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Hospital Staff - Office Staff
Practice manager Kerry Meredith has been a member of the Cherokee staff since 1988. She is a University of Kansas graduate. A devoted wife and mother of an adult son, Kerry loves to read and bake, enjoys shooting pool and is an avid KU Basketball fan. She is currently petless, other than a leopard gecko named Mimi. (But always on the lookout for the next "baby!")
. (RIP - Ramses)
“I find my position with Cherokee so rewarding on both a professional and personal level. Each day I see the impact of what a caring and educated staff can do for pets and their owners. There really isn’t any other career that I would find nearly as fulfilling!”
Hilary VanderVelde is the office manager for the Cherokee clinics. The clinic is her home away from home and she likes being part of a team that is focused on educating clients and providing the best veterinary care for pets. Sailing, kayaking, camping and spending time with family and friends are among her many hobbies. She shares her home with her adorable dog, Ponch, the cutest cat ever, Fezik, and her turtle named Phred.
Skylar Parrott joined our front staff in February, 2015. She is a wine enthusiast, avid singer of showtunes, and is a new co-mom to a Chihuahua mix named Roxie Heart. The two spend their time watching movies and hanging out with friends (human and canine)
Nikki Nava has been with Cherokee since September, 2015. She shares her life with 3 beautiful daughters. "I wouldn't trade them for all the money in the world."
Nikki has been a lover of animals all of her life. If she could take every animal that was sick or injured and nurse it back to health, she would. This is why she loves her job here so much. "It is very rewarding to know that I am helping animals and their owners."
Connie Williams, a graduate of the University of Kansas and UMKC, joined Cherokee's front staff in March 2016. In her spare time, Connie enjoys spending time with family and friends, playing volleyball, cooking and traveling. Along with her husband and son, she adopted their two dogs, Barney, a terrier mix, and Wilbur, a dachshund, from a local animal shelter where she currently volunteers.
Rei Taylor happily joined the front staff at VCA Cherokee in December of 2016. A graduate of KU and Heritage College, she holds degrees in East Asian Languages & Cultures and Massage therapy,
Rei shares her home with a free-spirited Boxer named Kuen, and her lovable Bombay kitty, Ben Kittenobi. Her hobbies include reading, coloring, and tabletop games.
Katie Stroth is a Registered Veterinary Technician licensed in the state of Kansas. She joined the Cherokee staff in 1999 and has been our inventory manager since 2006. She is proud to be a part of a hospital team that strives to provide excellent care to both the pet and its owner. She enjoys having a career where every day is different and full of surprises.
Katie has a true love for animals and veterinary medicine. Her animal family consists of two cats, Jasmyn and Tony, and a lab mix, Bruno.
When not working, she enjoys doing anything outdoors, cooking up new recipes, and spending time with her daughter, Gianna.
Registered Veterinary Technician Melinda Steffens has helped care for pets at the Cherokee clinics since 2006. She enjoys working at the clinic because of the professionalism and the excellent medicine practiced by the veterinarians and staff. Her home is filled with babies: two dogs, Pepsi and Molly, three cats, Cora, Pivot, and Ellie, and one daughter, Willow.
Jonathan Mockapetris is a Registered Veterinary Technician who joined our staff in October, 2013. He completed his degree at Brown Mackie College. Jon has 3 dogs that always seem to put a smile on his face; their names are Keri, Glinda and Pandora.
In his spare time, Jon enjoys walking and playing with his dogs, cooking and painting.
Haley Hogue has been a member of the Cherokee team since May, 2013. She has passed her state boards and is one of our Registered Veterinary Technicians.
Haley has four loving, furry children: 2 cats, Hendrix and Mowgli, and 2 dogs, Olive and Pyrrha.
Janet Wotipka has helped care for pets at the Cherokee clinics since 1997. She is glad to be part of a staff that truly cares about clients and their pets. Janet’s hobbies include gardening and fishing. She spends her free time with her husband and two sons, Bryan and David, as well as her many pets.
Chris Blum has been with Cherokee since September, 2009. He is a valued member of our practice as one of our Veterinary Assistants.
Chris is an avid fan of Mizzou sports and enjoys working in his yard and doing home projects. His animal family includes 2 Great Danes, Zeppelin and Zeus, and a Toy Fox Terrier, Sunday.
Michael Leyva began his career at Cherokee in May, 2007 as a part-time kennel assistant. After a short stint as Kennel Manager, he joined our full-time Veterinary Assistant staff in May, 2013
Michael plans to attend Maple Woods for his Registered Veterinary Technician license. He hopes to enter the veterinary field in a professional capacity once he graduates.
Michael is the proud owner of a Boxer mix name of Artemis.
Ashley Flynn joined the Cherokee staff in August, 2015 as a Veterinary Assistant. She is currently in school, pursuing her degree as a Registered Veterinary Technician. Her pet family includes a Boston Terrier named Maya and a Pitbull named Brock.
Quinn Livingston is currently going to school at KU and finishing his degrees in Psychology and Biology. His pet family currently only includes Stevie, a German Shepherd mix.
Tori Sparks joined our Grooming department in October, 2015. "I love grooming and playing with dogs any chance I get." Her favorite thing to do outside of work is country two step and reading a good book. Her household two cats named Cali (black) and Duke - aka Killer (orange).
Ryan Shaw, our Kennel Manager, has been an animal lover since he was a kid. He grew up with and learned to care for his pets as if they were his own children. "It makes my day walking into the clinic to see wagging tails and cheerful meows. I feel blessed."
In his spare time, Ryan enjoys spending time with his daughter, Rose. His pet family consists of 4 cats, Callie, Tom-Tom, Sparrow and his baby boy Tigger, as well as a dog named Drake. He hopes to attend Maple Woods for his RVT license in the near future and eventually run his own animal wildlife sanctuary.
Akash is a student at the University of Kansas. He joined the VCA Cherokee team in the fall of 2016. Outside of work he enjoys camping, writing, and spending time at the dog park with Krios, his Akita mix.
Morgan joined our team in December of 2016 as a Kennel Attendant.
Henrietta joined the kennel staff at VCA Cherokee in April of 2017. She is currently a student at JCCC, working on her Associates of Science degree to later transfer to the College of Veterinary Medicine at KSU.
Henrietta previously worked in Peru as a voluntary missionary teaching English as a Second Language. She now teaches Spanish around the Kansas City area. She has many hobbies, including baking and theater, but animals are her real passion.