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.
Board of Visitors Members
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Tom Bach DVM’94
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 MBA’75
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 ’82
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.
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.
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
Patrick S. Farrell MS’83, DVM’87
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 ’02, MS’07, DVM’07
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 MS’94, PhD’97
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.
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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Carlton D. Jenkins, PhD, has served as superintendent of the Madison Metropolitan School District since August 2020. Jenkins also serves as a clinical faculty member in the Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
He previously held the following senior-level positions: superintendent, Robbinsdale Area Schools (Minnesota), 2015- 2020; chief academic officer, Atlanta Public Schools (Georgia), 2014-2015; superintendent, Saginaw Public Schools (Michigan), 2010-2014. Jenkins also served successfully in a variety of teaching, administrative and leadership roles with schools in Wisconsin and Ohio.
Throughout his career, Jenkins has impacted policy and practice as an educational and business consultant as well as leadership mentor. Some of his work has included: consulting on turnaround school transformation; consulting on leadership strategies for Fortune Fifty companies; serving as national executive director for Project Grad’s Secondary Schools Transformation Model; and serving as a mentor for the AASA Urban Superintendents Academy.
Phil Jennings JD’93
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 ’80, DVM’90, PhD’99
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
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 ’81
John Schaefer is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin School of Business and is currently the chairman, CEO and president of Fleet Farm, a regional pet, farm, home and sporting goods retail chain with stores in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and North and South Dakota.
Under John’s leadership, Fleet Farm sponsors over 100 animal adoption days each year and contributes over $200,000 annually through various campaigns to animal rescue and humane societies in the areas in which Fleet Farm serves.
John was instrumental in changing the Wisconsin law to allow dogs inside retail establishments such as Fleet Farm, thereby reducing the risk of bad outcomes of dogs being left in cars.
John’s daughter Zoie is a 2021 graduate of the UW School of Veterinary Medicine, focusing on shelter medicine. She is currently a veterinarian at Helen Woodward Animal Center, a privately funded shelter in San Diego, and also works for the Spay Neuter Action Project, a mobile unit providing low-cost spay-neuter services in the area.
John’s family has always had multiple cats and dogs. They currently have three dogs and three cats, including one foster cat.
Suzy Shain BS’87, MBA’90
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 ’94, DVM’99
Karl Solverson graduated from the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine in 1999. He currently serves as a small animal practitioner at Central Animal Hospital in Onalaska, Wisconsin. Karl also maintains a separate small-scale large animal clinic, which he has owned for the past 20 years.
He served on the Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association Executive Board from 2016-2019 and was vice chair in 2019. In addition to his role on the UW School of Veterinary Medicine Board of Visitors, he currently serves as a member veterinarian on the Wisconsin Veterinary Examining Board. He has previously served on the Food Armor Foundation Board of Directors and other committees.
Karl lives in La Crosse with his wife and kids.
Karen Walsh ’81, MA’89
Karen Walsh is director of the BerbeeWalsh Foundation, a family foundation dedicated to human and animal health and welfare. Since 2006, the foundation has awarded more than $8 million dollars in grants in the State of Wisconsin, including a gift to the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics that created the BerbeeWalsh Department of Emergency Medicine.
Karen is also a member and current president of the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents.
Karen was a newscaster and reporter for news outlets including Wisconsin Public Radio prior to serving for 23 years in a variety of public information and communications positions at UW-Madison. She retired in 2005 as the assistant dean for external relations in the College of Engineering, directing alumni and donor communications, news media relations, and industry communications. She also directed the college’s undergraduate student invention and prototyping competitions, the Schoofs Prize for Creativity and Tong Prototype Prize. Her honors include publications awards with the National Association of Government Communicators, the university’s Bollinger Academic Staff Achievement Award, and Philanthropist of the Year from the Dane County Humane Society.
A native of Columbus, Wisconsin, Karen holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism from UW-Madison. She serves on a number of nonprofit boards, including the Madison Cat Project and the Access Community Health Centers Community Partners Board. She is also a past president of the Madison Opera Board of Trustees.
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 also a fiction writer, especially short stories set in Wisconsin.
Jeffery R. Zuba
Jeffery R. Zuba
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.