2021 Officer Roster:
President: Carol Young
I graduated from Bel-Rea Institute of Veterinary Technology back in 2016, and I’ve worked as a CVT and an RVT in mixed, emergency, day, and specialty practices ever since. I own my own business writing veterinary-related articles and blogs for clients in the veterinary field. Currently, I live in the East Mountains with my husband, three wonderful horses, three demanding cats, and three goofy dogs.
Past President: Monica Watson, RVT
Monica Watson, RVT moved to Santa Fe, NM in 2010 from Atlanta, GA. She currently lives in a rural area near Villanueva, NM with Je t’aime the cat. Monica has spent a large portion of her career working at specialty hospitals and humane societies nationally and internationally. She has been registered in four states (North Carolina, Georgia, Arizona, and New Mexico), and owns a local animal care business in Santa Fe. As of 2019, Monica will be registered for 15 years. She is passionate about wildlife conservation and serving the wellbeing of any animal to her fullest capabilities.
President Elect: 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.
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 , RVT
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 a veterinary clinic that I knew I wanted to work in the back and have more interaction with the patients. As I started my training as a veterinary assistant I wanted to learn more about how and why we do the things we do to help the patients. I started a veterinary technician degree at San Juan college, I graduated in 2018. I continue to be passionate about my career and helping my patients. My favorite part of the job is walking my patient out to their owner after being hospitalized and watching them go home. I truly enjoy emergency and ICU care. I enjoy being outdoors with my family and painting. I am currently studying accounting and I look forward to being 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
Website/Publicity Coordinator: Desirae Gomez, RVT
Desirae was born and raised in New Mexico. From a young age, she knew that she wanted to work with animals. While volunteering at the Espanola Valley Humane society in high school, she met some amazing technicians who ignited her passion for being a veterinary technician. Immediately after graduating high school in 2007, Desirae started a career in veterinary medicine as a kennel assistant. She continued to learn and grow and in 2014 she graduated from San Juan College with a degree in veterinary technology and became licensed that same year. Currently she helps manage a 16 doctor practice in Santa Fe, NM. Her interests in veterinary medicine include critical care and veterinary practice management.
Outside of work Desirae is married and has 3 young children. She also has 3 dogs- Rowley, Bailey, and Bellatrix; 2 cats- Mushu and Puff; a gecko, a hedgehog, and a bearded dragon.