Spring Conference

Guest Speakers


Jeff Backus

CVT, RVT, VTS (ECC)(Technician Track)

Jeffrey started as a veterinary assistant in general practice in 1995. He began working in ECC in 2004. He became an RVT in 2009 and was an ER/ICU Supervisor at Animal Urgent Care for over 12 years. Jeffrey also taught part time at his alma mater, Heritage College, for 7 years.

In 2013, he became credentialed as a VTS(ECC), sat on the AVECCTN exam committee for 3 years, and now is the co-chair of the credentialing committee. He has been on the Board of Directors for the California RVT Association for 8 years, currently serving President, and has been a subject matter expert for the CA Veterinary Medical Board.

In 2016, he moved to Massachusetts to join academia, working as an ECC technician at the Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. He is also a frequent lecturer and speaker on all topics related to emergency and critical care, with a focus on toxicology, ECG, pain management, shock, fluid therapy.



Kelly Cronin

MBA,PHR, CVT, VTS (ECC)(Technician Track)

Kelly Cronin started in veterinary medicine by volunteering. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin Madison with a BS in Animal Sciences, she became licensed as a veterinary technician in Alaska in 2001, New Mexico in 2006, and Wisconsin in 2016. Kelly became Certified as a Professional in Human Resources in 2010, completing her Masters of Business Administration from Mississippi State University in 2012, and became a Veterinary Technician Specialist in Emergency and Critical Care in 2013. Kelly wrote and published “In the Middle”, a book for veterinary technicians in management. She is a national and international speaker presenting on leadership, management, and emergency and critical care medicine. She serves as an instructor for VSPN, is the CEO of Success Strategies Veterinary Consulting, and most recently was the Director of Denovo Operations for the Mission Veterinary Partners (36 + hospital group) and currently is Operation Support Manager to a group of specialty and emergency hospitals on the east coast. Kelly is an organizer of the VetTechLife CE on the Sea events. She offers short courses online in management, technical topics, marketing, presenting, resume review, professional growth and financial fitness through Success Strategies University.


Dale Grotelueschen

DVM, MS; University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Ag Animal Track)

Dr. Dale Grotelueschen enjoys working with veterinarians and the beef industry in the areas of beef health systems management, preventive health and production management, and diagnostic investigations. His DVM is from the University of Missouri and his MS, Clinical Sciences, is from Colorado State University. He has enjoyed private practice ownership, university positions focused on extension, diagnostics and administration (Professor Emeritus, UNL), and industry technical services with Pfizer Animal Health. Recognitions include the AABP Award of Excellence and the NVMA Veterinarian of the Year Award. He is active in organized veterinary medicine, currently serving as President of the Academy of Veterinary Consultants Foundation. He and his wife, Elizabeth, have been married for over 50 years, are parents of 2 adult daughters and reside in Harvard, Nebraska.


Diana Hassel

DVM, PhD, DACVS, DACVECC; Associate Professor & Equine Section Head, Colorado State University (Equine Track)

Dr. Hassel is an Associate Professor of Equine Emergency Surgery & Critical Care and helped establish the 24/7 Equine Critical Care service at CSU in 2004. She has been a specialist in the area of equine colic since completion of her surgical residency in 1997 and has furthered her background in critical care medicine for the horse by obtaining board certification by the American College of Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care in 2007. Her research interests are focused on treatment of the critically ill equine patient, with particular interests in colic, the equine gastrointestinal microbiome and endotoxemia.


Heidi Reuss Lamky

LVT, VTS (Anesthesia/Analgesia), (Surgery), FFCP (Technician Track)

Ms. Heidi Reuss-Lamky graduated from Michigan State University’s Veterinary Technology Program, and has extensive experience as a surgical technician. She is currently affiliated with Oakland Veterinary Referral Services in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.   She became certified through the Academy of Veterinary Technicians in Anesthesia and Analgesia in 2003, and was a founding member of the Academy of Veterinary Surgical Technicians, where she sits on the executive board. She serves in many professional roles, including a member of the NAVTA CVTS, and a Fear Free Certified Professional.  She is an accomplished author and lecturer, and was presented with the 2013 NAVC Dr. Jack L. Mara Memorial Lecturer award. 



Kerry Rood

MS, DVM, MPH, Dipl. ACVPM; Utah State University (Ag Animal Track)

Kerry A. Rood, MS, DVM, MPH, Diplomate ACVPM has served as associate professor and extension veterinary at Utah State University since 2007. Prior to this academic appointment, he served as the Vermont State Veterinarian and Chief Animal Health Officer. A 1997 DVM graduate of Kansas State University, Dr. Rood has been in mixed animal practice in Oregon and Utah. Kerry has received a number of wards, including undergraduate advisor of the year, teacher of the year, Utah’s veterinarian of the year, and president of the Utah Veterinary Medical Association. As part of a team, Dr. Rood was instrumental in garnering professional, public, and legislative support for the USU School of Veterinary Medicine; a joint regional program with Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Utah. 


Dave R Smith

DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVPM, Dipl. Epidemiology; Mikell and Mary Cheek Hall Davis Endowed Professor; Interim Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies; Mississippi State University (Ag Animal Track)

Dr. Smith is the Mikell and Mary Cheek Hall Davis Endowed Professor and Beef Program Leader at Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine. He is a board-certified veterinary epidemiologist with interest in discovering how to improve the health, well-being, and productivity of cattle, while benefiting human and environmental health. He has conducted national studies on cattle BRD as well as E. coli O157:H7. HIs DVM and PhD are from The Ohio State University. He currently serves on the AVMA’s Committee on Antimicrobials.

Betsy Vaughan

Betsy Vaughan

DVM, Dipl. ACVSMR; Clinical Professor, Large Animal Ultrasound, UC Davis (Equine Track)

Dr. Vaughan joined the faculty at UC Davis in 2006 after completing a 2-year residency in Large Animal Ultrasound at UC Davis. Her interests include equine musculoskeletal injuries and rehabilitation and equine and livestock abdominal imaging. She greatly enjoys teaching and is an avid instructor both in the clinic at UCD and at continuing education seminars across the country. Dr. Vaughan is a 2002 graduate of Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and completed a 1-year internship at Peterson and Smith Equine Hospital in Ocala, FL.


WSU Speakers

Claire Burbick

Small Animal Track

Michela Ciccarelli
DVM, MS, PhD, Dipl. ACT

Ag Animal Track

Gary Haldorson

Ag Animal Track

Jenifer Gold

Equine Track

Sarah Guess

Small Animal Track

Ashley Hanna

Small Animal Track

Ann Kemper

Equine Track

Marco Lopes

Equine Track

Macarena Sanz

Equine Track

Debra C. Sellon

Equine Track

Tom Wilkinson Jr.

Small Animal Track

Laura Williams

Ag Animal Track