Petsecure Advisory Board
The members of the Petsecure Veterinary Advisory Board are committed to expanding the pet health insurance industry’s reach and representation. Board members will be working with industry shareholders to explore ways to make pet health insurance more accessible to all pet owners. Their goal is to provide a good quality of life for all pets, provide pet owners with the means to afford veterinary treatment for their pets, and provide veterinarians with the means and capabilities to care for all pets with the most effective treatments available.
Members of the Petsecure Veterinary Advisory Board: (From left)
Rod Cunniam, Divisional Vice-President, Dr. Jennifer Willans, Dr. Lynn Webster, Dr. Jayne Takahashi, Dr. Jean Gauvin, Dr. Lesley Steele and Advisory Board Chairman Dr. Berney Pukay
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Dr. Berney Pukay
Dr. Berney Pukay is a well-known and highly-respected veterinarian who, until recently, was the President and CEO of the Alta Vista Animal Hospital in Ottawa, Ontario, one of the largest small animal practices in Canada
Dr. Pukay has been active within the veterinary profession for almost 40 years and brings with him a knowledge and understanding of both veterinary medicine and the veterinary community. He is co-founder, past-president and Honourary Life Member of the Canadian Academy of Veterinary Dermatology. He was actively involved in clinical research, lectured extensively worldwide, and was published in several veterinary journals.
He was Executive Producer and Host of the popular television series, PET CONNECTION, a series of 65 one-half hour television shows on pet care, televised in the United States, Canada and around the world on The Discovery Channel and Animal Planet. He also hosted a phone-in radio broadcast on pet care advice for CBC Radio Noon for more than 25 years and wrote a pet care column for the Ottawa Citizen for well over 35 years.
Dr. Pukay was the recipient of the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association Veterinarian of The Year Award, the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association Public Relations Award, and the Canadian Animal Health Institute Leadership Award.
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Dr. Lynn Webster
Dr. Lynn Webster graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College (University of Guelph) in 1966 and practiced Veterinary Medicine along a path from private practice to directing the Western College of Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. All the while Dr. Webster remained active in the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, Provincial Veterinary Associations and myriad industry groups.
Dr. Webster influenced industry as a past president of the Manitoba Veterinary Medical Association, a past president of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association and as a director or senior executive of numerous businesses and agencies. Dr. Webster continues to be involved as an industry advisor and in the ownership/management of clinical practices in Winnipeg. A crowning achievement in Dr. Webster’s career was his involvement in helping found SecuriCan General Insurance Company, Canada's first dedicated underwriter of pet health insurance and the current underwriter for Petsecure.
Dr. Webster’s experience, relationships and affable good nature equipped him to be a primary influencer of collaboration in the urban animal industry across North America. In 2005, he helped found the Urban Animal™ program with Regional Conferences and the Summit for Urban Animal Strategies. This commitment to advance the industry was recognized by industry peers who conferred upon him the Summit for Lifetime Achievement at the 6th Annual International Summit for Urban Animal Strategies in Montebello, PQ.
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Dr. Jean Gauvin
Dr. Gauvin realized his childhood dream when he graduated from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Montreal in 1980. His passion for pets and veterinary medicine was transmitted to him by his grandfather, himself a veterinarian and pioneer of the profession in Canada. Between his work in private practice and at the Montreal Zoo and Aquarium (1983-1988), Dr. Gauvin wrote a reptile practical guide. He co-wrote and realized four videos on the normal and abnormal behaviour of cats and dogs. Thanks to his expertise and his ability to be fluent in both official languages, he is frequently called upon to give lectures across Canada. Dr. Gauvin taught in universities and colleges for several years (1985-1996) before devoting himself exclusively to private practice and media. Dr. Gauvin has over 20 years experience in the field of electronic (radio, television) and written media. For five years he hosted the popular TV show ” Pas Si Bête Que Ça! ” on the TQS network. Lately, he joined the team of the TV Show « Libre Service » aired on MAtv. Dr. Gauvin is married to Lyne, has two sons Charles and Alexandre, a wirehaired teckel named Maya, Gaston an orange tabby cat and Caroline the turtle. In 1995, the Academy of Veterinary Medicine of Quebec awarded him the “Damasse Généreux ” award. This award recognizes the importance of a veterinarian in the improvement of small animal veterinary medicine in Quebec. In 2000, he was the recipient of the Small animal practitioner of the year, awarded by the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA). Dr. Gauvin represents Quebec on the CVMA council and serves as president-elect.
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Dr. Lesley Steele
Dr. Steele graduated from the Atlantic Veterinary College in 1997, practiced dairy/mixed practice in southern Ontario, and then made her way to Northern Ontario for a year. She then headed home to the Maritimes with her husband John to purchase the Eastern Passage Village Veterinary Hospital in 1999.
Since opening the hospital it has grown to become a 4-5-doctor practice with 17 employees. She is also part owner of the metro SPCA Veterinary Clinic in Halifax as well as a partner in CBS Animal Hospital in Newfoundland.
Dr Steele is a founding partner in the Vet Alliances (Atlantic, Central and Western) with currently over 800 members, thereby gaining the status of largest affiliate buyers group in North America and Europe.
She recently had the honor of representing Canada at the YES G20 meetings in Nice, France and Mexico City, Mexico and a highlight included an invitation to the home of then Mexican President Calderon.
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Dr. Jennifer Willans
Dr. Jennifer (Jen) Willans graduated from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in 1998. She became board certified with the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in Canine and Feline practice in 2004 and was re-certified in 2014. In 2006, Jen became a partner in the Landing Animal Clinic in Calgary, Alberta, where she continues her practice full time. She has a special interest in veterinary dermatology and often sees referrals from other veterinarians in this specialty area.
Very active in the veterinary community, Dr. Willans has served on numerous committees and boards including the Companion Animal Committee, chair of the Practice Inspection Practice Standards (PIPS) committee, and as the past president of the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). She is currently a member of the Hearing Tribunal for the AVMA and has served on the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine Admissions Committee.
In November 2013, Dr. Willans founded Tails of Help, a registered charity that provides financial support to cover the cost of veterinary care for pets belonging to Albertans with demonstrated financial need. She continues to serve as the charity’s president.
Dr. Willans was awarded the “Young Veterinarian of the Year” award in 2005 by the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association and will be honoured again later this year by the AVMA with the “Meritorious Service Award”.
Jen and her husband, Jason, reside in Calgary, Alberta and enjoy hiking, snowshoeing, cross country skiing and travelling the world.
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Dr. Jayne Takahashi
Dr. Takahashi is a communications professional in the pet health industry and has held a number of positions including companion animal veterinarian, pet nutrition counselor and educator, national marketing manager in the pet food industry and Vice President of Communications for Canada’s largest network of veterinary practices. She is currently a communication consultant and coach for veterinary practices through her company, Communication Leads. During her diverse career, she has been awarded with the Meritorious Service award by the Alberta Association of Animal Health Technologists and was recognized with the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association Communication Award and the Urban Animal Strategies Summit Award for Communication.