Meet our board and find out what we’re all about!
Laura Pletz, DVM
Dr. Pletz's Bio
Dr. Laura Pletz is a 2000 graduate of the University of Missouri – College of Veterinary Medicine. After graduation, she began work as an associate veterinarian in a small animal practice in St. Louis, MO, where she became one of the practice owners. During her time in practice, she was also the co-host of local radio show for pet owners seeking advice on the care of their pets. In 2012, she left private practice to join Royal Canin to lead their Technical Services team. She was promoted to her current role of Scientific Services Manager in 2016.
Dr. Pletz is passionate about working to address the challenges facing today’s veterinarian and promoting opportunities for women in leadership of the veterinary profession. She currently resides in the St. Louis area with her two sons. She is excited for future opportunities to mentor veterinarians seeking alternative career paths in veterinary medicine and supporting efforts to help veterinarians find a better work-life balance.
Tangela Williams-Hill, DVM
Dr. Williams–Hill's Bio
Tangela M. Williams-Hill received her DVM from Tuskegee University in 2001. Dr. Williams–Hill was a research scholar at the University of Georgia and the University of Maryland at College Park. She worked as a lab researcher in chemistry until attending Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, AL. She practiced in Collingswood, NJ for six years in small animal medicine and exotic medicine. She is an active member of the North Jersey and South Jersey VMA, as well as an AAHA member. She is also active in community programs that help promote and educate students from low income areas about veterinary medicine. Dr. Williams-Hill was a board member on the Patient Family Advisory Committee and a NICU volunteer at a local hospital in New Jersey from 2013 to 2017. Dr. Williams-Hill joined Idexx Laboratories in April 2015 as the Philadelphia Professional Services Veterinarian, serving the greater Philadelphia region and conducted CE seminars and communication training. She presently sits as a board member of AVMA-supported Women’s Veterinary Leadership Development Initiative and is a member of Idexx Global Diversity and Inclusion Council.
Kimberly-Ann Therrien, DVM
Dr. Therrien's Bio
Dr. Therrien is an active member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Kentucky Veterinary Medical Association, and Florida Veterinary Medical Association, and serves as a board member of the Banfield Foundation since 2016. At the start of 2020, she assumed the role of president of the Women Veterinary Leadership Development Initiative (WVLDI). Most recently, Dr Therrien has also joined the newly formed AVMA DEI Commission as a board member. Her passion for leadership and the many challenges that veterinarians face within the profession is what first led her to join WVLDI, and she is committed to helping shape the future of veterinary medicine.
In her free time, Dr. Therrien loves spending time enjoying the great outdoors and traveling with her two daughters and husband.
Danielle Adney, PhD
Dr. Adney's Bio
Dr. Adney received her PhD from Colorado State University (CSU) in 2016, where she is currently a member of the veterinary class of 2020. Her PhD research investigated the role of dromedary camels in the transmission cycle of the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MER-CoV).
Upon completion of her DVM, Dr. Adney will integrate her scientific and veterinary expertise to continue researching the role of reservoir hosts in the spillover of emerging infectious diseases.
Dr. Adney is passionate about promoting women and minorities in science. She is one of the founding members of CSU’s Women in Science Career Issues Group, has helped organize two symposiums focused on the topic, and serves as the student director of the Women’s Veterinary Leadership Development Initiative. Furthermore, Dr. Adney believes science communication within the scientific community and amongst the general population is critical to the advancement of science. She is a founding member of Science on Tap, Fort Collins, a monthly event focused on open and informal discussion between scientists and the public.
Nicole works full time as a Digital Marketing and Social Media Strategist with the Georgia Veterinary Medical Association. She strives to bring veterinary associations success through creative problem solving and innovative digital marketing strategies. She is passionate about promoting women and historically underrepresented groups in veterinary medicine. Combining her experience with both associations allows her to deliver unique perspectives and remain in touch with the needs of the veterinary community.
In her free time, Nicole loves spending time with her dog, being outdoors, and watching Braves baseball.
Gary Marshall, DVM
Dr. Marshall's Bio
With his position as Adjunct Professor for Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, there are several veterinary students receiving part of their clinical training at Island Cats.
Dr. Marshall is a Past-President of the Washington State Veterinary Medical Association and still serves on the Board of Directors. He also has previously served as Vice-Chairman of the American Veterinary Medical Foundation and currently serves as one of two representatives from Washington State in the House of Delegates for the American Veterinary Medical Association.
He is proud that his last act as WSVMA President was to propose and promote that Washington be the first State VMA to sign on in support of the Wake Up Vet Med Call to Action by the Multicultural Veterinary Medicine Association.
Late in 2020, he was appointed to the Advisory Group of the Commission for a Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive Veterinary Profession. This is a joint venture of the AVMA and AAVMC.
Dr. Marshall is also working with the Washington State University Center for Undergraduate Education (Pre-Veterinary Medicine) to establish a DEI forum with a panel of current veterinary students.
Outside of this veterinary medicine, Dr. Marshall enjoys getting to all the corners of the Pacific Northwest to work on honing his landscape photography skills, and during the winter he participates in a local curling league.
Dr. Marshall is married and has two grown children. He and his wife share their home with their cat named Millicent Cloudberry (Millie), senior Bassett-Retriever cross named Fred, and during pandemics, the Island Cats clinic cat named Ella.
Makenzie Peterson, DSW, MSc
As a member of their senior program leadership team, Dr. Makenzie Peterson serves as the Director for Wellbeing at the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC). She works to advance AAVMC’s strategic goal of fostering a culture of wellbeing throughout academic veterinary medicine by promoting preventative, systems-based initiatives that positively impact people’s lives. Dr. Peterson provides subject-matter expertise on evidence-based health and wellbeing practices, as well as how organizations can improve overall wellbeing by addressing the root causes of distress. She speaks on a variety of wellbeing-related topics across the profession to drive positive change.
In Dr. Peterson’s current role, she leads efforts to improve the wellbeing of students, interns, residents, staff, and faculty at our member institutions by conducting national research on mental health and wellbeing and providing organizational recommendations and consultation for program development and implementation. She also provides oversight for AAVMC’s Academic Veterinary Wellbeing Professionals (AVWP) group. Beyond her role in academic veterinary medicine, Dr. Peterson also established the Wellbeing Coalition group for the Federation of the Allied Schools of the Health Professions (FASHP) to encourage cross-disciplinary efforts and resource sharing to collectively support the wellbeing of all the health professions.
A few of Dr. Peterson’s previous roles included being a health specialist for a joint MIT/Harvard-sponsored start-up located in Harvard Business School’s Innovation Lab focused on educating college students on health topics, and at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine as their first Wellbeing Program Director creating community wellbeing initiatives for students, staff, and faculty. She served on the Wellbeing Committee for the New York State Veterinary Medical Society and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Women’s Veterinary Leadership Development Initiative.
Born and raised in Alaska, Dr. Peterson completed her master’s degree from the University of Utah in Health Promotion & Health Education and her Doctorate of Social Work from the University of Southern California. When she’s not working to translate wellbeing research into practice, Dr. Peterson can be found enjoying time with her family and her wolfdog Odin, and fixing up her circa 1845 home in central New York (a never-ending endeavor).
Danielle Alleman, DVM
Dr. Danielle Alleman is a 2017 graduate from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. Immediately following graduation, she moved out to Washington State and has been a practicing small animal veterinarian out west ever since.
Dr. Alleman has been passionate about wellbeing since her time as a vet student and was part of the group of students that helped create the Student Wellness Initiative that exists currently today.
Now as a veterinarian, Dr. Alleman is passionate about empowering other early career veterinarians to find balance and sustainability in their careers. She also serves on the WSVMA Wellbeing Committee helping to provide wellbeing resources to members.
Dr. Alleman is the owner and creator of Empathos Veterinary Wellness, a platform designed to help support the mental health and wellbeing of the veterinary profession through virtual events, speaking, career coaching, and more.
When she is not involved in Vet Med, she enjoys hiking, climbing, skiing – or basically any activity that gets her outside in the PNW mountains!
Eva Evans, DVM, MBA
TN. In addition to private practice, Dr. Evans is a contributing author for Pets Best Insurance. She writes educational articles on everything from pet travel tips to choosing the best diet for your pet.
She served on the AVMA Political Action Committee (PAC) Board from 2013-2019, including as Chairwoman for two years.
Dr. Evans also serves on the Scholarship and Awards Committee with the AVMF evaluating scholarship applications from veterinary students. She enjoys interacting with students and mentoring.
When Gravity announced it would raise the minimum wage to $70K, Rosita became involved on a national level advocating for other companies to do the same by sharing her story. She interviewed for numerous print articles, interviewed on the Work Life podcast by Adam Grant, and appeared on The Kelly Clarkson Show. Rosita has also written a piece for the Women in Leadership series calling out that gender bias continues to be a prevalent disease in the workplace and bringing authenticity in our voice to challenge the status quo is one of the ways to clean up our environments. She now lives in Federal Way, Washington spending quality time with her family and friends.
Medicine at Michigan State University, Class of 2024. Hannah is currently pursuing her interests in mixed animal, chiropractic, acupuncture, surgery, and practice ownership. Outside of veterinary medicine, Hannah enlisted in the Army National Guard in 2013. She currently is an Engineer Officer in the Michigan National Guard in a Bridging Company and looks forward to demolition every year!
She has also taken a leadership role as President in MSU Chapter of Veterinary Business Management Association (VBMA) and serves as the Zoetis Student Representative. What leisure time Hannah can find to enjoy is spent traveling, hiking, and spending time outdoors. As the WVLDI Student Director, Hannah aspires to address the challenges facing today’s veterinarians and promote opportunities for women in leadership in all facets of the veterinary profession.
Interested in getting involved with WVLDI?
There may be many areas available: board service, social media contribution, student outreach, speakers bureau, fundraisers, sponsorships, and mentorships.
So if you have an interest in getting involved with WVLDI, please contact us using our form, and let us know what you are interested in and what immediate skills you can bring to the table!
Donate to Women’s Veterinary Leadership Development Initiative
Thank you for your support! The Women’s Veterinary Leadership Development Initiative is an official 501c3 organization. Voluntary contributions enable us to allocate our resources most efficiently, where they will do the greatest possible good in helping to promote women into leadership roles in veterinary medicine.