2018 Speakers

Brian Beale

Dr. Brian Beale received his DVM from the University of Florida in 1985. He completed an internship at Friendship Hospital for Animals in Washington, D.C., and a surgical residency at the University of Florida. He became board certified by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in 1991. Dr. Beale was an assistant professor of surgery at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine prior to joining Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists in 1992. Dr. Beale is an adjunct assistant professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine, and is a co-author of the industry-defining textbook, Small Animal Arthroscopy. In 2018, Dr. Beale was named a Founding Fellow in Minimally Invasive Surgery – Small Animal Orthopedics (arthroscopy and fracture repair) by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons.

Marty Becker

Dr. Marty Becker, “America’s Veterinarian”, has spent his life working toward better health for pets and the people who love them. In recent years, “taking the “pet” out of “petrified”” and ensuring every pet and pet owner can experience a Fear Free veterinary visit has been his area of greatest commitment and dedication, culminating in the launch of Fear Free certification for veterinarians in March of 2016.

His creation of the Fear Free initiative grew out of his growing realization that it’s impossible to provide for pets’ physical well-being without equal focus on their emotional well-being. He saw that fear and stress in the veterinary setting were compromising the care pets were receiving and even preventing them from receiving veterinary care at all. In response, he worked with veterinary behaviorists and dozens of other experts and leaders in the veterinary field to design an educational program to restore those relationships to health and harmony and get pets back into the care of veterinarians free of anxiety.

An adjunct professor at the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Colorado State University, and the University of Missouri, he has lectured at every veterinary school in the United States. He also serves on the advisory board of World Vets, an international veterinary and disaster relief programs to help animals.

Sam Craddock Geiling

Sam Craddock Geiling is the founding member of the Hawaii Veterinary Technicians Association and its current president. She helped to build the first and only AVMA-accredited Vet Tech program in
Hawaii. As an assistant professor at the Windward Community College, she has taught anatomy and physiology, radiology, VTNE review, and lab techniques including: hematology, urinalysis, chemistries,
cytology, parasitology, immunology, and microbiology.

Sam also helped to write, testify for, and implement the legislation to recognize veterinary technicians as Registered Veterinary Technicians (RVTs) in Hawaii, which passed in 2016. She is currently hosting
study sessions for eligible techs to achieve RVT status by utilizing the Alternate Path (“grandfathering in”).

Dru Forrester

Dr. Dru Forrester received her DVM from Auburn University in 1985 and completed an internship, small animal internal medicine residency, and M.S. degree at Texas A&M University. From 1989 to 2005 she was a faculty member at Texas A&M University, Virginia Tech, and Western University of Health Sciences and served in a variety of academic roles including Full Professor, Chief of Small Animal Medicine, Director of Student Affairs, and Interim Associate Dean for Clinical Programs. Dru joined Hill’s Pet Nutrition in 2005 and currently serves as Director of Global Scientific Affairs. She is also an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Clinical Sciences at Kansas State University. Dru is passionate about working with students, helping others learn, and enhancing communication effectiveness.

Dru lives in Lawrence, Kansas with 2 dogs (border terrier, miniature schnauzer) and a rabbit. Her husband is also a veterinarian who is completing a PhD in Clinical Psychology this summer. She has one daughter who is an undergraduate student in biomedical engineering at Texas A&M University. Dru’s personal interests include martial arts (currently a 4th degree black belt in taekwondo), photography, traveling, and supporting University of Kansas women’s basketball.

Timothy Hackett, DVM, MS, DACVECC

A native of Boulder Colorado, Dr. Tim Hackett attended the University of Nevada-Reno where he earned a Bachelors degree in Zoology. He returned for Veterinary School at Colorado State University graduating in 1989. After a small animal medical/surgical internship in Los Angeles he worked briefly in general practice in Northern California before returning to Fort Collins and Colorado State University for specialty training in emergency and critical medicine. He completed his residency and became board certified in Emergency and Critical Care medicine in 1994. After 2 years of specialty referral practice in Los Angeles he returned to Fort Collins in 1996. He has been on faculty at Colorado State University for 20 years where he is now the Director of the James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital. His research interests include toxicology, trauma, coagulation disorders, sepsis, respiratory medicine. He spends his free time with his wife, an equine surgeon, and his two sons. He enjoys running, hiking, mountain biking, skiing, gardening and cooking.

Don Hulse

Dr. Don Hulse graduated from Texas A&M in 1970 and completed his surgical training at Kansas State University in 1973. He was appointed as a Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at Texas A&M University in 1984. Presently, Dr. Hulse remains active as a senior surgeon at TAMU as well as a senior surgeon at Austin Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Center. He successfully fulfilled the requirements for admission into the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in 1977. He is a recognized leader in veterinary orthopedics and is frequently an invited speaker at National and International Veterinary conferences. He has developed techniques commonly used for treatment of bone and joint disorders in dogs and is a co-author of Small Animal Arthroscopy. His clinical research interests focus on minimally invasive surgery for joint disorders and for fracture treatment.

Gary Landsberg

Dr. Gary Landsberg received his DVM in 1076 from the Ontario Veterinary College. He is a diplomate of
both the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists (ACVB) and the European College of Animal
Welfare and Behavioural Medicine (ECAWBM). Gary has owned and operated three companion animal
hospitals in Thornhill, Ontario, and a behaviour specialty practice until 2018. Presently he is Vice
President of Veterinary Affairs at CanCog technologies, head of Fear Free research and a fear free
practice certification veterinarian for Canada. He is also a consultant on the Veterinary Information

Dr. Landsberg is co-author of Behavior Problems of the Dog and Cat (Elsevier) in 2012, and Canine
and Feline Dementia (Springer) in 2017. In addition, he has contributed as an author and editor for
the Merck Veterinary Manual, The Cat, Feline Behavioral Health and Welfare, Blackwell’s 5-minute
Veterinary Consult, and Textbook of Internal Medicine. Dr. Landsberg has received awards for his service to companion animal behavior from AAHA and for meritorious service from the Western Veterinary Conference.

Nancy Loes

Dr. Nancy Loes is a veterinarian with many years of experience in private practice. Responsibilities currently include the development and delivery of interactive and engaging continuing education presentations for veterinary professionals, informational seminars for pet and horse owners and mentorship of veterinary and veterinary technician students. Dr. Loes is a Senior Technical Services Veterinarian, Continuing Education Coordinator, and a Field Support Specialist and Educator with Nutramax Laboratories Veterinary Sciences, Inc.

Joerg Mayer

Dr. Jörg Mayer is an Associate Professor of Zoological Medicine in the Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery at University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Mayer received his doctorate of veterinary medicine from the University of Budapest in Hungary and his Master’s from the Royal Veterinary College in London. Dr. Mayer is particularly interested in reptiles, amphibians, and fish as well as small mammals such as rabbits and ferrets. He served as the 2010-2012 President of the Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians as well as the co-author and co-editor of Clinical Veterinary Advisor: Birds and Exotic Pets and Avian and Exotic Pet Behavior.

Craig Shoemaker

Dr. Craig Shoemaker is an Equine Professional Services Veterinarian with Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica. In this role, Dr. Shoemaker provides technical and sales support to the equine industry.
Dr. Shoemaker grew up in southern New Mexico and received his undergraduate degree in Animal Science from New Mexico State University. His interest in equine reproduction led him to Colorado State University where he received a Master’s degree in Reproductive Physiology. Dr. Shoemaker worked in the reproductive industry for 6 years before returning to Colorado State University to complete his veterinary degree. Since graduating from veterinary school Dr. Shoemaker has worked in both private practice and industry. He currently resides in Nampa, Idaho.

Daniel Smeak

Dr. Daniel Smeak is a Professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences and Chief of Surgery for the Dental and Oral Surgery Sections at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Smeak’s specialty is small animal surgery. He has received several awards, including CSU’s Referral Vet of the Year and he is the three time recipient of the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA) Norden Distinguished Teaching Award.

Smeak studied at Michigan State University, earning his B.S. in 1976 and his D.V.M. in 1979. He holds an honorary Ph.D from Helsinki University.

Candace Sousa

Dr. Candace Sousa received her Bachelors degree in Physiology from the University of California Davis and her DVM from the College of Veterinary Medicine at UCD where she subsequently completed her residency in Dermatology and Allergy. She has been certified by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in
Companion Animal Practice since 1983 and is currently certified in Canine and Feline Medicine. In 1985 she was certified by the American College of Veterinary Dermatology. Dr. Sousa worked in private small animal practice, owned a small animal clinic in Sacramento and worked in a private dermatology referral practice before joining Zoetis in 2003. She has lectured extensively to veterinarians worldwide as well as publishing in numerous veterinary publications. In 2008 Dr. Sousa received the ACVD Award for Excellence. She is currently retired but maintains an appointment as a Clinical Professor in the department of Medicine and Epidemiology at the University of California, Davis and as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Washington State University.

Kevin Stepaniuk, DVM, FAVD, Dipl. AVDC

As a Diplomate of the AVDC, previous faculty and section chief of Dentistry and Oral Surgery UMN, and scientific journal and textbook author and reviewer, Dr. Kevin Stepaniuk has become an invited
international and national renowned lecturer/instructor. He is an Executive Board member of the AVDC, and past-president of the AVDS. He is the owner of Veterinary Dentistry Education and Consulting Services, and recently decided to focus his clinical practice on development of two entrepreneurial veterinary dentistry and oral surgery businesses.

Dr. Stepaniuk is a dynamic and enthusiastic speaker who has a passion to educate in order to improve each veterinarian and veterinary technician’s knowledge and clinical skill in veterinary dentistry. He believes every veterinarian should be able to recognize and diagnose common dental and oral pathology and provide services to alleviate the insidious pain and suffering in the pet population.

Amy Sturlini

Amy Sturlini graduated from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Animal
Science. Right out of college she started working in one of the largest veterinary general
practice and emergency clinic in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Amy then moved to California, where she worked as a specialty technician in two the state’s largest veterinary referral hospitals. During this time Amy became a Registered Veterinary Technician in the state of California.

Amy currently works as a Behavior technician at VCA West Los Angeles Animal Hospital. Amy has long had an interest in behavior medicine starting in college where she worked in the behavioral department and continuing through her internship at the Cincinnati Zoo and her work at the LA Zoo’s behavioral enrichment program.

Amy has an interest in Disaster Medicine and Preparation and serves on the California Veterinary
Medical Association’s Steering committee as the Major Urban Coordinator for Los Angeles. She has
completed advanced training with the American Human’s Red Star Disaster Preparedness team and FEMA’s ICS course work. Amy’s hobbies include screenwriting, going to the movies, and spending time with her three cats: Spitfire, Clarice, and Olympia.

Karen Sueda

After graduating from the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Karen Sueda completed an internship at the Veterinary Medical and Surgical Group in Ventura, California. She subsequently returned to UC Davis to complete a Clinical Animal Behavior Residency and became a board-certified Veterinary Behaviorist in 2007. In addition to seeing veterinary behavior cases throughout Southern California, Dr. Sueda has served as President and member of the Executive Board of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior. Dr. Sueda’s special interests include feline behavior, canine anxiety disorders and the human-animal bond. She credits her cat Tyler for teaching her more about feline behavior and training than any textbook.

Debra Zoran

Dr. Debra Zoran has focused her career in clinical medicine (patient care and now disaster response) and teaching. For many years, her clinical service was in internal medicine and focused on feline medicine, nutrition and gastrointestinal diseases of both dogs and cats. In the past 5 years, her focus on internal medicine decreased and transitioned to a new discipline with the formation of the Veterinary Emergency Team (VET). She developed a required clinical rotation in veterinary disaster preparedness and
response, which is the only rotation of its kind in Colleges of Veterinary Medicine in the world. It is a groundbreaking rotation that introduces 4th year veterinary students to service learning and focuses on meeting the seven core professional competencies through a unique platform of community outreach and a disaster simulation developed using Second Life as the interface. She currently serves as Professor and Associate Director of VET in the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences as Texas A&M University.


Christina Naomi Allala, DVM
Mie Aoki, DVM, Aoki Pet Clinic, Fukuoka, Japan
Kazunari Ibaraki, DVM, Ibaraki Animal Clinic, Kanagawa, Japan
Midori Wada, DVM, Tokorozawa Animal Medical Center