non-profits to share knowledge and build the company’s reputation as thought leaders. Additionally, he has served as a Technical Service Veterinarian, Technical Service Team Lead and Manager of Learning and Development for Royal Canin USA. Before joining Mars, Dr. Mayabb worked in a small animal practice in Granite City, IL. He continues to do relief work in a small animal practice in St. Louis, MO, and is also an event volunteer for the Animal Protective Association of Missouri. He graduated from Murray State University with a degree in chemistry and earned his DVM from the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Mayabb and his wife, Dr. Julie Mayabb (also a vet) have a cat named Tessa and dog named Eli.

Encouraging Cat Owners to
Bring Their Cats to the Vet

featuring Dr. Catherine Lenox and Jane Brunt, DVM

Less than half of all cats in the US visit the veterinarian regularly. While it is difficult to transport the pet, another factor is the experience when arriving to the clinic. Hear tips and tricks for making practices more comfortable for cats and their owners, making the transporting process simpler and why it is so important to see more cats in your practice.

Dr. Catherine Lenox

Dr. Catherine Lenox received her veterinary degree from the University of Missouri in 2007. After veterinary school, she completed a small animal medicine and surgery internship at Colorado State University and a residency in veterinary clinical nutrition at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. She was board certified by the American College of Veterinary Nutrition in 2011. Lenox spent three years in clinical practice at a large specialty hospital prior to joining the Royal Canin team in August 2014. She is currently Scientific Affairs Manager at Royal Canin USA.

Dr. Jane Brunt

CATalyst Council Executive Director
American Association of Feline Practitioners Past President

Dr. Brunt, CATalyst Council Executive Director, is one of the leading feline practitioners in the United States, having practiced feline-exclusive medicine for more than twenty years. Her practice philosophy of striving for excellence, providing compassionate care with empathy and courteous service while fostering the special bond has earned her accolades from her professional colleagues and her feline patients’ owners.

In 1984, only four years after finishing veterinary school at Kansas State University, Dr. Brunt founded Cat Hospital At Towson (CHAT) in Baltimore, Maryland, the first feline-exclusive veterinary hospital in the state. Dr. Brunt opened a second practice, the Cat Hospital Eastern Shore in Cordova, Md., in June of 2001. Both hospitals became accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association in 2002.

Through her 23-year membership in the American Association of Feline Practitioners, Dr. Brunt has participated in the veterinary and public discourse of many feline issues. Dr. Brunt served as AAFP president in 2006.

Dr. Brunt has co-authored articles in several peer-reviewed journals including the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA) and the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery (JFMS), and has been cited in several consumer print publications such as Cat Fancy and Cat Watch. She has appeared on radio and television to educate the public about numerous cat health issues.

The Future of the Veterinary Industry

featuring Dr. Chris Carpenter and Dr. Brent Mayabb

The future of the veterinary industry begins now. Many veterinarians knew from an early age that they wanted to pursue a career in veterinary medicine. Hear personal stories from current veterinarians and their career paths, discuss current trends in veterinary medicine and provide tips on how current veterinarians and technicians can support aspiring vets/techs.

Dr. Chris Carpenter

Dr. Chris Carpenter has worked for years to help tweens and teens explore their dreams of becoming a veterinarian. Dr. Carpenter is also a published author. His latest book “Vet Set Go!” was written to solve a problem most future veterinarians face.

Dr. Carpenter holds a license to practice veterinary medicine in multiple states throughout the US. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the National Science Teachers Association. In addition to his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the Auburn College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Carpenter holds a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from the University of Florida and a Masters of Business Administration from New Hampshire College.

Today, in addition to his work with Vet Set Go, Dr. Carpenter directs the non-profit Companion Animal Parasite Council. An organization that is dedicated to keeping pets and people protected from parasitic diseases. Dr. Carpenter now lives in St. Augustine, Florida, with his wife, daughter and a goofy Labradoodle named Jackson.

Dr. Brent Mayabb

Dr. Brent Mayabb is a veterinarian with both private practice and veterinary industry experience. He currently serves as the Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Chief Veterinary Officer for Royal Canin USA. Dr. Mayabb manages a team that builds relationships with pet owners, veterinarians, veterinary specialists, regulators, government officials and non-profits to share knowledge and build the company’s reputation as thought leaders. He also acts as the veterinary voice for the US business and represents the company in both internal and external forums on pet health and nutrition. Dr. Mayabb serves as one of Royal Canin’s official spokespeople and works directly with various groups in the animal health industry to bring our point-of-view to relevant topics.

Prior to this role, he served as a Technical Service Veterinarian, Technical Service Team Lead and Manager of Learning and Development for Royal Canin. Before joining Mars, Dr. Mayabb worked in a small animal practice in Granite City, IL. He continues to do relief work in a small animal practice in St. Louis, MO, and is also an event volunteer at the Animal Protective Association of Missouri. He graduated from Murray State University with a degree in Chemistry and earned his DVM from the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Mayabb and his wife, Julie (also a vet) have a cat named Tessa and dog named Eli.

Working with Referral Hospitals

featuring Dr. Cathy Meeks and Dr. Matt Jurikson

Referral care is becoming an increasingly common and important part of comprehensive veterinary care for pets. Thoughtful planning is crucial for everyone to have the most seamless experience. This podcast explores best practices in establishing relationships between the referral practices and general practitioners.

Dr. Cathy Meeks

Dr. Cathy Meeks started her veterinary career as a full time technician while getting her Master's degree in Forensic Toxicology. After veterinary school, she did an internship and then a residency in Internal Medicine as she enjoyed the investigative and diagnostic role of an internist. Her specific interests in internal medicine include immune mediated diseases and endocrinology.

In 2012, Dr. Meeks took on a lead veterinary role in a private practice as a Medical Director while continuing to practice medicine. In 2015, she became a Group Medical Director for Bluepearl, working with the hospitals in the Northeast. As her development in leadership continued, she was promoted to Regional Vice President of Medicine in 2019. She now helps to manage 15 hospitals in the Northeast.

Dr. Meeks enjoys running and any water sports including paddle boarding, fishing, swimming, etc. She has 2 rescue dogs, a 13 year old Jack Russel Terrier (Scrappy) and a 6 year old Doberman (Lainey).

Dr. Matt Jurikson

Dr. Matt Jurikson has extensive experience both in-clinic and within the veterinary industry. He has worked in both private and corporate veterinary practices and start-ups. After creating and leading a pet care center, including retail space, he served in various industry roles, including Director of Scientific Services for Royal Canin USA. He currently is an Associate Director of Major Accounts at Zoetis. Dr. Jurikson is skilled in building high-performing teams, strategy, operations and leadership. He continues to do relief work in veterinary clinics to stay current with clinical practice.

Dr. Jurikson received his VMD from the University of Pennsylvania and his MBA from The Wharton School of Business.

Finding Happiness
in Veterinary Medicine

featuring Dr. Kimberly Pope-Robinson and Dr. Laura Pletz

The statistics are staggering that male veterinarians were 2.1 times as likely and female veterinarians were 3.5 times as likely to die from suicide as were members of the U.S. general population. During this podcast, veterinarians will discuss finding happiness in veterinary medicine, by managing emotional wellbeing, creating a career that is sustainable, and combatting stress.

Dr. Kimberly Pope-Robinson

Dr. Kimberly Pope-Robinson has served the veterinary field for over 20 years. After graduating from the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 2000, she practiced in both the large and small animal sectors. In 2007 Dr. Pope transitioned from running a veterinary practice to supporting and managing multiple veterinary hospital locations in a leadership position for a corporate veterinary practice. Drawing from her experience and knowledge in this leadership role Dr. Pope then took a position in the pharmaceutical industry where she specifically worked with veterinary specialists as well as veterinary schools. Her work during this time was focused on helping veterinary specialists develop and grow their practice and providing support and development opportunities to students and faculty at the colleges she worked with.

Dr. Pope’s medical experience, in addition to supporting over 200 veterinarians and their teams, provided her with a unique exposure to the ins and outs of the veterinary profession. From this experience, she has a strong understanding of the stresses involved with being a vet which can lead to a lack of fulfillment in the profession. Dr. Pope has found that helping others find the path to manage perfectionist tendencies as well as their personal shame while helping individuals to develop the skills of self-forgiveness and resilience is the foundation to a sustainable career in the Veterinary Medical industry.

Dr. Laura Pletz

Dr. Laura Pletz joined Royal Canin USA in September 2012 as the Technical Services Manager, leading a team of veterinary technicians in providing consultations and managing the consumer care function for Royal Canin USA. She was promoted to the position of Scientific Services Manager for the East US in 2016 to lead a team of veterinarians working in the field with a focus on key opinion leader and University outreach, as well as technical support for the veterinary sales team and their customers. Dr. Pletz has also worked closely with the communications team on public relations and serves as a spokesperson for Royal Canin USA.

Prior to joining Mars, Dr. Pletz worked in a small animal practice in Ballwin, MO, where she was also one of the practice owners. During this time, she was also a co-host of a local animal advice radio program. When not working, she is volunteering her time serving on the board of directors for the Women’s Veterinary Leadership Development Initiative.

Dr. Pletz conducted her undergraduate studies at the University of Missouri and then received her DVM from the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine in 2000. Dr. Pletz and her two sons, Hayden and Brendan, reside in Wildwood, MO, and recently added to their family by adopting a 7-year-old cat named Dwight.

Talking to Pet Owners
About Nutritional Myths

featuring Dr. Catherine Lenox and Dr. Lisa Weeth

Consumers are being inundated with current trends and taking non-expert advice on nutrition. How do we help clinics overcome this challenge in order to have educated, scientific but consumer-friendly conversations with the pet owners they see.

Dr. Catherine Lenox

Dr. Catherine Lenox received her veterinary degree from the University of Missouri in 2007. After veterinary school, she completed a small animal medicine and surgery internship at Colorado State University and a residency in veterinary clinical nutrition at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. She was board certified by the American College of Veterinary Nutrition in 2011. Lenox spent three years in clinical practice at a large specialty hospital prior to joining the Royal Canin team in August 2014. She is currently Scientific Affairs Manager at Royal Canin USA.

Dr. Lisa Weeth

Like most veterinarians, Dr. Weeth has loved animals since she was a kid whether it was the stray kittens and puppies she convinced her parents she *needed* to rescue or the hours she spent working as a technician in veterinary clinics in high school and in college. She that graduated from the University of California (UC), Davis, first in 1997 with a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Evolution & Ecology and then again in 2002 with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM).

After graduating from veterinary school Dr. Weeth worked as a General Practice and Emergency veterinarian in the San Francisco Bay Area. Dr. Weeth then returned to UC Davis once again in 2004 to start a residency in Small Animal Clinical Nutrition. She completed the 3-year residency and became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition (ACVN) in June of 2007. A month after that Dr. Weeth and her family moved to New Jersey where she to establish the first dedicated full-time Clinical Nutrition Department in a private veterinary hospital.

Dr. Weeth moved to practice in the UK and established Weeth Nutritional Services to provide Nutrition Telemedicine services to veterinarians in the US and UK. In 2016, she and her family relocated to Los Angeles where she began offering nutrition counseling and consulting to caregivers and veterinarians.

How to Have Uncomfortable
Conversations with your Clients

featuring Dr. Andy Roark and Dr. Megan Hill

Chances are, if a pet owner is overweight, his or her pets will be too. So how do you delicately broach the subject of their pet’s obesity? Among other topics, this discussion will address having difficult conversations with your clients without leaving both you and them feeling insulted or defeated.

Dr. Andy Roark

Dr. Andy Roark is a practicing veterinarian, international speaker, author, and media personality. He is the founder of the Uncharted Veterinary Conference and DrAndyRoark.com. He has been an award-winning columnist for DVM360 and his popular Facebook page, website, podcast and YouTube show reach millions of people every month.

Dr. Roark has received the NAVC Practice Management Speaker of the Year Award three times, the Outstanding Young Alumni Award from the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine, and the Veterinarian of the Year Award from the South Carolina Association of Veterinarians. His greatest achievement involves marrying an educator and scientist and raising 2 kind and wonderful little girls.

Dr. Megan Hill

Dr. Megan Hill received her DVM from Colorado State University and has experience in a variety of practice settings focusing on preventative medicine and the human-animal bond. Since joining Royal Canin in 2014 as a Scientific Services Veterinarian, Dr. Hill has provided high-quality nutritional education for practicing veterinarians as well as Royal Canin Associates across North America. Dr. Hill is passionate about bringing nutrition to the front of veterinary consultations and helping the veterinary industry partner with pet owners to embrace science-based nutrition and its link to overall pet health.