Meet some of our Vet Techs.
Veterinary Technicians, or “vet techs” for short, play pivotal roles in the care and comfort of animals, often serving as a second set of hands to veterinarians, as well as performing a wide range of other duties for their clinics.
Because their tireless work is often underappreciated, National Vet Tech Appreciation Week was founded in 1993 to bring to light their invaluable contributions to the animal care industry. National Vet Tech Appreciation Week is this week, Oct. 15-19.
We’re extra excited about National Vet Tech Appreciation Week this year because we want you to meet some of our very own vet techs and former vet techs. They now work at Virbac, applying the vitally important skills they learned as clinical vet techs to their positions here.
Please meet some of Virbac’s vet techs, below:
Vet tech: Cara Constantine
Position: Territory Sales Manager, Tucson, Arizona
How long have you been with Virbac? Five years.
What inspired you to become a Vet Tech? I've always loved animals and also had an interest in science. I attended a vet tech program several years after graduating from college. I've been involved in medical fostering with rescue groups and shelters for many years and having the skills to provide veterinary care to the animals that need it is important to me.
How do you apply your skills as a vet tech to your position at Virbac? I'm able to utilize my CVT and leadership experience to speak with my clients in perhaps a more veterinary-centric way. I've done their jobs and understand what their challenges can be, and how to present the products that I think would be most helpful to them. I think that the technicians and doctors appreciate a rep who understands them in this way.
What is your favorite thing about your job? In a nutshell, I enjoy being able to provide a solution where there is a problem.
Tell us about your pets. We have three cats: Tron, who has three legs, Emaline and Sunshine, and two horses, Caliente who is blind in one eye, and Luna.
Vet tech: Stephanie Wilkerson
Position: Senior Product Safety & Consulting Specialist
How long have you been with Virbac? Eight years.
What inspired you to become a vet tech? My late uncle knew I loved animals and thought I would make an excellent vet tech. I am thankful he believed in me and pushed me to apply to a nearby clinic.
How do you apply your skills as a vet tech to your position at Virbac? On many of the phone calls we receive, we educate consumers about how a product works, heartworms, intestinal parasites, or dental care. We are continually educating consumers.
What is your favorite thing about your job? Educating pet owners, just like in the clinic.
Tell us about your pets: My FAVORITE part of this! We have two dogs, Rosco, who runs the roost and is the best boy ever! He is a Chihuahua/Min Pin that is eight years old and does not even know he is a dog; shhhh do not tell him! Braxton is a Papillon mix. He is 10 years old and not a giant cuddle bug like his brother, but he will plop beside you, pass out at any time, or beg for any treat he can get. My son shows lambs and has four this year - three are ewes, and one is a wether. Their names are Fancy, 17, Rosie, and Rooster, and they each have their own big personalities!
Vet tech: Aggie Kiefer
Position: Business Implementation Specialist
How long have you been with Virbac? Eight years
What inspired you to become a Vet Tech? From my earliest childhood memories, I recall loving animals and wanting to be around them. In high school, my older sister came home one day and announced, "I know what you are going to do as a career! Become a Veterinary Technician." I had no idea what a vet tech was at the time. Once I learned, I knew she was right, it was the career for me.
How do you apply your skills as a vet tech to your position at Virbac? Next year will be my 40th anniversary of being a veterinary technician. I have had the great fortune to have worked in many different areas of the profession during that time. Everything from working in practice to managing a startup practice to publishing, product management and marketing to sales. I like to think I bring all that experience to the table as I go through my day-to-day work at Virbac. It brings great joy when I'm able to make a connection with a customer and see them recognize I understand what they do, why they do it, and how Virbac can play a part.
What is your favorite thing about your job? Working with my wonderful teammates.
Tell us about your pets. This could get lengthy, although I do have fewer pets now than in the past. I have three dogs, two Standard Schnauzers and my first small dog, a Miniature Wirehaired Dachshund. They are all champion show dogs, which makes me very proud but mostly I just love them as them! Then there are two Bengal cats who are half brothers, one chocolate and one silver. They are athletic and very smart, including knowing how to open doors as quickly as a person. While I worked in practice I acquired a tortoise, Roberta (her friends call her 'Bob'). She has lived with me 32 years. We think she is 50-60 years old. There are three chinchillas, two coming from unfortunate pet store situations and one from what happens when you put male and female chinchillas together! Finally, I have birds, birds and more birds. There is one Rose Breasted Cockatoo, a Green Cheek Conur, a Parrotlet and about 40 exotic finches. The finches are the ones who make it difficult to keep count - five new babies at the moment!
Vet tech: Myra Lipps
Position: Senior Territory Sales Manager, Central & Eastern Ohio
How long have you been with Virbac? I will be with Virbac four years this December.
What inspired you to become a vet tech? I have been an animal lover my whole life. I used to help out in a clinic and pet-sit as a kid. I attained a two-year Equine Science degree before I went to school to become a technician.
How do you apply your skills as a vet tech to your position at Virbac? I apply practical knowledge to my sales approach. I also worked as a tech at Ohio State Veterinary School for 14 years, so many of my customers are my previous students
What is your favorite thing about your job? The freedom and flexibility to make my own schedule and prioritize what needs to be done and when. Helping clinics practice better medicine.
Tell us about your pets. Two cats, Dori 11, and Flo 10. They are high maintenance!
Vet tech: Yvonne Clanton
Position: Senior Product Safety & Consulting Specialist
How long have you been with Virbac? I joined Virbac January, 2015.
What inspired you to become a vet tech? I lived on a dairy farm all of my life and loved working with cattle. I aspired to be a large animal DVM but life and costs of school got in the way, so I received my bachelor’s degree in animal science and pursued becoming a Registered Veterinary Technician after passing the Veterinary Technician National Boards Exam.
How do you apply your skills as a vet tech to your position at Virbac? I love to educate our customers on the importance of veterinary health for their pets. My areas of focus in the clinic were surgery, laboratory and client education. I enjoy discussing our products with our customers and how they can benefit their pets' lives and longevity. I also love to educate on parasites and can talk all day long about them!
What is your favorite thing about your job? I love it when, at the end of my consultation with a customer, they say how wonderful the advice has been and how helpful and caring I was.
Tell us about your pets. I currently do not have any pets here in Texas, but back home in Illinois, I have many cows that are our pets and also a couple of cats named Coconut and Sammie, who I love to see when I go home to visit!
National Vet Tech Appreciation Week is the perfect time to say “thank you” to the vet techs in your life who work alongside veterinarians to care for your pet’s health. Thank you from us at Virbac for those who work tirelessly everyday to care for our pets!