Meet the Nationwide veterinary school outreach team!

In addition to Dr. Jules Benson, Nationwide’s Chief Veterinary Officer, we have a team of field veterinarians and an expert education manager  visiting our schools and colleges of veterinary medicine. Here’s our team:

Kristi Yee, DVM
Field Veterinarian

YeeVBMA Summits

Dr. Kristina Yee was graduated from the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2006. Within her first year as a veterinarian, Dr. Yee began practicing full-time at a six-doctor small animal hospital, lecturing at national conferences, speaking on behalf of and supporting Nationwide  at veterinary schools across the country and providing professional development consulting services for veterinary schools and practitioners nationwide. Her passions include advancing her veterinary medical/business competencies and assisting members of the profession in reaping the benefits of their dedication. Growing up in a suburb outside of Detroit, Dr. Yee takes great pride in her family, work ethic, and her ability to serve as a community role model. In 2020, Dr. Yee took the leap into practice ownership, opening  the Hometown Veterinary Clinic in Rochester Hills, Michigan. Her presentation is on the journey to owning a practice, based on her own experience.

Tonya Sparks, DVM
Field Veterinarian

SparksRegion: Virginia-Maryland Regional, North Carolina State University, University of Tennessee, University of Georgia, Tuskegee University, Auburn University, University of Florida

Dr. Tonya Sparks was graduated from the  Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in 2009 after serving as National VBMA President in 2007. Dr. Sparks has worked for several pharmaceutical companies and as a medical editor for peer-reviewed veterinary publications. She currently practices at a busy small animal practice in Winston-Salem, N.C., actively volunteers with her local humane society and is vice president of her local veterinary medical association. Dr. Sparks is a certified Fear Free® professional and is certified in veterinary acupuncture.

Kristen Britton, DVM
Field Veterinarian

BrittonRegion: Washington State University, Montana State University, Oregon State University, Utah State University, University of California, Davis, Colorado State University, Midwestern University, University of Arizona, University of Alaska, St. Georges University

Dr. Kristen Britton is a 2013 graduate of Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine

She was the 2012 national VBMA president, 2011 western regional leader, VBMA chapter president for WSU and continues to serve the VBMA as a national advisor.

She is a small animal private practitioner in southern Idaho where she enjoys spending time with her husband, son, dog, and two kitties.

Brandon Thornberry, DVM
Field Veterinarian

Dr. Brandon ThornberryRegion: Kansas State University, Texas A&M, Louisiana State University, University of Missouri, Oklahoma State University, Iowa State University

Dr. Brandon Thornberry is a 2016 graduate of  the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine. While a veterinary student, he was the Missouri VBMA chapter president, going on to become the marketing director for the national VBMA.

During his first year after graduation he completed a one-year biomedical device and innovation fellowship at the University of Missouri. After the completion of his fellowship, he took a full-time position as an emergency clinician at a specialty hospital until May 2018, when he then transitioned into becoming a self-employed relief veterinarian in St. Louis. He is involved in organized veterinary medicine, serving on the board of the St. Louis Veterinary Medical Assoc. Additionally, he was a part of the team that launched the VBMA alumni organization.

Dr. Thornberry lives in St. Louis with his wife and son. They enjoy spending time with their horse and cat, and they hope to continue adding more pets to their zoo. He loves running 5Ks and half-marathons and being outdoors.

Jayme Cicchelli, DVM
Field Veterinarian

Dr. Jayme Cicchelli, Nationwide field veterinarianRegion: University of Minnesota, Michigan State University, University of Wisconsin, Iowa State University, University of Nebraska, University of Illinois, Purdue University, Ross University

Dr. Jayme Cicchelli is a 2016 graduate of the Michigan State University  College of Veterinary Medicine. She served as the 2015 National VBMA vice president, the 2014 North Central regional leader, and VBMA chapter president for MSU. She currently practices at a small animal and exotics hospital in the metro Detroit area, does relief work, and occasionally performs surgery for shelters. Outside of work, she enjoys music and spending time with her friends and family. Dr. Cicchelli lives in Detroit with her husband, daughter, two cats, two rabbits, and a bearded dragon.

Jack Perkins, VMD
Field Veterinarian

Region: University of Pennsylvania, Ohio State University, Cornell University, Tufts University, Lincoln Memorial University, Long Island University

Dr. Jack Perkins graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 2019. During his time there, he served as the treasurer for both his school’s VBMA chapter and the National VBMA. Dr. Perkins is a certified Fear Free® professional and currently practices full-time at a bustling small animal practice in Trappe, Penn. He is passionate about expanding his medical and business competencies and believes both of these skills are essential in helping to advance the veterinary profession.

In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family and friends by playing sports, playing card games and board games, and exploring new places alongside his Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Penny.

Nicole Numbers
Veterinary Education Programs Manager

NumbersBefore joining Nationwide, Nicole Numbers started her career in veterinary medicine working as a receptionist at All Care Animal Emergency Referral Center. She then went on to become a technician. She also spent two years assisting a veterinary pathologist at United Veterinary Laboratory. Nicole left the veterinary field for a few years and worked as an Assistant Account Executive at Bates USA Advertising Agency. This unlikely career combination uniquely qualifies Nicole for the position she holds today as the Veterinary Education Program Manager overseeing all of the veterinary student programs at Nationwide. Nicole also attended fashion design school at Orange Coast College and resides in Costa Mesa, Calif.