Companion Animal Tracks


Rick Alleman, DVM, PhD, DABVP, DACVP

CEO and Manager, Lighthouse Veterinary Consultants, Alachua, Florida


Dr. Alleman received his DVM from Louisiana State University and practiced companion animal medicine and surgery for 9 years in private small animal practice in New Orleans. During that time he was board certified as a Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners with a specialty in companion animal practice. Dr. Alleman then completed a clinical pathology residency at the University of Florida and became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists with a specialty in clinical pathology and completed his PhD degree in molecular biology of vector-borne diseases. During his professional career, he has received numerous teaching, research and patent awards. In 2012 he received the Louisiana State University Distinguished Alumni Award. He is a former Professor, Service Chief, Resident Coordinator and Director of Laboratories at the University of Florida, College of Veterinary Medicine. He is currently CEO of Lighthouse Veterinary Consultants.


Brady Beale, VMD, DACVO

Clinical Ophthalmologist, Chief Medical Communications Officer, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Dr. Brady Beale is a board-certified veterinary ophthalmologist with special interests in corneal disease, cataract surgery and glaucoma. Dr. Beale is a Clinical Instructor of Ophthalmology at the University of Pennsylvania and serves as the Chief Medical Communications Officer for the hospital. She also works in private practice at PETS in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Dr. Beale received her veterinary diploma from the University of Pennsylvania where she also completed a year-long internship in medicine and surgery. She then completed a 3-year residency in comparative ophthalmology at North Carolina State University. Prior to pursuing her veterinary studies, Dr. Beale obtained her undergraduate degree at Dartmouth College, and she has interned at numerous animal care locations including The New England Aquarium and The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore. She is currently the consulting veterinary ophthalmologist for the Philadelphia zoo, where she recently surgically removed cataracts restored vision to a 62-year-old Andean condor. Recently the Chair of the Public Relations committee for ACVO, Dr. Beale has a passion for communication and outreach. She was recently featured in Animal Planet’s docu-series, Life at Vet U, filmed at Penn Vet in 2016. Her website,, is used in clinics throughout the country to share inspiring stories of blind animals when restoration of vision is not possible. She is also active in youth STEM programs and recently gave a TEDx talk to help young students explore their interests.


Philip Bushby, DVM, MS, DACVS

Marcia Lane Endowed Chair of Humane Ethics and Animal Welfare, Professor Emeritus, College of Veterinary Medicine, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, Mississippi

Phil Bushby is a 1972 graduate of the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. Phil is a Board Certified Veterinary Surgeon who served on the faculty at Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine for 36 years. Although he recently retired from Miss State he still holds the Marcia Lane Endowed Chair of Humane Ethics and Animal Welfare at Mississippi State University and works at the College part-time. His primary focus has been spay/neuter taking junior and senior veterinary students to animal shelters in north Mississippi providing basic wellness care and spay/neuter services for animals eligible for adoption for over 20 years. The service significantly increases the adoption rates at the participating shelters, provides the students with an exceptional surgery experience and sensitizes the students to the plight of animals in shelters. His program was honored in 2013 to be a featured display in the Smithsonian Institute’s folk-life festival in Washington DC. Dr. Bushby’s interest in shelter medicine and spay neuter dates back to his internship and surgical residency at the Henry Bergh Memorial Hospital of the ASPCA in New York City. He states that his primary goal is to make sure that the next generation of veterinarians understands the problem of overpopulation of unwanted dogs and cats and recognizes their role in assisting in addressing the problem. Dr. Bushby serves on the Board of Mississippi Spay / Neuter and previously served on the Board of PetSmart Charities, Inc. and the Board of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians. He was a member of the organizing committee for the specialty board in shelter medicine and received the ASPCA’s Henry Berg Award in 2008, the AVMA’s national Animal Welfare Award in 2012 and the Association of Shelter Veterinarians Meritorious Service Award in 2015. A strong advocate of spay/neuter including pediatric spay/neuter, Dr. Bushby speaks extensively nationally and internationally on the importance of spay/neuter, efficient spay/neuter techniques and pediatric spay/neuter.


Julie Byron, DVM, MS, DACVIM (SAIM)

Associate Professor - Clinical, Department of Veterinary Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio

Dr. Byron is an Associate Professor in Small Animal Internal Medicine at The Ohio State University. She received her DVM from OSU in 1998, completed a rotating internship at VCA West Los Angeles Animal Hospital and completed her residency in Internal Medicine at OSU in 2004. She was a faculty member at University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine for 6 years and joined OSU’s faculty in 2011. Her Master’s research involved diagnosis and treatment of urinary incontinence, and she continues to be active in the field of urology and nephrology today. She has received a number of teaching honors, including the Norden/Pfizer Teaching Excellence Award in 2011.


Stephen Cole, VMD, MS

Clinical Microbiology Fellow, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Prior to becoming a proud PennWe, Dr. Cole earned his Master's Degree in Microbiology from the College of William and Mary in Virginia in 2011 while researching emerging fish pathogens. He went on to earn his VMD from PennVet in 2015 and stayed on in Dr. Shelley Rankin's lab as the first-ever post-doctoral fellow in clinical and molecular microbiology. He is currently in his third year of the fellowship. Dr. Cole's current research aims to better diagnose and treat companion animal skin (particularly the atypical ones) and urinary tract infections. He is passionate about the judicious use of antibiotics and preventing the spread of zoonotic disease. In 2016, Dr. Cole was named a One Health Scholar by the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges. Dr. Cole's favorite thing to do is discuss antimicrobial options with practitioners.


Matthew Paek, VMD, DACVR

Veterinary Radiologist, Synergy Veterinary Imaging Partners, Clarksville, Maryland

SPONSORED BY  Synergy Vet Imaging Partners

Dr. Matthew Paek, originally from the Philadelphia, PA area, graduated the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 2010. After completing a 1-year rotating internship in medicine and surgery at a large private practice in New Jersey, he returned to the University of Pennsylvania for residency and completed his board certification as a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Radiology in 2014. He currently works in the Washington DC area for Synergy Veterinary Imaging Partners, the only veterinary radiology specific company in the region, performing ultrasounds and reading teleradiology cases. Dr. Paek enjoys all aspects of diagnostic imaging including radiology, contrast studies, ultrasound, computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). His clinical areas of interest are advanced imaging of musculoskeletal injuries, central nervous system disorders, and oncological conditions. He has authored scientific articles, a textbook chapter, and has presented at multiple regional and national continuing educational conferences. In his spare time, Dr. Paek enjoys spending time with his family including wife, two young sons, and Yorkshire Terrier, as well as traveling, and watching Philadelphia sports teams.


Howard Seim, III, DVM, DACVS

Professor of Small Animal Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado

Dr. Seim graduated from Washington State University, completed an internship in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Canada, and a surgical residency at the Animal Medical Center in New York City. He obtained Diplomate status in the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in 1983. He is currently on the surgical staff at Colorado State University. He was recipient of the Merck AGVET Award for Creative Teaching, the CSU Award for Instructional Innovation and selected as the North American Veterinary Conference’s Small Animal Speaker of the Year in 2009. Dr. Seim is founder of VideoVet a Veterinary Surgery Continuing Education video series.


Ursula Thomas, DVM, DrVetMed, DACVD, DECVD

Veterinary Services Specialist, Ceva Animal Health, Lenexa, Kansas


Dr. Ursula Thomas is an Austrian native who graduated from the Veterinary School of Vienna, Austria. After completing a doctoral thesis at the Veterinary School of Vienna’s Dermatology Service in 2008, Dr. Thomas then moved to the United States to start a three-year residency program in clinical and investigative veterinary dermatology at North Carolina State University. Dr. Thomas became board certified with the American and European Colleges of Veterinary Dermatology in 2011. Since then she has worked as faculty at the University of Florida’s Dermatology Service, and as veterinary dermatologist in Massachusetts. Dr. Thomas joined Ceva Animal Health in January 2015 as Veterinary Services Specialist.


Craig Webb, PhD, DVM, DACVIM

Professor, Internal Medicine, and Head of Small Animal Medicine Section, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado

Dr. Craig Webb is a Professor in the Clinical Sciences Department at the Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital, where he is Head of the Small Animal Medicine Section. Dr. Webb received his PhD in Neuroscience prior to completing his DVM degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Webb did his internship at Alameda East in Denver Colorado, spent a year in private practice, and then went on to complete his Small Animal Residency at CSU, where he has been ever since. He is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, and specializes in Clinical Gastroenterology. Dr. Webb presents annually at the ACVIM Convention and lectures throughout the United States and in Europe on current topics in Small Animal veterinary medicine. Dr. Webb’s research interests include stem cell therapy in GI disease and the role of oxidative stress and antioxidants in small animal diseases. Dr. Webb is most famous for having married way above himself to the beautiful and super-smart Dr. Tracy Webb, and as the father of future Olympians, Collette and Domonique Webb.


Vicki Byard, CVT, VTS (Dentistry), CVJ

Dentistry Department Coordinator, Rau Animal Hospital, Glenside, Pennsylvania


Stephen Cital, RVT, SRA, RLAT, VTS-LAM (Research Anesthetist)

Chief Operating Officer, Veterinary Anesthesia Nerds and Executive Director, Academy of Laboratory Animal Veterinary Technicians and Nurses

Stephen originally started college to become a registered human nurse but did not enjoy working with humans as patients. Instead Stephen became an RVT and then obtained certification as a Surgical Research Anesthetist through the Academy of Surgical Research followed the designation of a Registered Laboratory Animal Technician through the American Association of Laboratory Animal Science soon after. Stephen is Executive Director for the Academy of Laboratory Animal Veterinary Technicians and Nurses. His regular daytime position is most recently at Silicon Valley Veterinary Specialists, as well as a private contractor for several research organizations. Stephen also holds positions at the Oakland Zoo and the San Francisco Zoo. He occupies his remaining time writing book chapters, book reviews, blogs for VetBloom and lecturing internationally. He enjoys teaching and serves on advisory boards for local Vet Tech colleges, is on the Aratana Technician Council of Pain Experts, helps run the Veterinary Anesthesia Nerds and Veterinary Cannabis Academy Facebook and webpages and is on multiple speaker bureaus. Stephen serves as the Past President for the Society of Laboratory Animal Veterinary Technicians, Vice President and current liaison for the California RVT Association and member at large for the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America.


Kenichiro Yagi, MS, RVT, VTS (ECC, SAIM)

ICU Manager and Blood Bank Manager, Adobe Animal Hospital, Los Altos, California

Over the 18 years in practice, Ken has discovered and refined his role as a veterinary technician by promoting compassionate and progressive care for the patients and their family. He obtained his VTS certification in emergency and critical care as well as small animal internal medicine and obtained his master's degree in Veterinary Science. He is currently the ICU Manager and Blood Bank Manager at Adobe Animal Hospital, and is the Program Director for RECOVER CPR Initiative. Ken has co-edited the Manual of Veterinary Transfusion Medicine and Blood Banking and has published over 25 text chapters and articles in publications such as the Veterinary Team Brief and Today’s Veterinary Nurse. He speaks internationally and has given over 800 presentations. Ken works to encourage further recognition of the vital role of the veterinary nurses and technicians through work with organizations such as the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America co-chairing the Veterinary Nurse Initiative, and serving as a board member of the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society, the Academy of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Technicians, and the Veterinary Innovation Council. He pursues these goals by showing the value of the profession’s perspective in veterinary medicine. Ken invites everyone to ask “Why?” to understand the “What” and “How” of our field, and to constantly pursue new limits as veterinary professionals and individuals.


Paul Fricke, MS, PhD

Dr. Paul Fricke was raised on his family's row crop and dairy farm located near Papillion, Nebraska where his father and uncle continue to farm today. After receiving a B.S. degree in Animal Science in 1988 from the University of Nebraska, Paul went on to complete a M.S. degree in 1992 and a Ph.D. degree in 1996 in Reproductive Physiology from the department of Animal Sciences at North Dakota State University. Paul worked as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Dairy Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 1995 to 1998 and then joined the faculty on July 1, 1998. Dr. Fricke was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2004 and to Full Professor in 2009. His current position includes 70% Extension and 30% research appointments in dairy cattle reproduction. Dr. Fricke’s research program focuses on understanding the biology underlying the many reproductive problems of dairy cattle. Dr. Fricke has authored or co-authored 83 peer-reviewed scientific publications, 112 abstracts, and 5 book chapters. He has mentored 12 M.S. and 4 Ph.D. students, and his research program has attracted over $3 million in research funding. In 2014, Dr. Fricke was awarded a six-month research sabbatical as a visiting scientist at the Teagasc Moorepark Animal & Grassland Research Innovation Centre in Fermoy, Co. Cork, Ireland. The goal of Dr. Fricke’s extension program is to improve reproductive efficiency of dairy cattle by applying scientific research to develop practical management strategies and assess new reproductive technologies. Dr. Fricke is a sought after speaker and has spoken to over 500 audiences in Wisconsin since 1998. In addition, Paul has presented at conferences in 34 U.S. states and 6 Canadian provinces and has been an invited speaker for international meetings in 25 countries spanning 5 continents around the world. Dr. Fricke is the recipient of several campus and national awards recognizing his innovative applied research and extension programs including the Midwest Section ADSA Outstanding Young Extension Specialist Award (2006), the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences Pound Extension Award (2006), the ADSA DeLaval Dairy Extension Award (2008), and the Wisconsin Association of County Agriculture Agents Second Mile Award (2010).


M. Daniel Givens, DVM, PhD, DACT, DACVM (Virology Subspecialty)

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama

M. Daniel Givens, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, performed undergraduate studies at Western Kentucky University before obtaining a D.V.M. degree from Auburn University in 1994. After two years of clinical practice in central Kentucky, Dr. Givens earned a Ph. D. degree from Auburn University and completed a clinical residency that culminated in board certification in the American College of Theriogenologists—recognizing his clinical expertise in animal reproduction. He then achieved board certification in the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists (virology subspecialty) while performing NIH-funded, post-doctoral research. Since 2000, Dr. Givens’ efforts in applied research regarding infectious diseases that affect reproduction of cattle have resulted in over 85 peer-reviewed scientific manuscripts, five book chapters and two international patents. Simultaneously, for his classroom lectures in basic sciences as well as clinical instruction in the large animal teaching hospital, Dr. Givens received six teaching awards since 2007. Dr. Givens passionately enjoys opportunities to investigate, apply and discuss factors that impact animal health and disease and factors that impact the competency of graduating veterinarians.


Stephanie Caston, DVM, DACVS-LA

Associate Professor and Section Head, Equine Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa

Dr. Stephanie Caston's current position is Associate Professor and co-Section Head, Equine Surgery. She grew up in south east Texas and completed undergrad at McNeese State in Lake Charles, LA. She then returned to Texas to attend Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine. After a surgical residency at Iowa State then 2 years as an emergency surgeon, she took a faculty position at ISU. Her current research and interests include, equine neoplasia, CD47 and other immunotherapy, soft tissue surgery and wound healing, veterinary education and simulator training. Competes in three day eventing with her own horses. Stephanie and her husband run a small farm where they breed sport horses, as well as board and train horses.


Kristin Rothermel Edwards, VMD, CVA

Veterinary Acupuncturist, Plains Animal Hospital, Plains, Pennsylvania

Dr. Rothermel Edwards grew up in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania without pets. She graduated with a BA from Haverford College in 1986 and continued onto the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary School from where she graduated in 1990. She accepted a job in the Wilkes Barre-Scranton area in 1991 because of 2 classmates who were already there. In 1998-1999, I took the acupuncture course through the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS) and finished her certification process in 1999. Since then, she has been performing more acupuncture and slowly decreasing the amount of small animal Western Medicine that she practices. She needles all species, including farm animals.


Colin McDermott, VMD

Exotic and Aquatics Veterinarian, Mount Laurel Animal Hospital, Mount Laurel, New Jersey

Colin McDermott, VMD earned his veterinary degree from the University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine in 2011. After graduation, he remained at Penn where he completed two years of specialty internship in Exotic Companion Animal Medicine and Surgery Service. From there, he took a position as the Helen Swearer fellow in Aquatic Science and Veterinary Medicine at the National Aquarium in Washington, D.C. and Baltimore. He currently works at Mount Laurel Animal Hospital, a 24 hour emergency center in Mount Laurel, NJ where his practice is limited to exotic and aquatic patients. His professional interests include exotic veterinary medicine for small mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians, with a special interest in reptile/amphibian and aquatic animal medicine.

showcase image flippedAbout the Keystone Veterinary Conference

Keystone Veterinary Conference (KVC) is a regional veterinary conference that offers high-quality continuing educational topics with nationally recognized speakers in a state-of-the-art setting. Keystone Veterinary Conference will host the following tracks: companion animal, production animal, equine, veterinary technology, practice management, integrative medicine, wet labs, exotics and more!.