The BCVTA is managed by a volunteer Board of Directors made up of a minimum of 8 members of good standing with the association. Directors are elected to the Board at the Annual General Meeting and appointed to positions by the Board based on an assessment of skills and interests.
Board of Director terms of service are based on Bylaw 6.7 Term of Directors and 6.8 Consecutive Terms and Term Limits and in Policy 3.3 Board of Director Terms as follows:
- President and Vice-President may be elected for up to one (1), two (2) year term.
- Secretary and Treasurer will be elected for up to two (2), two (2) year terms.
- RVTTC Representative will be appointed for up to three (3), two(2) year terms, following the Bylaws and Policies of the RVTTC.
- The CVBC Liaison will be elected for up to two (2), two (2) year terms.
President – Gabrielle Beer, RVT
Gabrielle started working in the veterinary industry as an assistant in 2011 and graduated from Thompson Rivers University as an RVT in 2014. She has worked in specialty veterinary care, small animal and exotics general practice, and with aquatic and marine mammals since joining the Vancouver Aquarium and their Marine Mammal Rescue Centre in 2017. Gabrielle worked previously as a photojournalist and continues to take on select photography projects throughout the year. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her husband and their very busy toddler and her furred and gilled family.
Vice President – Marina John, RVT
In her previous life, Marina worked as an ESL teacher in Seoul South Korea, before her love of medicine and animals drew her to a career in the veterinary field. She graduated from the University of Guelph Veterinary Technician program 10 years ago and has been a passionate advocate for RVT recognition ever since. Marina also has a Specialized Honors in a Bachelor of Science focusing on Science and Technology Studies. Since graduating from tech school she has received certifications in; Hands Free Radiology, Fear Free Animal Handling, and Veterinary Acupuncture and is working towards her dentistry certification. Marina has a varied background ranging from working as a farrowing tech at a large scale pig farm to working in lab sciences doing CT Scans and MRI’s on animals. She also has experience working in veterinary emergency and referral centers, as well as veterinary ophthalmology clinics. Additionally, she currently teaches the Veterinary Assistant program at VIU’s Nanaimo campus. Marina is also the Lead RVT and Production Manager for a local clinic focused on exotics, pocket pets and companion animal medicine. In her spare time; she loves making and eating home made pasta while binge watching SciFi shows with her husband. She has two Shiba inu’s who are both the biggest blessing and the biggest bane of her life. If she had a superpower, it would be her uncanny ability to tuck something away for safe keeping and promptly forget where she put it.
Treasurer – Leanne Hillis-Schmidt, RVT
Secretary – Kim Holbrow, RVT
RVTTC Representative – Kalaya Donchi, RVT
RVTTC Representative Carly Chaput, RVT
CVBC Liaison – Amanda Barker, RVT
‘I always knew I wanted to work with animals’ is a common theme among veterinary professionals when asked why they entered the profession. This doesn’t hold true for me, however, and my true passion for veterinary medicine didn’t begin to develop until 2008. I was in Calgary after receiving a scholarship for Engineering, and began to volunteer at the local shelter. I soon realized I was chasing the wrong profession.
My journey in veterinary medicine began at a vocational college, earning a Certificate as a Veterinary Office Assistant. During this time, I also gained employment at a small, local practice. The veterinarian at that clinic encouraged me to continue my education, and shortly after completing my certificate program I enrolled in a distance AHT program. In November 2012 I earned my Animal Health Technology Diploma, and a few months later successfully wrote the VTNE becoming a practising RVT in Alberta.
After several years, I held almost every position in that clinic – from kennel help to practice manager. In early 2015 I decided to look for a change. I had a craving to push my limits, to learn more, and gain new experiences. I entered the world of emergency and specialty medicine, and fell in love with the challenge and quick pace of the ER. I have had the opportunity to work with many specialties, including critical care, internal medicine, surgery, and anesthesia, which allowed me to further develop my skills as an RVT. In late 2019 I relocated to Vancouver Island, and have since taken on the roles of Lead RVT and Surgical Team Lead at a busy hospital in north Nanaimo.
I have been involved in many avenues of veterinary medicine, including wildlife rehabilitation, and extensive volunteer experience with the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association (ABVMA) and Alberta Veterinary Technologists Association (ABVTA), serving on ABVMA Council, ABVMA Registration Committee, ABVTA Board of Directors (President 2019), and ABVTA PR Committee.
When not in a clinic setting, I spend my time hiking or going backcountry camping in the mountains, traveling, and tending to my house plants. I’m a coffee addict, wine enthusiast, and love spending time with my cats, Kali Coconut and Cougar Puff.
Emily Carefoot, RVT
Executive Director – Amber Gregg, RVT