Anna Garber - President (2021 - 2022)

Touhy Animal Hospital

Anna has been a proud member of the veterinary industry since 2008. Beginning her experience as front desk team/technician member while finishing her degree. She graduated from the University of Illinois-Chicago with Bachelor’s in Economics. Her never ending passion, drive and ability to implement change grew her to practice manager in 2010. Anna has also completed course work from Northwestern’s School of Continuing Studies.

Areas of brand management, marketing, and fostering a client to business relationships are her strong suits along with mentor ship & change management. Her extensive background of working with sales & promotions have given her a fresh approach when it comes to running multi-level business operations. She’s a firm believer in creating positive energy and using that momentum to achieve future goals.

In her spare time, Anna loves spending time with her two children, husband and two dogs, a schnorkie named Henry & a havashu named Maxwell.

Fun facts: Anna is fluent in 3 languages English, Polish, and French. She’s also had extensive training inTae Kwendo Martial Arts.

Amanda Birtell - CBOM, CCM, PHR, SHRM-CP - President - Elect (2021 - 2022)

Companion Animal Hospital of Norridge

Amanda is the hospital manager at Companion Animal Hospital of Norridge. With a degree in Business Management she went on to earn her PHR and SHRM-CP in Human Resources, become a Certified Business Office Manager and a Certified Conflict Manager.

Also being involved in animal rescue for several years. All Brachycephalic (flat faced snort monster) breeds are her thing! She is that crazy frenchie lady spending her spare time as a servant to her three resident frenchies Beignet, Bowser and Bronx while trying to help all others in need.  She is looking forward to learning more and helping the Veterinary Community.

Amanda Kay Werley- Interim Secretary (2021 - 2023)

Loyal Companions Animal Hospital

Amanda began her career in veterinary medicine during high school working as a kennel attendant. After graduating from Northern Illinois University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology, she worked as a veterinary assistant at Village Veterinary Practice in the suburbs of Chicago. It was not until she moved to the Fox Valley area where she found her place at Loyal Companions Animal Hospital in St. Charles. Working at a Fear Free Certified practice helped to expand her horizons in veterinary medicine and paved the way towards becoming the Hospital Manager in 2019. She strives to become a Certified Veterinary Practice Manager. Her focuses both as a manager and an assistant are staff well-being, client education, marketing and all things feline.

She is a member of the American Animal Hospital Association, Fear Free Pets, and the American Academy of Feline Practitioners. She is a Fear Free Certified professional, a Certified Cat Friendly veterinary professional, and a Certified Puppy Behavior Consultant through Dr. Sally Foote’s program.

At home, she and her husband can be found spoiling their two cats Taco and Luna, and a sassy bearded dragon named Blue.

Cheryl Jackson - CVT - Treasurer (2020 - 2022)

Abell Animal Hospital

Cheryl obtained her AAS in Veterinary Science in 2001 from Bel Rea Institute in Denver, CO.  She was a lead technician for 6 years at an emergency/specialty practice, that was when she knew she found her passion for Veterinary Medicine. She developed, and currently runs, Complete Veterinary Team Services where she strives to provide and encourage the development of Certified Veterinary Technicians throughout Chicagoland.  She is also very excited to be part of a great team as Practice Manager at Abell Animal Hospital in Chicago.

In her free time Cheryl enjoys traveling, gardening, coaching, and spending time with her husband and 4 beautiful children. 

Kim Orr, LVT - Director at Large (2020 - 2022)

Roscoe Village Animal Hospital

Kim’s career in veterinary medicine began in high school when she started working as a veterinary assistant. She obtained her AAS in Veterinary Science in 1988 from Macomb County Community College in Michigan. Over the next several years, Kim worked in both a small animal and emergency hospital setting and as an instructor in a veterinary technician program.  In 1993, Kim decided to make the big move to Chicago and married her high school sweetheart. 

While in Chicago, Kim continued her work as an LVT for the next 16 years before accepting the Veterinary Practice Manager position at Roscoe Village Animal Hospital and continues to manage the practice since 2009 successfully.

Kim became a member of the Chicago Veterinary Manager Group in 2015. She served on the Board as Secretary and is currently a Director at Large. She is also a member of the Veterinary Hospital Manager Association, American Animal Hospital Association, National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America, the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, and the Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association. 

She enjoys spending time with her husband, their three daughters, and rescue dogs Dallas, Dakota, Declan, and her Granddog Teddy.  In her free time Kim also enjoys gardening,  volunteering with local animal rescue groups, and is active in her community.  

Kim's key strengths are: 

Problem Solving, Staff and Client Communication, Community Outreach

Lina Meyer - Director at Large (2020 - 2022)

Portage Park Animal Hospital

Lina earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and Business Administration from the U of I at Urbana-Champaign in 1999. Upon graduating she began her professional career in the banking industry; first as a Retail Banker, then a Branch Service Manager. 

Pets as well as wildlife has been Lina’s lifelong passion, so she eventually decided to apply her management skills in the veterinary industry. In 2004 she started as a Veterinary Assistant at Fresh Pond Animal Hospital in Boston. In 2006 she joined Portage Park Animal Hospital & Dental Clinic (here in Chicago). The practice owner Dr. Roger Schrock has been showing the ropes of veterinary management and mentoring Lina ever since. 

Today Lina is a Hospital Administrator and oversees the management operations of a general practice with 6 Associate Veterinarians and a total staff of 30.

Lina has been a member of VHMA since 2006, and a member of CVMG since its initiation. She is a mother of two boys (ages 8 and 10), and an owner of two hilarious Guinea pigs. Other interests include traveling, reading, theater, gardening, yoga, Orange Theory, and an occasional mud run.

Fun facts: speaks Russian; the TV show Chernobyl was filmed in her hometown – Vilnius, Lithuania. 

Lina's key strengths are:

Strategic Planning, Client Problem Solving, Contract Negotiation.

Kathy Mordini  - Director at Large (2021 - 2022)

Veterinary Specialty Center

Kathy began her career as a radio and television news reporter rising to a role as news director at a midmarket station switching gears after several years to move into public and media relations in Chicago. She eventually moved into a sales and marketing role at a distribution company in the public relations industry.

She became active in Chicago’s animal welfare community assisting Heartland Animal Shelter with its community outreach and media relations. Kathy has also served on the board for The Puppy Mill Project and assisted with their public relations. After working over 20 years in sales, she switched gears and followed her heart to work more closely with animals by joining Veterinary Specialty Center in Buffalo Grove as its first Marketing Director in March of 2014.

At VSC, Kathy spearheads their continuing education programs and has helped grow the organizations daylong programs – VSC’s Veterinary Education Conference and Veterinary Business Conference and a fall program aimed at a specific specialty. She is working with VSC’s Counselor to develop a Veterinary Wellness Education Day for the spring. Along with educational programs, Kathy is editor of VSC’s newsletters and also oversees social media and media relations for the company. She loves being part of an independent, locally-owned practice that puts as much emphasis on a great work culture as it does practicing great medicine.

Kathy lives with her husband and their cats Max and Ellie. Max is a certified therapy cat who loves to participate in reading programs at the Lake Bluff Library and has also worked in a local nursing home with Alzheimer’s patients. When not working or hitting the road with Max, Kathy loves going out to eat, traveling, going to movies and cheering on her Chicago Cubs with her nephews.

Kathy's key strengths are:

Marketing, Social Media, Continuing Education Programming and Event Planning

Matt Johnson, CVT, BBA – Director at Large (2020 - 2021)

Animal Care Hospital of Morris

Matt had a childhood filled with animals.  His parents were animal lovers and fostered a passion in his siblings, and himself for critters of all types.  The most unique pet they had in his youth was a litter trained rabbit, Thumper, who thought he was one of the dogs. Thumper slept with the dogs, ate with dogs, and even liked to go outside with dogs.  His exposure to veterinary medicine and animal care came at an early age as his first pet dog was epileptic and had seizures.  He believes it was the awareness of his condition and required medication and care that inspired his younger self to dream of a career caring for animals. 

Matt attended the veterinary medical technology program at Joliet Junior College and graduated and passed his national veterinary technician board examination in 2005.  He then earned his Bachelor degree in Business Administration and Entrepreneurship from Governors State University in 2015. 

Matt joined Animal Care Hospital of Morris in 2002 as a dog bather while he worked his way through vet tech school.  He also held positions as a kennel attendant, and technician assistant.   After graduating from JJC, he worked as a certified veterinary technician, ultimately finding a home in the Hospital Manager position. 

Matt is the founding president of the Chicagoland Veterinary Manager Group, and wrote the original articles of incorporation and constitution of the CVMG.  He has also served as past-president, secretary and treasurer for the CVMG.  He is so proud of the type of organization the CVMG has become.  The network of managers throughout the Chicagoland area has become one of the most valuable resources to him in his career in veterinary hospital management, and our C.E. events are world class! 

At home he and his partner care for a very exuberant yet sweet young Australian Shepherd, Bumi, a middle-aged opera singing Bengal cat, Mardock, and a sagely, yet spry geriatric Siamese, Brahm.   Matt is an avid reader of books, a bit of a science fiction/fantasy movie and television show nerd, and a huge Anglophile when it comes to British television programing.  His spare time activities include camping, archery, and spending time with his very large family and group of friends.  Matt loves to cheer for the unexpected underdog or success of others and will wave at or say “Hi!” to animals that he may see from his car while driving down the road. 

Matt's key strengths are: 

Policy Creation and Implementation, Setting Staff Goals and Rewards, Cleaning up Toxic Culture.

Chicagoland Veterinary Managers Group is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization.

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