Veterinary Association Management

Continuing Education for the Veterinary Profession

Ralph Lee's Great Smokies Veterinary Conference

Ralph Lee's Great Smokies Veterinary Conference

November 1 - 5, 2017

"A Great Fall Conference in Asheville, North Carolina"



Online Registration is Now Closed

You can still Register On-Site, Walkins are Welcome!

Click here to download the Registration Form, fill it out and bring it with payment.

Veterinarians $360

Technician, Receptionists, Support Staff $170


One (1) Day Registraion is now available for $175!  Register On-Site during the Conference!

Ralph Lee's Great Smokies Veterinary Conference

November 1 - 5, 2017

 Crowne Plaza Resort Asheville, Asheville, North Carolina


Rooms are sold out at the Crowne Plaza but attendees can make reservations at the Sheraton by Four Points (about a mile or so away) by calling 828-253-1851 or 1-800-325-3535 and mention the group Ralph Lee's Great Smokies Veterinary Conference, Rates are $169 + tax

Or Click on this Link to Make a Reservation Online!



Randy Basinger DVM, ACVS

Tim Baum, MS, MT(ASCP), NCA(CLS)

Anthony Carr, DVM, DACVIM

Christina Chambreau, DVM, CVH

Theresa DePorter, DVM, ECAWBM, DACVB

Ashley Emanuele, DVM

Mark E. Epstein, DVM, Dipl. ABVP (C/F), dAAPM, CVPP

Robbie van Mullem, Digital Media Specialist

Gene Nemechek, DVM

Bill Schroeder, Veterinary Marketing Educator


Cranial Cruciate Ligament Stabilization Lab (November 3: 8am-4pm)

Click Here to download the Lab Brochure as a PDF

Friday's Lunch Session:

11:45am - Lunch session: Laser Therapy Simplified: Practical Answers for Effective Implementation Presented by David Bradley, DVM, FASLMS


To all Alabama attendees, this Conference has been approved by the Alabama Veterinary Medical Board

To all Florida attendees, this Conference has been approved by the Florida Veterinary Medical Board

To all West Virginia attendees, this Conference has been approved by the West Virginia Veterinary Medical Board


Tentative Schedule

Fall Foliage

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Registration Open 4-8pm (Laurel Foyer)

Ralph Lee's Great Smokies Veterinary Conference 

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Registration Open 8am (Laurel Foyer)

Continental Breakfast 8am (Biltmore Foyer)

Exhibit Hall Open 2pm (Overlook)

Welcome Reception 6-8pm (Overlook Room)




Mark E. Epstein, DVM, Dipl. ABVP (C/F), dAAPM, CVPP


8:30-10am (1.5 hrs) : Pain Pathways & Syndromes: What Do I Need to Know and Why Do I Need to Know It?

10:30am-12pm (1. 5 hrs) : A 2017 Update on NSAID

1-2:30 (1.5 hrs) : A 2017 Update on Opioids

3-4:30pm (1.5 hr) : Those “Other” Pain Medications: Parenteral

Tim Baum, MS, MT(ASCP), NCA(CLS)

Sponsored by All Vet Imaging

  • The evolution of clinical microbiology; from complex to common place.
    • Gaining a basic understanding of clinical microbiology.
    • The “old school” complexities of microbiology.
    • Current advancements that bring basic microbiology to the point of care.
  • Bacteria is fighting back; mutations and adaptations in common bacteria.
    • Antimicrobial resistance, the beast of our own creation.
    • Extended Spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) production; what is it.

Lowell Ackerman, DVM DACVD MBA MPA CVA


8:30-10am (1.5 hrs) : Where Do We Go from Here? Potential Changes for Veterinary Practices

If we are not totally satisfied with the prospects for veterinary practice today, then we need to reflect on the current veterinary practice model and see where beneficial changes might be needed. Aspects of the economy, such as income inequality and consumer debt make it likely that people will have to budget for non-essentials, which often includes veterinary care. Technology will also play an important role and there are bound to be “apps” and other things that challenge the current “bricks & mortar” model of veterinary clinics. This lecture explores some of these likely scenarios so that we might proactively deal with these issues before we are negatively impacted by them.

10:30am-12pm (1. 5 hrs) : Personalized Pet Care

Today’s consumers demand customized products and services. They realize their pet is unique and are sometimes dismayed when their veterinary hospital doesn’t seem to recognize this. Personalized care drives opportunities for veterinarians and veterinary staff to get involved proactively, when there are not only more medical options, but also a much better chance for clients to get actively engaged in and committed to the process. This lecture discusses the value (both medically and financially) of setting up personalized and customized health care programs to address the specific issues of pets over their entire lifespans rather than waiting for pets to get ill before they benefit from veterinary intervention. Better medicine really does lead to better business!

1-2:30 (1.5 hrs) : Pet-Specific Counseling

Hospital team members may feel comfortable discussing vaccination, parasite control, and routine surgeries, but as the focus shifts from standardized to more personalized care, there is a need to develop competence in counseling owners about the healthcare needs specific to their pet. Providing pet-specific counseling helps differentiate practices and helps veterinary teams remain relevant to a pet’s actual healthcare needs. Learn how these practice-building services not only provide a much- needed service for your clients and patients, but also drive new pathways to financial success.

3-4:30pm (1.5 hr) : Journey to “Yes”: Gaining Client Acceptance of Recommendations

Whether someone is buying a big-screen TV or contemplating expenditures on veterinary care, people don’t voluntarily spend money unless they are convinced of the value and there is some urgency to act now. Like all consumers, clients have their own way of getting to the point where they comfortably consent to procedures, and it often has little to do with medical practices. This talk goes through the steps that pet owners need in order to be comfortable saying “yes” instead of “I’ll have to think about it”. Accordingly, while it is important to practice excellent medicine, it is also critical to learn to communicate the value of our services and remove other obstacles that might impede clients from following our recommendations.

Gene Nemechek, DVM


Food Animal: Using Pork Production as a case study: This presentation examines how veterinarians are working with farmers to reduce the need for antibiotics and to ensure the responsible use of antibiotics when they are needed.

Protecting Human and Animal Health: Veterinarians Expanding Role

Understand the science behind the methods farmers use to ensure food safety and nutrition, animal well-being and environmental sustainability.

Assess the impact of today's farming practices on the nutritional value and safety of animal proteins like pork in a healthy, balanced diet.

Evaluate the science-based practices farmers use to keep food animals healthy, which impact the use of medicines, like antibiotics, that are also important to human health.

Bill Schroeder, Veterinary Marketing Educator


Attend this lecture and become a local search superhero.

Truly successful practices understand the importance of reaching local pet owners online. This very interactive and entertaining session will empower you to be successful in this space. Bill will guide you on an easy to understand journey and help you look closely at how progressive practices have mastered the art of local search. Attendees will learn how to leverage their website presence, optimize social media, and explore other mediums that may be most relevant in your local market.
Empowered people run outstanding practices. Become empowered. Understand local search.
Click here to watch a video about the local search lecture


Promote and defend your practice like a pro.

Unlock your practice defense superpowers through positive promotion. The ever changing, immediate access, far reaching digital world we live in can be a scary space. So much so that some practices want to build a wall around themselves to prevent outside “villain like attacks”. Bill will teach you how to harness the superpowers within your practice to build a positive reputation, react to negative comments, and overall defend the brand that you have built.
Empowered people run outstanding practices. Become empowered. Understand reputation management.
Click here to watch a video about the reputation management lecture


Easy ways to incorporate video into your marketing strategy

Want to stand out from the competition? Want to easily affect pet owners with your message? Of course you do. Understanding how to leverage video can help you achieve both. Discover your educational superpower by learning that, with very little effort, you too can earn your place in the world of video promotion. Gone are the days where you needed professional equipment, studios, and actors. Today’s video heroes use cellphones, staff, and natural settings. You have those. Let Bill show you how to be successful with those tools.
Empowered people run outstanding practices. Become empowered. Understand the power of video.
Click here to watch a video about the video marketing lecture


10 Most Relevant and Timely Digital Techniques

Being relevant and timely are essential traits of all digital marketing superheroes. In order to provide the timeliest information, this session will not be written until 2 weeks before the meeting. During this session you will be introduced to the latest digital marketing opportunities, examples of why they deserve your attention, and be equipped with techniques that you can implement the day you return to your practice. Don’t miss this easy to understand, highly engaging session.
Empowered people run outstanding practices. Become empowered. Understand the power of being relevant.
Click here to watch a video about the top 10 techniques lecture


Welcome Reception at 6:00 pm - with Complimentary food and drinks; compliments of the exhibitors


Ralph Lee's Great Smokies Veterinary Conference

Friday, November 3, 2017

Registration Open 8am (Laurel Foyer)

Continental Breakfast 8am (Overlook Room)

Exhibit Hall Open 8am-4pm (Overlook Room)

11:30 am - Lunch session Presented by David Bradley, DVM, FASLMS

Laser Therapy Simplified: Practical Answers for Effective Implementation

Laser therapy is the fastest growing modality in veterinary medicine; this lecture will help you understand why.  Dr Bradley simplifies the science behind Laser therapy and will cover the most up-to- date research and clinical cases associated with laser therapy. Attendees will understand the cellular and biological mechanisms behind the healing properties of therapeutic Lasers. All wavelengths, power ranges, and frequency modes of delivery will be reviewed. Then practical solutions to simple protocols and pricing guides will be presented.
The attendees will leave with an understanding of the broad range of clinical applications for therapeutic lasers, and how the important parameters of wavelength, power, and frequency modulation are used to optimize clinical results.

Mark E. Epstein, DVM, Dipl. ABVP (C/F), dAAPM, CVPP


8:30-10am (1.5 hrs) : Those “Other” Pain Medications: Oral

10:30am-12pm (1.5 hrs) : LocoRegional Anesthesia: Techniques You Should Be Using

1-2:30pm (1.5 hrs) : Pulling It Together: An Evidence-Based Approach to Periop & Chronic Pain Management

3-4pm (1 hr) : What’s In The Pain Management Pipeline

Christina Chambreau, DVM, CVH


Homeopathy: An Alternative Approach for Challenging and Frustrating Cases

8:30 – 10 – History, research, overview of the homeopathic method

Frustrated by animals who never seem to stay healthy? Skin problems, urinary tract in cats, behavior issues, geriatric issues, arthritis, seizures, and many other issues plague some animals. Clients may be upset, and even leave the practice when they must keep returning or keep their animals on drugs that lower the quality of life. Are you tired of giving the same drugs for the same conditions – case after case? Homeopathic medicine gives you a different perspective on health so you and the client become true partners in deeper healing. You will be better able to do your initial SOAPS, and to evaluate if your treatments are deeply curing, temporarily helping, or actually stopping a superficial symptom yet the animal worsens overall. These principles apply to any form of medicine you currently use – TCVM, chiropractic, osteopathic or conventional. Patients of homeopathic veterinarians often live much longer, healthier lives. Learn the basic principles, the medicines used, the history of homeopathy and how you can begin now to treat some acute problems.

10:30am-12pm (1. 5 hrs)  Homeopathic Treatment of Animals with Dermatology and GI Issues

IBD, allergies, hot spots, megacolon, colic, ulcers – these can all be challenging to resolve permanently. Learn the homeopathic approach to prevent these conditions in all animals, treat the acute symptoms and often permanently resolve the tendency to have skin and digestive issues. Participants will leave with strategies to more effectively involve owners in the treatment of these problems, even before further homeopathic training. Cases include Feline Endocrine Alopecia, rodent ulcers, wound healing and more.

1-2:30pm Homeopathic treatment of animals with Cardiac, liver and neurological problems

These serious ailments can be a financial challenge to many clients as long term, often expensive drugs are needed and often have side effects. Homeopathy can help with side effects, and even more importantly, can sometimes completely resolve the symptoms with no need for further treatment or surgery. Case presentations will include seizures, dilated cardiomyopathy, spondylosis, IVD disease, congenital liver shunt and more.

3-4pm Homeopathic treatment of animals with Urinary tract problems.

Geriatric cats with renal disease, repeatedly blocking male cats needed PU surgery, crystaluria and more are frustrating to owners as often they come with some form of urination in the home, expense and on-going treatment. My initial use of homeopathy was for a cat who had been on antibiotics constantly for three years for bladder issues. Two weeks of a homeopathic remedy and for the next nine months that I was at that practice the cat was symptom free and on no medication. Cases will include a variety of bladder problems, renal disease, bladder tumors and more. You will leave knowing the next steps to learn more about this flexible form of medicine.

Anthony Carr, DVM

  Veterinarian Session
8:30-10am (1.5 hrs) : Cutting edge in internal medicine: an update from recent conferences
10:30am-12pm (1. 5 hrs) : The nuts and bolts of blood pressure measurement
1-2:30 (1.5 hrs) : ECGs: how get  them, how to read them
3-4pm (1 hr) : Treating heart failure in small animal patients in 2017

Lowell Ackerman, DVM DACVD MBA MPA CVA


8:30-10am (1.5 hrs) : Associate Development: Everyone Wins!

Most veterinarians are employees (associates) rather than owners, but it is important that both employees and owners remain aligned in a win-win relationship. Hiring a new graduate involves challenges because they still have a lot to learn, they don’t yet have a lot of experience dealing with clients, and they are often resistant to charging clients according to hospital policies. It often takes 2-3 years before associates become truly productive for a hospital, so this lecture attempts to shorten that process by addressing what the hospital needs from associates and what associates need from the hospital so these can be addressed much earlier in the process, for mutual benefit.

10:30am-12pm (1.5 hrs) : Achieving Hospital Goals Together – The Importance of Alignment

Everyone working in a veterinary clinic is committed to providing high-quality healthcare for pets, but it is also important that everyone work together in a way that meets the needs of the pet, the pet owner, the hospital, and the hospital team. This includes coupling the practice of excellent medicine in a manner that is also profitable for the hospital and rewarding for those working there. This topic focuses on the need for keeping all hospital workers aligned to common goals, since you can’t run a hospital efficiently and effectively when everyone is functioning on their own, even if they have the best of intentions.

1-:2:30pm (1.5 hrs) : Veterinary Fees: Understanding the True Cost of Care

For most people who work in a veterinary clinic, the fees that are charged to pet owners may not seem to make intuitive sense. They may seem arbitrarily expensive and sometimes difficult to reconcile and explain to pet owners. This lecture goes through the discussion of how fees are determined based on the expenses associated with operating a veterinary clinic, making sure that all expenses are covered, clients receive appropriate value for the money spent, and that the hospital has a fair return on investment.

3-4pm (1 hr) : Is Practice Ownership Worthwhile?

Currently about 75% of veterinarians are working as associates (employed veterinarians), but the continuation of the current veterinary practice model depends on younger associate veterinarians one day deciding to take over the reins of ownership. There are several things making that difficult: veterinarians may not be taught about finance in veterinary school and may feel unprepared for the business aspects of hospital ownership; veterinarians may have considerable student debt so don’t necessarily want to take on additional financial risk, and; many veterinary clinics today are not very profitable by common business standards. The good news is that practice ownership can indeed be worthwhile for all concerned with the appropriate focus on value.

Theresa DePorter, DVM, ECAWBM, DACVB

Sponsored by Nutramax


1-2:30 (1.5 hrs) : New perspectives on socialization. Canine socialization: Why, when, and how?

3-4pm (1 hr) : Canine communication: Reading the body language and communication.

Randy Basinger, DVM, AVCS

Extracapsular CrCL Objectives & Benefits



Extracapsular CrCL Objectives & Benefits

Diagnosis of CrCL rupture and treatment with Isolock system. Repair a ligament rupture can be challenging. The Intrauma ISOLOCK is a new and easy system for treatment of joint disorders as CrCL repair and patella luxation. CrCL rupture is a very common indications; so this course want to focus on every phase of CrCL rupture: diagnosis, surgical approach, complications, post-operative care and rehab.

Click Here to download the Lab Brochure as a PDF

08:00 - 08:05 Welcome & Introduction

08:05 - 08:35 Cranial cruciate disease

08:35 - 09:05 Diagnosis of CrCL disease

09:05 - 09:35 Concept of isometry for CrCL repair How to perform When to use and when not to use

09:35 - 09:50 Patient preparation & positioning

09:50 - 10:00 Break

10:00 - 10:25 Regional anatomy & surgical approach to stifle

10:25 - 10:50 IsoLock extracapsular CrCL repair - technique

10:50 - 12:20 Laboratory 1: (Stifle model) IsoLock CrCL repair – Stifle model each participant

12:20 - 01:00 Lunch

01:00 - 02:30 Laboratory 2: (Cadaver left stifle) Surgical approach IsoLock CrCL repair

02:30 - 04:00 Laboratory 3: (Cadaver right stifle) Surgical approach IsoLock CrCL repair

04:00 - 04:35 Postoperative care & rehab

04:35 - 05:10 Complications & complication management

05:10 - 05:30 Questions & discussion



Ralph Lee's Great Smokies Veterinary Conference 

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Registration Open 8am (Laurel Foyer)

Exhibit Hall Open: 8am-4pm (Overlook Room)

Continental Breakfast: 8am (Overlook Room)

Randy Basinger, DVM, AVCS



8-9:30 am : Intestinal Incision Leakage - How to avoid it, or when needed, how to diagnose and treat it

10-11:30 am : Urogenital Tract Leakage - How to diagnose and manage the most common problems causing  abdominal leakage of urine or septic reproductive tract contents

1-2:30 pm : Managing Severe Foot Injuries in Dogs and Cats

3-4:00 pm : Epidural Administration and Intra-articular Therapy - how you can do it in your practice

Anthony Carr, DVM

  Technician Session
8:30-10am (1.5 hrs) : Cardiac diagnostics for the veterinary technician
10:30am-12pm (1.5 hrs) : Treating renal failure
1-:2:30pm (1.5 hrs) : Zoonotic diseases: what you don't know can hurt you
3-4pm (1 hr) : Omega 3 fatty acids and probiotics in practice

Theresa DePorter, DVM, ECAWBM, DACVB

Sponsored by Nutramax


8:30-10am (1.5 hrs) : Empathy for the Fearful, Worried, or Anxious Pet

10:30am-12pm (1.5 hrs) : Use of Nutraceutical and Botanical Therapies to Modify Behavior

1-:2:30pm (1.5 hrs) : Pheromonatherapy: use of pheromones to modify behavior

2-4pm (1 hr) : Managing two common feline behavior that occur in the home: Scratching and fighting

Ashley Emanuele, DVM


8:30-10am (1.5 hrs) : 50 Shades of Hay : Exotic Animal Nutrition

10:30am-12pm (1.5 hrs) : How to Take Blood from (Almost) Anything

1-:2:30pm (1.5 hrs) : Exotic Animal Emergency & Triage

3-4pm (1 hr) : Just Keep Swimming : Fish Medicine in Private Practice

Practice Management

Robbie van Mullem, Digital Media Specialist

8:30 - 11:30 am

Making your clinic contagious

6 infectious tools to market your practice 


Ralph Lee's Great Smokies Veterinary Conference

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Lowell Ackerman, DVM DACVD MBA MPA CVA


8:30-10am (1.5 hrs) : Improving Client Communications – It’s Worth the Effort

Veterinarians may consider themselves accomplished communicators, but there are some very subtle skills that can enhance our ability to relay medical information in a way that is often more meaningful for pet owners. It is important to realize that communication skills are not just for conversation, but can be used to make sure clients have the full picture of their pet’s healthcare needs and allows them to provide informed consent, and that this in turn drives client satisfaction.

10:15am-11:30am (1 hrs) : Avoiding Sticker Shock: Talking with Clients about Cost of Care

Unlike human healthcare in which most bills are paid by insurance, veterinary bills are overwhelming paid directly by pet owners, with only a relatively small percentage of pet owners having alternate risk management strategies. Because of this, veterinarians often need to have uncomfortable discussions with pet owners when their pets develop medical issues that need to be addressed. Veterinary care may be inexpensive compared to human medical care, but pet owners often find themselves in situations where they find it difficult to come up with the money for their pet’s care. This talk is about how to craft appropriate conversations with pet owners about the costs of veterinary care.

Theresa DePorter, DVM, ECAWBM, DACVB

Sponsored by Nutramax


8:30-11:30 (2.75 hours) : Strategies for Getting Cats to Vets: Fear Free® Starts at Home: Couch to Exam Table

Please Note The Following:

*Times and Presenters Subject to Change

* Please turn off or silence cell phones in sessions

Conference Map

Online Registration is Now Closed

You can still Register On-Site, Walkins are Welcome!

Click here to download the Registration Form, fill it out and bring it with payment.

Veterinarians $360

Technician, Receptionists, Support Staff $170


One (1) Day Registraion is now available for $175!  Register On-Site during the Conference!


Fall Foliage

Speaker Bios...


Dr. Ackerman received his veterinary degree from the Ontario Veterinary College (Canada), and board certification from the American College of Veterinary Dermatology. In addition to his veterinary credentials, Dr. Ackerman also holds a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University, a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix, a Certificate in Veterinary Practice Administration from Purdue University, and he is a Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA) through the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NAVCA). Currently, he is an independent consultant and lecturer, and Adjunct Professor at Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. He has extensive experience within the profession, with prior involvement in industry, private practice, academia, writing, and lecturing. He has authored or co-authored several books (including Five-Minute Veterinary Practice Management Consult, The Genetic Connection, and Atlas of Small Animal Dermatology), and has lectured extensively on a global basis, on topics in both medicine and management.

Randy Basinger DVM, ACVSDr. Randy Basinger DVM, DACVS

Dr. Basinger received his DVM degree from the Ohio State University in 1983. After a one year internship in Boston, he completed a three year surgery residency and coursework for a Master’s degree in physiology at the University of Georgia. In 1987 he received the American College of Veterinary Surgeon’s award for the best research publication by a resident. Dr. Basinger has published 4 textbook chapters and 14 scientific articles, and is a frequent lecturer at the local, state, national, and international level. He is the chairman of the ACVS Board of Trustees, and SCAV Awards Committee. He started the Veterinary Referral Center in Columbia SC in 1987.

Randy is married to another veterinarian, Dr. Louise Burpee, and one of their two children is a veterinary school graduate from UGA. They share their time between Litchfield beach and Columbia with 2 dogs, 4 cats, 5 laying hens, 2 rabbits, a parrot, and a cockatiel.


Tim Baum, MS, MT(ASCP), NCA(CLS)Tim Baum, MS, MT(ASCP), NCA(CLS)

As a Microbiologist and Board Certified Medical Technologist by the American Society of Clinical Pathologist, and the National Certifying Agency for Clinical Laboratory Scientists, Tim began his Microbiology career in the US Air Force in the clinical laboratory at Wright Patterson Air Force base in Dayton OH, and Holloman Air Force base in Alamogordo NM, and serving in desert storm doing field microbiology.

After discharge from the Air Force, Tim began his veterinary research career at the New Mexico Regional Primate research center.  The world’s largest (at the time) primate research and breeding facility.  During his time at the primate research facility, his role was in clinical care and the diagnostic wellbeing of the research and breeding colonies of multiple species of research primates.  This work centered on clinical trials for development of diagnostic assays, root causes of diseases both human and animal, FDA studies and various other intellectual properties.

After leaving the Primate research center, Tim went into private practice specifically in the arena of clinical diagnostics.  As owner and director of MBF Laboratories, Tim built a thriving enterprise serving and consulting with veterinary hospitals in the daily functions of a clinical reference laboratory.  MBF Laboratories was later acquired by IDEXX Reference Laboratories to become one of the laboratories in the IDEXX network.  Tim stayed on with IDEXX for two years to manage the operations of the reference laboratory.

After leaving IDEXX, Tim took the roll of Clinical Director and Director of Technical Operations for AViD Laboratories.  In this role, he ran the daily technical operations of a busy reference laboratory as well as directed and conducted numerous product development and evaluations along with multiple clinical trials.  AViD later was also acquired by IDEXX to become an addition to the IDEXX Laboratory network.

Currently, Tim has taken the role as Director of Clinical evaluation and Product development for both MicroVet Diagnostics and Veterinary Diagnostic Solutions.  Tim also does independent consulting, educating and training in the areas of clinical diagnostics, product development and evaluations, while collaborating on several publications specifically geared toward education and training of veterinary professionals in the area of clinical diagnostics.

David Bradley, DVM, FASLMS

David Bradley, DVM, FASLMS graduated from UF in 1987. He has practiced for over 30 years in Mixed, SA, Equine, and Exotics with a special interest in surgery. Dr. Bradley began using Lasers in private practice in 1999. Shortly thereafter, he began training and education in Laser physics and tissue interaction. He is a well-respected laser consultant and is a Fellow of the American Society of Laser Medicine and Surgery. Dr. Bradley’s years of laser experience includes working with all the major Laser companies currently marketing to the veterinary community as well as many human companies. He has had the opportunity to use many different types of surgical, dental, aesthetic, and therapeutic Lasers. He has consulted with dozens of Laser specialists and hundreds of veterinary and human physicians. Dr. Bradley has lectured nationally and internationally on veterinary laser use and will cover the science and practical application of laser therapy in veterinary medicine.

Anthony Carr, DVM, DACVIMAnthony Carr, DVM, DACVIM

College: Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich Germany, 1989

Anthony P. Carr, Dr. Med. Vet., DACVIM (small animal internal medicine)

Professor, Small Animal Clinical Sciences

Western College of Veterinary Medicine

52 Campus Drive

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, S7N 5B4 Canada

Phone: 306-966- 8605, Cell: 306-241- 4181 Fax: 847-589- 3468

Present Professional Duties and Responsibilities: Professor in small animal internal medicine.

Dr. Carr received his veterinary education at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich Germany. After 3 years in practice he returned to the US to complete an internship at the University of Missouri-Columbia and a medicine residency at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Since then he has worked as an emergency clinician, telemedicine consultant with Dr. Larry Tilley and traveling endoscopist before joining the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences in Saskatoon in 2000. His main areas of interest are blood pressure, hemostasis, ECGs, and immune mediated disease, though it isn’t hard to get him interested in almost anything. He is widely published in the US and Europe and is co-editor of three books. 

Christina Chambreau, DVM, CVHChristina Chambreau, DVM, CVH

Christina Chambreau, DVM, CVH, is an internationally known homeopathic veterinarian, lecturer and author of the Healthy Animal’s Journal, Fleas Be Gone kindle book, and 3 others. Graduating from the University of Georgia Veterinary College in 1980, she began using homeopathy in her veterinary practice in 1983.  She is a founder of the Academy Of Veterinary Homeopathy, was on the faculty of the National Center for Homeopathy Summer School for 10 years and has been the holistic modality adjunct faculty liaison for the Maryland Veterinary Technician Program. Currently she teaches classes in Introductory, Intermediate and Advanced Homeopathy for Animals of all species across the country. She lectures on a wide array of topics including integrating holistic options into veterinary practices, selecting the best approaches to heal animals, ones that will also sustain the planet. Her venues have included the World Small Animal Veterinary Conference (Prague), American Veterinary Medical Association, Atlantic Coast Veterinary Conference, North American Veterinary Conference, American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association, Australian Homeopathic Association (Bali Project), Groom Expo, American Boarding Kennel Association, breed shows, health food stores, and more. She is co-author of the Homeopathic Repertory: A Tutorial and How to Have a Stress Free Wedding.


Theresa DePorter is a board certified diplomate in the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists (ACVB) and the European College of Animal Welfare and Behavioural Medicine (ECAWBM). She received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Purdue University in 1992. She has been seeing behavior consultations at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services in metropolitan Detroit, Michigan, since 2004.

Co-Author “Feline aggression” in 3 rd edition of “Behaviour Problems of the Dog and Cat” by Landsberg et al.

Feline Behavioral Medicine (Elsevier) Ilona Rodan & Sarah Heath. The chapters: “Use of pheromones in feline practice” and co-author chapter “Tools of the trade: Psychopharmacology and Nutrition”

Chapter on “Prevention and management of stress in pet cats in the home environment” ISFM Pocket Guide to Feline Stress and Health

Also forthcoming, 9 chapters on Feline Aggression in Blackwell’s Five-Minute Veterinary Consult Clinical Companion: Canine and Feline Behavior, Second Edition by Debra Horwitz

Dr DePorter is the proud caretaker of 5 Labradors and a former shelter cat “Bacon” who was relinquished in the bitter Michigan winter of 2013 for “not wanting to be an outside cat”.

Dr. Ashley EmanueleAshley Emanuele, DVM

Dr. Emanuele earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2015.

During veterinary school, she managed a reptile and amphibian wildlife rescue and spent time on a research boat studying sea turtles in South Carolina.

Dr. Emanuele’s special interests include ophthalmology, nutrition, aquatic animal health, geriatrics, and pediatrics.




Mark E. Epstein, DVMMark E. Epstein, DVM, Dipl. ABVP (C/F), dAAPM, CVPP

Dr. Epstein received his DVM from University of Georgia and is the Senior Partner and Medical Director of TotalBond Veterinary Hospitals and Carolinas Animal Pain Management, a small group of AAHA-accredited practices in the Charlotte & Gastonia NC area that received the Small Business of the Year Award from the Gaston Regional Chamber of Commerce in 2015.  He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (Canine/Feline) and is a past-president of ABVP.  He is certified by the American Academy of Pain Management, is recognized as a Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner (CVPP) by the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management, and is a past-president of IVAPM.    Dr. Epstein chaired the AAHA Senior Care Guidelines Task Force and co-Chaired the 2015 AAHA/AAFP Pain Management Guidelines Task Force.  He, is published in journals*  and textbooks**, is a national and international lecturer on the recognition, prevention, and treatment of pain in the veterinary clinical setting, and a nominee for WVC’s 2016 Small Animal Continuing Educator of the Year.  

* JAAHA; J Fel Med Surg; J Vet Int Med; Today’s Veterinary Practice; Israel J Vet Med; Topics in Comp Anim Med; Clinician’s Brief; DVM Newsmagazine, ** The Prevention and Management of Pain in Dogs, in Canine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, Zink CM and van Dyke JB, Ed’s.  Wiley-Blackwell, Ames, IA; 2013.     Opioids, in Gaynor/Muir: Handbook of Veterinary Pain Management, 3rd Ed., pending

Gene Nemechek, DVMGene Nemechek, DVM

Gene Nemechek, DVM, is a swine veterinarian with Zoetis Inc., and is located in Wilson, N.C. Zoetis provides animal health products that include vaccines, medications, and antibiotics for all species of livestock and pets. Zoetis was formed by Pfizer Pharmaceutical Company in February of 2013 and replaced its Animal Health division.

Prior to joining Pfizer Animal Health, Gene was the swine quality assurance veterinarian for the Tyson Pork Group, Inc., located in Springdale, Ark. Before that, Gene was veterinarian in charge of production and health services with Genetic Improvement Services / Perfect Pig in Newton Grove, N.C. He also spent 20 years with Cargill Pork in North Carolina as a staff veterinarian and provided veterinary technical services to Ralston Purina.

Gene has served as president of the National Pork Board and on the organization’s Budget, Swine Health, Pork Safety and Resolutions committees. Gene also served as president of the North Carolina Pork Council. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and American Association of Swine Veterinarians.

Gene grew up in western Kansas on a livestock and wheat farm. He earned a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 1976 from Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan.

Gene and his wife, Susan, have four children: Sarah, Megan, Molly, and Jeremiah. Gene is a member of St. Therese’s Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus in Wilson. He is also a troop leader with the Boy Scouts.

Robbie van Mullem, Digital Media SpecialistRobbie van Mullem, Digital Media Specialist

Robbie van Mullem was raised in the Hammond, Louisiana area, where he graduated from Southeastern Louisiana University in 1995.   Robbie began his career in the animal health industry with IDEXX Laboratories.  After a number of years as an in-clinic laboratory representative and earning the prestiges President’s Club Award, Robbie was then promoted to area instrument manager. He then took the position of National Director of Sales and Marketing with Smitty’s Lubricants, the world’s largest private label oil and lubrication business.   Robbie decided to return to business ownership, and helped create 3 Sided Media, to meet online and social media needs of veterinarians and their clinics. Robbie’s interest in computers and internet marketing stems from attending programing classes at Southeastern Louisiana University and his experience as National Director of Sales and Marketing at Smitty’s Lubricants.  Robbie is a social media and online marketing consultant and has been involved in the Animal Health Industry for over 11 years.

3Sided Media

Bill Schroeder, InTouch Practice CommunicationsBill Schroeder, Veterinary Marketing Educator

Bill is a seasoned veterinary educator, having lectured to thousands of veterinary professionals around the world for more than 20 years. This year alone he will present over 100 sessions at NAVC, WVC, AAHA, all three CVC meetings, many State meetings, international sessions, veterinary schools, and study groups. He loves what he does and it shows. His non-commercial lectures are fun, interactive, and are based upon learnings from his firm’s experience in working with nearly 7,000 veterinary practices. If you are looking to have a few laughs and gain actual skills that you can understand and apply to your practice immediately, come see his talks.

Click here to see a video about Bill’s lectures

Bill has a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from Western Illinois University, is a former United States Marine, sits on the board of directors for VetPartners, and is a graduate of the Veterinary Management Institute at Purdue.

Bill has worked with the Great Smokies Conference staff to provide additional value to all those who come see his talks. Following his sessions, attendees will receive a special opportunity to receive FREE setup into an InTouch Practice Communications website marketing plan.

Click here to see a short video about this opportunity!


Online Registration is Now Closed

You can still Register On-Site, Walkins are Welcome!

Click here to download the Registration Form, fill it out and bring it with payment.

Veterinarians $360

Technician, Receptionists, Support Staff $170


One (1) Day Registraion is now available for $175!  Register On-Site during the Conference!

What our Attendees Say!

Just want to give an awesome shout out in regards to the technician program offered. Michelle [Michelle D. Krasicki-Aune, MBA, BS, CVT] was extrodannaire! One of the best tech speakers I have heard lecture. She was energectic, entertaining and well spoken. Thank you! James A satisfied attendee ... read more

James A ChatmanJames A Chatman | Attendee - CHATMANJAMESA@AOL.COM

What our Speakers Say!

Thank you for having me speak this year at Sun N Fun; What a GREAT show! I have thoroughly enjoyed the kindness and hospitality shown by all. Great organization, great location, and great session topics! I urge all veterinary professionals to attend Sun N Fun next year, and not miss out on this fantastic CE event! ... read more

Running Paws Pet Hospital, McKinney, TXJenny Cassibry Fisher, RVT, VTS | Speaker -

What our Attendees Say!

I would like to extend a sincere "Thank You" to Howie and all those involved in hosting the Colonial Veterinary Conference in Colonial Williamsburg this December 2015.  We attended a few years ago and were sold on this meeting for our ContEd   This meeting has it all!  Great speakers, wonderful hotel,  delicious food, kind staff and lotsa' coffee!  Howie makes sure everyone is comfortable and enjoying themselves.. The biggest impression our first time here years ago was not just the speakers, topics, and location.. but the obvious love this group has for one another AND for our Lord... read more

Running Paws Pet Hospital, McKinney, TXDr. Donna M Gage | Running Paws Pet Hospital, McKinney, TX

What our Speakers Say!

I've been a speaker for at least a dozen meetings hosted by Veterinary Association Management in the last twenty or so years. The meetings are always well organized and managed. More importantly, the attendees are always eager to learn and happy to be there. The Lee family and all the staff are welcoming and the atmosphere is very family-friendly... read more

Margi Sirois, EdD, MS, CVT, LATMargi Sirois, EdD, MS, CVT, LAT | Speaker

What our Speakers Say!

Veterinary Association Management conference are intimate and interactive. As a presenter, I have the opportunity to talk about behavior issues – a significant reason for relinquishment, and also how to speak with clients about these concerns, as well as getting pets to vets, including Fear Free and Cat Friendly Practices.

Steve Dale, CABCSteve Dale, CABC | Speaker

What our Attendees Say!

I've been going to Veterinary Association Management's Veterinary Conferences for 16 years.  They are by far my favorite.  The quality and choice of speakers always suits my needs. I feel that I get the most up-to-date and thorough information.  Lectures focus on practical advice we can actually use - no ivory towers here... read more

Melanie Bene, DVMMelanie Bene, DVM | Attendee

What our Attendees Say!

My family and I have always enjoyed Veterinary Association Management's (Ralph Lee's) continuing education courses.  We have been attending them now for well over twelve years.  We are always very delighted to attend the courses and conferences that Veterinary Management Association hosts.  The benevolence of the Lee Family always shines forth, and they make my family feel more than welcome.  The veterinary courses are extremely relevant to practice, and much of the information obtained can be put into effect the day we return.  The speakers are of the utmost quality and ... read more

Mercy Animal Hospital, Monroe, NCDrs. Charles and Dawn Jones | Mercy Animal Hospital, Monroe, NC

What our Speakers Say!

Thank you so much for allowing me to speak at this past weekend's Sun N Fun conference in South Carolina. It was a great experience. Howie, Martha, Dawn and the entire Veterinary Association Management team always knows how to make a speaker feel welcomed! The conference was so well organized which is a testament to the VAM team. Thank you so much for all your kindness. It was a true honoring getting to speak to the technicians at the conference. It was a great group who stayed engaged throughout! Thank you again. I hope you are all home getting to relax a little after working so hard to make the conference so successful. ... read more

Amy Newfield, CVT, VTS (ECC)Amy Newfield, CVT, VTS (ECC) | Speaker

What our Attendees Say!

I have been a veterinarian in NC since 1982.  33years.  I have been getting my continuing education hours with Ralph Lee’s Veterinary Management for 28 years.  My wife is a registered vet technician and we both must get yearly CE hours to continue our licenses.  We have come to Ralph Lee’s Great Smokies Veterinary Conferences for last 20 years.  I appreciate through the years the dedication to providing quality continuing education year after year.  We enjoy the excellent speakers on subjects that are useful in regular day to day practice; comprehensive wet labs; and very affordable CE... read more

Emerywood Veterinary Hospital, High Point, NCJ. Michael Beck DVM and Jane Beck VMT | Emerywood Veterinary Hospital, High Point, NC

What our Speakers Say!

I've participated in several Veterinary Association Management continuing educational meetings and they are all top notch. Each meeting has it's own look and feel. The one consistent thread is excellent speakers and great topics/content being presented. I will be planning a family vacation around Fun N Sun veterinary conference. It's a must do for anyone looking for good CE and creating great memories with the family... read more

Veterinary Consultation Services, LLC Paul Camilo, CVPM | Veterinary Consultation Services, LLC

What our Exhibitors Say!

The Center of Veterinary Expertise has had the pleasure of participating in Colonial Veterinary conference on several levels, sponsorship, vendor as well as providing speakers over the last three year.  Howie and his team always ensure a positive, warm, and successful experience.  We look forward to supporting the Colonial Veterinary Conference for many more years to come.

the COVE, Suffolk, VADanielle T. Russ | LVT, BS, BA, AS, Hospital Manager, the COVE, Suffolk, VA

What our Attendees Say!

It is not a small thing when gathering your CE credits that the meetings be orderly, well presented, convenient, accessible.  Cudos to the Colonial Team.  It was an all-around good experience.

Palmetto Vet Hospital, Ridgeland, SCRob McBrayer, DVM | Palmetto Vet Hospital, Ridgeland, SC

What our Exhibitors Say!

I have been a equipment manufacturing design consultant for Snyder Mfg. for over 30 years.  I have been attending the Ralph Lee's meetings for over 20 years of that time.  The Ralph Lee's meetings are different than the standard veterinary conference meetings that are available.  The meetings are designed to be very family friendly.  The attendees and exhibitors are treated with more respect than any other of the veterinary meetings I attend.  The smaller venue will  also give everyone an opportunity to build long term relationships in the industry.

Snyder Mfg., New Sharon, IARalph Ihde | Snyder Mfg., New Sharon, IA

What our Attendees Say!

I plan each year's continuing education requirements around Ralph Lee's Great Smokies Veteirnary Conference.  The program venue is especially nice, this time of year, in Asheville, N.C.  The Lee family (Howie, Martha and the crew) are most accommodating.  They've always made this a pleasurable, meaningful experience.  I secure a copy of the conference notes each trip.  These notes serve as valuable information for me as I care for my patients on a daily basis.  The saddest part, for me, is when the meeting concludes.  Soon, I'll be planning for the 2016 conference.

Central Veterinary Hospital, Knoxville, TNDr. William “Bill” Martin | Central Veterinary Hospital, Knoxville, TN

What our Exhibitors Say!

The Lees' vet meetings are some of the best...and I attend a lot of them! As both a veterinarian and an exhibitor I get the best of both worlds at these events.... Great Continuing Education and Great attendance to the exhibit booth. I attend every one I possibly can.

Vet Assured, Unicoi, TNDr. Dan Moore, DVM | Vet Assured, Unicoi, TN

What our Speakers Say!

I have lectured for Veterinary Association Management for the last 4 years and they consistently have wonderfully organized, informative and practical conferences for practicing small animal veterinarians. With a relatively small group of attendees ... read more

Charleston Veterinary Referral CenterKristin Welch DVM, DACVECC | CRITICAL CARE, CHIEF OF EMERGENCY MEDICINE

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Exhibitors At The Conference


Please visit these Exhibitors at the Conference to see the latest and best products and services for your veterinary practice:

  • All Vet Imaging

  • Companion Animal Health by LiteCure

  • DVM Solutions

  • Figo Pet Insurance


  • In Touch Communications

  • Intrauma

  • K-Laser USA


            QuickPACS Technologies

            ServiceVet Technologies - QuickVet & QuickPACS

  • Simmons & Associates

  • Snyder Mfg. Co

  • Southeast Medical Books

  • Sunnex LIghts

  • Vet Assured/Natural Vet Companies

  • Vet Cor



Roadrunner Pharmacy

Click here to download the 2017 Ralph Lee's Great Smokies Veterinary Conference Exhibitor Contract

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Conference Hotel Information

The Crowne Plaza Tennis and Golf ResortCrowne Plaza Resort Asheville

Crowne Plaza Resort Asheville

Nestled among the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville, NC is more than just a peaceful mountain retreat...

"With a privileged location just a mile from downtown Asheville, our hotel makes a convenient home base for exploring the area. From whitewater rafting to museums, plenty of excitement awaits our hotel's guests. In Asheville, NC, the spectacular Biltmore Estate is a must-see, while a Gray Line trolley tour offers an interesting look at the city's history. We are just minutes from the excellent dining and shopping at Grove Arcade. Elegant facilities and an ideal location make us "The Place to Meet" in Asheville. ..."

Rooms are sold out at the Crowne Plaza but attendees can make reservations at the Sheraton by Four Points (about a mile or so away) by calling 828-253-1851 or 1-800-325-3535 and mention the group Ralph Lee's Great Smokies Veterinary Conference, Rates are $169 + tax

Or Click on this Link to Make a Reservation Online!

Crowne Plaza Asheville Resort

Crowne Plaza Asheville Resort Floorplan

Crowne Plaza Asheville Resort

Online Registration is Now Closed

You can still Register On-Site, Walkins are Welcome!

Click here to download the Registration Form, fill it out and bring it with payment.

Veterinarians $360

Technician, Receptionists, Support Staff $170


One (1) Day Registraion is now available for $175!  Register On-Site during the Conference!

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Area Information

The Biltmore Estate

The Biltmore Estate (Photo Courtesy of )

Asheville, North Carolina

"Asheville is that type of unique, special place that lingers sweetly in your mind and memories for years to come. The city's rich architectural legacy with its mix of Art Deco, Beaux Arts and Neoclassical styles is the perfect retro-urban backdrop to the edgy energy that emanates from the locally owned-shops and art galleries, distinctive restaurants and exciting entertainment venues. Known as an art colony, a healing resort and a home to notable luminaries, statesmen and bohemians, Asheville is one of the most welcoming, vibrant cities in America."

Discover Asheville, N.C. at And remember who you really are. Because there's more to life than the climb. There's the view that takes your breath away, the refreshing mountain air and the fresh flavors of the Blue Ridge. (Video Courtesy of )

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Fall Foliage near Asheville, North Carolina (Photo Courtesy of Cynthia L. Drury)

The Groove Arcade in Asheville, NC

The Groove Arcade in Asheville (Photo Courtesy of )

Fall Foliage

Fall Foliage near Asheville, North Carolina (Photo Courtesy of Cynthia L. Drury)


Online Registration is Now Closed

You can still Register On-Site, Walkins are Welcome!

Click here to download the Registration Form, fill it out and bring it with payment.

Veterinarians $360

Technician, Receptionists, Support Staff $170


One (1) Day Registraion is now available for $175!  Register On-Site during the Conference!