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2021 Virtual Summit

SPEAKER BIOs 

QUICK LINKS

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Dr. Casey Barton Behravesh

Captain, U.S. Public Health Service

Director, One Health Office

National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Casey Barton Behravesh, MS, DVM, DrPH, DACVPM, is the Director of CDC’s One Health Office in the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases and a Captain in the United States Public Health Service. Her role is to serve as the agency’s lead for implementing a One Health approach to public health that connects human, animal, and environmental health, enabling CDC and partners to address emerging zoonotic and infectious diseases and other shared health threats at the human-animal-environment interface. Dr. Barton Behravesh is experienced in bringing together human, animal, and environmental health officials at the local, state, federal, and global level to bridge gaps related to emerging zoonotic and infectious diseases, including COVID-19. During her extensive career at CDC, Dr. Barton Behravesh has done everything from investigating outbreaks in the field to conducting epidemiologic research related to the prevention and control of zoonotic, foodborne, and vector-borne diseases.  In her leadership role at CDC, she enjoys mentoring students and new staff to help them reach their career goals.

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Dr. Steve J. DeGrey

Senior Practicing Veterinarian

Massey University School of Veterinary Science

Dr. Steve DeGrey a Senior Practicing Veterinarian with 29 years of experience, initially in mixed practices (rural), and since 2014 working in the School of Veterinary Science with the Massey Vet clinic.

Dr. DeGrey is also involved with the Veterinary Emergency Response Team and have training/experience in large and small animal rescue/disaster support.

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Dr. Kevin Dennison

USDA, Advisory Team on Environment Food and Health

Dr. Kevin Dennison is an Emergency Programs Manager for USDA APHIS Animal Care and is based in Fort Collins, CO.    Dr. Dennison graduated with a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine in 1980 from Colorado State University and engaged in private practice in Bailey, Colorado for many years before becoming involved in local and state emergency management planning and response.  He has worked as a shelter veterinarian and managed a statewide animal emergency management program in Colorado from 2003-2008.  From 2005-2008, he was also the Co-Principle Investigator for the training program of the Rocky Mountain Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases at Colorado State University.  Dr. Dennison joined APHIS Animal Care in August of 2008. His current responsibilities include supporting ESF #11 and FEMA nationally on animal emergency management issues and supervising Regional Emergency Coordinator program.  Since 2011, Dr. Dennison has served on the Advisory Team on Environment, Food, and Health, a multiagency Federal team that provides protective action recommendations in nuclear or radiological incidents.  Dr. Dennison has extensive training in emergency coordination and the incident command system and has lectured extensively at national meetings on animal emergency management.

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Gary Flory

Agriculture and Stormwater Program Manager, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality

Gary Flory is the Agricultural and Stormwater Program Manager for the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.  In this role, Gary provides leadership on numerous issues surrounding the nexus of agriculture, the environment and public health.  Gary has been a lead investigator on numerous research projects focused on providing new tools in the fight against animal diseases and natural disasters.  Gary also founded G.A. Flory Consulting, a global consulting firm, to help clients with a range of services including animal disease and natural disaster response, agricultural emergency planning, and emergency response training.  Gary has conducted trainings, given presentations and deployed on numerous animal disease outbreaks around the country and internationally to a number of countries including the Dominican Republic, Vietnam, Tunisia, Korea, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, and Azerbaijan. He serves as a technical reviewer and Subject Matter Expert on agricultural issues for a variety of organizations including USDA, FAO, OIE and EPA. In addition to numerous other articles and reports, Gary was a lead author of FAO’s recently released Focus On document, Carcass Management for Small- and Medium-Scale Livestock Farms - Practical Considerations and USDA’s Catastrophic Livestock Composting Protocol and Mortality Composting Protocol for Avian Influenza Infected Flocks.

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Dr. Larry Garcia

Clinical Assistant Professor in Shelter Medicine and Surgery

University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Lawrence “Larry” Garcia, MS, DVM, is a Clinical Assistant Professor in Shelter Medicine and Surgery as well as Medical Director for the Veterinary Emergency Treatment Service (VETS) Team at the University Of Florida College Of Veterinary Medicine.  Dr. Garcia began his career as a general practitioner who transitioned to Shelter Medicine and Surgery in a large, open-admission municipal animal shelter in South Florida.  While in this role, Dr. Garcia participated in multiple emergency response drills and assisted with development and updates for county emergency management (ESF-17) protocols and procedures, served at the County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and the shelter, as well as providing oversight and guidance to both shelter and field operations.  After several years, he was recruited by faculty at the University of Florida.  At the university, he used his knowledge and experience of county operations to create two clerkships in which clinical veterinary students are embedded in municipal animal shelter operations.  This new opportunity allowed him to continue to grow his passion for disaster preparedness and response as Medical Director of the UF VETS Team.  In this role, Dr. Garcia develops medical protocols and procedures, oversees medical equipment and pharmaceutical inventory, and provides team leadership and training.  He has provided support to, and instruction in, the Awareness and Operations level Animal Technical Rescue courses offered to veterinary students, veterinarians and first responders. He has collaborated with the Florida State Agricultural Response Team on large scale disaster response drills and led a deployment mission to the Florida Keys following Hurricane Irma in 2017. Dr. Garcia directs an online graduate level Introduction to Veterinary Disaster Response course, providing training to individuals from around the world

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Steve Glassey

Director of Emergency Response Innovation Centre, Associate Professor at Central Queensland University (CQU)

Steve Glassey is an Associate Professor at Central Queensland University (CQU) and Director of the Emergency Response Innovation Centre based in Townsville, Queensland, Australia. He was Australasia's first published scholar in animal disaster management and have published on numerous related topics including the Oxford University Research Encyclopedia and journals such as Animals, Journal of Search and Rescue, Australian Journal of Emergency Management and Australasian Journal of Trauma and Disaster Studies. He founded the SPCA NZ National Rescue Unit and Animal Evac New Zealand, and has worked as a career emergency manager for the New Zealand Government and United Nations. He has responded to major disasters around the world and is active advocating for improved animal disaster laws and capability. He is also a IAEM Certified Emergency Manager.

Victoria Hall

DVM, MS, DACVPM,

Dr. Hall is a Cincinnati native, is a veterinarian, board certified in Veterinary Preventive Medicine. Growing up in the Cincinnati Zoo, Dr. Hall developed a passion for wildlife and conservation efforts, as well as how to effectively translate research and science into effective education and outreach programs for larger communities.

 

Wanting to address complex health and conservation challenges from a One Health

Approach (working at the intersection of human, animal, and environmental health), Dr. Hall went on to work on animal and public health programs around the world with the United Nations and the United States Department of Agriculture. She then served as an Epidemic Intelligence Service officer for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stationed at the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), responding to human outbreaks of infectious diseases, including measles, Zika virus, tuberculosis, and foodborne illnesses.

 

Returning to the wildlife and zoo world, Dr. Hall most recently served as the

Smithsonian National Zoo’s first veterinary epidemiologist, using epidemiology and

global capacity building programs to improve animal care and conservation efforts

around the world. She also served in a Public Health Officer role on the Smithsonian

COVID-19 Response Team working to protect global Smithsonian personnel and

animals during the pandemic.

 

Dr. Hall now joins The Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota as the Patrick T.

Redig Endowed Faculty Chair in Raptor and Ecosystem Health and as the third

Executive Director of the Center.

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Dr. Warren Hess

AVMA Disaster Coordinator

Dr. Hess is an assistant director in the AVMA’s Division of Animal and Public Health and also AVMA’s Disaster Coordinator.  He provides technical and scientific expertise to the Committee on Environmental Issues (CEI), the Aquatic Veterinary Medicine Committee (AqVMC), the Council on Veterinary Service (CoVS), and the Committee on Disaster and Emergency Issues (CDEI).

Dr. Hess graduated from Colorado State University in 1989.  He worked in small animal practice with an emphasis on birds and other exotic animals until 2004 when he began working for the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) where he served as a field veterinarian, assistant state veterinarian and 18 months as acting state veterinarian.  Dr. Hess became involved early in his career with organized veterinary medicine and was elected president of the Utah Veterinary Medical Association (UVMA) in 2000.  Dr. Hess has led several state and national organizations including serving as president of the National Alliance of Animal and Agricultural Emergency Programs (NASAAEP).  Dr. Hess was voted Veterinarian of the Year in 2014 by the UVMA.  He was the recipient of the NASAAEP Service Award in 2017 and the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) Paws Up Award in 2018.  He is married to his high school sweetheart (Lori), and together they have 5 children and 15 grandchildren.

Dr. Hess has enjoyed the companionship of horses, dogs, various birds, and marine fish.  He enjoys fishing and motorcycles and has completed a motorcycle trip from his home state of Utah to Alaska and back with his 87 year-old father in tow.

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Brett Huff

ASAR Training and Code 3 Associates

Brett Huff is currently a Technical Rescue Specialist and Instructor for Code 3 Associates, ASAR training and response and owner of Huff technical training.  He has thirty years of experience in the security, environmental, training, and rescue fields. Beginning his career in the Army, Brett has since attended schools and programs with the US Department of Defense, FBI, E.O.D., MALEA, Missouri Highway Patrol, Missouri Department of Public Safety, State Fire Marshal, Department of Transportation, Code 3 Associates, ASAR Training and Response, Rescue 3 International, and the DEA. In addition to teaching for Code 3 Associates Brett has experience teaching advanced disciplines for the military, law enforcement, disaster response, and private corporations through Huff Technical Training. Brett believes becoming a Sergeant in the United States Army, as well as an Engineer remains the biggest accomplishments of his career. He has achieved numerous acknowledgements and awards throughout his career including Humanitarian Services Ribbon, Army Commendation Medal 3rd Award, Army Achievement Medal 2nd Award, Recruiter Badge with 3 gold Stars, Air Assault Badge, Southwest Asia Service Medal, Noncommissioned Officers Professional Development Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, and Sentinels of safety from Department of Labor. Brett currently specializes in large scale disaster field response and management of ASAR teams

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Kelly Johnston, NARSC Chair

International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)

Kelly’s vocational endeavors have revolved around animals for the last 25 years – her work experience spans from sheltering animals during disasters to pet product manufacturing to coordinating pet adoptions.

Kelly worked at the non-profit National Trust for Historic Preservation for several years before moving into the conservation arena when she joined National Wildlife Federation (NWF). At NWF she worked in Cause Marketing and Licensing. Kelly oversaw the member travel program and other affinity marketing and licensing initiatives.

After over a decade in the non-profit sector, Kelly transitioned to working in the pet product industry. She enjoyed engaging with owners and creating lines that sold in boutiques around the globe. She is more than happy to reminisce of this time by sharing photos of her dog appearing in USA Today or video clips of her terrier on QVC with Joan Rivers exclaiming that the dog looked just like Barbara Streisand. During this time she also worked part-time as an adoptions coordinator at the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria.

In 2011 she joined IFAW in its US Country Office and soon integrated into its Disaster Response and Risk Reduction program. Working out of IFAW’s International Headquarters in Washington, DC, allows her to promote planning for animals in the government’s disaster plans and policies. Whether supporting the federal government in providing animal goods and services to disaster survivors or assisting disaster survivors directly by sheltering their beloved pets, Kelly feels honored to help individuals and their communities in times of great need. She is currently serving as the Chairperson for the National Animal Rescue and Sheltering Coalition (NARSC), of which IFAW is a founding member. Kelly works on a smattering of other US Country Office special projects such as coordinating IFAW’s World Wildlife Day Global Youth Art Contest each spring.

Kelly earned her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Virginia. She completed various animal rescue technical trainings as well as Incident Command trainings.

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John Maretti

Executive Director, North Valley Animal Disaster Group

John Maretti is the founder and Executive Director of the North Valley Animal Disaster Group. He is recently retired from the City of Chico Fire Department where he worked for 30 years. In 1999, John founded the North Valley Animal Disaster Group in Northern California which Butte County has adopted as their recognized County Animal Response Team. Currently they have over 400 highly trained active volunteers capable of sheltering and evacuating animals during disasters. Because of the team’s professionalism and high skill-set, they have been embraced by local emergency services. As part of the Emergency Response Network with the International Fund for Animal Welfare, North Valley Animal Disaster Group volunteers have travelled internationally to assist training locals in animal disaster management in India, Philippines, Indonesia, and Africa, as well as responding to national dog fighting and hoarding cases as well as the Nepal Earthquake, Mt. Agung Volcano in Indonesia, and others. The last several years have been extremely busy as the North Valley Animal Disaster Group has responded to numerous local fires locally including the Humboldt Fire, Swedes Fire, Ponderosa Fire, Valley Fire, Carr Fire, Mendocino Complex, Camp Fire, North Complex, as well as the 2017 Oroville Dam Spillway incident.

Bob Peer

Virginia Department of Environmental Quality

Bob is the Agricultural Program Manager for at the Valley Regional Office of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) in Harrisonburg, Va. Bob has worked for DEQ for 20 years, and provides the technical guidance for the inspection program as well as complaint investigations of agricultural facilities in the Shenandoah Valley. Bob serves on the Va. Poultry Disease Task Force and Catastrophic Livestock Mortality Taskforce as a technical expert on carcass disposal. Bob has over 16 years of experience in emergency response in poultry disease outbreaks, primarily in carcass disposal. He served in carcass disposal during the 2002 Va. Avian Flu outbreak, 2007 West Virginia and Virginia Avian Flu outbreaks, and as a subject matter expert (SME) for composting carcasses in the Midwest High-Pathogenic Avian flu outbreak in 2015-2016 (Minnesota, Nebraska, and Indiana). Bob also served as a subject matter expert in the Hurricane Florence recovery efforts for flooded poultry houses in North Carolina in 2018. Most recently, he served as a subject matter expert in the Avian Flu outbreak in North and South Carolina in 2020. 

Bob helped conduct a composting demonstration in 2004 that provided the guidance for utilizing in-house composting of market age turkeys in the 2007 outbreaks, and the Midwest outbreak in 2015-2016. He and Gary Flory, and others developed the protocol that was the basis for the current USDA carcass composting protocol. He has assisted in training several state emergency disease response teams in carcass disposal, as well as USDA-APHIS staff.

Bob has also worked closely with Bobby Clark with Virginia Cooperative Extension on routine and catastrophic livestock mortality demonstrations, and with Bobby Clark and Gary Flory on Above Ground Burial demonstrations as an option for catastrophic carcass disposal. Most recently, Bob has worked with Bobby and Gary and others on developing methods to reduce the composting time for swine in a response to African Swine Fever (ASF). Bob worked with Gary in developing and presenting a ASF carcass disposal training program in Vietnam. Bob also assisted with instruction a four day ASF carcass disposal training event in September 2019 for US pork industry and state and federal officials.   

Bob grew up on a poultry and vegetable farm in Shenandoah Co, and received a BS in Agricultural Education from Va Tech in 1977 Prior to DEQ, he operated a poultry, livestock, and vegetable farm, and was a technical coordinator for a biosolids management company. He currently lives in Woodstock with his wife, Roberta, and operates a hay and farm equipment business.

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Dr. Christopher B. Riley

Professor of Equine Clinical Studies and Director of Research Commercialization

Massey University School of Veterinary Science

Christopher B Riley BSc, BVSc (Hons), MSc, PhD, Diplomate ACVS, PGCertInnovMgt, MANZCVS is Professor of Equine Clinical Studies and Director of Research Commercialization at the School of Veterinary Science, Massey University, New Zealand.   Chris has been a practicing large animal veterinarian for over 30 years, with most of his career spent in academia as a specialist in large animal surgery in Canada and the USA. While working in Canada he volunteered with CVM Canada and CVM-USA, training and leading multiple deployments into Haiti and northern Peru with veterinary/animal welfare teams.  A former volunteer rural firefighter, he is a Rescue 3 certified Animal Rescue Technician I and trained in Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue. He is the manager of the Massey University Veterinary Emergency Response team.

Dr. Norm Rosene

Vice President North Valley Animal Disaster Group (NVADG)

Norm Rosene is a practicing dentist who serves as the Vice President of the North Valley Animal Disaster Group (NVADG). He has taught technical rope and water rescue nationally, and internationally as a contracted instructor for the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), training animal rescue workers in India, Indonesia, Serbia, Tanzania, and the Philippines. Dr. Rosene has responded to wildland fires with the NVADG team regionally, and with the IFAW Animal Disaster Response Team following the 2015 earthquake in Nepal and for Hurricane Irma in 2017. Dr. Rosene attended UC Davis, obtaining his B.S. with Honors in Zoology, and M.S. in Physiology. He then attended the UC San Francisco School of Dentistry where he received his D.D.S. degree. Dr. Rosene lives in Chico with his wife, Janice, and their two dogs, Eris and Strega.

Elizabeth Weier

Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development

Elizabeth Weier is the Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) Office of Legal Affairs and Emergency Management. She has a BS in Natural Resources Biology and Master’s in Public Administration from Central Michigan University, and Professional Emergency Manager Certification from the Michigan State Police. She works with all divisions and programs at MDARD to advance emergency preparedness, focusing on increasing employee engagement and developing leadership at all levels of the organization. She assists programs with emergency planning, development of training, and planning exercises from simple facilitated discussions to complex, multi-day events. Elizabeth always has her eye on continuous improvement, making emergency response more efficient and effective while increasing surge capacity within a relatively small state department. Elizabeth has served on internal MDARD Incident Management Teams as Incident Commander and Planning Section Chief, and was deployed to one of Michigan’s COVID-19 Alternate Care Sites as a Logistics Section Chief and Planning Section Chief.

Dr. Michelle Willette

The Raptor Center

University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine

Michelle Willette, BS, DVM, MPH, DACVPM, is a senior veterinarian at The Raptor Center and an assistant professor at the University Of Minnesota College Of Veterinary Medicine. She joined UMN’s team in 2007 with an extensive background in zoological and wildlife medicine with an emphasis in animal welfare, disaster preparedness and response, and public health. Dr. Willette creates and teaches non-traditional species medicine, managed captive wildlife, animal welfare, and emergency preparedness courses for veterinary and undergraduate students.

Dr. Deb Zoran

Texas A&M Veterinary Emergency Team (VET)

Dr. Deb Zoran is a Professor in the Department of Veterinary Small Animal Clinical Sciences at Texas A&M University and founding member of the Texas A&M Veterinary Emergency Team (VET).  She is a 1984 graduate of Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.  Following graduation, she entered private clinical practice in the Phoenix, Arizona area until returning in 1987 to Iowa State University for her small animal internal medicine residency.  After moving to Texas A&M in 1990, she completed a PhD in Nutrition in the laboratory of Dr. Joanne Lupton.  Since 1996, Dr. Zoran has been a member of the faculty at Texas A&M University where she is actively involved with clinical, teaching, and research activities in small animal nutrition, disaster preparedness, gastroenterology and feline medicine. As a member of the VET since 2009, she has been on over 20 deployments to multiple types of disasters in Texas and beyond. Since 2014, she has been a support specialist for Texas A&M Task Force 1 US&R and has deployed 5 times.  In 2019, Dr. Zoran was accepted onto the FEMA Incident Support Team as a Veterinary Specialist for care of working dogs in large scale disasters.

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