built by and for
veterinary teams

blendvet™ is owned and backed by a diverse group of vet med leaders prioritizing the people of our industry.

Our team has been in your shoes.

Dr. Niccole Bruno
Founder & Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Niccole Bruno, is the CEO & Founder of blendvet™, a veterinary hospital certification program in diversity, equity, & inclusion (DEI). Raised in Queens, New York, Dr. Bruno became interested in veterinary medicine at the age of 12 years old. Despite living in a “melting pot” of diversity, the inability to obtain mentorship from a minority veterinarian within her population was a daunting reality for this Afro-Latina.

During her undergraduate matriculation at Tuskegee University, Dr. Bruno not only achieved her Bachelor of Animal Science degree, magna cum laude in 2002, she thrived amongst the educational support and representation she so deeply desired. Her love for veterinary medicine flourished at Tuskegee University and propelled her into pursuit of her veterinary career.

While attending Cornell University School of Veterinary Medicine, she and fellow classmates developed VOICE (formally named Veterinary Students as One in Color and Ethnicity) in 2003, to aid in fostering an inclusive atmosphere for Cornell veterinary students, and bring campus-wide awareness to the deficits surrounding diversity in the veterinary profession. Dr. Bruno graduated from Cornell in 2006, receiving her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine degree.

Dr. Bruno’s journey throughout her veterinary career has been thoroughly rewarding. Unfortunately, her navigation into veterinary medicine as a minority has had its share of challenges. During her career, the experiences of racism, misogyny, and stereotypical behaviors, caused Dr. Bruno to subliminally develop micro-aggressions and a sense of disengagement, for a profession she once dearly loved. Nevertheless, her perseverance prevailed and the passion for veterinary medicine resumed when she was offered the role of Medical Director, for a local New York city veterinary hospital. For roughly eight years, her sincere and dedicated service as a hospital leader fueled her heartfelt endeavors to ensure a culture of diversity and inclusiveness. 

Today, Dr. Bruno continues in her efforts of diversity, equity, and inclusion through speaking engagements, mentorship, and building the pipeline of BIPOC students (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) into the profession. Following completion of the Purdue University and Inclusion program in 2020, her awareness, continual exploration and study into the diversity deficiencies of our profession, ignited her vision to create blendvet™. Dr. Bruno currently remains a member of the Cornell University Advisory Council, Texas Veterinary Medical Association (TVMA), National Association for Black Veterinarians, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and serves as Advisory Board member for Pawsibillities and the DEI Commission for the American Veterinary Medical Association, (AVMA). In her spare time, she enjoys activities with her family, traveling, exercise, sports, and binge-watching her favorite shows.

Dr. Genine Ervin-Smith
Chief Operating Officer

Dr. Genine Ervin-Smith is a Los Angeles, California native, and a 2007 graduate of Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine. After veterinary school, she continued in her studies at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, to receive a Master of Public Health degree in Environmental and Global Health Sciences.

Her veterinary journey has spanned across the avenues of clinical practice, investigative analysis, community activism, and leadership as a multi-unit hospital Director of Veterinary Quality for Banfield Pet Hospitals in Tennessee, Alabama, and Arkansas, Research & Development veterinarian with Virbac US, and Chief of Staff for Veterinary Centers of America, Inc. (VCA).

While the majority of Dr. Ervin-Smiths career has been positive, she has also witnessed and been exposed to nepotism and systemic disempowerment among multiple levels of veterinary culture. Despite the continued stereotypes, manipulation, and prejudice she’s endured from colleagues and clientele, she continues toward changing the hospital climate for the better and focuses on her accolades & accomplishments as reminders of achievable success.

Dr. Ervin-Smith has an infinite love for traveling and the arts, and she and her husband currently reside within the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, enjoying every opportunity to mentor others and create opportunities for growth and change!

Opeyemi Oyekanmi, CPA, CGMA
Chief Financial Officer

Stiles Foster
Chief Learning Officer

Sara Ott
Head of Marketing & Design

Alycia Washington, DVM
E-learning & Animation Specialist

Our industry is ready to evolve.

We are supported by a group of advisors and collaborators building a better future in veterinary medicine.


Alyssa Mages, BS, CVT
CVO, Empowering Vet Teams (EVT)

Andrew Luna
Founder & CEO, hound

Billy Worthy Jr, MSIS, BS
DEI  Student Support Coordinator, Academic Affairs

Bonnie E. Price, DVM, MPH
Associate Professor Veterinary Medicine, Lincoln Memorial University

Ginger Templeton, DVM, MS, CPC
CEO and Leadership Development Coach, Vet to Vet Coaching, LLC

Jasmine Bruno, DVM
Forensic Veterinarian

Josh Vaisman, MAPPCP (PgD)
Lead Positive Change Agent, Flourish Veterinary Consulting

Joya Griffin, DVM, ACVD
Star of Pop Goes the Vet with Dr. Joya on Disney+ & Nat Geo

LaKisha A. Watson, CPLC
Independent Operations Executive

Laura P Clark, DVM, PhD
Sr Academic Affairs Manager in Academic & Professional Affairs, Zoetis

Mariea Ross-Estrada, DVM
Clinical Assistant Professor of Small Animal Primary Care, North Carolina State University

Sam Morello DVM, DACVS
Morello Veterinary Insights, LLC
Associate Professor, Cornell Center for Veterinary Business & Entrepreneurship

Timbrala Marshall, DVM
Director of Equity Inclusion & Diversity, VCA

Will Draper, DVM
CEO & Founder, The Village Vets Practice Group

Zenith Ng, DVM, MS, ABVP
Clinical Assistant Professor of Community Practice, University of Tennessee

speakers & educators

Angie Arora, MSW, RSW
Veterinary Wellness Coach, Educator & Advocate

Christina Whetsel
DVM Candidate, Michigan State University

Christopher Inniss, DVM
Gwinnett County Area Chief of Staff, Banfield

Erika Lin-Hendel, VMD, PhD

Mariacamila Garcia Estrella, MPH
DVM Candidate, Cornell University

Mia Cary, DVM
CEO, Cary Consulting

Pam Hale, DVM, MBA
Consulting Chief Operating Officer

Quincy Hawley, DVM
Co-Founder, Get MotiVeted

Rhesa Houston, DVM
Principal Consultant, Assistance Animals Consulting 

Sarah Hammond, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

Tyron Vereen, Ed.D, MPA, MS.Ed, PMP, MCHES
Sr. Project Manager, Harris County Public Health

Valerie Marcano, DVM, PhD
CEO, Pawsibilities

Walter Brown, BS, RVTg ,VTS (ECC)
Veterinary Technician Liaison, United Veterinary Care