Meet Dr. Adam Christman – Co-Chief of Staff at Brick Town Veterinary Hospital, Teacher, Trailblazer, Animal Rights Advocate, Local Celebrity and so much more.

As a young child, I was passionate about learning, loving animals, and being a leader. My parents wondered where I got all this drive, energy and enthusiasm from! Having been born and raised (and now practicing) in my hometown at the Jersey Shore in Brick, NJ, I always carried my passion for animals with me. My high school biology teacher (now a client of mine!) motivated me even further for my love of science.

Dr. Adam Christman with canine friendsI knew I wanted to be a veterinarian as I journeyed through life. But I also knew there was going to be more to my career beyond the exam room. I received my BS in Animal Science and minored in Spanish at Rutgers University. I had the privilege of combining my two loves (animals and the Spanish language) in Puerto Rico, doing my senior thesis on a dairy farm. That thesis certainly “MOO-ved” me up the ranks in being accepted to veterinary school at Iowa State University!

Over the years, it’s been such an honor to journey through the roles of Veterinary Technician, Associate Veterinarian, and now to Co-Chief of Staff at Brick Town Veterinary Hospital. But my story doesn’t stop there! I want to be clear that being a veterinarian is really tough – physically, mentally, emotionally and compassionately. But through it all, VetCor has been there for me in supporting both my team and myself.

They understand and value the wellbeing of their team members. They have been an excellent partnership and a huge support system for the community causes that are important to our practice. They also encourage physical fitness as part of their wellness challenges and rewards program – and me and my team will even do some exercises in between appointments! Who says you can’t do squats while doing a nail trim? The home office team always gets a kick out of seeing photos of us team-building while having fun!


Already this year, we’ve seen so many examples of amazing connections within the VetCor family, as well as out in our practices’ local communities.

From helping an abandoned cat regain her strength to walk again, and dressing up as nerds for a day, to networking with VetCor Family members at one of the largest veterinary conferences of the year, here are some of our favorite examples of community connections this month!


  Mike Lynch and his dog Pepper

We're thrilled to have Michael J. Lynch on board as our new Chief Financial Officer. He joined us in December 2017, and has already made an excellent impression on the corporate office team. Mike’s career has been mostly in financial leadership roles for consumer-oriented businesses. He recently served as CFO for Au Bon Pain for eight years, and for four years prior to that, as the CFO for Footstar.

Mike has also worked in several financial roles at American Express, Sony Corporation of America, General Mills and Arthur Andersen. He earned his BA in Economics and Accounting from the College of Holy Cross and his MBA from Harvard Business School, and is a Certified Public Accountant in New Jersey. He and his wife, Julie, are actively involved with the Dana Farber Cancer Institute/Jimmy Fund. They live in Needham, MA with their four children and two Shih Tzu’s – Hazel and Pepper.

  Farren Rice

It is also our pleasure to announce two new additions to the Recruiting and Acquisitions teams – Farren Rice and Kerrin Venafra!

Farren, our newest Hiring Specialist, is helping us to further our regional recruiting support in western PA, Ohio, Upstate NY and Long Island. She is a great fit for the position, having been a Recruiting Researcher for many years, and sourcing executive and technical candidates for clients in the aviation industry. She also got the chance to work with one of the world’s largest fortune 500 companies – The Walt Disney Company! She even helped placed the Director of Maintenance for the entire Aviation Department at Disney World.

  Kerrin Venafra and her family

Kerrin is our newest Practice Acquisition Manager, covering the Greater Atlanta area, and she joins us with a wealth of veterinary experience. She started working at an animal hospital in RI in high school as a technician, and then went on to be a Practice Manager for a general practice in RI for eight years. From there, she went into Veterinary Pharmaceutical Sales for just shy of three years, covering all of MA and RI. Kerrin has been married to her husband, Paul, for 12 years, and they share their home with three rescue dogs – Abbie, Zachary, Kenzie – and 4 kitties – Kodi, Reggie, Sawyer and Libby.


Jennifer Weitzel is the long-time Hospital Manager at the Animal Medical Center of Ontario in Mansfield, OH.

After being the Hospital Manager of the Animal Medical Center of Ontario for 14 years, the practice has always been a huge part of my life. In 2016, the owner and I decided to start meeting with corporations to buy the practice – the practice that meant the world to me. We met Bob Dionne, acquisition manager from VetCor. I remember thinking that not only did he seem like a down to earth person, but he was very proud of the company he represented.

Jennifer with her family, and pitbull MaxI had concerns in our search of a corporate buy-out, especially what it would mean for our high practice standards, our amazing staff, and how it would impact a job I loved so much. After leaving the meeting with Bob, I knew that VetCor was going to be the type of organization I could see myself working for in the years to come.

I started helping with the process of VetCor acquiring AMC, and I wondered if they would live up to their promises. I can say after 8 months; the answer is 100% YES! Every day, we are still AMC of Ontario – we practice our style of advanced medicine, continue to grow the practice in the direction we envision, and still maintain our extraordinary staff with the amazing support of our Regional Manager, Matt, and the whole corporate team.

Veterinary medicine is changing in the direction of corporate-owned practices, which seems scary to many. But, as I went through this journey, I realized very quickly that I am fortunate to be a part of a company that cares not only about the success of the practice, but most of all, their employees. They have shown me that they want every employee to have a balanced personal/professional life. That is important to me as I love having time with my husband, John (also a VetCor employee!), our two beautiful daughters, Lexi and Alyssa, as well as our seven furry friends.

Let me mention something that really made me realize that I worked for a company that truly cares: About three months ago, my daughter and my husband were both having some health issues. Not only did my Regional Manager call me to see how they were doing, but he continues to always ask about my family and refers to my children like he has known them forever. It made me realize that the feeling I had at acquisition about joining a "family" still carries through today.


Our team members have kicked off the New Year by celebrating amazing achievements, working hard to care for animals and people in need, and having fun together. After all, isn't that what Life at VetCor is all about?

Check out some of our favorite examples of Community Connections from this month below!


Tech Connection Program ParticipantsHiring great people is an important part of the Life at VetCor program. And focusing on technician recruiting and development is a significant part of that program. We listened to what our teams had to say after Survey de Mayo, and a recurring theme that came up time and again was the struggle to hire technicians.

Cathy Doucette, the head technician at Kingston Animal Hospital in MA, participated in an internship with the Hingham office this summer focusing on technician recruiting to find the best ways to attract, hire, and retain quality veterinary technicians. She reached out to AVMA-accredited Veterinary Technology programs in our states to start building long-term contacts and relationships with VetCor.


'Tis the season! From shelter fundraisers to donation drives, to pet phots with Santa, and even sharing fun ways to celebrate the holidays with your pets, there are so many ways our teams spread holiday cheer and joy this time of year.

Check out some of our favorite holiday happenings and charitable events from the VetCor family below!


Dr. Bruce Cox, DVM, is a veterinarian and Chief of Staff at Northside Animal Hospital in Waco, Texas.

Dr. Bruce Cox and a canine friend at Northside Animal HospitalVeterinary medicine has been very good to me. High school in Waxahachie, Texas brought a great vocational agriculture teacher who stressed involvement in leadership and public speaking. I was an FFA kid.

With a love for animal agriculture, rural people, and life sciences, veterinary medicine was the career that encompassed all three. Lots of studying and football games at Texas A&M prepared the way for veterinary college. The tremendous course load was bearable through the camaraderie with my great 137 classmates.

Then I was off to Tyler, Texas to a classic fire-engine, mixed-animal practice. My first boss was a patient and hilarious man. I looked so young at 25! After a couple of weeks to orient myself to the surrounding countryside, I went on my first farm call. When I met the farmer at the pasture gate, he looked in my truck, then behind me on the county road and asked, “Son, is the doctor comin’, too?”

Thick skin is good to develop, until you earn your clients’ trust!

After five years, a beautiful Tyler wife, and one daughter later, opportunity knocked loudly. And, I bought it! My own clinic was deeper into East Texas. Off to Nacogdoches we moved. Solo practice was too hectic for mixed animal medicine; so, I became a small animal practitioner. The work was rewarding and the clients were very appreciative… especially the local comedic radio personality who showed up in full scrubs, mask, and gloves with his English bulldog for her scheduled C-section!

At the time, it was tough to get a technician or another vet to move to that part of Texas. My secretary was the anchor of the front half of the clinic for more than a decade. College kids were my helpers, and I trained art majors and aquatic biologists to prep surgeries and to hold off veins. With the clinic paid off, and I knew inside me that another change was due.


Manage your money today to plan for tomorrow.

The everyday choices you make can help you live a healthier, happier, and more fulfilling life - both at work and at home. This month’s wellbeing resource is about helping you improve your financial health.

Financial WellbeingYour financial health is your savings, retirement, and spending. Decisions you make every day have an effect on your immediate and future financial health. Here are some helpful tips to think about. 

Did you know that your physical and financial health is interconnected? Money worries can cause stress, anxiety and depression. Take a look at your financial situation. If you’re not where you need to be, make a plan to improve it. This helpful newsletter from HUB offers some great tips including online tools and smartphone apps.

Getting sick can also have major financial ramifications. Maintain your physical health to maintain your financial health. Regular check-ups, eating healthy and routine exercise can help you stay financially and physically fit. In some cases, you can even save money by visiting urgent care instead of the ER for off hour, non-critical health issues (but always err on the side of caution and got to the ER if you’re not sure.)


This holiday season, we’re thankful for all of our practice teams and the compassionate care they provide to pets and their families each and every day. Not only do many of our team members work hard throughout the holidays to provide urgent/emergency care to patients in need, but they also go above and beyond to help pets and people in their communities in lots of other ways.

Check out some of our favorite examples of Community Connections within the VetCor family, as well as out in our practices’ local communities, from this month below!


I was born in Odessa, Texas and moved to Abilene, Texas before I was two. I remember when I was a child, I would bring home anything that moved. I tried to help stray and injured animals and nurse babies back to health. My mom always had a yard full of animals while I was growing up. I would bring home dogs, cats, birds, and even snakes. I almost gave my mom a heart attack – she is terrified of snakes!

Cassie Linley, Hospital Manager at Abilene Veterinary ClinicNeedless to say, I always knew I wanted to work with animals. During my senior year in high school, I joined an intern class, and my teacher met with Dr. Ellis about employment at Abilene Veterinary Clinic. I went in the next day for an interview and was hired on the spot.

My entire career has been at Abilene Vet! I started in 1999 as a part-time Kennel Attendant doing the end of the day clean up. I took every opportunity to expand my knowledge and become more helpful. I moved up to Hospital Technician shortly after starting, and learned how to medicate animals and monitor animals recovering from anesthesia. I loved my hospital patients and treated them as if they were my own.

Then I cross-trained for Surgery Technician where I learned about anesthesia, dentals, x-rays, and surgical preps. I stayed in surgery from many years and was eventually promoted to Lead Technician. I helped to train my co-workers and oversaw surgery, hospital and boarding. I was promoted to Hospital Manager in 2005, and I now oversee a wonderful hospital that truly cares about the best interest of each pet and client. I work with an incredible group of dedicated staff!

Our clinic joined VetCor in March of 2016. I think it is normal to feel nervous about a transition from private practice to corporation, but I quickly learned that I now have a new family to support us and help our practice grow. VetCor worked hard to make the transition seamless and easy. They wanted to know what will help us and make our day-to-day operations easier.


Dr. Mark E. Russo, VMD, Dipl. ACVIM, is a veterinarian and former owner at Kingston Animal Hospital in Kingston, MA.

In the business world, and in life, it’s generally prudent to generate a fair amount of cynicism or skepticism when something seems too good to be true. That being the case, it’s all the more amazing to me – and all the more do I feel blessed – to have chosen VetCor as our partner for Kingston Animal Hospital.

drs-ray-mark-russo-1952When I sold to VetCor in November 2015, the practice had been around for 68 years... founded by my father, Dr. Raymond Russo (who was still coming to work eight days before he passed away at age 93.) I started working at the hospital at about age eight as a part-time weekend and summer kennel boy (still the most fun I’ve had in veterinary medicine), and then after veterinary school for over four decades as a neurologist, general practitioner, and now, a holistic practitioner.

When my father started Kingston Animal Hospital in 1947, Kingston was a tiny coastal town with a true "small town feel." Even as the town and the region have grown to become more suburban, we have worked hard over the years to retain and perpetuate the small town feel and encourage a sense of uniqueness.

In particular, while we strongly believe in offering excellent veterinary care tailored to the clients’ preferences and capabilities, we also fervently believe in offering that care in a warm and friendly manner with lots of empathy, caring, integrity and value. We also work hard to maintain a nurturing and productive work environment for ourselves, and even have some fun at work. We try hard to remember that a significant part of the fulfillment and satisfaction in veterinary medicine comes from having a worthwhile job done well.


National Veterinary Technician Week

VetCor has over 1,300 technicians, and we would like to take a moment recognize them this National Veterinary Technician Week for all their hard work and dedication!

Here are just some of the reasons why we love vet techs:


Our teams are back at it again and making a difference within their communities through volunteer work, training, and doing the right thing for people and pets in need.

We take great pride in the connections made within the VetCor family, as well as out in our practices’ local communities, and are excited to share a few of our favorite moments from this September!


While we deal with an overwhelming hurricane season, we are reminded of how important disaster planning truly is. And with September being National Preparedness Month, we wanted to sit down with some VetCor family members who’ve dealt with disasters to get their advice on protecting themselves, their staff, and patients during potential crises.

practice-plan-prepareDr. Chad Harris, Chief of Staff at North Austin Animal Hospital in Austin, TX and Vice President of the Texas Veterinary Medical Foundation, says that making sure you can always communicate with your team is key. Prior to Hurricane Harvey, he reached out to all his staff and checked with them to make sure they were ready with adequate food and water, and that they had a safe place to ride out the storm.

As many pet owners were forced to evacuate before the hurricane, many of our Houston practices reached out to their clients to provide information and help them get their pets out safely before the storm hit. We are so proud of our teams for working together and on their feet during such a hectic time, to ensure the wellbeing of all the animals in their care.

Preparing your practice to withstand emergencies and disasters is also something to think about, even if you’re not in a high-risk area. Chief of Staff at Countryside Veterinary Hospital in Chelmsford, MA, Dr. Dawn Brooks, suggests keeping emergency boxes on hand. To deal with power outages, she suggests storing battery-powered camping lanterns and head lamps, extension cords, flashlights, and even construction spot lights, and checking batteries twice a year.


Jennifer Cwiklinski is a Veterinary Technician and Client Care Specialist in Brick, NJ.

With all the good work that they do to save abandoned animals, it’s no wonder I ended up at Brick Town Veterinary Hospital in Brick, NJ a few years ago. Majik, my female black and white cat, was found on the doorstep at Bricktown Vet right after my father-in law passed away. He was a magician, so we named her in honor of him.

Jen, Vet Tech at Laurelton Veterinary Hospital in Brick, NJStanley is my male Maine coon cat mix, weighing in at 20 pounds. He was a hit by car at six months old and was also dropped off at Bricktown Vet. No one wanted him, so I took him home. He thinks he is a small dog and absolutely adores me!

My furry family also includes Benjamin Buttons, a male golden retriever (and the best part of my heart), and Penelope, a female golden that I adopted from Golden Rush Kennels in NJ. No one wanted her either because she potentially had a heart condition, so I surprise, surprise – I took her home! There is nothing wrong with her now and her condition is no more.

Caring for animals isn’t just what I do – it’s who I am. All of my knowledge comes from hands-on experience since my schooling pretty much stopped after high school. I enrolled in the local community college with hopes of becoming a teacher. I only survived two semesters before realizing it was not for me. In 2010, I enrolled in the veterinary assistant program at the Stratford Career Institute. I have learned so much and continue to learn new things every day. I am currently still doing the online course (yes, 7 years later!)