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VHCTAz Leadership Committee Chairs
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VHCTAz Leadership


Meet your VHCTAz Leadership Committee Chairs. These dedicated and passionate individuals lend their voice to bring resources, education and advancements to the Veterinary Health Care Team of Arizona.



 Client Services Community



Ashley Kedrowski, MBA, MHA

Desert Veterinary Medical Specialists

Hi all, I am Ashley Kedrowski. I was born and raised in the wonderful but cold state of Minnesota. In 2012 my spouse and I took on a journey to move to AZ and get out of the snow. My experience and background started in human healthcare with a focus on geriatrics. I have been in the veterinary field for about 3 years now and love how I get to combine my passion for caring for people with the addition of their loved companions.

I am currently one of two practice managers of Desert Veterinary Medical Specialists. My main duties include HR & Operations. I have two Master’s degrees; MBA & MHA. With my degrees and experience I feel I bring a different perspective to the client & patient experience.


I am excited to be a co-chair on the VHCTAz Front Office & Client Services Community and look forward to providing a much-needed community for the front office and client service staff of veterinary clinics throughout Arizona.




Erika Hewlett, BSACC

43rd Avenue Animal Hospital

Erika Halterman graduated from University of Phoenix in Phoenix, AZ in 2012 with a degree in accounting. She is currently the practice manager of 43rd Ave. Animal Hospital. She started working in the veterinary field in 1996.


Erika’s has been in the veterinary field for 20 years. Her career started at Safari Animal Care Centers in Houston, TX. After working various positions from kennel assistant, customer service representative and veterinary technician, she started working for VetPlan, a veterinary software and consulting company. Erika traveled all over the United States to set up wireless networks, install software and provide business consulting.


Erika increased the revenue at 43rd Ave. Animal Hospital by 10% in the first year of employment. She has also transitioned the hospital from paper medical records to digital medical records. Erika’s management style has more of an emphasis on finance and training.


Her ultimate goal is to continue to grow the human-animal bond through education of veterinary staff and pet owners. 


Samantha Secore

Veterinary Neurological Center
Hi! My name is Samantha Secore, but most people know me by my nickname, Sam. I have been a member of the front office staff at the Veterinary Neurological Center since April 2013, after deciding to make a huge leap from the legal field (as a paralegal) into the veterinary arena. I joined the Veterinary Health Care Team of Arizona in 2016, so I am one of the newbies of the group!


When I became a member the VHCTAz, I was excited about the opportunity to expand my knowledge of the front office, as well as being able to pass along new information to my colleagues. I am thrilled to be a new member of the VHCTAz Leadership Team, and look forward to all of the new and exciting continuing education and learning opportunities that are being made available to front office staff throughout the veterinary community. As the VHCTAz continues to grow, I look forward to meeting front office and support staff members at other hospitals, as well as learning new things all the time! 





 Kennel & Veterinary Assistants Community



Sandra Moore, CVT

Carrington College

My name is Sandra Moore, but I go by Sandy. I started my career in the veterinary field in 1996. I graduated from Long Medical Institute’s Veterinary Assistant Program, went on to become a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) in 2000, and in 2011, I attended DeVry University, where I obtained my Bachelors of Science degree.


My first position in a practice was as a veterinary assistant. From there I worked in positions as a kennel aide, receptionist, veterinary technician, and hospital manager. I have experience working in small animal practice, equine center and exotics practices, along with the Phoenix Zoo. In all of my experiences, I have learned from others and continue to love what I do.


As a member of the Veterinary Health Care Team of Arizona since 2005, I am currently the Chair of the Kennel Staff/Veterinary Assistants Community. The vision of the Kennel Staff/Veterinary Assistants Community is to help bring more educational opportunities and advance the skills of the employees in these positions. The Kennel Staff/Veterinary Assistants Community wants to help promote best practice ideas, knowledge through experiences, and the love of being a strong support team member. 



Lisa Donimari, CVT

Western Maricopa Education Center

My name is Lisa Donimari and I have dedicated over 23 years to the veterinary field. I started as a support staff member in a general practice during the early years of my undergraduate work at Grand Canyon University. During my beginning years, I realized that veterinary medicine was where I needed to be. I transitioned into emergency medicine and stayed there for 13 years. In addition, I completed post-graduate work at Grand Canyon University. Eager to start a new challenge, I went into Oncology where many doors opened for me. I was part of multiple FDA studies, conference moderator, conference speaker, and annual conference chair host. These experiences, in addition to treating patients with both chemotherapy and radiation, have had a big impact on my life. Prior to becoming a veterinary science instructor, I enhanced my leadership skills as a practice manager. After two years, I decided to take the front stage in the classroom. I am on my third-year teaching veterinary science at West-MEC. I also serve as the district host for the veterinary science advisory board, active HOSA advisor and campus strategic plan community outreach champion.


I am excited to serve as the co-chair for the Kennel Staff/Veterinary Assistants Community. I feel that my experiences, leadership skills and community partnerships can all help to create a successful team.


Jen Schwartz, CVT

East Valley Institute of Technology 

Being in love with animals her whole life, Jen began her career in veterinary medicine at a small Humane Society in Colorado. There she discovered her passion: providing nursing care to animals. Determined to further her career she enrolled in the Veterinary Technology program at Central Carolina Community College in Sanford, North Carolina, where she earned her AAS and became a credentialed veterinary technician in 2004.

Jen married her best friend, who was in the Army at the time. Being a military wife, Jen followed her husband around the country and continued to work as a veterinary technician. She worked primarily in small animal general practice, with some experience with exotics animal medicine, zoo animal medicine, and internal medicine. In 2011 she received her BASc in Veterinary Technology from Siena Heights University in Adrian, Michigan. In 2012 Jen began teaching high school veterinary science while continuing to work part time in small animal general practice. In 2016 Jen earned her MAT Biological Sciences from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

Currently, Jen is a credentialed veterinary technician in three states: North Carolina, Michigan, and Arizona. She is a Veterinary Assistant Instructor at the East Valley Institute of Technology (EVIT) East Campus, and a Biology Professor at Central Arizona College (CAC) San Tan Campus. Jen lives with her husband, two dogs, a cat, two goats, two horses, a mini donkey, and a flock of chickens on her minifarm in San Tan Valley.



Kristi Smith, CVT

K9-Games Dog Training 

My name is Kristi Smith. I am a Certified Veterinary Technician and have served on the Board of Directors and Leadership Committee chair for the Veterinary Health Care Team of Arizona since 2002.


From 2002-2009, I served as the Education Committee Chair, setting educational opportunities for veterinary staff statewide, and served from 2008-2009 as President. I currently serve as the Kennel Staff & Veterinary Assistants (VA) Community Leader Co-chair. I am continually working with and collaborating with veterinarians and veterinary staff on educational programs for the general public as an advocate for keeping pets in their homes through proper training, and reducing the numbers of pets in shelters by spaying and neutering.


The VHCTAz Kennel Staff/VA Community is dedicated to bringing educational and networking opportunities to kennel staff in all veterinary hospitals to assist them in becoming a more cohesive part of the veterinary team, as well as assisting and supporting them in expanding their educational goals in the field of veterinary medicine.


Please participate in a Kennel/VA Community events and meetings to let your voice be heard. Kennel staff and veterinary assistants, this is your community and we need you!




Managers Community


Dan Levesque

Veterinary Neurological Center

I joined the Veterinary Neurological Center in 1998 after graduating from ASU with a bachelor's degree in biology. I became a Certified Veterinary Technician in 2003, and prior to becoming practice manager I worked in each different support staff position at the hospital. I’ve enjoyed and appreciate the myriad of opportunities and subfields (e.g. nursing, client relations, phlebotomy, imaging technology, building maintenance, public relations) that are all attainable simultaneously in the veterinary field, unlike in the human medical field. I joined the VHCTAz Leadership Committee in 2014.


As Chair of the Managers Community, I’m excited to be a part of a professional group that understands and appreciates the vital role every member of the veterinary support staff makes. Good veterinary teams give the doctors the support they need in order to provide excellent care to each patient and client and these contributions directly translate to the overall success of the hospital. Being the first, and most evolved professional group of its kind, I’m proud to be involved with the VHCTAz, a “one-stop-shop” for veterinary staff to receive the support and tools to grow and excel, both professionally and personally.



Kandi Nelson, CVPM

Pima North Animal Hospital

My name is Kandi Nelson. I began my career in veterinary medicine working as a kennel assistant right out of high school in 1997. I quickly moved to veterinary assistant then manager in 1999. I earned the Certified Veterinary Practice Manager designation in 2007.
I have been a member of the VHCTAz, but only recently became active in the group. For the past several years I was serving as a PTA board member at my son’s elementary school. Now that both of my boys are a bit older, I can contribute more time to the VHCTAz.
I am looking forward to the networking opportunities, learning from others and assisting the committees however I can.



Mandy Price, CVPM

Ingleside Animal Hospital

Hello! My name is Mandy Price. I'm originally from Boston, Massachusetts, however, for the last 17 years I have called Arizona my home. I earned my Bachelors of Science in Biology from Emmanuel College in 1998 and in 2009, I received my designation as a Certified Veterinary Practice Manager. I have been involved with the Veterinary Health Care Team of Arizona since 2007 and have enjoyed numerous continuing education classes and at the same time created amazing relationships and camaraderie with other veterinary staff. 


I am currently co-chair of the managers community. Our community will focus on excelling to the next level in customer service and professionalism. Our community will create an agenda of issues relating managers and what continuing education and training is needed to confront and manage these issues. I hope that you will join me and other managers to create education for you and by you.



 Bio coming soon!




 Technicians Community


Jessie Nelson, CVT, VTS (Nutrition)

Desert Veterinary Medical Specialists


I grew up primarily in Rapid City, SD and graduated in 2009 with an Associate's Degree in Applied Science with an emphasis in veterinary technology from National American University. While in school, I acquired my first dog, Sage, who was a patient the students practiced on. I quickly formed a special bond with her and knew she had to be a part of my family. After graduation, I worked in general practice in South Dakota before moving to Arizona in 2010 with Sage and one cat, Ivy.


Since being in Arizona I acquired 3 more dogs and 1 additional cat (Sadie, Basil, Myka and Lil' Petey Pablo), who fit into the family perfectly. I have a special interest in nutrition and acquired my veterinary technician specialty certification in 2017. I am very outgoing and feel that my attitude and kindness really show that I love what I do. In my free time, I love to be outside with my furbabies, riding my bicycle, and swimming with my dogs in the pool or reading on the sideline.



Tanya Brown, CVT

KC Animal Hospital & Pet Resort

Hello! My name is Tanya Brown. I've been working in the veterinary field since 2002, ending up at KC Animal Hospital in Scottsdale since 2011. I enjoy working with people to understand their individual needs as well as making each visit as pleasant as possible for them and their pet. 

I personally have two Australian shepherds named Autumn and Charlie. They were found by a friend of mine while he was out camping. Charlie is an escape artist, and Autumn loves adventure. Learning how to keep them in my yard and out of trouble (and my refrigerator) was quite an experience for me. It's all been worth it, though, as they bring me so much love and a never-ending source of entertainment.

Outside of work, I sing at my church, work in my yard, hike, and study. I love to learn new things, and I'm excited to be co-chair of the VHCTAZ Technicians Community!



Monica Williams, CVT, MBA


I became a CVT (Certified Veterinary Technician) in 2007. I went to Arizona State University and graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor’s of Science, where I majored in Agribusiness and minored in Small Business Management. I then graduated from University of Phoenix in 2013 with a Master’s in Business Administration, where I majored in Marketing. 


I worked as a Veterinary Assistant and Receptionist in a general practice that saw dogs, cats, birds, pocket pets, and a little large animal for five years. I worked in emergency veterinary hospitals for five years. I also worked at the Arizona Humane Society in the Public Clinic. I also traveled the United States to various locations to train Ophthalmology Veterinary Technicians, Assistants, Receptionists and Practice Leaders for 2 years. Then I was a Veterinary Assistant Instructor, teaching the Veterinary Assistant Program for a year. Currently I work the front office for an emergency and specialty veterinary practice.


When I am not saving animals, educating/training others, and helping families with their pets, I am at home with my two young daughters and my three dogs. We love to go hiking and camping and enjoying what beautiful outdoor adventures Arizona has to offer.



Sasha Willis, CVT

Midwestern University Companion Animal Clinic

Hi there!  My name is Sasha Willis.  I am a Certified Veterinary Technician, and have worked in the veterinary field since 1998. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University in 1998, and took a job as a veterinary office assistant on the east coast. I immediately fell in love with veterinary medicine and went back to school and received a degree in veterinary science.  I moved back to Arizona in 2002 and became a CVT.  I have worked in emergency medicine, general practice, surgery, and cardiology but my true passion is Internal Medicine and I am currently working on earning my VTS (SAIM). I have served the Arizona Veterinary Medical Examining Board as a member of the CVT Exam Committee, as well as a member of the Arizona State Animal Response Team with FEMA. I am the Co-Lead Veterinary Technician at the Midwestern University’s College of Veterinary Medicine’s Companion Animal Clinic and I LOVE my job!  I have the privilege of teaching veterinary technical and nursing skills to Arizona’s future veterinarians!


I am very excited to be serving as a co-chair of the VHCTAz Technician Committee! I look forward to assisting the committee in its endeavors to provide resources and leadership to the Arizona Veterinary community.