The Minnesota Veterinary Practice Manager Network is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing, educating and improving Practice Managers. This group is owned by all of the members of the MN VPMN. As we have grown, we felt the need to form a Board of Directors to be sure that we were excellent stewards of the finances of this group. These volunteer positions are meant to keep all members of the Executive Board on a level playing field. One for all, all for one.
Patti Christie, CVT, CVPM
Patti has been involved with veterinary medicine for over 40 years and still enjoys the career she has chosen. She became a Certified Veterinary Technician in 1987 in Minnesota and has enjoyed a variety of career positions within the veterinary field including lead veterinary technician, office manager and practice manager. Patti was the 2016 MN Practice Manager of the Year. She is currently the Practice Manager at Minnehaha Animal Hospital and its sister clinic Pet Doctors. Patti completed the rigorous application process to sit for the Certified Veterinary Practice Manager test. She was awarded the CVPM title in 2019.
Patti is a past board member of MAVT and the CACVT and she is a past and current member of the first VPMN chapter which began in 1996. While in Colorado, she was active in the Colorado Veterinary Hospital Manager’s group (CVHM). Much of her time is devoted to educating parrot owners how to successfully live with companion birds. Patti is passionate not only about veterinary medicine and avian care, but also education in many areas. She is a firm believer in giving back to the community that has been a vital part of her life’s work and career path.
Patti lives with 6 parrots, 3 cats and one (very tolerant) husband. In her spare time, she continues to speak locally and nationally to parrot caregivers, as well as work with the VPMN to make practice management education available to our community.
Kathy has been the Practice Manager at River Valley Veterinary Service, an AAHA accredited veterinary hospital, since 1994. In 2012 RVVS expanded and opened River Valley Groom & Board, a full service, luxury boarding, daycare and grooming facility. In 1996, Julia McPeek approached several Practice Managers and asked them if they thought it would be beneficial to meet and form a group that would support Veterinary Practice Managers in Minnesota. Kathy was honored to be included in this launching of what we now know as the Minnesota Veterinary Practice Manager Network. She has been instrumental in helping the organization grow to include a website, message board and non-profit status. In addition the MN VPMN has been able to work with sponsors and hold two highly educational continuing education seminars each year. The annual Fall Conference has built a reputation for hosting nationally known speakers that are attended by Practice Managers all over the state, North Dakota and Iowa. In 2012 the MN VPMN searched for ways to further promote and honor the Practice Manager position and created the Practice Manager of the Year award, of which Kathy was nominated for by members of her staff at River Valley Veterinary Service.
In her spare time Kathy loves to travel, read, attend Minnesota Gopher sporting events and spend time with family and friends, especially her new granddaughter! Kathy and her husband have a Labrador named Riley that loves to hunt pheasants, swim, jump off the dock and play Chuck-It.
Equipped with both an associate degree in veterinary technology and a bachelor's degree in biology, Karen began her professional career in 1976 as a small animal veterinary technician. Four years later, she was encouraged to teach at the first veterinary technician program in the state of MN ---a program within the University of MN located in Waseca. This was where she hung her hat for almost ten years! Karen's next move was to veterinary pharmaceutical sales where she enjoyed 12 successful years working for three global companies and has been privileged with lasting relationships with many veterinary teams here in MN. The next chapter in her professional career was starting her own company which provided customized training to veterinary teams so they could serve both their clients and pets in an exceptional manner.
From hands on experience in the clinic, to teaching in a highly respected veterinary technician program, to selling veterinary pharmaceuticals, Karen believes she knows the subject matter from all sides of the table and continues to want to serve in this awesome industry. Currently, Karen is employed by Midwest Veterinary Supply and has been enjoying a creative role as their Companion Animal Market Development Manager. This role has allowed her to utilize all her skills of over 35 years to help not only the practices tackle the tough challenges and dramatic pressures that face our industry but once again coach and mentor talented sales people in this incredible profession.
When Karen is not working, you can find her at Lifetime fitness, walking Ella, her new ‘rescue’, riding bike, tending her perennial garden, hanging out with friends or just enjoying life on Prior Lake!
Executive Board Member
Jennifer graduated from Ridgewater College and became a CVT in 2003. She has been with VAC Cascade Animal Medical Center since 2004 and started her management role with them in 2010. In 2014 Jennifer earned her CVPM and she joined the MN VPMN Executive Board in 2015. She also sits on the Program Advisory Committee at the MN School of Business Veterinary Technology Program. Her favorite parts of practice management are working with wonderful clients and their pets and learning about the continual growth in the industry and new aspects of management.
Jenny has 3 dogs, Corona, Kahlua, and Jimmy, and two cats, Simba and Snoop. She loves to swim and spend time outdoors with family and friends.
Shawn joined Cannon Valley Vet Clinic in March 2014 and now serves as Clinic Director. He graduated from Iowa State University with his B.S. Civil Engineering, then received his MBA from Western Governors University. Shawn both lives and works in the Northfield community. He enjoys spending time with his wife and two children, as well as his two Siamese cats Tas and Tipsy.View Profile
Sandra's entire life is invigorated by the creative space of digital, web and social media marketing. Although she has worked closely with the MNVPMN organization for several years, she is thrilled to be able to assist in helping practice managers find their voices in social media and through their web presence. She serves as a consultant to our group to help us promote events and coordinate the MNVPMN footprint in their digital space.Sandra is proud to be owned by two amazing dogs, a Westie, and a Shorkie, and when they, or the rest of her family don’t consume her spare time, she can be found reading, playing piano, or enjoying time with her friends.Located in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, Sandra’s web design and social media team has a keen interest in the unique needs of veterinary clinics, their employees, and the clients that they wish to reach.View Profile