©2020 British Columbia Veterinary Technologists Association
President – Heather Shannon, RVT
Heather graduated from Olds College in 1989, after graduation she worked in a mixed animal practice in Kamloops. In 1996 she was hired by a business man to build a ranch from the ground up. Heather participated in choosing the land, the animals and created a working ranch in the Shuswap area. In 2007 Heather joined the faculty at Thompson Rivers University Animal Health Technology program and has been a full time instructor there ever since. She has also been involved with the CVBC/BCVTA Advisory Committee since its inception in 2011 and is the President of the Registered Veterinary Technologists of Canada. Heather lives on a small ranch in Knutsford, BC with her husband and menagerie of critters: horses, llamas, sheep, cattle, dogs, cats and her well known donkey Lola. Heather has 2 grown children and is an active member with the Girl Guides of Canada.
Liaison to the College of Veterinarians of BC – Kirsten Wilson, RVT
Kirsten graduated from the Thompson Rivers University AHT program in 2001. She spent eight years working in Small Animal Practices prior to joining the staff at the Douglas College Veterinary Technology program. Having been involved with the BCVTA in several positions, Kirsten has been working to strengthen the provincial association, increase dialogue with the CVBC, and promote the VT profession through public education. Kirsten shares her home with a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, a Pumi, a Kelpie (all play agility with Kirsten’s partner), a Chihuahua cross and two cats, Mozart and Spartacus Hawkins.
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 – Mia Cirotto, RVT
Mia currently lives in a remote town in Northern British Columbia. She loves to explore job opportunities that are outside the norm for the veterinary community. Mia enjoys the challenges (and amazing successes) that come from working in alternative positions. She has had the pleasure of working with a variety of animals including exotics, wildlife, large, and small animals. She enjoys working with avian species and has extensive knowledge of avian medical procedures and husbandry requirements for both North American and exotic bird species. Mia has worked as an Animal Welfare Supervisor in the independent film industry and enjoyed the variety of challenges faced in film. She has also worked as a Wildlife Rehabilitator and Animal Shelter Supervisor. Mia has taught animal related workshops to volunteers, staff members, and the general public. She finds great satisfaction in promoting animal welfare, medical knowledge, and the RVT profession through lectures and workshops. There is a special place in Mia’s heart for non-profit groups and has spent most of her career in the non-profit sector. In her spare time Mia enjoys photography and spending time outside hiking, snowmobiling, dirt biking, curling, and skiing.
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.
Treasurer – Tina Douglas, RVT
Tina graduated from Olds College in 1977 and has been involved with the BCVTA from the beginning. During this time, Tina has held several positions on the board including Executive Assistant until 2007. In 2005, she won the AHT of the year award. Tina currently works part time in a mixed animal practice and in her spare time she likes to travel, golf and read. Tina has one daughter with whom she co-owns a cat with an attitude.
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.
Vice 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!
Board Member – 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.