I was raised in Junction City, Oregon, a small farming town just north of Eugene, south of Corvallis best known for the annual Scandinavian Festival. Like many of us who end up working with animals as adults, I ‘rescued’ any I could, easy to do when people would drop them off regularly at our house in the country. My dad and I built more animal enclosures than I could count to house the dogs, cats, doves, rabbits, a pygmy goat, squirrels, hamsters, rats, 3 sheep raised for FFA!
When I was 14, I was required to do a half day job shadow and naturally chose our family veterinarian, a mixed animal solo practitioner who was nearing retirement. A week or two later, they called to offer me a job. By the time I was 16, I spent more time there than at school (but was still an excellent student!). When the practice was sold, things changed dramatically, going from a relatively quiet hobby practice to a 3+ doctor small animal/exotics/wildlife practice and boy was it fun! The reputations of our new owners from out of state proceeded them and we became a VERY busy practice and saw just about everything. I am very fortunate to have grown up in such a diverse practice and have very fond memories of the late nights and unique experiences. I regularly volunteered for Feral Cat Coalition mobile clinics and local wildlife rehab centers throughout high school as well.
After graduating from high school, I continued working full time while commuting to Oregon State University. About a year later, I moved to Portland not knowing anyone, one of the best decisions I ever made! After working at two small animal practices and attending Portland State, I took a year away from veterinary medicine to work at a lifestyle branding (marketing) agency owned by one of my pet sitting clients. It was a tremendous learning opportunity and a fun change of pace. Unfortunately, the company had some difficulties and as I was exploring my options, I received a call from Dr. Steve Kochis, the then outgoing PVMA president and friend, telling me about the PVMA Executive Director position being available. Shortly after, I interviewed with Dr. Matt Dahlquist and Dr. Sheri Morris and was hired in April 2006. I can’t imagine being anywhere else. My love of the PVMA and Portland veterinary community only continues to grow stronger. I am so very fortunate to be a part of it and hope to continue to be for many years to come!
I continue to volunteer for a number of local organizations, including assisting with the care and training of puppies that are part of the Coffee Creek Puppy Program. I enjoy taking care of my home, garden, 4 chickens, 2 cats and 1 dog as well as traveling, photography, crafts, kayaking, hiking and all the other lovely things the Northwest has to offer.