President– Amber Gregg, RVT
Amber graduated from the TRU program in 2007 and spent almost 8 years in clinical practice. She is currently the Coordinator for the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society in Williams Lake BC where she supports the team so they can deliver Waste and Water Wise programming in the region.
In her spare time she spend lots of time with family and two crazy dogs!
Executive Director – Denise Hitt RVT
Denise spent the first part of her working life at Costco, during which time she rented a room to a Tech student….and fell in love with the idea of working in the vet field….fast forward 10 years to where circumstances aligned and school became an option, graduating from the TRU Distance Program in 2007. Denise has spent her time working in small animal practices, and currently works with an amazing team who have allowed her to grow her passion: to form trusted relationships with pets and their people. It is this mindset that she brings to her role as Executive Director – wanting to expand the relationships the association has with its members. Denise lives in Kamloops, sharing the house with 3 Golden Retrievers and her partner, Ken.
RVTTC Representative – Tinille McKenzie-Wyatt RVT, VTS (ECC)
Tinille graduated from Thompson Rivers University in 1996 when it was called the University College of the Cariboo. After graduation, Tinille completed a 1-year internship program at the Animal Medical Center in New York City (small animals) and then a 1-month externship program in Littleton, Colorado where she worked with horses. Tinille worked in a couple of small animal general practices in Calgary, Alberta when she returned to Canada before finding her passion in emergency and critical care. In 2003 she received her Veterinary Technician Specialty in Emergency and Critical Care (VTS ECC). In 2006 she returned to Vancouver Island where she was born and raised and worked in small animal practice and an equine surgery practice. Currently, Tinille teaches full time for the TRU distance AHT program and locums in a few local clinics. She shares her home with her husband, 2 children and 1 cat recently adopted for the TRU AHT program.
Secretary – Kim Holbrow, RVT
Kim graduated as an RVT from TRU in 2008. She works most of the time in a small animal practice, but locums all over the Fraser Valley and loves emergency medicine and critical care. Kim has a couple dogs, a couple cats and a couple horses. When she is not at work you can find her in her garden or reading.
RVTTC Representative – Kalaya Donchi, RVT
Kalaya graduated from NAIT – Fairview in 2008. After spending 2 years in a general practice in Sherwood Park, AB, Kalaya missed the BC mountains and landed herself in the Okanagan in 2010. Kalaya currently splits her time working with an ophthalmologist and a mobile surgeon. She has a passion for anesthesia and analgesia. In her spare time, she can be found hiking or obsessing over her extensive plant collection. She shares her home with her 11-year-old Labrador Jack.
Board Member – Leanne Hillis-Schmidt, RVT
Leanne graduated from Lakeland college in 2004 and has been working in mixed and small animal practice as well as on dairy farms throughout the coast and now the Okanagan. While is has found a wonderful team in a small animal practice, she does still milk cows occasionally. Her passions center around nursing care and behaviour medicine. She is currently Fear Free level 1 certified and is also Silver Certified in Low Stress Handling. When not at work, she is surrounded by her family of 3 kids, a husband, 2 corgis (Darla and Dottie), and a house rabbit named Boomer.
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.