Team

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

VIN Foundation | Supporting veterinarians to cultivate a healthy animal community | Our Team | Board of Directors

Richard Headley, DVM

President

 

Dr. Headley graduated from Purdue University in 1967. Upon graduation he went on active duty with the US Army and was stationed at Ft. Irwin CA, functioning as Post Veterinarian, Public Health Officer and Wildlife Management Officer. Being in a remote area, he was granted permission to operate an emergency large animal practice in the vicinity. Following military service he moved to private practice in Detroit, MI where he stayed for 1 1/2 years. In January 1971 he leased and eventually bought the Lincolnway Veterinary Clinic in Mishawaka, IN where he still operates a small animal practice. Dr. Headley was named Mishawaka man of the year,1985 for teaching CPR to the general public under the guidance of the American Heart Association with the help of the Mishawaka Kiwanis Club. He has served as President of the Michiana Veterinary Medical Association. Is a member of that group, the Indiana Veterinary Medical Association, AVMA, and IAVPM. He has been a member of VIN since 1993 and is currently an associate editor of the VIN Anesthesia/Analgesia folder. After years of many animals, Dr. Headley now has a Chihuahua named Raisin.
VIN Foundation | Supporting veterinarians to cultivate a healthy animal community | Our Team | Board of Directors | Elizabeth Stoltz, JD

Elizabeth Stoltz, JD

Secretary

 

Elizabeth Stoltz is a 1969 graduate of Cornell University, with a BA degree in Government, and holds a JD degree from the McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific, She spent thirty years in the Yolo County Counsel’s Office in Woodland, California, where her primary assignment was handling child abuse and neglect cases in the Juvenile Court. She retired in 2007, and moved to Washington State, to be close to her daughter, son-in-law, and grandson. She lives with two horses, three dogs, and seven cats, and enjoys gardening, photography, and traveling. Her connection with VIN is through her late cat, Cecil, who in 1986 was the first cat treated with taurine for cardiomyopathy, by Paul Pion.
VIN Foundation | Supporting veterinarians to cultivate a healthy animal community | Our Team | Student Debt Consultant | Tony Bartels, DVM, MBA

Tony Bartels, DVM, MBA

 

Tony Bartels graduated in 2012 from the Colorado State University combined MBA/DVM program and is an employee of the Veterinary Information Network (VIN). He and his wife, a small-animal internal medicine specialist practicing in Denver, have more than $400,000 in veterinary-school debt that they manage using federal income-driven repayment plans. By necessity (and now obsession), his professional activities include researching and speaking on veterinary-student debt, providing guidance to colleagues on loan-repayment strategies and contributing to VIN Foundation resources. Beyond debt, his professional interests include small- and exotic-animal practice. When he’s not staring holes into his colleagues’ student-loan data, Tony enjoys fly fishing, ice hockey, camping and exploring Colorado with his wife, Audra, and their two rescued canines, Addi and Maggie.

VIN Foundation | Supporting veterinarians to cultivate a healthy animal community | Our Team | Board of Directors | Joseph A. D’Abbraccio, DVM

Joseph A. D’Abbraccio, DVM

 

Dr. D’Abbraccio grew up in Sullivan County, New York and is a graduate of Monticello High School. Following graduation Dr. Joe attended the State University of New York at Delhi where he earned a degree in Veterinary Science Technology. Dr. Joe attended veterinary school at St. Matthew’s University School of Veterinary Medicine, located in the Cayman Islands, BWI. While attending St. Matthew’s University, Dr. Joe was very active in a number of student organizations, particularly the Emergency and Critical Care Society. Given his strong interest and achievements Dr. Joe was awarded the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society Clinical Proficiency Award (two time recipient), an international achievement. Due to his strong involvement level and high ranked veterinary studies Dr. Joe was awarded the Dean’s Award from St. Matthew’s University. Following his pre-clinical training Dr. Joe finished his final year of veterinary school at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC. Dr. D’Abbraccio interests include emergency and critical care as well as cardiovascular disease. Dr. D’Abbraccio is working toward board certification with the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (Canine and Feline) and certification by the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management. Given his wide interests he is happy to care for dogs, cats, exotics, as well as livestock. Dr. D’Abbraccio also holds an adjunct professor position at SUNY Ulster, teaching veterinary technician students. However, when he is not at the hospital or teaching Dr. D’Abbraccio enjoys traveling and spending time with his family and friends.
VIN Foundation | Supporting veterinarians to cultivate a healthy animal community | Our Team | Board of Directors

Carol S. Hillhouse, DVM, DABVP

Dr. Hillhouse owns two mixed animal practices in the Texas Panhandle together with her husband Joe, who is also a veterinarian. Her practices host an almost continuous flow of student externs from across the USA and internationally. She is active in organized veterinary medicine at both the state and local level, and is also a VIN Rep. Dr. Hillhouse received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Texas A&M University in 1984, and is a diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (canine/feline). She is the mother of two adult sons, and leads two local Girl Scout troops. Dr. Hillhouse has a Brussels Griffon puppy is named Wally (pictured to the left), another Brussels Griffon named Boris, a Sulcata tortoise named Kony, a polydactyl kitty named Rugen, and an African Grey Parrot named Pete.
VIN Foundation | Supporting veterinarians to cultivate a healthy animal community | Our Team | Matt Holland, DVM

Matt Holland, DVM

Matt Holland graduated from the University of Illinois CVM class of 2017. He is a Veterinary & Pre-Vet Student Advocate for the VIN Student Team and his interests are Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion, mental wellness, environmental health, student debt, & policy. His interest in policy led him to Washington, D.C. after graduating, where he completed the AVMA/AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) Congressional Fellowship in the office of Illinois Congresswoman Cheri Bustos and the AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowship at the USDA National Institute of Food & Agriculture. Originally from a suburb of Chicago, IL, he came to veterinary medicine as a second career. After graduating in 2007 from Drake University with a B.A. in radio and television journalism, he worked as a freelance television producer for various media outlets in Chicago and New York City including Big Ten Network, Major League Baseball Network, and the Chicago Bears. During veterinary school, he found a love for giving back to the profession, and one of his proudest achievements is serving as SAVMA President. He is thankful for the opportunity to keep giving back as a VIN Foundation board member and excited for the future of the VIN Foundation.
VIN Foundation | Supporting veterinarians to cultivate a healthy animal community | Our Team | Student Debt Consultant | Phillip Jackson, CPA, CGMA

Phillip Jackson, CPA, CGMA

 

Phillip Jackson is a Certified Public Accountant and Chartered Global Management Accountant with a wide variety of practical business experience in helping veterinarians improve their practices. Raised less than 200 feet from his father’s veterinary Clinic just outside Nashville helps him bring a unique perspective to his work as a consultant with the Old Hickory Group, a Tennessee bases Veterinary Practice Management Consulting firm. Phillip has worked for fortune 50 companies, nonprofits and organizations of various forms and sizes but feels most at home around vet clinic or barn. Phillip is a member of the American Institute of Certified Accountants, Tennessee Society of Certified Public Accountants and Allied Member of TVMA and serves on the board of several non-profits. When he is not working, Phillip enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter, at the gym, or hiking with the family Australian Labradoodle named Oliver.
VIN Foundation | Supporting veterinarians to cultivate a healthy animal community | Our Team | Board of Directors | Paul D. Pion, DVM, DipACVIM (Cardiology)

Paul D. Pion, DVM, DipACVIM (Cardiology)

 

Dr. Pion, holds a B.S. and a D.V.M. from Cornell University. He is board certified as a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. Dr. Pion interned at the Animal Medical Center, completed a residency in Cardiology at UC Davis, a post-doctorate in Pharmacology at Columbia University, and coursework and research toward his PhD at UC Davis. Dr. Pion founded Veterinary Information Network with Dr. Duncan Ferguson in 1991 after partnering with him on the Pet Care Forum on America Online in 1990. Dr. Pion has worked full-time at VIN since 1993 and is the Chief Executive Officer, President, and a director of VIN. Prior to that, he was a full-time instructor and researcher at the University of California, Davis where he also practiced veterinary medicine and was responsible for breakthrough veterinary medical research on heart disease in cats. Among many honors, Dr. Pion has received a Physician Scientist Award from the National Institutes of Health, a Ralston Purina Small Animal Research Award, a National Phi Zeta Award and a Special Recognition Award from the American Animal Hospital Association. Dr. Pion has published extensively, including a cover article for the journal Science announcing a finding that elucidated the cause, cure, and ultimate elimination of a common and fatal feline heart ailment via reformulation of commercial feline diets. Paul co-authored a book for cat owners, Cats for Dummies. He lives in Davis California with his wife, 2 sons, daughter, and numerous pets.
VIN Foundation | Supporting veterinarians to cultivate a healthy animal community | Our Team | Board of Directors | Lillian Roberts, DVM

Lillian Roberts, DVM

 

Lillian Roberts, DVM is perhaps the least-formally-educated veterinarian practicing in the US today.  After dropping out of high school in the 1970s, she joined the Army, then spent a few years working with race horses at various tracks around the country.  Finally realizing that wasn’t a good long-term career choice, around 1981 she focused on getting into vet school so spent two long years in Undergrad (ASU) earning the bare prerequisites to apply to Mizzou’s veterinary school.  After graduating in 1987, she meandered through a small-animal internship, a year in equine practice, several years of ER work and relief, and a stint as a volunteer vet at a zoo before finally opening her own practice, Country Club Animal Clinic in Palm Desert, CA, in 1996 – where she remains to this day.  Along the way, she published the Andi Pauling series of “veterinarian mysteries” (so dubbed by her publisher), along with EMERGENCY VET: TRUE STORIES FROM THE ANIMAL EMERGENCY CLINIC, and gained a photography and world-travel addiction that rivals practice ownership in its potential for financial expenditure.  Despite her meager education, she is interested in practically everything.  A VIN Rep since 1997, she is proud to join the VIN Foundation’s board as its newest member.
VIN Foundation | Supporting veterinarians to cultivate a healthy animal community | Our Team | Board of Directors | William B. Thomas DVM DACVIM

William Thomas, DVM, DACVIM (Neurology)

 

Dr. Thomas is a 1985 graduate of Auburn University. He worked in a mixed-animal practice in Florida for several years before returning to Auburn to complete a residency in Neurosurgery and Neurology and an MS. After his residency, Dr. Thomas was a clinical instructor at North Carolina State University for two years before moving to the University of Tennessee where he is currently a Professor in Neurology and Neurosurgery and an ACVIM(Neurology) diplomate. Dr. Thomas lives on a horse farm with his wife, Sherri, two daughters, Emelie and Jenna, two dogs, a cat, two Guinea pigs, ducks, chickens and way too many Trakehners. Sherri is also a veterinarian and owns Lovell Animal Hospital.
VIN Foundation | Supporting veterinarians to cultivate a healthy animal community | Our Team | VIN Board Liaison | John Daugherty DVM

John Daugherty, DVM

VETERINARY INFORMATION NETWORK BOARD LIAISON  

 

Dr. John Daugherty graduated from The Ohio State University in 1979 with a Bachelor’s degree in Zoology. He went on to graduate from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1984. Dr. Daugherty is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) and The Ohio Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA). He is the owner of Poland Veterinary Centre in Poland, Ohio, which is a busy small animal practice with three other doctors and a very well-trained and caring staff. His primary focus is on dentistry and surgery.

 

Dr. Daugherty is on the Board of Directors of the Veterinary Information Network (VIN). This is an online community, information source and continuing education service for veterinarians. There are more than 85,000 international subscribers. He has been a member of VIN since 1994 and has been on the Board of Directors for over 10 years. He is also an Associate Editor of Diagnostic Imaging with VIN. This a small group of people who help interpret radiographs (X-rays) and ultrasound images for the subscribers of VIN in order to help them to improve their skills and gain confidence in image interpretation, and to help them better manage their patients. In his spare time, he enjoys reading and traveling. He loves wine and really enjoys cooking.

STAFF

VIN Foundation | Supporting veterinarians to cultivate a healthy animal community | Our Team | STAFF | Executive Director | Jordan benShea

Jordan benShea

Executive Director

 

Jordan benShea is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley where she studied Mass Communications with an emphasis in Business Administration and Journalism. After college, she began in client relations and moved on to oversee marketing departments in industries ranging from email marketing to biometrics, and from there founded her strategic communications consultancy. Jordan grew up with an avid appreciation for giving back and began to tie her strategic communications experience with her passion for engagement in the nonprofit world. She has served as a lead on multiple nonprofit boards and has spearheaded several board initiatives including chairing governance and development committees. Jordan has also completed a Board Leadership Institute program covering topics including board service, strategic planning, development and fundraising, board/CEO partnership, ethical legal/financial literacy, and governance oversight, and regularly participates in nonprofit workshops and educational courses. As an animal lover and advocate, she brings to the VIN Foundation an appreciation for the animal-veterinarian bond, a strategic communications approach to nonprofit leadership, and a commitment to help improve the veterinary profession through tangible support for colleagues. With a firm belief that our stories are our strength and unique differentiators, her latest passion project of producing and co-hosting the VIN Foundation’s Veterinary Pulse podcast is centered around veterinary colleagues connecting through sharing their journey in the profession and finding ways to innovative solutions to challenges. Jordan lives in Santa Barbara, California with her dog, chickens, and beehives, enjoys a good book, and loves exploring nature with friends and family.

VIN Foundation | Supporting veterinarians to cultivate a healthy animal community | Our Team | Sharnette Lewis Progam Manager

Sharnette Lewis

Program Manager

 

Sharnette was born in Southern California, but was raised across the United States and Western Europe. She currently resides in Virginia. While completing her Bachelor’s degree in biology from George Mason University, Sharnette volunteered at a small mixed animal practice in Washington DC. After graduation, Sharnette moved to California to begin work as a caregiver and animal advocate at two farm animal sanctuaries. While still living in California, Sharnette went back to veterinary medicine and once eligible through the alternative-route veterinary technician program, she worked as a registered veterinary technician in an exotic and small animal clinic. Upon moving to Virginia, Sharnette went back to the nonprofit sector, switching her attention from farmed animals to chained and penned dogs. Sharnette brings to VIN Foundation her experience in veterinary medicine and the nonprofit sector with the intention to make veterinary medicine a healthier and more inclusive profession. When she is not working, Sharnette likes to spend time with her two dogs, Sunni and Shani, and travel with friends and family.

VIN Foundation | Supporting veterinarians to cultivate a healthy animal community | Our Team | Vets4Vets® Leader | Bree Montana, DVM, CCFP

Bree Montana, DVM, CCFP

Vets4Vets® Team Lead

 

Bree Montana, DVM, CCFP, is a small animal practitioner and owner of the Agate Bay Animal Hospital and Dog Gone Crazy boarding/training facilities in North Lake Tahoe California. Following the completion of a B.S. in Biology at the University of Cincinnati’s McMicken College, Dr. Montana graduated from the Ohio State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine with a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine in 1992. A past member of the external advisory and admissions committees for UC Davis’ College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Montana also served as a working member of the VIN Foundation Board. In 2010, Dr. Montana helped to create the VIN Foundation’s innovative Vets4Vets® program, a confidential support group providing critical emotional care to veterinarians struggling with all forms of stress/addiction/mental health issues. The program is international and free for all veterinarians and veterinary students. Learning to balance the life of a rural solo practitioner, mom, wife, husky wrangler and aspiring dressage queen while coordinating the Vets4Vets® program has allowed Dr. Montana to become an expert at thinking outside of the box when advising veterinarians who feel stuck in their careers and personal lives. Dr. Montana enjoys lecturing on topics at the intersection of personal and professional life balance, including strategies for a healthy mentoring relationship, job seekers’ success techniques, effective communication in the workplace, as well as teaching the workplace ergonomics section of The Other Side of Veterinary Medicine: Healthy Clinicians Make Better Practitioners (a RACE approved course).
VIN Foundation | Supporting veterinarians to cultivate a healthy animal community | Resources | Vets4Vets® | Meghan Polite

Meghan Polite, RVT, BA

Vets4Vets® Coordinator

 

Meghan Polite is a graduate of the University of Oregon where she studied history and graphic design. After college, she discovered her passion for animals working under the immensely talented Dr. Bree Montana. She received her veterinary technicians license in 2017. In 2019, Meghan opened a successful and popular food truck and catering business in Tahoe City, Ca with her twin brother. Meghan is excited to stay connected to the veterinary world via Vets4Vets® and appreciates the opportunity to give back to the community that gave her so much. Meghan spends her free time adopting senior special needs animals and catering to her 4 dogs, 2 cats, and being catered to by her husband, Aaron.
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