VMAE | Live! is all about connecting our special network for input, insight and inspiration while exploring association management and professional issue topics.

VMAE | Live! will convene on the third Thursday of each month, starting at 12:05 PM Mountain time (and concluding by 12:55 PM).  Each session will feature VMAE colleagues who will share their expertise or external subject matter experts who will provide their thoughts. There will be time for questions – and answers – as well as interactive polls to keep things focused, lively, and relevant to the interests of VMAE members.

Sustaining the Human-Animal Bond During Hospice Care

If you are interested in ways to help veterinary professionals in your state connect with volunteer opportunities to help critically ill patients with their pet care needs, this webinar is for you.  Pet Peace of Mind, an award-winning national nonprofit, provides an established care model for hospices, hospitals, and home health organizations designed to help patients with their pet care needs.  Join us February 20 when presenters Dianne McGill and Dr. Bob Lester share how your members can get involved with this important branch of human animal bond programming.

Webinar participants will learn

This webinar will cover the importance of the bonded relationships patients share with their pets and provide information on practical ways veterinarians and veterinary technicians can act in an advisory capacity to help at the local level.

February Presenters

Dianne McGill

Dianne McGill serves as Pet Peace of Mind’s President and Executive Director.  She founded Pet Peace of Mind in 2009 to ensure hospice and palliative care patients have the support they need for their animal companions. In 2015, she engineered the spin-off of Pet Peace of Mind into a free-standing nonprofit to enable future growth and expansion of the program.

Dianne is the former Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of the Banfield Charitable Trust. She joined the organization in 2006 as its first Executive Director and guided the nonprofit’s expansion to develop and launch of Pet Peace of Mind, Meals on Wheels Pet Care Assistance Program,  and six other  national programs. During her tenure, the charity was thrice awarded Charity Navigator’s four-star rating for operational transparency and financial stewardship. In 2013 and 2014, Charity Navigator also named the charity to its national top 10 list of impact-to-income public charities.

Dianne has served as an officer and director for seven nonprofit boards of directors and is an experienced nonprofit management consultant.  Her other leadership roles include senior level positions with Associated Press, McClatchy Company, and Gannett Newspapers.  Dianne graduated summa cum laude with a BS in Management & Organizational Development. She also holds certificates in Community Mediation and Organizational Training. She and her husband Paul own an orchard in Oregon where they live with 27 chickens, 2 roosters,  and a rescue dog named Calvin Klein.

Robert Lester, DVM

Dr. Lester holds degrees in Microbiology with high scholarship, Veterinary Science cum laude, and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine cum laude from Oregon State and Washington State Universities. He completed the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges Leadership Academy.  He currently serves as Chief Medical Officer WellHaven Pet Health. He was previously Assistant Dean for the College of Veterinary Medicine at Lincoln Memorial University. He spent his early career as a small-town mixed animal practice owner before joining the founding team at Banfield Pet Hospital. During his career, Dr. Lester has held leadership positions in medicine, operations, franchising, human resources, professional relations, and academia.

Dr. Lester serves on a variety of professional, university, and college committees, boards and task forces including as a two-time gubernatorial appointee to the Oregon Veterinary Medical Examining Board, a state delegate to the American Association of Veterinary State Boards, the American Veterinary Medical Associations Council on Education site team, is a past Banfield Charitable Trust Grant leader, on the National Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners Job Analysis SME Working Group, and on the board of the North American Veterinary Community.

Future VMAE | Live! Sessions

February 20
Sustaining the Human-Animal Bond During Hospice Care


  • Diane McGill
  • Robert Lester, DVM

March 19
The Why and How of Strategy for a VMA


  • Doug Raven
  • Lisa Perius
  • Catherine Peskuski

April 16
Helping Your Members Create Practice Cultures That Thrive


  • Karlene Belyea
  • Mike Cavanaugh
  • Jen Brandt

June 19
Veterinary Managers: Adding Value to Create Better Veterinary Practices


  • Christine Shupe, CAE
Previously Recorded Webinars

Influence: The Biggest Challenge in Leadership

January 16, 2020

Randy Hall Slide Deck

Animal Emergencies: What Have We Learned about the VMA’s Role?

Reframing our View of Veterinary Work — Calling or Career?

October 17, 2019

Slide Deck

Four Tips to Help Your Members Reduce Team Turnover

September 19, 2019

Slide Deck

Successful Associations Know When To Say No

August 15, 2019

Slide Deck

How Veterinary Practices Are Successfully Using Digital Marketing Tools

July 18, 2019

Slide Deck

Effectively Messaging to Member Segments