2022 Officer Roster:
President: Hannah Serra, RVT
Hannah started her veterinary career in 2000 with a course in veterinary assistant training. She had always had a special bond with animals and decided to abandon her aspirations in human medicine to dedicate her life to caring for them. She completed her BS in Veterinary Medical Technology in 2005 and became credentialed on the east coast soon after. She has worked in various positions in the field from stable hand at an equestrian center, to emergency and critical care nurse, to assistant zookeeper. Currently she finds critical care and internal medicine to be the best fit for her active brain. In her personal life she is a vegan hippie who enjoys being outside in the NM sun with her dogs.
Past President: Carol Young, RVT
I graduated from Bel-Rea Institute of Veterinary Technology back in 2006. I’ve been a CVT in Colorado and an RVT in New Mexico. I’ve had the opportunity to work in equine, mixed, emergency, day, and specialty practices ever since. I am currently the Program Director of the up-and-coming veterinary technician program at Pima Medical Institute in Albuquerque, and I work one day a week at a local veterinary clinic. I live in the East Mountains with my husband, too many horses, two demanding cats, and three goofy dogs.
President Elect: Carolynn Hamilton, RVT
Carolynn Hamilton attended the Vet Tech Institute of Pittsburgh from 2012 to 2013 obtaining her Associates degree in Veterinary Technology. She was previously licensed in the state of Ohio from 2015 until 2020 and currently licensed in the state of New Mexico since 2020. Carolynn has experience working in general practice, emergency, and shelter veterinary medicine. Carolynn is particularly passionate about exotic animal husbandry and best care practices, particularly for snakes and fresh water fish. She shares her home with one husband, three cats, two dogs, four snakes, and manages three fish aquariums and a small pond. She currently works in a shelter medicine position caring for cats and dogs.
Secretary: Shalese Shell
Shalese Shell, lifetime resident of New Mexico has been an RVT for 4 years. She graduated from Ashworth college in 2013 for Veterinary Assistant only to further her education with a degree in Applied Science in Veterinary Medical Technology in 2016 from Brown Mackie College in Albuquerque, NM. She started her career in 2014 at a small animal practice. She now lives in Eagle Nest, NM with her 2 young daughters and Fiancé. She is the lead technician at the Angel Fire Small Animal Hospital. Her passion is proving exceptional animal care which has been a life-long goal for her even as a child. Although she has mainly been in small animal practices, she would love to apply her experience in wildlife rehabilitation and exotics.
She recently took on the role of raising a cleft palate puppy from birth named Nova. He is a solid white, spunky American Bully. He has successfully made it through 2 surgeries and has 1 remaining. He found his forever home after only just a few days in her care. Her 1-year old dog Ike also found his forever home with her when his adoption fell through at the animal shelter and he had just been neutered at the hospital she works at. She took both these sweet boys in when they needed help the most.
She is very excited to serve her first year on the board as Secretary and cannot wait to be able to expand her knowledge as well as her experience. This opportunity for her is a gateway to a future of new and exciting RVT adventures. She is very enthusiastic about being a new board member and wants to be able to inspire new and upcoming RVT’s to chase their dreams and show them what our association is all about.
Treasurer: Jarenda Ortiz, AAS, RVT, EUT
I was raised in Santa Fe and always had a passion for animals. Growing up I loved having and helping animals. As a young adult and in college I struggled to find a career I wanted to pursue. It wasn’t until I got a job as a receptionist at
My name is Jarenda Ortiz, owner and founder of Rollin’ Paws Mobile Vet. I started working in veterinary medicine as a Customer Care Representative in 2014 and soon began training as a veterinary assistant. Soon thereafter, I started attending San Juan College to pursue a degree in Applied Science in Veterinary Technology. I completed the VTNE in 2018 thus becoming a registered veterinary technician. My experience in veterinary medicine suggests long hours at a local walk-in basis veterinary hospital. I spent the last 7yrs learning from all of the intelligent minds in that hospital and have grown as a veterinary professional in many ways. My experience as a nurse includes floor supervisor, ICU care, radiology, dental cleanings and dental radiographs, abdominal surgery of all sorts spays and neuters, whelping mothers and dystocia surgery, and limb amputations. My favorite part of my career is intensive care and emergency medicine. It truly makes my heart smile to see a patient go home after being in the hospital for intensive care.
In October 2020, I was elected as treasurer of New Mexico Registered Veterinary Technician Association (NMRVTA). As part of the association we have been taking steps toward title recognition and tile protection for registered veterinary technicians in New Mexico, becoming a 501c6 organization, updating the constitution, and hosting an annual continuing education class.
In January 2021, I began my journey trying to build a mobile practice. Through many phone calls to many different people, I was able to piece it together. I got certified as a Euthanasia Technician so that I can assist patients in need of crossing the rainbow bridge. I want nothing more than to serve the community and most importantly veterinary patients.
I cannot thank the people involved in making this dream come true, enough. Not only for becoming such a big part of the practice but also for all of their guidance and professional opinions. Without them this would still be, just a dream. I truly look forward to our adventures as a mobile practice and helping keep our community pets healthy, and look forward to continuing to be a part of NMRVTA.
NAVTA State Representative: Janine Fales, RVT
Hello! I became an RVT in 2011 after graduating from Purdue University. Veterinary nursing was a second career for me; the first brought me to New Mexico to work as a chemical engineer in Los Alamos. I still live in Los Alamos with my two dogs, Rafa and Bonnie, and my partner Bob. I retired from clinical work in 2019 with a hope to travel more ~ and then 2020 happened. I am even more concerned about welfare of our members after hearing of the difficult time of veterinary medicine during COVID. I hope to help in constructive ways as your State Representative to NAVTA
Publicity Coordinator: Brandon Brown
Brandon is a bald Black kid from South Carolina. He moved to New Mexico in 2012 to pursue a degree in Creative Writing and Literature from the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, graduated from that program in 2015, and has been hanging around ever since. He is currently pursuing a Masters of Arts in Fiction from Vermont College of Fine Arts. He has worked first as a kennel assistant and then as a veterinary assistant at Smith Veterinary Hospital for nearly five years, and has come to cherish the kind of service SVH and the rest of the veterinary community in New Mexico are able to provide our local communities. He also has deep respect, admiration, and love for the kinds of people drawn to this type of work. Any opportunity to support those people—and to lend them a voice—is really meaningful to him. These days, he is particularly fired up about the intersection of labor rights, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and veterinary medicine. He hopes above all to help NMRVTA reach its various communities—technicians, assistants, veterinarians, pet owners—with empathy, vigor, and clarity.
In his day-to-day life, Brandon is passionate about social justice, labor rights, tabletop games, pop culture, his loudmouth cat Felix, coffee, whiskey, and poetry.