The VBMA Regional Leaders are veterinary students that volunteer their time to lead the six geographic regions of the VBMA. They facilitate the exchange of ideas between chapters in their region and nationally, ensure that information flows freely to and from the national organization, and help their chapters drive toward success.

Applications for Regional Leadership open each autumn. To learn more about regional leadership, please contact any of the current National Officers or Regional Leaders.

Alex Jurica

Great Plains Region

Alex is a 2nd year DVM candidate at Mississippi State University and she is originally from Missouri City, Texas. She attended Texas A&M for her undergraduate studies, receiving a double degree in Animal Science and Biomedical Sciences. Alex is a proud first-generation college student and an even prouder 8 th generation Texan – her Texas roots run nearly as deep as her love for veterinary medicine. Her passion for veterinary medicine was ignited during her time in Australia, where she spent 3 months working with various cattle studs on herd husbandry, marketing, and even reproductive work. Most of Alex’s veterinary background stems from working at various mixed animal practices during undergrad and prior to vet school. During this time, she developed a passion for working closely with producers and finding ways to help improve the human-animal bond through low-stress cattle handling methods and BQA standards. Outside of herd health and reproductive management, she has also found a passion for client education and AGvocacy. In vet school Alex serves as a coordinator for the various outreach programs at Mississippi State, an officer for clubs like Small Ruminant, Swine and Poultry and is even the school’s inaugural Nutrena Equine Nutrition Ambassador. Programs like these have motivated her to serve her community through servant and empathetic leadership. Outside of vet school, Alex enjoys spending her time hunting, fishing, enjoying the great outdoors and even picking up a camera every now and then.

She looks forward to working with everyone within the VBMA organization and getting the amazing opportunity to make lifelong connections and friendships with all of those involved.

Casey Lavender

Atlantic Region

Casey Lavender is a third-year student at Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine. He is from a small town in south Mississippi called Wiggins. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Multi-Disciplinary Studies at the University of Mississippi and his Associate of Arts in Science Education at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. He is also working towards his Master of Business Administration at Louisiana State University Shreveport. He has worked in gained valuable experience working in different positions from a volunteer to a hospital administrator. Casey has a strong interest in small animal emergency and general practice along with practice ownership. At his local VBMA chapter, he held the position of Vice-President and is beyond excited to serve in the capacity of a Regional Leader. When not studying, Casey enjoys traveling and exploring new places, spending quality time with family and friends, and playing with his 3 dogs and 2 cats! He is very eager to meet the local chapters and help them continue on as the successful chapters they are!

Collin Dannheim


Collin Dannheim is a third year at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s College of Veterinary Medicine. He grew up in Aurora, IL, the second biggest city in Illinois, which is about an hour west of Chicago. From 2018 to 2021 he attended Loyola University Chicago before beginning vet school. He recognized his entrepreneurial spirit during his time as the President of the Illinois chapter of the VBMA from 2021 through 2023. Having been called to the VBMA through promises of leadership, culture-building, and career enhancing education, he’s loved every minute on the Illinois executive board. When not studying for exams Collin can usually be found playing in the backyard or taking a walk with his dalmatian, Finn. He also enjoys the simpler things in life like spending time with loved ones and friends, a great scoop of ice cream, and long walks on the beach. He cannot wait to meet everyone at the National Meeting and is excited to help serve the VBMA in this new capacity!


Emily Davis


Emily Davis is a third-year student at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, where she served as her local chapter’s Vice President in 2022. Emily is from Colts Neck, NJ, and a 2021 graduate of Delaware Valley University in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. During the four years of Emily’s undergraduate career, she was a three-season athlete, on the soccer field in the fall, and competing in track in the winter and spring. In addition to her athletics, Emily worked at a standardbred and thoroughbred racehorse breeding farm where she grew to love reproduction medicine. At ‘DelVal’ she earned her BS in Equine Science and Breeding with a minor in Small Animal Science. Emily also has experience working at a small animal emergency and specialty hospital and currently works at the Cornell University Hospital for Animals. Emily served as the 2023 National VBMA Vice President, and she is grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the 2024 National Team as a Regional Leader. She cherishes the numerous opportunities to make connections with her future colleagues. The VBMA has given so much, and she plans to give back to the VBMA. She plans to build a sense of community and encourage others to work together as future leaders of our industry to better themselves and others.

Hannah Stinski-Ertl


Hannah is a third-year vet student at University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, where she recently served on the MN VBMA executive board as the Director of Operations. She was born and raised in Fresno, California, where she attended California State University, Fresno graduating with her B.S. in Biology and minor in Communication. After veterinary school she hopes to practice small animal and equine medicine. Her passions in the veterinary medical field includes dermatology, community medicine, and business management. She hopes to one day own her own practice or become a managing DVM. Outside of vet school, she enjoys traveling, finding good food, working out, event planning, and hanging out with her friends and family. Hannah is honored to have been given the opportunity to join the National VBMA Team as a Regional Leader. She is looking forward to meeting members nationwide and making new connections.

My Tran


My is a third-year DVM candidate at the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine. She was born and raised in New Orleans, LA and earned her B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of New Orleans. Throughout high school and college, My remembers helping her parents every day at their local restaurant business and developed a passion for business management. When her parents sold their business and retired, My decided it was time to chase her dreams and pursue a higher education. After working in various types of industries such as restaurant service, human medicine and dentistry, corporate business, and even veterinary medicine, she found her passion in working as an overnight emergency and ICU veterinary technician. When she graduates vet school, My strives to continue her career in small animal emergency and critical care as a veterinarian.Since starting vet school, My served as the LSU VBMA Chapter’s 2023 President as well as the LSU SVECCS Chapter’s 2022-23 Secretary and Historian. She also served on the South Central VBMA Region’s 2023 Summit Committee and helped plan the region’s first annual, in-person summit. My enjoys being involved in vet school, but also finds it important to stay involved with friends and family. She enjoys weightlifting, PC gaming, hiking and camping outdoors with her rescue dog Teemo, spending time with loved ones, and discovering new local restaurants to fulfill her food-critic side quests. As a 2024 VBMA Regional Leader, My is looking forward to making new connections and working with the National VBMA Team to help chapters achieve their goals, grow and support each other, and continue to create a fun and inclusive space for future veterinary leaders.

Stephanie Cipa


Stephanie is so excited to serve all the wonderful VBMA members as a 2024 Regional Leader! Originally from Tallmadge, Ohio, Stephanie grew up surrounded by small business owners who instilled a passion for leadership, a love for collaborating with others, and a “can do” attitude in her. She graduated from Hiram College in 2021 and continued pursuing her dream of Veterinary Medicine at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine as a member of the class of 2025. Joining VBMA her first year helped Stephanie focus and channel her various passions and interests into an achievable business plan as a future practice owner. Inspired by the previous board members and lecturers she met, Stephanie also joined her chapter’s board as the Director of Fundraising in 2022 then President the following year. Stephanie has also received a Graduate Business Minor in Health Sciences at Ohio State where she learned additional skills related to business ownership and management. Outside of veterinary medicine, Stephanie is an avid reader, ghost hunter, and history enthusiast. She is a proud owner of two fat cats on a weight loss journey, Brie and Cheddar, and a very judgmental bearded dragon, Puff. As a Regional Leader for 2024, Stephanie hopes to foster collaboration amongst her region, to have a little fun, and to help each chapter, officer, and member achieve their goals! If you see Stephanie around, please say hi- she loves making friends! If she appears to not hear you, she is likely still thinking about the ending of Loki season 2. Just yell out “hey Steph” or “you there” or “hey lady you’re standing in the middle of the hallway please move!” She hopes you all have a great time this weekend and looks forward to working with you all!