Meet the Members of the OVC Pet Trust Board

A woman with brown curly hair looking at the cameraDr. Jennifer Ogeer, Board Chair

Dr. Jennifer Ogeer graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph in 1995 and has been practicing veterinary medicine for two decades. Her career has been in clinical practice, academic teaching, research and administration. She was a Clinical Assistant Professor in Emergency Medicine and Critical Care at Texas A & M University and an Associate Professor at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan. Her MSc. research in infectious disease management and antimicrobial resistance was sponsored by Pet Trust and inspired her to support and participate in the altruistic work of the Board. Jennifer is a graduate of the Executive MBA program at the Ivey School of Business, Western University and was a Medical Affairs Marketing Manager with IDEXX Laboratories Inc. She is currently the University Veterinarian at the University of British Columbia. She is a strong advocate of leadership for sustainability and is completing an MA in Leadership at the College of Business and Economics, University of Guelph. She is serving on the Board of Directors of the Oakville-Milton Humane Society and as the Finance Chair for Veterinarians without Borders/Veterinaries sans Frontieres. Jennifer is an advocate for animal welfare and believes in scientific collaboration, corporate social responsibility and the human-animal bond. She shares her home with two dogs and four cats, and in her spare time she enjoys kickboxing, biking, weight training and yoga.

A woman with blonde hair sitting on the ground performing physical therapy on a brown, long-haired dogDr. Karyn Jones, Board Vice-Chair 

Dr. Karyn Jones graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College in 2001 after completing her Honours degree in Wildlife Biology at the University of Guelph in 1994. In 2010, Dr. Jones became the owner of Ajax Animal Hospital in her home town where she has been practicing companion animal medicine since graduation.  She is also a partner at the Animal Emergency Clinic of Durham Region. Her dedication to the profession includes involvement in a number of Professional Associations, Editorial and Advisory Boards. Karyn's practice interests include Sport Dog Medicine, Pain Control/Anesthesia, Soft Tissue Surgery and  Dentistry.  In 2017, she completed her training at the Canine Rehabilitation Institute with an internship at Colorado State University to become a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist. She then expanded her six veterinarian primary care hospitals to include the Ajax Animal Rehabilitation & Fitness Centre. ​Karyn cherishes the time that she spends with her husband, Scott and her stepson Wyatt. Their home is shared with Peggy, Ilene and Trynity, three gorgeous "tripawd" rescue cats, and little Zelda, an adorable long-haired miniature dachshund.

Roly Browning Watt, Chair of the Board of Patrons

Mr. Watt was born and raised in Toronto. He attended Upper Canada College, the University of Western Ontario (B.A. 1962) and the University of Toronto Law School (J.D. 1968). He was called to the Bar in 1970 and was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1982. Mr. Watt has practiced law for the past 40 years in the areas of will and trusts. He has served as Chairman of The Upper Canada College Foundation, The Don Mills Foundation for Seniors, The Better Living Charitable Foundation, The Browning Watt Foundation, the Ontario Licence Suspension Appeal Board and as Vice-Chairman of North York General Hospital Foundation. He currently sits on the Board of the Rosedale Day School and is a member of the Governor's Council of North York General Hospital. Mr. Watt is a supporter of OVC Pet Trust at the Ontario Veterinary College and is currently a trustee. He is an avid animal lover.

Kim Lang, Co-Chair of Marketing

Kim Lang is an avid supporter of a variety of community initiatives. In addition to sitting on the OVC Pet Trust board, Kim is also the Artistic Director of the Eden Mills Writer's Festival. She is also the Vice President of the Angel Gabriel Foundation, a private charitable foundation founded by herself and husband Stu Lang, and President of the Burnett Rivermead Foundation. A graduate of Queen’s University, she currently lives in the Puslinch countryside with her husband and a veritable menagerie of horses, dogs and cats.

Colin Campbell, Co-Chair of Marketing

Colin has enjoyed a 30-year career as a marketing executive in both Canada and the United States working with some of North America's leading Agencies and consumer brands.  Colin is also the author of Free Days with George, an international bestselling book about a homeless dog who is rescued and learns to surf in California. When not writing, you can find Colin helping find homes for other abandoned dogs and pets in need.


Members at Large

Mary Beaton

Mary Beaton is the Owner and Managing Director of Langdon Hall Country House Hotel & Spa. She grew up and attended school and university in New Brunswick.   Mary settled in Toronto, where she met her partner William Bennett and ran her own catering business. Inspired by travels in Europe, the couple, who shared a common interest in food, architecture and design often talked about creating an English-style country-house hotel in Ontario. They spent months looking at properties in Niagara, but when they discovered Langdon Hall, they knew it was exactly what they had been looking for. In 1987, William and Mary purchased the Langdon Hall property and moved their family to Galt.  Every single meticulous detail from the thread count of the sheets to the trees in the garden was discussed. While the couple travelled, staying in Relais & Chateaux properties, Beaton got started on the interior by planning colour schemes and shopping for English fabrics and French prints to complement the Georgian mahogany antiques she had already found. They developed their dream of a country house hotel, with renovations taking a year and a half to complete. Mary and William, who have six children between them, have never stopped upgrading the property with imaginative and beautiful objects continuously gathered by Mary to fill each room. Mary has always been an animal lover and involved in the community in several ways, including the Donkey Sanctuary of Canada and National Service Dogs. She has had a longtime love for Bernese Mountain Dogs and welcomed many into her life, as well as the hotel. Over the years hotel guests have come to know the furry greeter in the lobby wishing them a very warm welcome.

A woman with blonde hair sitting in a chair outside with a golden retriever sitting next to herDr. Doreen M. Houston, Past Board Chair

Doreen graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College in 1980, and after four years in private practice, returned to OVC to complete an Internship, Residency and DVSc in Internal Medicine.  She became a board certified Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) in 1991.  Her career that followed included time in academia at both OVC and the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon, as well as time in industry with Medi-Cal and Royal Canin.

Throughout her career, Doreen has authored multiple published papers, several book chapters and a textbook. She received of a number of academic teaching awards and was the proud recipient of the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association’s Outstanding Veterinarian of the Year award in 2011. Doreen officially retired from Royal Canin in 2011 and registered her own business, Doreen Houston Consulting. 

Doreen and her husband enjoy spending time with family including their four grandchildren, biking, hiking and traveling across the globe.  She has been on every continent, and has even slept on the ice in Antarctica and did a South Ocean swim! Her passion for pets has resulted in a menagerie of rescued dogs over time. Doreen and her husband Kees share their home with a male Golden Retriever named “Obi” (her grandson named him in honor of the Star Wars character Obi-Wan Kenobi).  

William Pringle 

William Pringle is Portfolio Manager & Investment Advisor at RBC Dominion Securities and has varied charitable experience.  He served as Foundation Board Member and completed a three-year term as Chair of the St. Michael’s Young Leaders (25 -35 year olds) at St. Michael’s Hospital Foundation. He served on the board during the completion of a major capital campaign, Inspire 2018, which fundraised for the new Peter Gilgan Patient Care Tower and oversaw four annual events, which raised approximately $250,000 net for initiatives at St. Michael’s each year. William also ran the committee's annual golf tournament for two years, which at the time raised more than $100,000 net and was attended by over 240 golfers. William is located in Toronto.

Dr. Rebecca Sterns 

Dr. Rebecca Sterns obtained her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) at OVC and is a graduate of the class of 2013. She was the initiator of the OTS Dog Jog (in her 2nd year of the DVM program) and returns every year to attend the event. Rebecca is an associate veterinarian at Gateway Pet Hospital (was previously at Park Animal Hospital) with a particular interest in behavioural medicine and is a "fear free" certified practitioner. Rebecca is active in the community, with involvement in the Annual Pet Photos with Santa at her previous clinic and is hoping to start this event again post-COVID-19. She has volunteered with Toronto Humane Society, was involved with the Six Nations Wellness Clinic in 2017 and was active as a student veterinarian in class activities.

Dr. Jeffrey Wichtel, Dean, Ontario Veterinary College

Dr. Jeff Wichtel, most recently with the Atlantic Veterinary College (AVC), University of Prince Edward Island, began his five-year term as OVC Dean on October 1, 2015. He holds a faculty appointment in OVC’s Department of Population Medicine, and he brings extensive experience as a researcher, clinician and administrator. A faculty member in the Department of Health Management at AVC, Wichtel was the college’s associate dean, graduate studies and research, from 2009 to 2014. He also served at AVC as acting dean, director of animal resources, department chair and chair of the Sir James Dunn Animal Welfare Centre. Before joining AVC, Wichtel taught at Massey University in New Zealand and in the College of Veterinary Medicine at North Carolina State University. Earlier, he was a resident at Iowa State University and a mixed animal practitioner. He studies animal nutrition, disease, production and reproduction, and has specialized in trace element and vitamin nutrition in ruminants and horses. As principal or collaborating investigator, Jeff has attracted more than $2.5 million in grant and contract funding. He has written more than 150 publications on animal nutrition, reproduction and disease, livestock production and veterinary education, and is an associate editor of the Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research. He earned his B.V.Sc. and PhD from Massey University and is board-certified by the American College of Theriogenologists.

Roger Warren, Founding and Honorary Member 

Now retired, Mr. Warren was the Portfolio Manager, RBC Dominion Securities, and began his career in the investment business with A.E. Ames & Co. in 1954. He has worked in their New York, London, UK and Toronto offices. With almost 60 years in the investment industry, Mr. Warren has experience in firm management, investment banking and portfolio management. Mr. Warren has also served on the University of Guelph's BetterPlanet Project campaign cabinet, Heritage Trust Board, chaired the Pet Trust Board and remains active as an Honourary Member. He has served numerous private enterprises including Countryside Holdings, LifeLearn and several other companies and organizations.



A man in a suit looking at the cameraDr. Shayan Sharif, Associate Dean, Research and Graduate Studies, Ontario Veterinary College

A professor of poultry immunology, Sharif has been Acting-Chair and then Chair of the OVC’s Department of Pathobiology since September 2017 and a professor in the department since 2001. He holds a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tehran, as well as a PhD in Immunology and Immunogenetics in Pathobiology at OVC. He received a fellowship to conduct his post-doctoral research in Immunology at The John Robarts Institute in London, Ontario.

A woman with short dark hair kneeling next to a black, long-haired dogDr. Alice Defarges, Interim Associate Dean, Research and Graduate Studies, Ontario Veterinary College

Alice earned her veterinary degree from the Ecole Nationale Veterinaire d’Alfort, France. She worked in private practice for several years in France and then moved to North America to specialize. She completed an internship in small animal medicine and surgery, followed by a small animal internal medicine residency and MSc at the University of Montreal. Alice joined the Ontario Veterinary College (University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada), as an associate Professor in internal medicine in 2008. Her area of clinical and research interest are minimally invasive procedures, urology, and gastroenterology. Alice was the chair of the Pet Trust Scientific Review committee for more than 8 years. She has been managing the Comparative Clinical Research Facility at the Ontario Veterinary College since 2020.

A man wearing glasses and a white lab coat standing by a windowDr. Luis Gaitero, Associate Dean, Clinical Program

Dr. Gaitero is an associate professor in OVC's Department of Clinical Studies and a board-certified veterinary neurologist. His specialties include neurosurgery, spinal cord trauma, and neuroimaging. In his role as Associate Dean, Clinical Program, Gaitero supervises and mentors the veterinarians and OVC Health Sciences Centre management team and is responsible for the success and fiscal viability of the OVC Health Sciences Centre. Gaitero has 15 years combined working experience in veterinary teaching hospitals, which includes his appointment as a faculty member in the Department of Clinical Studies.

He has served in numerous capacities throughout his tenure at OVC including as the OVC Health Sciences Centre (HSC) Neurology Service Chief since 2010, OVC HSC Companion Animal Clinic Head from 2016 to 2019, and as OVC HSC Chief Medical Officer since 2019. In addition to his clinical experience, he served as assistant editor for The Canadian Veterinary Journal, as a member of the recertification committee of the European College of Veterinary Neurology, OVC Pet Trust Scientific committee member and on the OVC Pet Trust board.  He was actively involved in OVC and the University of Guelph Strategic Planning. 

A woman with long brown hair sitting on the grass holding a miniature dachshund on her lapAlison McLaren, Manager, OVC Pet Trust

Alison McLaren is a strong believer in the vital role that companion animals play in human well-being. She has spent the past 13 years working in the not-for-profit and higher education sectors, where she acquired a unique set of skills and experiences to bring to OVC. As the Manager of Pet Trust, she leads its continuing effort to advance veterinary learning, pet healthcare and innovative discoveries to improve the future of companion animal medicine.

Alison completed her undergraduate degree at Wilfrid Laurier University, her Bachelor of Education at Nipissing University and her Master of Education at University of Ottawa. In her spare time, she can be found adventuring or competing in agility with her miniature dachshund, Dudley.