Veterinary Association Management

Continuing Education for the Veterinary Profession

May 11 - 14, 2017

"On the Beautiful Outer Banks of NC" Kitty Hawk, North Carolina

1st Flight Veterinary Conference, kitty Hawk, North Carolina, May 12 - 15, 2016,Registration fee: Veterinarians $350 & Tech/Staff $170,Rates start at $175 for side ocean view rooms with either 2 queen beds or one king $225 for oceanfront rooms with either 2 queen beds or one king. To make room reservations you can go online to and click on the First Flight link or call Hilton Garden Inn direct at 252-261-1290 or Toll Free at 877-629-4586. Mention group code FFV16. See the reverse side for tentative scheduled speakers

Click Here to Download the 2017 1st Flight Veterinary Conference Flyer (Coming Soon)

Hilton Garden Inn Outer Banks/Kitty Hawk
Hilton Garden Inn Outer Banks/Kitty Hawk, Kitty Hawk, North Carolina

Click here or the link below to Make Hotel Reservations at our Group Rate:



Coleen Ellis, The Pet Loss Center

Dr. Colleen Fox

Ralph Harvey, DVM, MS, DACVA

Larry Oxenham, Author, Senior Advisor

Rebecca Remillard, DVM, PhD, DACVN

Dr. Merrilee Small, Dip ACVIM (Cardiology)

Robbie van Mullem, Digital Media Specialist


Friday's Lunch Session (May 12th):

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



Online Registration is Closed

We want to thank the attendees, the speakers and the exhibitors for another great conference.  The weather did not cooperate until the end, but hopefully, everyone learned something and had a good time on the Outer Banks!  See you all next year!

First Flight Veterinary Conference

Tentative Schedule

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Registration 11 am Pre Function Area


Exhibit Hall Set up: 8 am-2 pm - Katherine Room ∙ Exhibit Hall Open: 2-8pm


Get Acquainted Welcome Reception: 6:30pm - Sponsored by The COVE - Katherine Room


Time / Room


Coleen Ellis
The Pet Loss Center

2 - 6:30pm / Wilbur Room

#1 - The Importance of Rituals

In the years that I have spent in assisting families with their final arrangements for the beloved pets, it’s heart-warming to see the lengths that people will go to pay tribute to their pet in death.  As a professional and changing industry, it’s an area that we have to acknowledge and to be a resource to a family to let them pay their respects and tributes to their deceased pet in the manner that’s the most appropriate for them.  However, in this area of ceremonies and rituals, it’s also an area that many people will ask:   “Will others think I’m crazy?” “How do I invite family and friends to the funeral for my cat?” “What can I do in the privacy of my own home and with my close family to pay our respects to a dog that we loved like one of the children?” “What are my options?”   The main request that people have in this area is “Guide Me.”  As in human death care, this area of making final arrangements for a loved one is an area of mystery.  It’s not an area that the majority of our population will research, find the options that are right for their situation, or will think about ahead of time for planning purposes.  This particular part of the discussion will include information on:   Examples of what other families have done for memorial services Examples of a memorial service (no body present) Visitations Public memorial services (Information and pictures from the service of a K-9 officer killed in the line of duty) Partnerships with local shelters to provide for families a community Celebration of Life service to honor deceased pets Testimonies from families who held private ceremonies or did personal rituals in their home  - and with close friends

#2 - Keeping Clients Despite the Death – Understanding the Basics of Companioning

As more and more people are acknowledging that their pets are more than just animals and that they are members of the family, they are demanding the same types of services that we would want and expect of our human family members.  In medical treatment, travel accommodations, salons, and other aspects, people are treating their pets like children.   With this self-proclaimed affinity group, pet parents, in death, these requests and demands are equally prevalent.  While pet parents did all they could for their furry children during life, they also want to make sure that the same can be said in death.   The loss of a pet for many will look just like the death of a human family member or friend.  However, there are four intricacies of pet loss that will have this event take on some different emotions.  These intricacies include:
Grief ranking - Questions of spirituality - The depth of silence - The special bond
In Keeping Clients Despite the Death, many different aspects of death and grief are explored as the attendees learn the intricacies of one of life’s inevitable events as pet owners.  The presentation will explore in detail these various Tenets of Companioning and other elements of loss.  To set the stage for the presentation, these areas will first be explored:
What is grief? - What is mourning? - What is active mourning and why is it essential to the grief journey? - How does grief differ from mourning? - What is companioning? - What is a treatment philosophy for grief?
Grief and mourning are already very mysterious areas of emotions for most people.  We are a “feeling avoidant” society that would rather find ways to avoid hurt than to bear the emotional turmoil of a pain.  In this section, we will review what makes the event of a pet’s death even more confusing and tumultuous.  For pet care professionals, understanding the Ten Tenets of Companioning will give attendees techniques that can be immediately taken back to the clinic and applied in practice.  The Ten Tenets of Companioning include aspects such as:    What’s the greatest skill you will need in working with a grieving family? What is the one thing that you should not do during this time? Will a family “get over” the death of a pet? How to distinguish between being “responsible to” a family versus being “responsible for” them. When asked “do pets go to heaven,” how do I answer that question? Many pet care professionals themselves need to actively mourn.  Why is this important? Who will rule primarily in the grief journey – the heart or the head?

#3 – Children and Pets

Many people will try to not hurt for the loss of a pet.  However, it is a needed emotion during the grief journey.  During this presentation, there are three segments, Children, The Elderly, and other Pet Friends, that will be explored to understand how they grieve and view the loss of a pet friend.  In addition, participants to this session will not only understand how these various unique segments view pet loss but also how to be a companion and guide them through their own unique emotions and feelings.  The first segment to be explored is children and pet loss.  Participants to this session will hear how children view death and how to guide them using a "Tribute Table" to incorporate important rituals into their grief journey.  Parents will certainly appreciate this guidance in this area on how to talk to their child about death.  The second unique segment to be discussed is the elderly and what the loss of a pet will mean to them.  This cohort has seen much loss in their life and are, most generally, at a time where they might be by living alone and the pet was their sole source of companionship.  This population group will certainly have unique needs in being guided through this loss.  In addition, lastly, the audience will hear firsthand how pets grieve and the importance of rituals for animals, exploring rituals from the wild and with animals in general.  This session is generally full of questions, as participants truly want to be a guide to these various segments in helping them with their grief journey.  In particular, as a team member of a clinic, understanding how to be a resource to pet parents in all areas of these segments will be incredibly valuable information therefore role play will be used as a teaching element.

Larry Oxenham, Author, Senior Advisor

Sponsored by ASAP

American Society for Asset Protection (ASAP)


2 - 6:30pm / Orville Room

How Veterinarians Can Become Invincible to Lawsuits & Save Thousands in Taxes

Learn the strategies and tools the nation's top law firms use to save their clients millions of dollars each year. This lecture provides solutions to three major problems: lawsuits, taxes, and probate. From this lecture you will learn:

  • How to make yourself unattractive to a plaintiff attorney so they will not pursue a lawsuit against you.
  • Five tax reduction strategies often missed by professionals and their advisors.
  • Tools you can use to pass assets to your heirs tax free.


  1. Structure business for lawsuit protection and prevention
  2. Reduce liability insurance costs.
  3. Minimize taxes.
  4. Create successful estate and business succession plan.

Get Acquainted Welcome Reception: Thursday, 6:30pm - Katherine Room

Friday, May 12, 2017

Registration 8 am (Pre function Area) ∙ Continental Breakfast 8 am (Katherine 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.
Exhibit Hall Hours: 8 am-4 pm (Katherine Room) ∙ Refreshments Available 10-11 am & 2-3 pm


Time / Room


Ralph Harvey, DVM, MS, DACVA

8:30am - 4:30pm / Orvillle Room

The Big Goal: Reducing Fear, Stress, and Pain in Our Practice

Practical strategies move our practices and profession toward a more fear-free and stress-free experience. The benefits go far beyond the individual patient, bringing value and quality to our lives.

  • Recognize approaches that add safety and efficiency as well as reduce stress
  • Spread the message and encourage all members of our practices to play a role
  • Change the environment through better medicine and common sense behaviors

Practical and Economical Pain Management

Old standbys, newly available analgesics, novel methods, and local anesthetics have greatly expanded our options. We’ll summarize significant details that influence best methods. This can change your practice and add substantial value in surgical cases.

  • Balanced or multi-modal analgesia adds success, convenience, and economy
  • Local anesthetics will become valuable in every surgery
  • Pain management is fundamental and highly significant in practice growth

High-Risk: Anesthesia for Patients Too Sick for Anesthesia

Case-based discussions will address potential problems for high-risk patients. Problem- based case management reduces morbidity and mortality and reduces stress in our hospitals every day.

  • Recognize special anesthetic concerns
  • Develop problem-based case management
  • Prioritize clinical responses

Pain Management for Feline Friendly Practices

This is a new era in pain management for cats. We have new information to share, including products that tremendously improve our options and opportunities to address long-standing deficiencies.

  • Recognition of the benefits of reduce fear/stress/pain
  • Behavioral and facial grimace scales are validated methods
  • Gentle handling refined and promoted in the AAHA / AAFP / ISFM Guidelines
  • NSAID therapy - perioperative and chronic uses expanding for cats
  • New opportunities with opioids for cats - emphasis on buprenorphine

Dr. Merrilee Small, Dip ACVIM (Cardiology)

8:30am - 4:30pm / First Flight Board Room

8:30 am - 9:30 am (1.0hrs) : Cardiologist Approach to Cavitary Effusions

9:45 am - 11:30 am (1.5hrs) : Differentiating Between Cardiac and Respiratory Causes of Cough/Dyspnea

1 pm - 2:30 pm (1.5hrs) : What’s New in Cardiology – Canine (2-50min sessions)

3 pm - 4 pm (1.0 hrs) : What’s New in Cardiology – Feline



Saturday, May 13, 2017

Registration open: 8 am (Pre Function Area)

11:45am - Lunch session Presented by


Exhibit Hall Hours: 8 am - 4 pm (Katherine Room) Refreshments Available 10-11 am & 2-3 pm


Time / Room


Ralph Harvey, DVM, MS, DACVA

Orville Room

Crisis Management in Anesthesia

Things can go wrong. Through case examples, we’ll discuss commonly encountered anesthetic emergencies and complications, how to recognize developing problems, how to turn around a problem situation so early that a crisis is averted, and how best deal with an anesthetic emergency or complication.

  • Anesthesia is not hours of boredom and moments of sheer panic
  • Your investment in infrastructure builds the foundation for success
  • Preparation and staff training pay great dividends

For the Very Young and Very Old - Anesthesia and Pain Management
Although age is not a disease, young and old patients are fragile and we do see increased co-morbidities and limited resilience in our older patients. Best practices for these animals include use of readily available agents and techniques. Increased attention to detail and a respect for the fragile homeostasis brings clinical success and client appreciation.

  • Out-patient anesthesia and a robust adaptability in our approach are essential
  • Goals include avoiding stress and maintenance of the patient’s daily routine
  • These patients and clients are among our best and most valued resources

Pain Management in Cancer Care

Cancer is usually accompanied by pain that will eventually limit the human animal bond and then brings it to a close. We already have the tools and strategies to enrich and extend the healthy lifespan of cancer patients with economy and convenience. Our clients appreciate this and it builds our practice through kindness and compassion. Everyone wins.

  • Convenient and economical pain management meets client and patient needs
  • Management of cancer pain can be remarkably easy and successful
  • The most appreciated part of cancer care fits nicely in your practice

Rebecca Remillard, DVM, PhD, DACVN

8:30am - 4:30pm / Wilbur Room

Veterinary Nutrition

8:30-9:20 am : Do we know the appropriate diet for healthy cats?

9:30-10:20 am : What should we feed felines with renal disease?

11:00-11:20 am : Food Allergy Epidemic: what to feed?

11:20-11:45 am : Questions & Answers

1-2:00 pm : Deciphering Pet Food Ingredients

2:30-4 pm : Pick your Diet & Nutrition Battles Carefully

Dr. Colleen Fox (Dentistry)

See Topic

8:30 am - 10 am : Top 10 Myths of Veterinary Dentistry

10:30 am - 11:45 am : Dental Charting (Danielle Martin, LVT)

1:00 pm - 2:30 pm : What Lies Beneath - Dental Radiology

3:00 pm - 4:30 pm : Feline Dentistry


Sunday, May 14, 2017


Time / Room


Dr. Merrilee Small, Dip ACVIM (Cardiology)

8:30am - 11:30am / Wilbur Room

8:30 am-9:30 am (1.0hr) : ECG Essentials

10:00 am-1130 am (1.5hr) : ECG Bootcamp – Interactive Workshop


Online Registration is Closed

We want to thank the attendees, the speakers and the exhibitors for another great conference.  The weather did not cooperate until the end, but hopefully, everyone learned something and had a good time on the Outer Banks!  See you all next year!

The beach at the Conference

Speaker Bios...

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.

Coleen Ellis, The Pet Loss CenterColeen Ellis

A chance encounter with a pet parent facing the death of her pet was a defining moment for Coleen in 1998. It was the beginning of her vision of how to best meet the needs of pet parents in their desire to mourn, memorialize and pay tribute to their beloved pets when they die. In 2004, the experience of the death of her dog, Mico, guided her in starting the nation’s first stand-alone pet’s-only funeral home. Soon, publications such as Kates-Boylston’s Pet Loss Insider deemed her the “most well known pet funeral director” and a true “pet loss pioneer.”

In 2009, Coleen founded Two Hearts Pet Loss Center, to guide people who wish to provide meaningful pet death care services in their communities, as well to be an educational resource in the pet grief discipline. In 2009, she received the first Death and Grief Studies Certification specializing in Pet Loss Companioning by Dr. Alan Wolfelt as well as releasing her first book, Pet Parents: A Journey Through Unconditional Love and Grief. She is also Certified in Thanatology and is a Certified Pet Loss Professional.

By 2014, Coleen was ready to take her vision to a new level. Joining Nick Padlo as managing partner and Chief Marketing Officer, they formed an acquisition company whose mission is to standardize and raise the service levels of the pet loss industry. The Pet Loss Center strives to be the nation’s premier pet loss service, elevating the experiential component of pet loss and grief care across the country.

Coleen is a sought-after speaker on the topics of pet loss and grief. Through her delivery style, pet care professionals learn a variety of techniques immediately applicable to implement on how to companion families in their grief journey. Furthermore, her talks to pet parents give them the permission they need to not only grieve but mourn the loss of their beloved pet.

Coleen is currently the co-chair and founder of the Pet Loss Professionals Alliance and past president of the International Association of Animal Hospice and Palliative Care. She is a native of Kansas where she graduated from Fort Hays State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing.

The Pet Loss Center

Dr. Colleen FoxDr. Colleen Fox

After earning her Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degrees at Cornell University, Dr. Fox has called Virginia home since 1998. She developed a deep passion for veterinary dentistry when she discovered how dramatically a pet’s quality of life and longevity could be improved through proactive oral health protocols and advanced corrective and restorative procedures to treat infection and oral pain. She is highly proficient in employing leading-edge technologies, techniques, and materials used in veterinary dentistry.

Dr. Fox has traveled thousands of miles and devoted countless hours to steadily increase her dental knowledge and skills through continuing education and practice. Additionally, she is a member of the American Veterinary Dental Society and has limited her practice to dentistry as a DVM.

In recognition of her innovative veterinary practice as well as her service to the community, Dr. Fox was honored in 2012 as one of Inside Business magazine’s “Top 40 Under 40 in Hampton Roads.”

She looks forward to providing comprehensive dental services to pets in need, and educating pet owners and veterinarians about the importance of dental health.



Ralph C. Harvey, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVAARalph C. Harvey, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVAA

Dr. Ralph Harvey teaches anesthesia and pain management in the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine in Knoxville, Tennessee. He previously served as the Section Head for the Small Animal Surgical Services and as a member of the University Faculty Senate. His veterinary degree is from the UTCVM and his post-graduate training included internship, residency, and fellowship at Cornell's Veterinary and Medical Colleges.

Dr. Harvey has worked in private small animal practice. He is certified as a specialist by the American College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia, has served as their Executive Secretary and Board of Directors. He currently is a member of the Fear-Free Advisory Board.

Larry Oxenham, Author, Senior AdvisorLarry Oxenham, Author, Senior Advisor

Author of several books including: Protect Your Assets and The Asset Protection Bible.

Has presented at hundreds of conventions, conferences, and seminars across the country with excellent reviews.

OOver two decades of experience as a senior advisor with clients in all fifty states.

His career has been credited with helping thousands of clients save millions of dollars.

American Society for Asset Protection (ASAP)

Rebecca Remillard, DVM, PhD, DACVNRebecca Remillard, DVM, PhD, DACVN

An ACVN diplomate, founder and president of Veterinary Nutritional Consultations, inc. which specializes in formulating strategically appropriate dietary recommendations for dogs, cats and horses with medical conditions and has provided independent consulting to pet owners and veterinarians through since 2000. Dr. Remillard was on staff at Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston for 18 years, has held several officer positions on the ACVN and AAVN executive boards, has numerous veterinary research and popular publications, was editor of the 4th and 5th edition of the Small Animal Clinical Nutrition textbook, continues to teach nutrition at several veterinary schools as a guest lecturer. She moved to North Carolina in 2011 to semi-retire on a horse farm, but continues to provide consultation, does public speaking and actively training ACVN residents.

Dr. Merrilee Small, Dip ACVIM (Cardiology)Dr. Merrilee Small, Dip ACVIM (Cardiology)

Dr. Small has worked her entire career in the Hampton Roads area, first as a veterinary technician, then practice manager, followed by becoming an emergency veterinarian, before tackling a residency in cardiology at NC State. She became a board-certified cardiac specialist in 2005. During her residency Dr. Small was acknowledged several times with awards. She was named outstanding resident by the students of the classes of 2003 and 2005, and received the Bedside Manner award from the faculty in 2005.

Also a true local, Dr. Small grew up in Norfolk, attended Old Dominion University, and is deeply embedded in the fabric of life in Hampton Roads. She has been a member of the viola section in Symphonicity, the Symphony Orchestra of Virginia Beach for over twenty years where they perform year-round.

In addition to the satisfaction Dr. Small receives serving the community where she calls home, she also enjoys gardening, spending time with her husband, son, and her pets of course.

Dr. Small currently serves on the following committees for ACVIM:

- Maintenance Credentials Committee

- Exam Rating Committee

Robbie van Mullem, BSRobbie 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

Online Registration is Closed

We want to thank the attendees, the speakers and the exhibitors for another great conference.  The weather did not cooperate until the end, but hopefully, everyone learned something and had a good time on the Outer Banks!  See you all next year!

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

Hilton Garden Inn Outer Banks/Kitty Hawk

Conference Hotel Information

Hilton Garden Inn Outer Banks/Kitty Hawk

Enjoy Ocean Views From Every Room ...

The Hilton Garden Inn Outer Banks/Kitty Hawk is located on the beautiful coast of the Atlantic Ocean giving each guest their own unique view of the ocean, conve- nient to beaches, shopping and dining. For your dining pleasure the Great American Grill is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and the Pavilion Lounge is open late afternoon. For your recreation pleasure there is an indoor and outdoor pool, workout facility and Stay Fit Kit available for check-out.

Room rates start at $178 + tax (standard room) guaranteed until April 10, 2017 and can be made by calling Hilton Garden Inn, 877-629-4586 and reference you are attending the 1st Flight Veterinary Conference (or use group code FFV17). Or..

Click here or the link below to Make Hotel Reservations at our Group Rate:

• Complimentary wireless and high speed internet and secure remote printing to the business center
• Self-adjusting Garden Sleep System
• Refrigerator, microwave oven and coffeemaker
• Large work desk with convenient desk-level outlets, adjustable lighting and ergonomic Mirra chair by Herman Miller
• Two telephones featuring voicemail, speaker capacity and data port
• Hair dryer, iron and ironing board
• 26” high definition flat tube TV with on-demand movies, video games, & complimentary HBO
• USA Today delivered each weekday morning
• Innovative, easy to set alarm clock radio with jack for portable music player
• Electric door locks & Individual climate control

Hilton Garden Inn Outer Banks/Kitty Hawk offers 180 ocean view or oceanfront guest rooms on the beautiful coast   Hilton Garden Inn Outer Banks/Kitty Hawk

Hilton Garden Inn Outer Banks/Kitty Hawk

Sunset View from the Hilton Garden Inn, with thier Pier

Online Registration is Closed

We want to thank the attendees, the speakers and the exhibitors for another great conference.  The weather did not cooperate until the end, but hopefully, everyone learned something and had a good time on the Outer Banks!  See you all next year!

Area Information

Kitty Hawk, North Carolina

The Birthplace to Modern Aviation and some of the most beautiful beaches and lighthouses...

"The Town of Kitty Hawk is rich in history and tradition. When Orville and Wilbur Wright looked for a site for their aviation experiments in 1900, they needed a place with winds regularly over 15 mph. with gentle hills for glider launching, a sandy surface for soft landings, and a remote location to avoid public attention. A Kitty Hawk citizen, Mr. Bill Tate, assured the Wrights in a letter that Kitty Hawk would provide the ideal location. In closing, Mr. Tate encouraged Wilbur: "If you decide to try your machine here & come I will take pleasure in doing all I can for your convenience & success & pleasure, & I assure you, you will find a hospitable people when you come among us." That tradition lives on today."


• Wright Brothers Memorial (minutes from the hotel)
• Elizabethan Gardens
• North Carolina Aquarium
• 3 Historic Working Light Houses

• Corolla Wild Horses - visit CorollaWildHorses.Com

Jockey’s Ridge - Largest natural sand dune on the east coast & kite flyers paradise
• Discounted rate (Hotel guests only) for Kitty Hawk Fishing Pier located at hotel
• Drive down to the Oregon Inlet Fishing Center to see the day’s catch

Corolla Wild Horses
Wright Brothers National  Monument
 Wright Brothers National Memorial
Ocracoke Lighthouse
Currituck Beach Lighthouse

Bodie Island Lighthouse
Now open to the public to climb and experience the view!

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

Online Registration is Closed

We want to thank the attendees, the speakers and the exhibitors for another great conference.  The weather did not cooperate until the end, but hopefully, everyone learned something and had a good time on the Outer Banks!  See you all next year!


Each conference provides at least 20 hours of continuing education