VHA Expo Speakers

Learn about our excellent speakers, then plan to join us on November 2, 2017 for the 12th Annual VHA Expo.
Register today!

Matt Birk

matt birkOpening Keynote Speaker
Sponsored by Patterson Veterinary

Matt Birk

Matt grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota and attended Catholic elementary and high school. He was a Cub Scout, a member of the National Honor Society, and played “pretty much every sport there was to play.” After high school, Matt attended Harvard University and earned a degree in Economics. While playing for the Harvard Crimson, he received several football honors, including All-Ivy League and Division I-AA All-American. Matt was selected by the Minnesota Vikings in the sixth round of the 1998 draft. Appearing in 228 career games, including 18 playoff contests, Matt spent 11 seasons with Minnesota and 4 more with the Baltimore Ravens. He was named the 2011 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year for his off-the-field service, as well as his playing excellence.

Kat Perkins


kat perkins
Closing Keynote Speaker
Sponsored by Hill's

Kat Perkins

Kat competed on Season 6 of NBC’s The Voice and finished as a semi-finalist. Since then, she has performed worldwide in over 10 countries and almost all 50 states sharing her message of being Fearless and inspiring others through the power of music. She has been a number one rock artist on iTunes five times and her single “Fearless” topped the iTunes charts when it was released. She is a national recognized motivational speaker, world-touring entertainer, and aspiring author.

Dr. Travis Saveraid



travis sImaging

Dr. Travis Saveraid
DVM, DACVR

Dr. Saveraid grew up in Iowa and received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Iowa State University in 2000. After practicing in small animal practice in Maine for two years, he completed a three-year radiology residency at Washington State University and became board certified in veterinary radiology in 2005. Dr. Saveraid worked as clinical faculty radiologist at the University of Minnesota and the University of Zurich prior to starting a Twin Cities based diagnostic imaging consulting service. Besides running a growing mobile ultrasound and teleradiology service, he is also part time radiologist at the Animal Emergency and Referral Center of Minnesota. 

Outside of work, he enjoys spending time outside with his wife and 4 kids and helping his mom manage a 120 cow Black Angus cross beef herd in Iowa. 

Tracks include:
The Essential Radiology Tips and Interpretations, Part 1 | The Essential Radiology Tips and Interpretations, Part 2 | Diagnostic Imaging Case Review Potpourri | Going to the Next Level for the Patient


Dr. Margaret Duxbury



margaret duxburyAnimal Behavior

Dr. Margaret Duxbury
DVM, DACVB

Dr. Margaret Duxbury earned her DVM from the UMN in 1981. After 15 years in private small animal practice she completed a residency in behavior and became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists. Dr. Duxbury served on the clinical and teaching faculty at the UMN CVM, earning the rank of Associate Professor. She is currently co-owner of Veterinary Behavior Specialties of MN, a private, behavior-only specialty practice serving the twin cities and surrounding regions.

Tracks include:
The Scalpel and Forceps of Behavior Modification | Respect Their Inner Catdom, at Home ad at the Vet Clinic | Set Up to Succeed: Make the "Right" Things Easy and the "Wrong" Things Hard | Cat vs. Cat: Mediating the Complicated World of Intercat Dynamics


Jim Poissant

jim poissantBusiness Management

Jim Poissant
VHA Director of Business Services

Mr. Poissant began an entry level career with US Foods, drafting training and development manuals. He returned to school twice while with US Foods; once for Human Resource certification and again for a degree in Computer Science. During his eleven years with the company, he worked at the executive level in several departments; Human Resources, Finance, Sales & Marketing, Information Technology and was ultimately named Head of a Newly Created Department responsible for developing its web presence, e-ordering division and managing the Y2K transition. He later accepted a position as Hospital Administrator with a large veterinary hospital and began to research the industry from an outside perspective, armed with a thorough understanding of corporate business structure, policy and procedures. Poissant launched Veterinary Management Services in 2003 and began bringing his unique perspectives and insights to privately owned practices that lacked the tools, experience and training to compete with corporate practices. In 2015, VHA and Veterinary Management Services combined, and Poissant was named VHA Director of Business Services.

He has spoken on business-related topics such as HR, customer service, and more, for veterinary audiences including AERC and the MVMA, among others.

Tracks include:
Inventory 101 | Gross, Gross, and Gross

Stephanie Duncan



stephanie duncanBusiness Management

Stephanie Duncan
Communication Coordinator, VHA

Stephanie Duncan helps small businesses and entrepreneurs understand and harness the power of social media and digital marketing. She is an experienced communicator, and has worked with speakers, television hosts, authors, and business owners expand their reach and grow their customer base through social media, digital marketing, and content creation.

Currently, Stephanie is the Communication Coordinator for Veterinary Hospitals Association and owner of Oh So Sociable, a social media and digital marketing company. She has presented for the National Speakers Association and writes for Veterinary Practice News and Salesforce.

Tracks include:
Facebook Basics for Business | Facebook Ads from Start to Finish

Kit Welchlin

kit welchlinCommunication

Kit Welchlin
Professional Speaker

A born public speaker and trainer, Kit Welchlin began public speaking at the age of 9 in 4-H. By 16, he was organizing and facilitating presentations on leadership, citizenship, community service and motivation for the 4-H and Future Farmers of America.

Kit Welchlin purchased his first manufacturing company at age 21, and by 26 was CEO and Chairman of the Board of three manufacturing companies in three states. He’s been an instructor with the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, where he has been repeatedly nominated Outstanding Faculty. He is a Professional Member of the National Speakers Association.

Kit has a B.S. Degree in Speech Communication, Business Administration and Political Science. He earned an M.A. Degree in Speech Communication and Business Administration.

Tracks include:
Gender Communication | Effective Communication Techniques

Ted Schick

ted schick headshotCommunication

Ted Schick
Professional Speaker

Residing in Duluth, MN, Ted is a corporate trainer, professional speaker and consultant with his own business, Schick Corporate Learning. A retired naval officer who rose up from the enlisted ranks, Ted has over 30 years experience leading people.

With over 20 years in teaching, Ted holds a BA Business from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, a teaching certificate from Bemidji State University, and Master of Education from the University of Minnesota, Duluth.

Ted is a member and past president of the Lake Superior Chapter of the American Society of Training and Development located in Duluth, MN.

Ted is active in his community with 13 years on the Spirit Mountain Ski Patrol and volunteering with local animal humane societies such as Animal Allies in Duluth and Friends of Animals in Cloquet.  Ted is also part of the Cloquet Rotary and Mentor Duluth.  In his “spare” time, he has been a stand-up comedian, teaches Boot Camp fitness classes in the Twin Ports and is an accomplished triathlete.

Tracks include:
The Four Pillars of Customer Service | Implementing Success Change: When the Elephants Dance

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