2019 Executive Board

The MAVT Executive Board is made up of a diverse group of dedicated veterinary technicians just like you. The MAVT Executive Board meets monthly to discuss groundbreaking ways to impact issues pertinent to Michigan veterinary technicians such as continuing education, career growth and advancement, and legislation changes. If you would like to befriend other veterinary technicians passionate about shaping the future of our profession, you should consider running for an executive office position. Please send us a message below to learn more.

If you can’t commit to an office but would still like to help, consider volunteering for an upcoming event. Please contact us to learn more.

Your MAVT Board

President: Natasha Walling, LVT

Natasha is a 2005 graduate from Baker College in Flint. She started her career working in small animal practice and eventually moved into a field position with IDEXX Laboratories. She spent 10+ years with IDEXX working as a diagnostic specialist in practices across the US. She most recently transitioned into the educational sector when she took a position with the Macomb Community College Veterinary Technician Program. Natasha has an in-depth understanding of how hospitals function, the varying challenges that are present day to day, and the vital role that technicians can play. She has a strong passion to help technicians be successful in their role and is excited to help technicians develop the skills and confidence needed in practice. When she is not working, she loves to spend time with her husband and her animals, which include two rescue mutts and a cat. 

Vice President: Brandy Kowalski, LVT

Brandy graduated from Macomb Community College Veterinary Technician Program and became licensed in 2014. Brandy started off working in general practice in 2012 while going to school. In July of 2016, she began  doing relief  work for an emergency hospital. Then, December of 2018, she became part of the Internal Medicine team at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services. Brandy is looking to work towards a VTS in Internal Medicine.  When she is not working, Brandy likes to attend CE opportunities and spend time with her husband and animals. Her areas of interest for CE are: canine behavioral training and rehabilitation, surgery, anesthesia, and Internal Medicine. Brandy and her husband enjoy hiking, boating, and shopping with their dogs.

Treasurer: Carmen Baker, LVT

Recording Secretary: Nick Kowalski, LVT

Nick graduated from Macomb Community college's Veterinary Technician Program in 2015. He is a shelter technician for Oakland County. He is passionate about helping our community’s population of lost, forgotten, and abandoned animals. Nick has a strong belief in the progression of our role in the veterinary field and recognition within the community. Nick is  married to Brandy, another technician that shares all the obsession with helping animals and squeezing puppy cheeks. Nick is a new homeowner in Waterford Michigan who enjoys spending free time with his current partner in crime, Demon the border collie! The most recent addititon to the family is the bestest boy in the whole world, Sir Colin the Rough collie!

Corresponding Secretary: Laura Byrd, BS,  LVT

Laura is a licensed veterinary technician and has worked at Wilson Veterinary Hospital for the past six years. After graduating from Central Michigan University in 2008 with a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education, the surplus of teachers led her onto a new career path. As a 2013 graduate of Macomb Community College, she interned at both Wilson Veterinary Hospital and Oakland Veterinary Referral Services in the behavior department. Laura has a special interest in emergency medicine, reproductive/neonatal medicine, behavioral medicine, reptiles, and veterinary staff education (she lectured at both the MAVT and the MVMA conferences). Laura and her family reside in the rural town of Armada, Michigan with a border collie and a painted turtle.

Member at Large: Jessica Gehrke, LVT 

Jessica is a 2016 graduate of Macomb Community College's Veterinary Technician program. She works at Orion Oaks Animal Hospital in Clarkston, Michigan. Her interests include physical rehabilitation, surgery and large animals. In the future she is looking to work toward a VTS in surgery or physical rehabilitation. Her best friend is her Bulldog/Neopolitan Mastiff mix, Bubba. In her free time, she enjoys baking, playing sports, reading and gardening. She would also like to open a farm sanctuary someday. 

Past President: Erica Zuhlke, LVT

Erica is a 2015 graduate of Macomb Community College and has been a licensed veterinary technician working in general practice ever since. When she’s not at work, she enjoys trail riding her mule, Pearl, hiking with her Labrador, Wesson, or chasing her two ferrets around. She is an outdoor enthusiast and spends as much time with nature as she can. As of 2018, she became both licensed by the state and certified by the IWRC as a wildlife rehabilitator and started her own rehabilitation facility, “Critter Crossing Rehabilitation”. Raccoons and opossums are her favorite intakes and she looks forward to what’s to come!

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