OAVT 2020 Director Election

The OAVT 2020 Board of Directors Election takes place February 1 - 14, 2020. All voting members of the OAVT in good standing (RVTs and Retired RVT members) are eligible to vote. The election is taking place online, and an email will be sent directly to eligible voters with instructions on how to vote.

How to Vote

Voting is very simple - all you need is a computer or smart phone and an internet connection/wifi. If you are an RVT or Retired member of the OAVT (in good standing only - suspended RVTs are not eligible to vote), follow these steps:

For the 2020 election, five (5) Director seats will be up for election:

Learn more about the 2020 Nominees

The following RVTs will stand in the 2020 election:

 

Here, in their own words, is more information from each of our nominees. Nominees are listed in alphabetical order, based on last names:

Chelsea Caster, RVT

Why you are seeking a Director position within the OAVT?

Chelsea: I wish to be elected as a Director of the OAVT for one reason only; when I see something I think should be changed for the better, I feel I must act and be a part of that change. I want clients to know what an RVT is, and not ask if I'm training to be a vet. I want us to be valued members of the animal care team, and our education to be acknowledged and respected. When I speak to other RVTs we talk about the same issues, but nothing is ever done passed talking. I want to be on the inside, working to make what seems like an impossible dream (like living wages and benefits) become a reality; especially for the majority of us working in clinics. I want to advocate for the animals in our care and show the general public why we aren't evil doctors in lab coats torturing mice, but animal lovers who went to school specifically to learn how to give these creatures the best life possible while making strides in medical/pharmaceutical/surgical/etc research. We all know what we do, and why we do it. Not for money or glory or prestige but advocating for those who cannot speak for themselves. I want to be part of the team that takes us a step further in educating not only the public, the clients, the government; but even our supervisors, veterinarians, and coworkers who just don't know what being an RVT truly encompasses.

Share with us a brief biography, resume, and/or listing of qualifications for the position of Director.

Chelsea: I was born in 1992 in Oshawa, ON where I was raised and lived until moving to Kingston, ON to go to St. Lawrence College in 2011. I graduated with an advanced college diploma in Veterinary Technology in 2014 (it's a 3 year program). I became a Registered Veterinary Technologist that August. I have worked in a variety of fields that I feel makes me a well-rounded RVT. One who can understand and sympathize with the different issues that face us in those workplaces. I worked as a stable hand at a horse boarding/teaching barn in high school, and a zoo for college placement. I have worked in universities and hospitals, but also contract veterinary medical research facilities. I have worked in small animal clinics in both rural and urban areas. I am currently working for a municipal animal shelter where I hope to retire my wandering skills and settle down for good. I've always been the type to question why things are the way they are and never taking 'because it just is' for an answer. I enjoy rules and organization but only when it makes logical sense. I look to find efficiencies in what I do, and comparing with others to share tips and tricks. I've always been known to speak up when others are scared to, and organize ourselves to be a united front.

How would you contribute to successfully meeting the objectives and goals of the OAVT as a Director of the Association?

Chelsea: I would contribute to meeting our goals by being an active member of the OAVT, bringing new ideas to the table and working hard to push us forward. In a world of division, we can be united in this small piece of it. The conversations we have need to be followed by action, and I'm just the girl for that job! While the objectives of the OAVT have remained fairly consistent since it's founding I think new minds can bring fresh thoughts. I loved the advertising campaign launched a couple years ago and want to see it run again, on a larger scale - with more television ads or perhaps even Youtube ads. I want to expand past recognition and move on to respect of the RVT designation within the veterinary community. New graduates should never be making minimum wage! We should have more benefits than just a discount on products and services! In such a dangerous field, we need to be protected and covered by WSIB! These should no longer be dreams but demands if we hope to keep attracting people to (and keeping them in) the RVT profession.

What is your vision for the future of the profession, and how do you feel the OAVT can positively influence this vision?

Chelsea: I envision us as widely recognized as nurses but who do so much more than the average nurse. We are phlebotomists, radiology technicians, dental hygienists, nutrition consultants, grief counselors, surgical assistants, pharmacists, receptionists, anesthesiologists, morticians, etc etc ETC! and yet few of us even knew what veterinary technology was until we decided we wanted to work with animals. Those who don't know who we are need to, and those who do know us need to respect and acknowledge who we are and what we do. I think the OAVT is the key to all this and more! By advertising to the public and promotion to employers, government officials, and industry leaders. By supporting our growing membership through these changes and paving the way for future RVTs to have sustainable and healthy careers. By advocating and believing in all of us the OAVT is our sword and shield and I want to help lead the charge!


Kirsti Clarida, RVT

Why you are seeking a Director position within the OAVT?

Kirsti: I've really enjoyed volunteering with the OAVT over the years. I've been in a number of different roles and am always so proud of what our profession achieves. We established self-regulation. We have built recognition for our profession in Ontario. And, the number of Registered Veterinary Technicians in Ontario is in the the thousands! But now, we are going even further. We are building a future for RVTs to work alongside DVMs with their own scope of practice. We are formalizing the veterinary medicine team concept in provincial regulation and I would love to stay at the table to be a part of that change.

Share with us a brief biography, resume, and/or listing of qualifications for the position of Director.

Kirsti:Currently, I am the Coordinator of the Veterinary Technician Program at Seneca College. The role includes teaching, student advisement, building and supporting curriculum, and building relationships (both internally and externally) to grow the opportunities for veterinary technician students and graduates. I've also worked as an RVT at Algonquin College, been the OAVT Communications Manager, worked as an emergency clinic RVT, a small animal clinic RVT and even owned my own pet-sitting service. On the surface, the common thread in my work history is being an RVT. It is such a dynamic profession; you can craft it into so many different areas. A second commonality is being able to communicate well with others. It is not always easy, but it is always important and my experiences to date have really taught me how to practice communicating better.

How would you contribute to successfully meeting the objectives and goals of the OAVT as a Director of the Association?

Kirsti: I would bring my knowledge of the regulatory and political landscape of veterinary medicine in Ontario. Experiences over my 20 years as an RVT has broadened my perspective. It allows me to share contrasting opinions and share context at the Board table.

What is your vision for the future of the profession, and how do you feel the OAVT can positively influence this vision?

Kirsti: Registered Veterinary Technicians will continue to thrive in Ontario. My vision is to see the relationship between DVMs and RVTs as widely understood (and expected) and as the relationship between Drs. and Nurses.


Lauralee Dorst, RVT

Why you are seeking a Director position within the OAVT?

Lauralee: It is with great enthusiasm that I am seeking a Director position within the OAVT to convey my passion, drive and dedication to the RVT profession and veterinary industry. I started my journey in 2006, as an Animal Care Attendant and then worked my way through technician school from 2008-2010. I bring with me 9 years of experience on the front line with the day to day treatments, procedures and nursing care requirements. In 2015, I switch direction in my career and stepped into the management side of the industry. I am currently the Senior Manager, Veterinary Care at The Toronto Humane Society. I have always had this need to teach, coach, mentor and to be the voice of change. I feel that having the opportunity to sit on a board for a organization that I am so passionate about, would be an opportunity to help improve and build the RVT profession.

Share with us a brief biography, resume, and/or listing of qualifications for the position of Director.

Lauralee: I have been in the veterinary field for 14 years and like most, I started out as a Vet assistance and within a short time after, 3 years to be exact, I graduated from Seneca College. I have never been the type to hold down just one job. I am always looking for ways to improve my overall knowledge of the industry. I have gained valuable experience working in a small animal practice, an emergency/referral hospital, shelter medicine and teaching part-time in the veterinary assistant program at Seneca College. In February 2012, I was hired on at The Toronto Humane Society as front line RVT. Over the past 8 years, I have held different positions within the organization. In my current role, I oversee the medical depart with a compliment of 48 medical staff members, which consists of DVM's, RVT's & VA's . It is an honor to lead and coach such as large, driven and well educated group of individuals. I have been able to see first hand the needs of the industry, the needs of the RVT's within the industry and the challenges that we face.

How would you contribute to successfully meeting the objectives and goals of the OAVT as a Director of the Association?

Lauralee: I currently bring 8 years of Animal Shelter experience to the board table along with 4 years of management. With this experience both professionally and educationally I will be able to bring knowledge of shelter medicine and how important RVT's are in this sector, along with the importance of low stress handling/ fear free advancement that is a must and growing need in our industry.

What is your vision for the future of the profession, and how do you feel the OAVT can positively influence this vision?

Lauralee: My vision for the future of this profession is to be recognized as a profession who is highly educated and extremely qualified individuals. That RVT specialties are recognized for their excellence and hard work and that RVT’s are not only educated in medicine, but also in the mental & emotional welfare of all animals in our care.


Wesley Harris, RVT

Why you are seeking a Director position within the OAVT?

Wesley: I love Registered Veterinary Technicians and our role within veterinary medicine. To that end I have always wanted (well, since becoming and RVT) to be part of the system, to help guide and focus our future. These are important times for the veterinary field and how the we are seen, the roles we play and could potentially play depend on having a clear vision for the future. A vision alone isn't enough, so it is equally important that we set both short term achievable goals well maintaining a long term vision that is not closed minded.

Share with us a brief biography, resume, and/or listing of qualifications for the position of Director.

Wesley: I have only been an RVT for about 5 years but in that time, I have worked in a lot of fields. I have worked in a clinic setting, for a company that does nutritional research, for the RRP, as an RVT Entrepreneur and in Shelter Medicine. For most of the last three and a half years I have worked in shelter medicine well doing as well as doing a combination of these other things. Well working in shelter medicine I also developed and taught a veterinary course for kids and teens.

How would you contribute to successfully meeting the objectives and goals of the OAVT as a Director of the Association?

Wesley: First and foremost, I would lean on and learn all I can from my peers who have been shaping the OAVT through its board of directors. My ability to effectively listen and communicate would be one of my biggest assets in the role of Director. My wide range of experience and being customer service orientated would also be beneficial.

What is your vision for the future of the profession, and how do you feel the OAVT can positively influence this vision?

Wesley: Right now we are on the cusp of some major legislative changes that are going to protect and enhance the current role of RVT's. I see a future where the OAVT is a leader not just within Canada but the world in terms of what a RVT should and can be. The future I see is one where there two designations that exist side by side, RVT and RVT Practitioner. Much like Nurse Practitioners this new designation would come with a level of regulated autonomy not seen anywhere in the world. These RVT Practitioners would be able to diagnose, refer, and prescribe (some drugs); A future where Vets are freed to do more surgery and specialization. RVT's like Nurses will be valued and respected; no longer will employers be able to train laymen to do the technical aspects of the job. What support staff, RVT's, RVT Practitioners can do with and wi thout the supervision of a veterinarian will be legislated and highly regulated to protect patients, RVT's and Veterinarians equally. This will keep costs down, and move productivity and wages up. Most importantly these changes would lead to better patient outcomes.


Julie Jones, RVT

Why you are seeking a Director position within the OAVT?

Julie: I am very eager to continue my role as a passionate RVT on the OAVT board of directors. With legislative changes in the Veterinary field, happening in the near future, I want to ensure that RVT voices are heard. I want the membership to know that I am approachable, and capable of working very hard on their behalf.

Share with us a brief biography, resume, and/or listing of qualifications for the position of Director.

Julie: I have enjoyed a long and often turbulent career as an RVT. I remain forever the hugest fan and supporter of the RVT profession. I have worked side by side, as an RVT, with some of the best. I have worked in small animal, mixed animal, shelter and educational facilities. I have been a volunteer with both the OAVT and CALAS and also traveled to Northern BC with CAAT. I volunteer as a first responder for turtle trauma in my area, as well as other local community groups. I want to continue in my role as a board member, I still have a lot to give.

How would you contribute to successfully meeting the objectives and goals of the OAVT as a Director of the Association?

Julie: I believe having sat on the board for the past term, it is important for our members to consider consistency during this critical time. Yes voting in new members also is beneficial for a thriving board, and we want to create a strong voice with diversity to keep the conversation around the table strong and thought provoking.

What is your vision for the future of the profession, and how do you feel the OAVT can positively influence this vision?

Julie: My vision is for greater support and benefits for our members. Continued public relations in informing the public, and veterinarians of our value. I want to see the pay scale for RVTs continue to climb, and opportunity for growth and movement to expand.


Jessica O'Neill, RVT

Why you are seeking a Director position within the OAVT?

Jessica: Ultimately, I am excited about guiding the profession and OAVT forward and would be honoured to leverage my experience and skill set to do so. I also enjoy the prospect of actively contributing the decision-making process of the Board and to setting the priorities of the future. This would give me a different look on the profession as a whole and the chance to learn new skills, both with which I would serve my clients and the Board in an even more exciting and meaningful way than I do already. I have been in love with the R.V.T. profession since I was 15 years old. What R.V.T.'s do is amazing! I am dedicated to continuing to be a source of influence, to educate the public on what R.V.Ts are doing and to be a voice for R.V.T.'s everywhere.

Share with us a brief biography, resume, and/or listing of qualifications for the position of Director.

Jessica: I am approaching almost two decades of professional experience in the veterinarian industry and am an active and contributing member to my current practice. Given the length of my experience and work in three clinics over the years, including a urgent-care clinic, I have been privy to the strengths and growth opportunities of the professional as a whole and challenges of veterinarians and their individual clinics. I would contribute this deep experience/knowledge to the Board of the OAVT. I am dedicated to continuing education, both in a formal way (garnering the expected credits) as well as an informal way. I have had the opportunity to train, coach and mentor future R.V.T.'s as well as take time to educate those who are interested in working in the practice. Outside of my regular working experience, I have managed and mentored a entrepreneur in expanding her successful pet bereavement business and contributed to her building her network. The cumulative of these experiences both demonstrate my dedication to the profession and bring to the forefront what I plan to contribute to the Board and its future.

How would you contribute to successfully meeting the objectives and goals of the OAVT as a Director of the Association?

Jessica: I see the objectives of organization as: 1. HELPING (to direct the Mission and Vision Statement and Association goals), 2. PROTECTING (the interest of the public) and 3. COMMUNICATING (to the internal ED and Registrar as well as key stakeholders). With these three objectives in mind, I know that I will be a meaningful Director, as I leverage my 17 years of hands-on experience in clinic, my formal education and my passion for the highest care of both animals and owners. I am willing and motivated to speak about the profession and the roles and tasks of R.V.T.s. I would leverage my experience as a solid resource for R.V.T.s to come to voice their opinions for consideration at the Board level.

What is your vision for the future of the profession, and how do you feel the OAVT can positively influence this vision?

Jessica: What a great question! My personal vision for the profession is for it to grow and expand and continue to be recognized for the hard work that I see and perform, day in and day out by R.V.T.'s. More specifically, I would like to address the health and well-being of practicing R.V.T.'s, as I often bear witness to physical and emotional strain that accompanies any care-giving profession. I believe strongly that the animals we care for and their owners deserve the highest standard of care and would like to support R.V.T.'s in being balanced in mind and body to be able to provide that. I would be honoured to contribute to both the success of our profession and the future of the OAVT as we continue to move forward, achieving professional excellence as a Director of the Board for the OAVT.


Jodi Stolowski, RVT

Why you are seeking a Director position within the OAVT?

Jodi: I am seeking a director position within the OAVT as I aspire to learn more about the profession that I so passionately enjoy. I have always performed my role as an RVT with pride. I believe this is the right time in my career to successfully solidify a seat. I bring maturity and knowledge that would benefit the panel during discussions and decision making. My goal is to help provide a voice for all RVT's and to strive for justice and equality for this fundamental position within veterinary medicine. I always enjoy networking with fellows RVT's in order to share skills sets and experience, as well as share passion and commitment to the industry. I have attempted to obtain a seat on the board for the past three years, but since then I have only continued to blossom in my role, I also choose to never let adversity deter me. I firmly believe that I would make a valuable addition to the board of directors committee due to my ongoing enthusiasm to successfully obtain a seat on the board. In addition to my passion, education and experience, I believe that I am an ideal candidate as I can provide a fresh perspective on suggested changes and methods of implementation. I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to share and shine in this regard.

Share with us a brief biography, resume, and/or listing of qualifications for the position of Director.

Jodi: I graduated from St. Lawrence College in 2002, this program was three years in duration as it had a full year dedicated to research. I immediately went into emergency and specialty work upon graduation, where I remained for 10 years. I took on a management role in 2012 after a fellow RVT reached out to me due to my strong positive leadership skills and abilities. I firmly believe that my management career has allowed me to develop more fully in my role as a Registered Veterinary Technician. I have the utmost confidence in my overall skill set for a role of this nature. I have been a Registered Veterinary in good standing for 17 years and have spent the last 7 years in a management capacity while maintaining a part-time position within an emergency hospital. My work ethic and overall skill set is an area I take pride in: • Exceptional technical skills and abilities • Passion for exceptional client service and patient care • Open-minded • Years of management experience • Work well under pressure • Work well independently and in a group setting • Experience working with individuals from diverse cultures • Computer literate in many programs/software • Resourceful • Reliable • Friendly I thrive in an environment that promotes and encourages teamwork

How would you contribute to successfully meeting the objectives and goals of the OAVT as a Director of the Association?

Jodi: I would contribute successfully to meeting the goals and objectives of the committee by being open-minded and willing to accept constructive criticism from the collective group involved in creating and carrying out the goals and objectives of the committee. Honestly, I am not entirely sure what this role fully entails but aspire to be successful at obtaining a seat in order to more fully understand all its aspects. I remain a proud Registered Veterinary Technician and feel as though I have the knowledge, experience and commitment to provide exceptional change within the industry of Registered Veterinary Technicians.

What is your vision for the future of the profession, and how do you feel the OAVT can positively influence this vision?

Jodi: My vision for the future of the profession is to see successful self-regulation with a legislative background. As previously mentioned, I have been a proud RVT for 17 years, I take pride in all the technical tasks that I successfully perform each day on my patients. I would be honoured to have our role as RVT's be protected meaning unless you have the appropriate qualifications and schooling to perform the duties of an RVT, you are not legally allowed to perform them. I feel this legal change will overall positively impact patient care, morbidity and overall mortality of patients in veterinary and research medicine.


Learn more about the OAVT Board

 

 

 

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