2022 Conference Speakers

Dr. Ameet Singh (Vets)
Dr. Judy Rochette (Vets)
Dr. Kelly St. Denis (Vets)
Dr. Serge Chalhoub (Vets)
Dr. Karen Overall (Vets)
Monique Feyrecilde (Techs, Support Staff)
Amanda Shelby (Techs)
Candice Hoerner (Techs)
Debbie Lawrence (Support Staff)
Darren Osborne (Managers)
Dr. David Andrews (Team)
Dr. Heather Gunn McQuillan (Team)
Dr. Cindy Adams (Managers/Team)
Dr. Shelley Burton (Techs)
Dr. Sandra McConkey (Techs)
Ellen McMahon (Techs)



Dr. Ameet Singh

Dr. Ameet Singh is an Associate Professor of Small Animal Surgery at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. His clinical and research interests include minimally invasive surgery and surgical site infections. Dr. Singh is currently the President of the Veterinary Endoscopy Society and is an ACVS Founding Fellow of Minimally Invasive Surgery. He has published over 80 journal articles and taught numerous workshops and surgical courses internationally. Dr. Singh received his DVM from Atlantic Veterinary College and completed his surgical residency training at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph.



Dr. Judy Rochette  

Dr. Rochette is a specialist in veterinary dentistry and oral surgery. She is semi-retired but continues to offer general and referral dental services throughout British Columbia. When she is not working in hospitals, she acts as a consultant for the Veterinary Information Network, and reviews articles for the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery and the Journal of Veterinary Dentistry. She also publishes articles on veterinary dentistry and is a valued speaker at conferences.



Dr. Kelly St. Denis  

Kelly St. Denis, Msc, DVM, DABVP (feline practice)

Dr. St. Denis is a practicing feline medicine specialist, board certified with the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in the specialty of feline practice. In her early career she trained in molecular biology and immunology, working in the field of cancer research. In 1999 she graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College, going on to own and operate the Charing Cross Cat Clinic from 2007 to 2020. Dr. St. Denis is Immediate Past President for the American Association of Feline Practitioners and an active volunter in the organization, participating in many committees and task forces. Dr. St. Denis is a consultant on the Veterinary Information Network in feline internal medicine.



Dr. Serge Chalhoub

Serge Chalhoub graduated the Faculté de médecine vétérinaire (FMV) of the Université de Montréal in 2004. Serge followed this with a one-year rotating small animal clinical internship at the same institution. Serge pursued a residency in small animal internal medicine at the Animal Medical Center (AMC) in New York City. He stayed on at the AMC as their first renal/hemodialysis fellow and then as a staff doctor. Dr. Chalhoub has been a faculty member at the University of Calgary 's Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (UCVM) since 2012. He was the recipient of the 2013 and 2021 Canadian Veterinary Medical Association 's Teacher of the Year Award, the 2015 University of Calgary Team Teacher of the Year Award, and the 2017 Carl J. Norden Distinguished Teacher Award. He has authored and co-authored numerous scientific articles and book chapters on veterinary point of care ultrasound, renal and urinary medicine, and lectures around the world on these topics.



Karen L. Overall

Dr. Karen L. Overall has BA, MA and VMD degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and a PhD degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She did her residency training in veterinary behavioural medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Behaviourists (DACVB). Dr. Overall ran the Behavior Clinic at Penn Vet for more than a dozen years. She has also served on the faculty of Penn Med. Dr. Overall is a Professor of Behavioural Medicine at Atlantic Veterinary College, UPEI and lecturesat veterinary schools world-wide.

Dr. Overall the author of hundreds of scholarly publications, textbook chapters, commentaries, etcetera and the texts Clinical Behavioural Medicine for Small Animals (1997; Elsevier) and Manual of Clinical Behavioural Medicine for Dogs and Cats (2013; Elsevier) and of the DVD, Humane Behavioural Care for Dogs: Problem Prevention and Treatment (2013; Elsevier). She is the editor-in-chief for Journal of Veterinary Behaviour: Clinical Applications and Research (Elsevier).

In addition to having given hundreds of lectures to various associations world-wide, Dr. Overall frequently consults for welfare groups, governments, the entire range of working dog organizations and pharmaceutical companies.

Dr. Overall has been named the North American Veterinary Conference (NAVC) Small Animal Speaker of the Year and was named one of the The Bark’s 100 Best and Brightest - Bark Magazine's list of the 100 most influential people in the dog world over the past 25 years.

Dr. Overall's research focuses on neurobehavioural genetics of dogs, the development of normal and abnormal behaviours especially with respect to early experience, assessment of behaviour, with an emphasis on working dogs, truly humane routine behavioural care and psychopharmacology.



Monique Feyrecilde

Monique 's interest in animal behavior and intelligence began as a child with her first dog. She apprenticed with a local trainer and entered the veterinary profession as an assistant. By 1997 she was offering private consultations in training and animal behavior. In 1999 through “Teaching Animals” she began offering in-home consultations as well as group classes at the Seattle Agility Center. Since 2001 she has offered behavioral consultation in a hospital setting. She received her Licensed Veterinary Technician designation in 2001 and her VT Specialist in Behavior in 2011.

She is the former President of the Veterinary Behavior Technicians and Past President and Committee Chair of the Academy of Veterinary Behavior Technicians, the governing body for VTS certification. She has also worked in wildlife rehabilitation and release, and with evaluating, rehabilitating and matching dogs with their new families.



Amanda Shelby 

Amanda M. Shelby ~ BSc, RVT, VTS (Anesthesia & Analgesia)

As with most veterinary professionals, Amanda has a life-long love for animals. Following graduation with Bachelor of Science from Murray State University (2006), she mentored under leaders in veterinary anesthesia at the University of Florida (2006-2011) and Louisiana State University (2011-2016). She acquired a veterinary technician specialty in anesthesia and analgesia (2010) and currently serves as the Member at Large on the Board of Regents for the AVTAA. This academic background and passion for instruction allowed participation in educating the next generation of veterinary professionals as adjunctive faculty at Baton Rouge Community College (2013-2016), participate in research which resulted in multiple peer-reviewed publications, and the continuation of mastering anesthesia techniques for large, small and exotic patients. Upon relocation to Indiana, Amanda joined Jurox, Inc. and currently serves as the Think Anesthesia Content Coordinator (2016-current) creating assets for www.thinkanesthesia.education, a continuing educational platform.

She continues to perform limited on-call duties to remain current in her passion, veterinary anesthesia and analgesia, at IndyVet Emergency & Specialty Hospital (2017-current) a feline friendly, fear free, AAHA accredited specialty 24-hour facility. Some of her greatest professional accomplishments include co-editor Small Animal Anesthesia Techniques, Wiley & Blackwell, 2014, 2nd edition in press, numerous book chapters, public speaking and experiencing engaging conversations about anesthesia and analgesia with the goal of improving veterinary professionals’ knowledge and ultimately patient outcomes.



Candice Hoerner

Candice has been a Certified Veterinary Technician since 2004 and received the designation of Veterinary Technician Specialist in Dentistry (VTS) in 2011. She is currently President of the Academy of Veterinary Dental Technicians and is Past-President of the Big Sky Veterinary Technician Association. She enjoys sharing her passion for dentistry through lectures, wet labs, and in-clinic training sessions internationally through her company, Big Sky Veterinary Dentistry Education LLC.



Debbie Lawrence  

Debbie Lawrence is a life and business coach and President of Abundant Living Inc. She has spent more than three decades gaining experience as a coach, teacher, consultant, and facilitator. She authored “Standing in Your Light: Women and Entrepreneurship”, and is the former director of the Professional Ethics Review Committee for the International Association of Coaches. She has also written for the Nova Scotia Business Journal and other publications. She has been a college principal, and has worked for IBM and Gulf Canada, was Vice President of KeyCorp Inc. and is the recipient of the Nova Scotia Champion Ambassador Award for Workplace Education. She is now fully dedicated to her coaching practice.



Darren Osborne

Darren Osborne is the Director of Economic Research for the Ontario VMA and Economic Consultant for the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association, several State VMAs, the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association and veterinary study groups across North America. Darren attended York University and completed his Master's Degree in Economics in 1992. When he is not crunching numbers, you can find Darren trying to outrun the pandemic with long trail runs, extended canoe trips and marathon swims.



Dr. David Andrews  

Dr. Andrews served more than 21 years on active duty with the United States Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force. He was deployed four times before being seriously wounded-in-action while serving as combat advisor in Afghanistan. After retiring for medical reasons due to his wounds, he served as Senior Intelligence Officer for the Defense Intelligence Agency where his duties included working with Joint Staff and NORAD-US Northern Command. He was named the 2015 Department of Defense Civilian Employee with a Disability. Dr. Andrews is currently President of the Remount Foundation, an organization that helps veterans and their families to heal through the use equine assisted learning. He founded and is President of Purple Heart Consulting which specializes in resilience, leadership and organizational culture. He has served two terms as Colorado 's elected commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart. He is also the recipient of the Purple Heart. He has met with government leaders including the President to discuss the challenges facing wounded warriors.

Dr. Andrews has a PhD in Management and speaks frequently on resilience, suicide awareness and prevention, and overcoming adversity. He also serves as a university adjunct professor in management and strategy. He credits his recovery to his wife and four children who encouraged him to get better and to adjust to life with injuries.



Dr. Heather Gunn McQuillan  

Dr. Heather Gunn McQuillan has served as the Assistant Dean of Clinical and Professional Programming at the Atlantic Veterinary College (AVC) since August 2020. Prior to that time, she was the Hospital Director for the Veterinary Teaching Hospital (VTH) at AVC for nearly six years, where she had a demonstrated record of business and leadership success. She spearheaded the development of Prince Edward Island’s first primary care emergency centre operated out of the VTH and the creation of the primary care emergency rotation for final year DVM students at AVC.

With nearly twenty years of practical experience in a diverse range of settings including companion animal medicine and surgery, large animal medicine (both health management and field service), emergency medicine, shelter medicine, and research/teaching in both academia and industry, Heather has brought this experience to overseeing and teaching in the Professional Foundations curriculum at AVC. Within that program, Dr. Gunn McQuillan focuses on delivering professional competencies in communication, conflict resolution, resiliency, leadership, wellness, diversity and inclusion, and veterinary business management.

Passionate about veterinary wellness, Heather is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200 and RYT-500 in-progress), a meditation instructor, and a certified MBSR (mindfulness-based stress reduction) facilitator. She holds a graduate certificate in Mindfulness-Based Teaching and Learning (MBTL) for adult education and is in the process of obtaining her Master’s in Education. She teaches regular mindfulness courses to AVC students and has integrated mindfulness teaching into the core curriculum through the professional foundations coursework.

She lives in beautiful Prince Edward Island, Canada with her partner, Jarrod and their two kids, Finlay and Emma.


Dr. Cindy Adams

Dr. Adams is a professor in the Department of Clinical and Diagnostic Science at the University of Calgary School of Veterinary Medicine where she directs the Clinical Communications Program for the first 3 years of the DVM program, and conducts research related to communication in veterinary practice settings, veterinary education, and human-animal interactions. She also assists veterinary and animal health technology schools across North America to design their communication programs.

She founded and chairs the International Conference on Communication in Veterinary Medicine, founded and sits on the board of the International Veterinary Communication Institute, and is a faculty member for the Institute for Healthcare Communication, New Haven Ct. She is also the author of the handbook: Skills for Communication in Veterinary Medicine.



Dr. Shelley Burton 

Originally from Saskatchewan, Dr. Burton is a graduate of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine. Following six years in private practice she did her clinical pathology training at the Atlantic Veterinary College and is board certified in clinical pathology by the American College of Veterinary Pathologists. She is currently a professor at the Atlantic College where she teaches, does diagnostic work and research.



Dr. Sandra McConkey 

Dr. McConkey is a native of Montreal and is a graduate of the Ontario Veterinary College. After nine years in private practice, she completed a clinical pathology residency and a PhD in clinical pharmacology at the University of Prince Edward Island and is boarded in clinical pathology by the American College of Veterinary Pathologists. She is an associate professor at the Atlantic College of Veterinary Medicine where she teaches, does diagnostic work and research.



Ms. Ellen McMahon 

A native of Chatham, New Brunswick, Ellen completed a BSc at Dalhousie University and a Registered Technologist Diploma at the Nova Scotia Institute of Technology. She is lead chemistry technologist at the AVC Diagnostic Services. She has extensive knowledge of urinalysis and other laboratory tests and enjoys teaching technical procedures.



Last update: April 12, 2022