Leadership

President

The Veterinary Cooperative named Ginni Hamele, an accomplished leader in the animal health industry, as president of the largest veterinarian-owned purchasing Cooperative in the United States.

Hamele has spent the last nine years at CEVA SANTE ANIMALE in various roles where she gained extensive knowledge and experience in the animal health industry. In her most recent position for CEVA as Manager - Corporate Business Unit, she was responsible for managing all aspects of the Corporate Business Unit, with a focus on developing strategy and managing the private brand product suite. Prior to CEVA, Hamele held positions with Boehringer Ingelheim and GSK. She has a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Marketing from Winona State University.

As President of TVC, Hamele will be leading veterinary medicine’s fastest-growing Cooperative, with services and support designed for independent veterinarians. TVC’s goal is to have the same purchasing power and marketing prowess as the big box stores by growing to 5,000 independent animal hospitals that would have sales and purchasing power equal or greater than corporate competitors.

Hamele said she is excited to work with TVC and its members after previous collaboration as a vendor partner. “TVC has a lot of energy, excitement, and a unique way to look at what’s happening in the veterinary market and how to better support the independent veterinarian as we see a shift in the industry footprint and market strategy. The industry is changing rapidly. The environment, with the added challenge of COVID, is changing the way independent veterinarians and everyone in veterinary medicine look at and execute their business. There’s a special challenge for independent hospitals as they try to navigate through this time.”

Hamele’s goals as president include building upon TVC’s successful culture, increasing engagement from members, identifying new resources and support for members, and enhancing relationships with vendor partners to strengthen the individual member-owned veterinary hospitals and Cooperative as a whole, while contributing to the success of our vendor partners.

“By focusing on member engagement and enhancing vendor relationships, it will create more value and success for everyone involved with TVC,” she said

Board

 

Dr Betts graduated from the University of Florida CVM in 2000. Before veterinary school, Dr Betts spent a decade as a paramedic on the sunny shores of Florida with special duties on the Hazardous Material Response Team and the Marine Search and Rescue Team.
After veterinary school, Dr Betts completed a one-year medical/surgical internship at Friendship Hospital for Animals in Washington, DC. Upon completion of the internship she remained at Friendship for 3 years as a clinician.
Family drew Dr Betts and her husband, Roger, to Michigan where she practiced emergency medicine for 4 years. The shores of western Michigan became their home when they bought Parkdale Animal Hospital. At Parkdale Dr Betts was able to make in impact in the small community by starting a rabies vaccine clinic, sponsoring community projects, introducing children to vet med through a monthly Teddy Bear Surgery Day,  helping control the feral cat population through a cat neuter program and hosting a radio question/answer program.

DSC_0614Dr. Anna Coffin graduated from Oklahoma State University School of Veterinary Medicine in 1994.  She practiced as an associate veterinarian in New Hampshire for three years.  In 1997, Dr. Anna Coffin moved back to her home town of Guthrie, Oklahoma and purchased a small animal clinic.  Guthrie Pet Hospital gained AAHA Accreditation in 2003 and became a Cat Friendly Certified Practice in 2013.  In 2014, she became a member of the AAHA Online Engagement Committee where she helps AAHA and its accredited members utilize social media to help spread the word about AAHA accreditation.  In her spare time, Dr. Anna Coffin manages and operates a local copy shop and Bed & Breakfast.

Dr. Hosek has been the owner of Merrick Animal Hospital in Brookfield Illinois since 2008 and has operated a house call practice, Custom Veterinary Care, since 1991. He graduated from the University of Illinois in 1988 and did a Small Animal Medicine and Surgery Internship at the Univeristy of Pennsylvania. He has a strong interest in feline medicine.
His other interests include gardening, woodworking, playing violin, and writing fiction. He participates in the local boy scouts and a mentoring program for middle school boys in Chicago. He also serves as the Nebula Award Commissioner for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) and is working on a mystery series with a veterinarian as the detective. He is a big Doctor Who fan and loves to bake cheesecakes for his staff on their birthdays.

More info coming soon
Dr Lassiter graduated from UGA in 1996. She worked for 3 years at Monroe Veterinary Clinic before
starting Rutledge Animal Hospital in 2000. She closed that clinic in 2003 and started Lassiter Veterinary
Services providing house call service for both lar
ge and small animals. In 2005, she began working
emergency shifts at a local after hours clinic. Dr Lassiter loved the emergency work so much, she closed
the house call business in 2007 and helped set up East Metro Animal Emergency clinic in 2007. She
w
orked there as a full time associate until 2010 and remains a shareholder in that clinic. Between 2010
and 2012, she worked a couple of part time jobs while focusing on her own horses, showing and
training. Then in 2011, she took a job with Project Catsn
ip, a low cost feline spay and neuter mobile
clinic and did some works for PAWS Atlanta. Through these two jobs, she realized a real need for
providing comprehensive medical services for those that may not be able to afford traditional veterinary
practice
s. She started Budget Vet as a mobile operation in July 2012. Budget Vet became a stationary
clinic with the opening of a new facility in 2017. Dr Lassiter is currently a solo practitioner at Budget Vet,
but hopes to expand the veterinary staff in the n
ear future.

Dr. Tarassov graduated with honors from Ural State Institute of Veterinary Medicine in Russia in 1999. He became licensed in the USA in 2008 after completing review program for foreign graduates at Kansas State University and ECFVG certification. He completed Emergency and Critical Care internship at Animal Emergency and Specialty Services in Milwaukee, WI in 2010 and Neurology internship at Veterinary Neurological Center in Las Vegas, NV in 2011. He has broad experience in the field of veterinary medicine. After graduating from the veterinary school, he started working primarily with dairy cattle and was involved in dairy cattle clinical nutrition research. In 2004 Dr. Tarassov made a shift in his career towards small animals. He worked in general practiceas well as with laboratory animals in research setting. Because of his passion of sharing his knowledge and experience, he taught in veterinary technology program at Globe College in Minnesota. Dr. Tarassov also lectured on many veterinary conferences internationally and in the US. He helped to organize and lectured at over 20 veterinary conferences in Russia, Czech Republic, Germany and Thailand. Dr. Tarassov volunteered on multiple Rural Area Veterinary Services trips to underserved areas in the US. He also spent several weeks with the same group in Louisiana after hurricane Katrina, providing veterinary care for lost and abandoned pets. Dr. Tarassov became a clinic owner in 2015 and is a big advocate of veterinary practices being owned by veterinarians.

Professional Team

I am a recent graduate with dual degrees in Biology and Chemistry. My long-term goal is to obtain a master’s degree either in science or business. I have previous experience working with exotics and pets of my own. My brief time at VPI has me very eager to learn more about the vast world of animal health. I reside in a beautiful mountain town called Blue Ridge located in North GA. Here is where I like to hike, discover waterfalls, camp, and backpack with my family, friends, and my 2 fur babies Mizmae and Magnus.

A goal of mine is to further my professional experience by becoming part of a company that provides quality services in animal health. By becoming part of TVC, I look forward to gaining more experience in the veterinary world and furthering my professional skills. I am very excited to get to know more about all of the clinics at TVC and how I can help them utilize the many benefits of being a TVC member.

C360_2015-08-12-18-33-22-875Tara Arnold is a Financial and Data Experience Specialist at The Veterinary Cooperative. She is a graduate of Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, where she studied Chemistry and English Literature. Upon graduating, Tara returned to her native Chicago, where she began working for an independent dog grooming business. Somewhere in between all of the soapy excited dogs and her coworkers who loved and cared for them, Tara learned all about the unique joys of working for an independent animal care business, but also the unique struggles those independent businesses face. She is thrilled to be working for TVC, where she can help keep independent veterinarians and their clinics afloat and competitive in a climate that often seems to be working against them. Before landing at TVC, Tara worked in Logistics, at a small third-party brokerage specializing in domestic trucking. She learned about negotiating with carriers large and small to obtain fair pricing and excellent service for customers, and she is excited to apply and build on those skills in her work at TVC.

In her free time, Tara is an avid reader, and is at work on some literary projects of her own. She has also developed a habit of gardening. Except in her time in college, Tara has always lived with at least one cat. Her current animal friend is an adventurous and occasionally clumsy tuxedo cat named Jasper, who picked her when she visited a local shelter.

Chad is a native of South Kansas City and graduated from Kansas State University with a degree in Architecture.  After two years working as an Architect he returned to school for Pre-Medical Science courses.  Upon finishing his science coursework he decided to work on gaining a career in Medical Sales.

He started his Sales Career in Optical Sales and after one year was given an opportunity to work with IDEXX Laboratories.  For the next eight years he worked in sales, product and sales training and management before deciding to end his excessive travel to be home most nights.  He married his Wife, and helped her open Clark Family Dentistry in St Joseph, MO.  As his wife was opening her dental practice, Chad began working with Patterson Veterinary while maintaining the books and payroll at the dental practice. In 2015 Chad left Patterson to take the position of CFO at his wife’s quickly growing Dental Practice on a full time basis where he implemented many of the business cost savings he had learned from Patterson’s partnership with TVC.  Having a true enjoyment in helping his Veterinary Clients either grow their business and/or helping them with business ideas and cost savings over his 14 plus years in the veterinary industry and spending the time in helping his wife run and grow the Dental Practice he decided that he wanted to return to the Veterinary arena to continue to help the Independent Veterinarian compete with the Corporate world of Veterinary Medicine.

When not working, Chad spends all his time with his Family. (Coen 6, Gracen 4, Halle 2 and his wife Heather, age unknown)

Laurie Gonzalez
Los Angeles, California

Laurie Gonzalez - Senior Analyst Financial & Data Intelligence at The Veterinary Cooperative. A dog lover for as far back as she can remember, Laurie grew up in Chicago in an apartment building that, to her dismay, did not allow pets.  So at age 10, she launched a highly popular and lucrative neighborhood dog-walking service. Despite spending much of her youth dreaming of being a vet, she majored in psychology at the University of Illinois and chose instead to earn a law degree from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from UCLA.  While pursuing her degrees and developing an expertise in the area of child abuse, Laurie spent significant amounts of her time collecting and analyzing data for several research projects. She also provided psychotherapy for adults and children at UCLA’s Neuropsychiatric Institute, and taught Psychology and Statistics classes.
Laurie and her family recently moved back to Chicago after spending several years living in the Los Angeles area and Nashville. During that time, she served as editor-in-chief and advertising director for the monthly magazine at Lupin Hill Elementary School in Calabasas, CA, and treasurer/administrative manager for travel basketball and baseball programs.  When not working, Laurie enjoys spending time with her husband and sons, volunteers at a school library, is a bit of a workout nut, and loves to hang at the beach with her dog Buddy.  She is extremely excited to finally be working in the veterinary industry.

Jenny Hartfield has a long career in animal health, starting as a volunteer as a young girl and she worked her way through the clinic, until moving to veterinary distribution where she worked in inside sales, marketing and field sales. She left the industry briefly to work in marketing for global and national companies where she specialized in marketing technology and digital marketing. In September 2019, she joined TVC as a Product Experience Specialist. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resources, Wildlife Management and a MBA with Marketing Concentration. Jenny lives in Columbus, Ohio where she enjoys vacations, sports and life with her husband, 18-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son, Boxer, Golden Retriever and a sassy orange cat.

Brittany Hull is a Marketing Support Manager & Event Coordinator at The Veterinary Cooperative, where she focuses her time on strengthening the relationship of TVC Members with its vendors and distribution partners.  Brittany is based just out of Nashville, TN where she and her family run a competitive show lamb business, Hull Club Lambs.  Brittany grew up on the west coast participating heavily in 4-H & FFA—traveling the country to partake in livestock shows, public speaking engagements, marketing competitions and everything in between.  She served as both the Oregon FFA State Secretary and Oregon 4-H Ambassador as a culmination to her time in both organizations.

Through college Brittany worked for a many-times-recognized veterinary practice in Wellington, Colorado where she found a love for providing heightened levels of client experience to pet parents, and learned to understand the unique demands put on those involved in the veterinary industry.  From there she has made a career in the distribution side of the veterinary world, and is excited to have the opportunity to bring value and real-world savings to our clinics through programs at TVC.

As Director of Operations and Marketing at The Veterinary Cooperative, Pablo Lopez, believes the best animal care is provided by independent veterinary practices. Mr. Lopez helps to lead a positive cooperative community of veterinarians that benefits all who do business with the Cooperative. Mr. Lopez works to critically assess the complex challenges facing today’s Veterinary practice owner by leveraging his experiences collaboratively leading teams across disciplines, distances, and industries.

Mr. Lopez has several years’ experience as an executive leader in the Animal health and Aviation industries. He has also been a lecturer and a professor of Communication at the university level. He has earned Undergraduate and Graduate degrees in Leadership and Communications from Northwestern University.

Nick McCart is the Vice President of Experience and Technology. Previously, Nick worked in marketing and legal industry and also owned a production company.  He has also worked in lobbying and politics.  He is based in Austin Texas.

Nick hails from the University of Denver with a degree in Business with a focus on International markets and conflict resolution. He is a Colorado native, bi-lingual, loves to travel having lived in in three different continents.

He started working for the cooperative at the 350 Member mark. Alongside everyone at The Veterinary Cooperative, he is an animal lover, and has rescued a border collie from a reservation in New Mexico. A lot of his free time is dedicated to his dog Schröder and his agility training. He enjoys hiking up the Colorado peaks in the summer, and skiing down them in the winter.  He is also an experienced photographer.

Nick is passionate about designing a more engaging and rich member experience for the hospitals and vendors who partner with the Veterinary Cooperative. As the Industry is rapidly shifting and consolidating Nick is dedicated to independent cooperative culture and is happy to take part. His mission is to better help small and medium size  business owners compete all over the United States.

Allison Morris
Allison Morris - President

Allison McDermott is The Veterinary Cooperative's event manager.  She graduated college with a degree in business with a focus in hospitality from the University of Denver.  In college Allison fostered kittens in her apartment for the local humane society and knew she wanted to become involved in the animal care industry. Directly after college, she moved to Aspen, CO where she continued to refine her customer service skills working for the areas only Five-Star hotel.   She then moved back to the Chicago area, where she grew up, to harness her sales and customer service skills by working for a kitchen and bath store that sells luxury items to Chicago's top architects and interior designers.  Allison became aware of the opportunity

FullSizeRender-3
Allison's Cat - Finnegan

to be on the ground floor of a startup cooperative that would help better the care for animals.

She started working for TVC when it launched in September 2012, helping it grow from 4 members and just a few vendors to what it is today.  She spends her extra hours helping organize the yearly Walk

Allison's Dog - Logan

MS Chicago Lakefront fundraising event for Multiple Sclerosis.  She also enjoys involving herself in the music scene in Chicago, playing in bands and competing in singing competitions.  Singing has always been a huge passion in her life and participating in the University of Denver’s longest running a cappella group was a highlight of her college years.  She is excited to help TVC grow into a name to be known throughout the veterinary industry.

After graduating from James Madison University with a B.A. in International Affairs, Katy went on to work in multi-media advertisement sales for ESPN|ABC Sports in New York, NY. During this time, she grew into an international sales planning role and managed campaigns for ESPN’s global client list.This experience led her to Southern California where she developed digital advertisement proposals for national brands with a boutique sports marketing agency and The Active Network, a company dedicated to participation in race events, team sports and outdoor recreation. While Katy enjoyed the world of sports media, she felt a pull towards the field of animal health and welfare and began volunteering at a local equine rescue and rehabilitation center. She then became a veterinary technician and has a combined five years of experience at both a small animal hospital and an exclusively equine medical and surgical center. Katy now joins TVC as an Owner Success Advocate and is excited to bring her business background together with her experience in animal health to help independently owned veterinary practices prosper in a dynamic and ever-changing industry.

Sarah Sgromo is a Member Experience Representative at The Veterinary Cooperative. She began her career with TVC as an intern in June 2016 and knew immediately that the TVC community was where she wanted to work after graduation because of their mission to keep independent veterinary clinics independent. She graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Communication Management and Design. In addition to her degree, Sarah received a minor in Art with a concentration in Graphic Design. While pursuing her degree, Sarah freelanced as a graphic designer and brand development consultant for various local businesses. Sarah is based out of her hometown, Syracuse, NY (Go Orange!).

Just like the other members of the TVC team, Sarah enjoys surrounding herself with her four-legged friends, Roxy and Cali. She enjoys taking her dog Roxy on adventures to the Adirondack Mountains to go hiking, mountain biking, and exploring. On her many adventures, Sarah always has her camera ready to capture the moment. When she is not off exploring in nature or spending time with friends and very large family, Sarah enjoys painting and cuddling up with her oldest friend Cali, her 18-year-old cat.

Sarah has a strong passion for instructional and graphic design as well as working with independent businesses, providing them with the tools they need to succeed, and TVC enables her to pursue that passion. She couldn't be more excited to be a part of the TVC community and use her marketing, strategic communication, and design skills to enrich TVC's member experience.

Consultant

Richard Morris is a co-founder and former CEO of The Veterinary Cooperative.  Previously, Richard spent 15 years advising national cooperatives and corporations on strategy and operations as a principal at ROI Consulting.  Richard also served as an executive and director at Fel-Pro, an auto parts manufacturer consistently ranked as a top ten company to work for in America.  Richard holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Rich has a passion for helping independent and family business.  In his 12 years as an Adjunct Professor at Lake Forest Graduate School of Management, he focused his study on the question: What makes independent business thrive when public corporations start to consolidate the industry?  His answer revealed that Independents joining and utilizing a group such as a cooperative become the only independents remaining in the consolidated industries.  Rich worked as a consultant for the National Cooperative Business Association and cooperatives ranging from True Value to Independent Distributors Inc.  in the US and Canada.

Rich is a board member of The International Association for Animal Hospice and Palliative Care, a non-profit association.  As a speaker, Rich has been asked to share his experience to a wide range of audiences including, family business and entrepreneurial centers, associations, family offices, and financial institutions. Rich has appeared on WGN TV, Washington Business Tonight, NPR affiliates and business radio programs. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Crain’s Chicago, Family Business magazine and co-authored the book, Kids, Wealth, and Consequences. Rich earned his undergraduate degree from Ithaca College and an MBA from Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management.
Rich spends his free time helping non-for-profit organization, is an avid cyclist, skier and enjoys spending time with Family.