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Betsy Charles

Betsy Charles, DVM, MA - Executive Director, Veterinary Leadership Institute, Murrietta, California

Elizabeth “Betsy” Charles, DVM, MA combines a wide variety of professional experiences with her love of veterinary medicine in order to help others be the best they can be.  She believes we all have the capacity to be exceptional people of influence by learning the skills sets necessary to become effective communicators, relationship builders and boundary setters.  Dr. Charles holds a master’s degree in Organization Leadership and pairs that expertise with veterinary medicine to help veterinary professionals understand how emotionally intelligent servant leaders can facilitate the development of high functioning organizations.  She has presented on leadership topics at the state and national level in numerous venues including over half of the veterinary colleges in the U.S., numerous state VMA’s, the AAEP national convention, NAVC, and the AVMA-VLC. She has served on the AVMA’s Council on Communication, the AAEP’s Leadership Development Committee and is just finishing her commitment on the AAEP’s Student Programs Task Force.  Her master’s thesis dealt with implementing change initiatives within veterinary practice.  She is passionate about helping others understand that change, whether personal or professional, can be difficult but is necessary and exciting.  She also believes that veterinary medicine in the 21st century requires new leadership models and strategies in order to thrive. 

Currently, Dr. Charles is the Executive Director of the Veterinary Leadership Institute.  When she takes a break from trying to make a positive difference for the profession, she enjoys spending time with her husband of 25 years, playing with her dogs, Shotzie and Dexter, riding her horse Lenny, reading, hiking, and learning how to cook.

Kathryn Dobs

Katherine Dobbs, LVT, CVPM, PHR - Owner, interFace Veterinary HR Systems, LLC, Appleton, Wisconsin

Katherine began as a registered veterinary technician (RVT) in 1992. Since that time, she has become a Certified Veterinary Practice Manager (CVPM), and created interFace Veterinary HR Systems, LLC. She is also a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and a Certified Compassion Fatigue Educator. In 2006 she also founded and managed the Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Practice Association, a professional organization. Katherine has been published in various veterinary journals in the United States, UK, and Canada, and has published three books through AAHA Press. 




Jenn & Ryan

Jennifer Quamman, DVM, MPH and Ryan Smith, MS - Owners, High Performance Living, LLC, Walton, Kentucky

Coach Ryan Smith has experience coaching busy executive level athletes, helping them to balance their training, nutrition, recovery, and life. Ryan’s decades of human performance background includes a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology and a Bachelor of Arts in Exercise Science/Physical Education and numerous advanced certifications. Dr. Jen Quammen is a veterinarian balancing private practice, positions at the local, state, and national VMAs, and a happy life. Along with her DVM and history as a Veterinary Technician, Jen has an MPH and BS degrees in Mathematics and Biology. Jen and Ryan are co-founders of High Performance Living, where they help veterinary professionals thrive, not simply survive. We coach our clients in developing high performance habits and both personal and professional goals.



Jeff Thoren

Jeff Thoren, DVM, PCC, BCC - ICF Credentialed and Board Certified Coach, Gifted Leaders, LLC; Vice President, VetPartners, Chandler, Arizona

Dr. Jeff Thoren works with leaders throughout the United States specializing in coaching individuals who want to increase their leadership effectiveness and teams that want to boost their productivity and move from ordinary to extraordinary. He is the founder of Gifted Leaders, LLC, an established executive coaching and organization development company based in Phoenix, AZ, serving clients nationwide. His work there focuses on accelerating the shift from hierarchical to collective approaches to leadership. Jeff and his team are experts at equipping technical professionals to balance their functional expertise with the collaborative skills required for individual and organizational success through customized learning and coaching programs. Jeff is a graduate of Washington State University with a bachelor's degree in Veterinary Science and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree. He received his coach training through the Adler School of Professional Coaching and is certified through both the International Coach Federation (PCC) and Center for Credentialing & Education (BCC). Jeff has worked with a wide range of leaders from veterinary practice owners to executive level leaders in multi-million dollar companies. He has coaching/consulting experience in a variety of industries including veterinary medicine, healthcare, management consulting, construction, architecture, biotechnology, insurance, and semiconductor manufacturing.



Peg Thoren

Peg Thoren, MEd, BCC - Transition and Team Coach, Gifted Leaders, LLC, Chandler, Arizona

Peg Thoren is a Transitional and Team Coach with Gifted Leaders. She coaches and consults with companies in the areas of enhancing positive team dynamics, increasing essential communication, identifying individuals’ gifts and strengths, and building positive work cultures. Utilizing her background in career development, Peg also specializes in working with people in transition, assisting those heading to college; moving into the world of work; contemplating mid-career change; or considering retirement. As a Program Supervisor in the health care field at Kitsap Mental Health, Peg transformed her staff into a highly effective and productive team. She was instrumental in providing vision and planning, identifying individual skills and talents, implementing a collective approach to leadership, and orchestrating program and team development. Under her leadership, the program became an example for other similar organizations statewide. After receiving her Master’s Degree in Education with an emphasis in Career Development, Peg worked as a Career Counselor at Seattle Pacific University. In this role she coached individuals and conducted workshops in the areas of career exploration, resume writing, job interviewing skills, and transitioning into the workplace.  Peg has also extensively coached high school students and their parents as they navigate the road to college. Peg has a passion for creating an enjoyable work place, and helping people develop to their full potential. She has had success creating positive work environments while working within large bureaucratic systems as well as small to medium sized companies. She also has a knack for taking “big picture” ideas and translating them into practical application. Peg has a Master’s Degree in Education in Counseling Psychology and Career Development from the University of Missouri. She received her coach training through the Adler School of Professional Coaching and is certified through the Center for Credentialing & Education.