From a young age, Rachel knew she wanted to work in veterinary medicine. While applying to veterinary school, Rachel was promoted to her first Practice Manager role, fell in love with the business side of the industry, and decided to pursue a career in veterinary management instead. With hands-on experience at all levels of veterinary practice, as well as management in both small animal/exotic and specialty practices, Rachel brings over a decade of industry experience to her current position as a Senior Practice Coach with Veterinary Growth Partners. Her passion for helping veterinary practices thrive has brought her to both the national and international stage, sharing her knowledge in communication skills strategic planning. Through conflict competence and emotional intelligence training, she works with teams to improve practice culture, promote team engagement, and improve overall communication. Rachel also has a passion for inventory management and loves helping practices implement a plan to decrease their inventory costs, create functional inventory processes, and increase their overall profitability. Rachel lives in Miami, Florida with her husband, Mike, cat, Meatball, and guinea pig, Kiwi. She loves to spend her free time enjoying the sunshine, playing guitar, and practicing yoga.
Rachel graduated Magna Cum Laude from Northeastern University with a B.S. in Biology. In 2019, Rachel became a Certified Veterinary Practice Manager, the industry’s highest distinction for veterinary managers.
Julia Marlin is Director of Coaching Operations for VGP and has been working with VGP since April 2015 when she joined as the first practice coach. Since then, her team has grown to 7 practice coaches. She is passionate about providing support, tools, and resources to help veterinary hospitals thrive!
Julia has over 20 years of experience in the veterinary industry including over 15 years of experience in veterinary practice management. She has a Bachelors’ degree in Biology with minors in Psychology and Music History. She attended AAHA’s Veterinary Management School in 2003 and was recently approved to take her CVPM examination to become a Certified Veterinary Practice Manager.
Julia has managed both small animal general practices and emergency and specialty practices. She worked with Shawn McVey to implement Pathway Planning in two of the first practices it was utilized in. After seeing the success of this process along with improved leadership and communication training, she was thrilled to work with VGP to share resources and practice management support in an effort to elevate the veterinary industry.
She currently resides in the house she grew up in in New Albany, IN, with her boyfriend and his children, Amelia and Ethan, and their golden retriever, Sadie. She enjoys gardening, cooking, traveling, watching the kids play sports and listening to music.
Alexis Wells, CVPM, has always had a passion for providing the highest standards in animal care. This began early in life as a competitive equestrian and continued as she entered the veterinary industry in 2006 as a Technician Assistant at a small animal practice in upstate NY. With her ambition and drive, she quickly became promoted to Office Manager, facilitated the opening of their second location, and managed both practices.
In 2014 she married her wonderful husband, Nick, who shares her love and passion for animals. They moved to North Carolina, where she worked as the Practice Manager for a clinic in Cary, NC; it was there that she was introduced to the Pathway Planning model. In 2016, the couple moved to Blacksburg, Virginia following Nick’s acceptance into Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine’s DVM program. Almost immediately, Alexis accepted the opportunity to begin working as a Practice Coach for Veterinary Growth Partners. Her dedication and leadership skills resulted in her promotion to Senior Practice Coach. She loves working with members to help their practices thrive and enjoys speaking at nationwide seminars, creating and delivering webinars, and giving management tips through “Hump Day Help” live videos. In January 2019, Alexis received the industry’s highest distinction for veterinary managers, Certified Veterinary Practice Manager. She also holds an Associate’s degree in Criminal Justice and Psychology from Hudson Valley Community College, and a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Russell Sage College. As a self-proclaimed life-long learner, she continues to expand her knowledge base, staying on the cutting edge of the field to provide the highest level of coaching for VGP members.
Alexis and Nick now have son named Carter, who is learning to love animals himself with his own miniature horse named Jingles. Jingles joined the family’s existing menagerie of animals including 2 dogs, a cat, a parrot, 3 other horses and a miniature Italian donkey. In her free time, Alexis enjoys riding horses, working around the farm, and spending time with her family. She has always had a passion for coaching and mentoring. Whether it’s coaching people to ride horses or coaching practices to their potential, she is certain that working as a VGP Senior Practice Coach has been a perfect fit!
Jessica Manning, CVPM CCFP, is an energetic, forward thinker experienced in multiple facets of the veterinary industry. She entered the field as a veterinary assistant and rapidly rose to Hospital Administrator, VHMA Emerging Leader, and a member of the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association Board of Directors. She has a degree in Accounting, a Certified Compassion Fatigue Professional, as well as being a Certified Veterinary Practice Manager, the industry’s highest distinction for veterinary managers. With each goal accomplished she looks forward to the start of a new and positively challenging chapter of her life, She is currently working towards her Certification in Human Resource Management.
Joining VGP in 2017 was a rewarding opportunity to continue her passion of collaboration and support for other managers and leaders within the industry. Recognizing your greatest asset is your team, she is passionate about all areas of the practice to support the team and the business; evidenced by efficient operations, sound financial health, effective leadership and high standards of care for the clients and patients.
Jessica achieves the goals she sets for herself by possessing the ability to effectively balance her personal and professional life; which is useful as she has an equally energetic son that plays baseball and basketball while his little sister cheers him on. If she is not at the ball field or basketball you will find her along a peaceful trail, riding one of her horses to ensure she has her time to re-energize and relax. Jessica is blessed to have a family that encourages and supports her in her journey to grow and increase her contribution in leading the veterinary community to their greatest potential.
Previously Completed Fear Free Certification 2013 VHMA Emerging Leader Scholarship Recipient 2013 Certified Veterinary Practice Manager (CVPM) 2014 Finalist Top 3 Pet Plan Practice Manager of the Year 2015 Finalist Top 10 Veterinary Economics Practice Manager of the Year 2015-2018 Director for the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association 2017 Certified Compassion Fatigue Professional 2017 Practice Coach for Veterinary Growth Partners
Leather Morgan Brice has always enjoyed working and being around animals. She began riding horses at the tender age of two and raced barrels thereafter well into her teens. Leather’s passion for horsemanship and rodeo continues as she is presently barrel racing on weekends and learning the art of team roping with her husband of 16 years. Together they have three horses, seven chickens, one dog and two cats. They bought a ranchette together in the summer of 2017 in Pipe Creek, Texas and have been loving the country lifestyle ever since.
Leather Brice began her journey in the veterinary world while living in the Caribbean with her husband. Only one resident in a foreign household may hold a work permit to gain employment with a Caribbean company. Her husband had been contracted to work in the islands thus Leather, as an active individual, sought out activities to keep her busy. Her search landed her first, at the Ardastra Botanical Gardens and Zoo in Nassau, Bahamas, where she volunteered and quickly became a member of the veterinary team. Her fire for the veterinary industry was lit and she went on to hold positions in many other organizations throughout the Caribbean all as a volunteer. Upon reaching the island of St. Thomas she was given the opportunity to work for a terrific hospital. St. Thomas is a U.S. territory and therefore allowed Leather to work as an employee rather than a volunteer. She honed her skills as a receptionist, technician and inventory manager. Upon returning to the continental U.S. she gained employment with an animal hospital in San Antonio, TX where she quickly rose through the ranks to become the Practice Manager. It was after attending her first Pathway Planning seminar in 2015 that she felt confident in accepting the role as Practice Manager and begin working the Pathway Plan.
Leather was not always in the veterinary world. Her first career was in the world of law. She worked as a legal secretary and later gained her Paralegal Certificate and worked in two prestigious law firms in Austin, Texas as both Legal Secretary and Paralegal. The skills she gained through her time as a paralegal have been beneficial in managing the business of a veterinary hospital.
In the summer of 2018 Leather accepted an offer to become a Practice Coach with VGP. She looks forward to a long and prosperous relationship with VGP and the opportunity to share her knowledge and skillset with practices across the nation.
At the age of 15, Michelle started her first job as a veterinary assistant. She immediately fell in love with the exciting and rewarding field. In 2010, Michelle graduated from the University of Miami with a double degree in Ecoystem Science & Policy and Biology, with minors in Chemistry and Spanish. After graduation, she began creating enrichment programs for wildlife and worked hands on with gorillas and orangutans. Soon after she began working at the local animal services shelter and coordinated spay and neuter programs for cats and dogs throughout the city of Miami. In 2012, Michelle joined a specialty veterinary hospital where she developed her passion for management and process improvement as a practice manager. In 2017, Michelle became a practice coach with Veterinary Growth Partners.
WIth over 15 years of experience in veterinary medicine, Michelle truly enjoys being able to provide practice management support to managers and practice owners throughout the country. She especially passionate about process improvement, change management, team & leadership development and helping practices develop a strategic plan to increase profitability. Michelle holds a specialized Masters in Business Administration degree with a focus on healthcare and is also certified as a Lean Six Sigma (Green Belt).
Currently, Michelle lives in Miami, FL with her partner, Adrian and golden retriever Cooper. She loves to travel and has been to places such as Iceland, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. Michelle donates her free time as a volunteer and foster for a local animal rescue group. She enjoys attending Crossfit classes, reading books, spending time with Cooper.
Sarina started in the kennel at the oldest veterinary hospital in Northern Arizona in 1998. Within 6 months she was moved onto the technical team and she began her journey through every position in the hospital. Sarina graduated from Yavapai College in 2003 receiving an AS with a focus on Pre-Vet and continued to pursue a veterinary degree at Colorado State University and Arizona State University with a focus on Biochemistry until she returned to the Prescott area in 2005. Breaking her way into Technical Team Management and then becoming a Certified Veterinary Technician in 2007, is where she found her passion for teaching, team culture and numbers. Fascinated by the psychology of the veterinary field and the ability to tell a story through metrics Sarina found herself in Office Management and then Practice Management and had the honor to help lead 2 practices in Northern Arizona from 2008 to 2018.
In 2018 Sarina found her true calling as she joined the team at Veterinary Growth Partners as a Practice Coach. “I love speaking with practices around the country and helping them see new and exciting ways to engage and grow their team members and understand the tools that numbers offer when goals are created and monitored.”
In her spare time Sarina enjoys continuing her education, spending time with her son and husband on their 5-acre farm, gardening and cooking. Fun fact! They have 50 animals! Chickens, ducks, turkeys and a goose, 9 goats, 2 donkeys, 5 dogs, 1 cow and 1 cat.
2003- Graduate- Yavapai College- AS Science focus on Veterinary Studies 2007- Certified Veterinary Technician 2015- Graduate- Patterson University Management Course 2017- VHCTAz Participant Attendee at multiple AAHA and WVC conferences. Member affiliate of AzVMA, AVMA, VTCTAz, VHMA
Jessica Strohecker has over 10 years of experience in veterinary practice management. A creative nerd at heart, she started her career as a client relations specialist in 2006 and quickly identified that veterinary practices needed help with marketing. She put her foundation skills to work and went from a client relations specialist to business manager in 2 years. She is a firm believer that any practice can be a unicorn practice and enjoys being able to thread creativity through all aspects of veterinary medicine. In her career, she managed 2 small animal AAHA accredited practices and a 24-hour general/emergency practice with resort services.
Jessica graduated from the Pennsylvania College of Art and Design with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in 2004. She is a member of the Society of Human Resource Management and is Fear Free Certified. In 2018, she began the process to become a Certified Veterinary Practice Manager and would like to be certified by 2020.
She lives in historic York, Pennsylvania with her husband and an incredibly talkative Kentucky squirrel dog, Quincy. Jessica is a contemporary portrait artist and in her spare time can be found crafting, painting and reading the latest business books. She also enjoys collecting vintage items from by-gone eras and tinkering around with broken technology.
Our diverse team of experienced professionals is passionate and pumped about what we do, and committed to helping your practice achieve greater success! Take a moment to hover over each team member’s photo to learn a bit more about what makes each of us tick. And tock.