STAFF INFORMATION

Working For You to Better the Profession

Executive Director

Chris Copeland, JD
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Chris Copeland is TVMA’s chief administrative officer and directs the staff in pursuit of TVMA’s mission, which includes legislation, continuing education, member services and public relations. He is responsible for staff development and for staying abreast of new ways that TVMA can better veterinary medicine in Texas. Chris is responsible to the TVMA Executive Committee.

Associate Director

Devorah Jakubowsky, CAE
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Devorah supports the BOD, Executive Committee and Executive Director. She assists in identifying and selecting TVMA members for appointment to committees and works with the committees to organize their meetings and identify areas for staff support. She is also responsible for member services and membership development.  

Director of Government Relations/General Counsel

Elizabeth Choate, JD
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Elizabeth is the Director of Government Relations/General Counsel. Her responsibilities include addressing the legal questions of the membership covering a diverse range of issues including; practice, ethics and employment law, as well as questions regarding the rules and regulations of state and federal agencies. Elizabeth also assists TVMA’s leaders in designating the legislative priorities of TVMA and then works diligently as an advocate for TVMA before the state legislature, working to protect and promote the profession of veterinary medicine.

Director of Communications

Abel Almendarez
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Abel is responsible for TVMA’s member and public communications through print and electronic media. He serves as the association’s creative director, designer, in-house advertisement producer, website administrator and manages the Communications Department. Abel also sets publications schedules and continually updates the design of eNewsletters, the Texas Veterinarian magazine and the TVMA website.

Director of Education and Meetings

Ellen Forsythe, CMP
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Ellen manages all meeting functions and continuing education programs. She plans, organizes, develops, markets and implements the TVMA Annual Conference, leadership conference, regional conferences and other meetings. Ellen negotiates and manages meeting agendas and brochures, exhibitor applications and sponsorship and event contracts. She also provides full staff support to the TAVP.

Director of Finance

Margaret Macdonald
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Margaret manages the financial functions of TVMA and its related entities through financial reporting, budget planning and budget preparation supervision. She also advises the TVMA Treasurer and other officers within TVMA’s financial scope.

Texas Veterinary Medical Foundation Director

Leah Ann Tibbitts
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Leah Ann serves as the chief administrative staff of the Texas Veterinary Medical Foundation. She is responsible for promoting Foundation events and programs, growing Foundation donations and developing new revenue streams.

Director of Training & Certification

Andy Walker
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Andy manages the registration program for Registered Veterinary Technicians, & the certification program for Certified Veterinary Assistants. She plans & administers the annual RVT state exams& coordinates the CVA Level I & II workshops. Andy is the TVMA liaison for the Technician Oversight Committee, RVT Exam Sub-Committee, CVA Task Force Committee, TARVT, & the newly formed Credentialing Committee.

Member Relations and Foundation Specialist

Janet Knippa
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Janet is responsible for providing first contact and receptionist services at TVMA. She takes care of order receipt and fulfillment, greeting and visitor assistance and call routing. Additionally, she provides support to the Texas Veterinary Medical Foundation Memorial Gift Program.

Accounting Assistant

Veronica Murrieta
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Veronica manages product orders, processes payments and assists the Finance Department with special projects. Additionally, she assists with member and CVA/RVT relations.

Communications Associate

Dawn Noufer
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Dawn manages the development of TVMA's public-facing website, TexVetPets.org, and oversees classified ads. She also assists the Communications Department with public relations, the Texas Veterinarian magazine, the TVMA website, research and other communication efforts.

Feline Relations Specialist

Luna Bling
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Luna is the voice of (and keeps TVMA in touch with) the feline community through her insightful blog, www.iamluna.com. She also provides a much-needed therapeutic service to the staff through her role as the official office cuddler.

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