Board of Visitors

The Board of Visitors for the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine serves as an external advisory body to the dean of the school. Members of the board have attained prominence in their respective careers and are chosen because of their value in providing sound advice and counsel to the dean.

The school also has an ambassador board, which is made up of past Board of Visitors members.

Resources for Board of Visitors

Board of Visitors Members

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Tom Bach

Tom Bach DVM’94
Madison, Wisconsin

Tom graduated from the Wisconsin School of Business and soon afterwards traded his interest in finance for a career in veterinary medicine. He graduated from the UW School of Veterinary Medicine in 1994 and has a very rewarding career as a small animal veterinarian. Tom was the owner of two veterinary clinics, had the honor of mentoring many, many veterinary students, and has lectured to first-year veterinary students for over 20 years. He will continue to work part-time at Lakeview Veterinary Clinic in Madison until they boot him out the door.

Tom serves on the SVM’s curriculum revision task force and is on the boards of Madison College’s veterinary technician program and Madison Cat Project. He is currently the president of the Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association.

Nancy Ballsrud

Nancy Ballsrud MBA’75
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Nancy joined the Wisconsin Alumni Association (WAA) Board of Directors in 2007 and was chair in 2012-2013. She also served on the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association Board 2014-2017, following the merger of the two organizations. Nancy co-chaired the Alumni Park Fundraising Committee and serves on the Park’s Steering Committee. Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, Nancy is the daughter of two Badgers who hailed from Wauwatosa and Westby, Wisconsin. She did her undergraduate work at Mankato State College and earned a BS in Business-Finance and a BA in French. She continued her education at Madison, earning an MBA in Finance in 1975. She had a 33 year career at Cargill in Minneapolis and in Sao Paulo, Brazil, primarily in international finance. Nancy and husband Jim Nelson are members of the Van Hise Society and endowed a chair in Early Childhood Development at the School of Human Ecology. They have two children, Laura, 30, who is an editor in Berlin, Germany, and Conor, 27, who works in financial sales in Chicago. Nancy is a member of UW’s Women’s Philanthropy Council and has served on numerous non-profit boards in the Minneapolis area, where she resides.

John Baumann

baumannJohn Baumann ’82
Monroe, Wisconsin

John Baumann is president and CEO of Colony Brands in Monroe, Wis. He is a 1982 graduate of UW-Madison and holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He is a member of the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association board of directors. John plays key roles with several organizations, including the Green County Humane Society Endowment Fund, the Monroe Arts Center, the Green County YMCA Foundation, Monroe Main Street, the Monroe Theatre Guild and the Inspire Project. John’s interest in animals stems from his long history in animal rescue and placement. John and his wife Katie, a retired music teacher, share their home with four dogs and two cats.

Debbie Cervenka

Debbie Cervenka
Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

Ms. Cervenka was Executive Vice President of Phillips Plastics Corporation and an officer on its Board of Directors until the Cervenkas sold the company in December 2010. She was educated at UW-Eau Claire, graduating with a major in journalism and communications.

Currently Ms. Cervenka is chair of the Board of Trustees for The Nature Conservancy – Wisconsin Chapter; serves on the North American Cabinet for The Nature Conservancy; and is on the following boards: Ecumen (Shoreview, Minn.), Safe Haven Women’s Shelter and Resource Center (Duluth, Minn.), and Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees for Northland College (Ashland, Wis.).

Her interest in the Board of Visitors stems from her love of animals and the understanding that it is important to have a teaching college in Wisconsin to train veterinarians and treat our pets with new and innovative procedures that may extend their quality of life. Additionally, the Cervenkas are Badger fans, as Bob is an alumnus of UW-Madison.

Margo Edl

edlMargo Edl
Middleton, Wisconsin

Mrs. Edl believes in being a “champion” for the UW School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM). Beginning with her first experience when she brought a seriously ill pet to the small animal hospital, she has seen the amazing things that its dedicated veterinarians and students can accomplish. She has worked to establish the “Mac the Miracle Dog” scholarship to help ease the financial burden for SVM students and supports additional programs within the school. Margo lives in Middleton, Wisconsin with her husband, Jack, and their collection of Brittanies.

Patrick S. Farrell

farrellPatrick S. Farrell MS’83, DVM’87
Russell, Pennsylvania

Dr. Patrick Farrell is a graduate of the original Department of Veterinary Science at UW-Madison with a MS degree in reproductive physiology and endocrinology. He is also a DVM graduate from the UW School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM) charter class in 1987. During his time at the UW-Madison, he conducted research in preimplantation embryology and assisted with the start-up of the Human In Vitro Fertilization program at the UW School of Medicine.

Dr. Farrell has been in private clinical mixed animal practice since this time in northwest Pennsylvania. In addition to serving on the SVM Board of Visitors, serves as a board member representing private food animal practices on the AVMA Council on Education. Dr. Farrell also serves local boards for the Boy Scouts of America, Audubon, and Bemus Bay Condo Associations.

Dr. Farrell and his wife Anne are putting the finishing touches on raising three young men and continue to enjoy their time when they find themselves back in Madison to support the mission of the school.

Charity Gottfredsen

Charity Gottfredsen ’02, MS’07, DVM’07
Chicago, Illinois

Dan Grimm

Dan Grimm
Waterford, Wisconsin

Dan Grimm is the Senior Vice President of Global Solution Consulting for BluJay Solutions. He holds a BS in industrial engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and an MBA from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. His interest in the UW School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM) stems from the positive interactions he and his wife, Kim, have had with the staff over the past 15 years in caring for two of their canine family members that received world-class cancer treatment at the school. Dan is an active supporter of several animal-related organizations, including the SVM, Humane Animal Welfare Society of Waukesha County, and Desert Labrador Retriever Rescue of Scottsdale, Arizona.

Peter Hanson

Hanson-color-2webPeter Hanson MS’94, PhD’97
Boston, Massachusetts

Dr. Hanson is the chief veterinary officer at Centrexion in Baltimore, Md., which is a start-up biotech firm focused on developing solutions for the management of pain in people and animals. He completed a residency in large animal surgery in 1993 and both his MS in 1994 and PhD in 1997 at UW-Madison. Prior to joining Centrexion, he was head of research and development and medical affairs at Abbott Animal Health and held senior roles at Merial.

Pam Jahnke

Pam Jahnke headshotPam Jahnke
Madison, Wisconsin

Growing up on her family’s 200-acre dairy farm just north of Green Bay, Wisconsin, Pam Jahnke was surrounded by agriculture. She has remained dedicated to agriculture throughout her life, being actively involved in both 4-H and FFA activities. Pam happily served as a 4-H camp counselor, was a dairy exhibitor in county fairs, and even reigned as Oconto County’s Dairy Queen.

At the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, Pam studied broadcast journalism and broad area agriculture. She started that campus’s first ever “Farm Show” on radio, and received the top national scholarship from the National Association of Farm Broadcasters (NAFB). After college, Pam moved into her chosen field, doing farm broadcasting, radio and television, from Green Bay to Eau Claire, Wisconsin — and she’s never looked back. Since then, the Wisconsin Farm Report network has grown to encompass 26 stations in Wisconsin and Minnesota, and daily appearances on the CBS TV affiliate in Madison.

Pam is a past president of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting, and was named Farm Broadcaster of the Year 2013. In 2022, Pam will be inducted into the NAFB Hall of Fame. She’s received several other honors, including the “Honorary Recognition” award from UW-Madison’s College of Agriculture, her honorary “American FFA Degree,” and citations from the Wisconsin State Senate. Pam’s been named “Friend of Agriculture” by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture for her assistance in raising awareness of the “Harvest of Hope” program.  She’s been honored as “Agri Marketing Person Of The Year” by the Badger chapter of the National Agrimarketing Association.

In her spare time, Pam is active farming in partnership with her brother, sister and mother on the family farm.

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Phil Jennings

Phil-Jennings-webPhil Jennings JD’93
Madison, Wisconsin

Phil Jennings is the president and general counsel of Next/Partners, Inc., a private equity real estate development firm he founded in 1999 in San Diego, Calif. Phil is a graduate of Boston College and the University of Wisconsin Law School. In addition to his business interests, Phil is a retired U.S. Army Aviation Warrant Officer and served as a UH-60/Blackhawk standardization instructor pilot and instrument flight examiner. Phil maintains his professional interest in aviation as a pilot for UW Med Flight, the critical care transport team of the University of Wisconsin Hospital. It was during his various overseas military deployments that Phil developed an appreciation for the mission-critical role military veterinarians play in ensuring the integrity of food supplies for deployed personnel. A resident of downtown Madison, Phil and his trusty Black Labrador, Tricky Mother Tucker, Version 2.0, and his White Labrador, Kostas, can be found walking on State Street and the Lakeshore Path, rain or shine.

Diane Larsen

Diane-Larsen-webDiane Larsen ’80, DVM’90, PhD’99
Duluth, Georgia

Dr. Larsen is head of Pharmaceutical R&D Projects at Merial, where she is responsible for planning and supervising national and international research projects. She is a former practicing veterinarian and received both her veterinary medical degree in 1990 and PhD in 1999 from UW-Madison. Prior to joining Merial in 2001, she completed a post-docorate at South East Poultry Research Facility in Athens, Georgia.

Jeffry A. Neuenschwander

Jeffry A. Neuenschwander ’82
Detroit, Michigan

Jill Pelisek

pelisekJill Grootemaat Pelisek
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Ms. Pelisek is the Lawrence G. Regner Executive-in-Residence and an adjunct professor in the Sheldon B. Lubar School of Business Administration at UW-Milwaukee. Ms. Pelisek is a retired vice president of First Wisconsin National Bank/Firstar National Bank of Milwaukee, now US Bank, specializing in small business and consumer banking.

Ms. Pelisek is currently or has recently served on the boards of C.G. Schmidt, State Financial Bank, BizStarts, Columbia College of Nursing, Columbia Health System, Columbia St Mary’s Foundation, The Milwaukee Art Museum, The Milwaukee Ballet, The Nature Conservancy – Wisconsin, Rotary Club of Milwaukee, UW-Milwaukee Foundation, UW-Milwaukee Golda Meir Library Friends, UW-Milwaukee Bader Institute of Non-Profit Management Leadership Council, Village of River Hills Foundation, Young Leaders Academy Charter School, YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee, Wisconsin Humane Society, and the Zoological Society of Milwaukee County

She is a member of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, Business Advisory Council of the UW-Milwaukee Lubar School of Business, Columbia-St Mary’s Health System’s Audit and Corporate Responsibility Committee, and the Rotary Club of Milwaukee.

Her late husband, Jack Pelisek, was a UW-Madison alumnus, member of the UW Foundation Board of Directors, and was president of the UW Board of Regents. Their many Borzoi (Russian Wolfhounds) have benefited from outstanding care at the UW School of Veterinary Medicine.

Janet Raddatz

Raddatz,-Janet-webJanet Raddatz
Plymouth, Wisconsin

Ms. Raddatz is vice president of quality and food safety systems at Sargento Foods, Inc., in Plymouth, Wisconsin, where she has been involved in the development, implementation, and auditing of quality and food safety systems for more than 30 years. She and her husband first became involved with the UW School of Veterinary Medicine more than 20 years ago when their veterinarian, an alumna, referred their cat to the school.

John Schaefer

John Schaefer ’81
Harshaw, Wisconsin

Suzy Shain

Suzy Shain headshotSuzy Shain BS’87, MBA’90
Verona, Wisconsin

Suzy is a double Badger, having graduated in 1987 with a bachelor’s degree in retail management and in 1990 with an MBA in marketing. Suzy spent nearly 30 years in marketing and management roles at Target Corporation, Kimberly-Clark and SC Johnson. Today, Suzy volunteers as the Race Director for Madison’s largest Thanksgiving Day Race, the Berbee Derby, which supports the Technology Education Foundation. Suzy and her husband, Paul, have a 12-year-old Cockapoo, Cooper, who has been fortunate enough to be in the care of the UW School of Veterinary Medicine for many years. In her spare time, Suzy cheers enthusiastically at Badger sporting events and is a five-time Ironman Wisconsin Finisher and a four-time Boston Marathon qualifier.

Karl Solverson

Karl Solverson ’94, DVM’99
Westby, Wisconsin

Karen Walsh

Karen_WalshwebKaren Walsh ’81, MA’89
Madison, Wisconsin

Karen retired as assistant dean for external relations for the UW-Madison College of Engineering after a 23-year career at the university. Her awards included the Bollinger Academic Staff Achievement Award and multiple honors from the National Association of Government Communicators. Through their foundation, Karen and her husband, Jim Berbee, are major donors to many local non-profits, including Access Community Health Centers, the Dane County Humane Society, and Madison Opera. They are major donors to Sly’s Place, the shelter for Dane County Friends of Ferals, one of the county’s largest rescue groups. The shelter is named after their cat, Sylvester, who received cardiac treatment at the UW School of Veterinary Medicine. Karen has more than 20 years of experience as a cat foster, with a special interest in socializing litters and working with medical and behavioral issues. More than 200 cats have “graduated” from her foster rooms to new homes. She is the former president of both the Madison Opera Board of Trustees and the Madison Area Concert Handbells. She is also a fiction writer, especially short stories set in Wisconsin. She has BA and MA degrees in journalism from UW-Madison.

Jeffery R. Zuba

Jeff Zuba headshotJeffery R. Zuba
BS’81, DVM’87
San Diego, California

Dr. Zuba obtained his DVM degree from the University of Wisconsin’s School of Veterinary Medicine in 1987 as a member of the school’s charter class. Following graduate school in virology and immunology, he completed his residency in Zoo and Wildlife Medicine at San Diego Zoo Global. Dr. Zuba then received an appointment as clinical professor in zoo medicine at Colorado State University.  For the next 31 years, he was privileged to be a staff veterinarian at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and San Diego Zoo Global until his retirement in 2021. Professional highlights included being a faculty member for the EnviroVet Institute (an ecosystem veterinary health program); an affiliate instructor at the Wildlife Health Center at the UC-Davis; the director of veterinary programs for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s California Condor Reintroduction Program; veterinary coordinator for the Condor Release Program in Baja, Mexico; and the veterinary advisor for both the AZA’s California Condor and White Rhinoceros Species Survival Plans. Dr. Zuba consults and lectures internationally on a wide range of subjects including mega-vertebrate anesthesia and conservation medicine and serves as a scientific advisor for several conservation and educational institutions. He serves on the boards of two charitable organizations dedicated to funding humanitarian and animal health and welfare efforts. Dr. Zuba is founder of a company that manufactures specialized mega-vertebrate anesthetic equipment.  In “rewirement,” he continues with his consulting business in zoo and wildlife anesthesia, lecture opportunities, conservation projects and philanthropic efforts.