About Us

What is TARVT?

TARVT was originally formed as a professional association for Registered Veterinary Technicians in Texas, but membership has been opened up to anyone working as part of a veterinary healthcare team in Texas.  This is because everyone invovled in providing veterinary care is an important part of the team and can benefit from learning more about veterinary medicine.

A copy of the association’s bylaws can be found here: TARVT Bylaws

TARVT’s — About Us 

Our goals are to promote communication between veterinary technicians and hospital staff working in the state of Texas. We strive to provide and inform our members of quality continuing education opportunities. To be a “voice” for our members in the Texas Veterinary Medical Association and the legislative bodies in Texas. To provide the public with education on the value of quality health care for pets. TARVT has been meeting these goals for more than 40 years -since the association’s formation in 1977 as the “Texas Association of Animal Technicians, Registered”.

In order to continue to meet the needs of all hospital staff in Texas, the association needs you. With more members, the association has a bigger “voice” to get the views and requests of our members heard. Membership in TARVT is not limited to Registered Veterinary Technicians. All veterinary hospital personnel are encouraged to become members of the association.   By  joining TARVT you can play a part in continuing the progress of our profession.

Who is your Executive Board for TARVT?
(Changes to the board will occur in conjunction with TVMA’s Annual Conference in Feb. 2014.  The incoming board is listed at the bottom of this page.)

Board Advisor
David Sessum, LVT





David is  a 2000 graduate of Tomball College with his AAS in Veterinary Technology. He initially worked as a surgery technician at Gulf Coast Veterinary Hospital from 1998-2004. He later joined Texas A&M in January 2004, specifically in the small animal orthopedics department working in small animal rehabilitation.  His duties included clinical instruction of veterinary students on the benefits and techniques of rehabilitation. In 2012 he resigned from Texas A&M to become the clinical coordinator of Blinn College’s Veterinary Technology Program. David has published articles in Veterinary Technician magazine in October and November 2003 and was the 2009 TVMA Technician of the Year.

Sue Allen, LVT









Sue Allen graduated from Texas State Technical Institute (now TSTC), in Waco, with my A.A.S. in Veterinary Technology in 1981. She has been an RVT for 33 years and with the exception of about 1 year, has worked as such in the veterinary profession. She has worked as a RVT in mixed animal private practices for 22 & 1/2 years. She has been an instructor at McLennan Community College’s Veterinary Technology program in Waco since 2004, and applied and was chosen to become program director 3 years ago. Sue states that she is married to a saint of man for 33  years. They have a son & daughter-but are empty nesters. Her husband is fond of saying that being a veterinary technician (referring to her) is not a job, but a lifestyle. And she does believe that it’s largely true. Long days, hard hours, emotional ups and downs, the frustrations of the constant struggle to help educate animal owners to make them better owners, and the hardest part for her-saying goodbye to the dear 4 legged creatures that one spends hours or even years caring for-and being there when it’s time to say goodbye. They all can take their toll. But she wouldn’t trade her job for anything.

She has also had a number of various pets over the years-dogs, cats, chickens, a pot bellied pig, a ferret, and birds. They currently have a mixed assortment of dogs and cats now grown, that began as bottle babies to simply ones that needed a home. She says some might call her a “foster failure”!

Vice President
Kristi Ely, LVT, VTS (EVN)

Kristi Ely




Horses and medicine have been Kristi’s passion for many years.  In 1981, she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas followed by an Associates of Arts degree in Nursing from Meridian Junior College in Meridian, Mississippi in 1985.  While working as an RN, her primary focus was emergency and critical care medicine.  In 1995, after finally settling back in Texas, she decided to combine her two passions into one.  She attended Cedar Valley College in Lancaster, Texas and in 1997 received an Associates of Applied Science degree in Veterinary Technology becoming a RVT in Texas that same year.  She has worked as a technician for the Burleson Equine Hospital since May of 1995.  Kristi is a charter member of the AAEVT of which she served multiple positions on the executive board and now the advisory board.  She is also a member of the organizing committee and a charter member of the equine nursing specialty, the AEVNT.

Kristi lives just south of Fort Worth in Crowley, Texas with her husband of 30+ years.  She is a proud Mom to a Naval Aviator who lives with his beautiful wife and her “grand dog” in California.  She has two extremely spoiled Australian Shepherds, Abbey and Sadie, along with four equally as spoiled horses.  And in her “spare” time, she likes to spend as much time as possible with her family.




Marisa Rhyne, LVT, VTS (ECC & SAIM)







Marisa is a graduate from Cedar Valley College with her AAS in veterinary technology in May 1998. She later graduated from St. Petersburg College with her BAS in veterinary technology in December 2008. She furthered her education and training by obtaining her VTS in Emergency and Critical Care in 2006 and her VTS in Small Animal Internal Medicine in 2008. Marisa is the 2012-2014 Small Animal Director at Large for the Academy of Internal Medicine for Veterinary Technicians. She also has published an article in Veterinary Technician magazine in December 2010. Currently she works at a specialty practice in the DFW area and teaches Certified Veterinary Assisting at UT-Arlington and Collin College.

She lives in Frisco, Tx with my husband, 2 kids, 2 goldens, and 2 cats. In her minimal spare time she enjoys reading, watching movies, and spending time with her family and friends.

Melanie Hollis, AAS, Veterinary Technology








Melanie began working in the veterinary field in 1985 in Los Angeles as receptionist, veterinary assistant and kennel technician. She began her formal education at Pierce College to pursue a degree in Animal Heath Technology in 1991, and chose to put it on hold to raise her son. After moving to Dallas, Melanie restarted her studies at Cedar Valley College and earned an Associates of Applied Science degree in Veterinary Technology in 2003. After taking and passing the VTNE and Texas State exams that same year,  she earned the title of Registered Veterinary Technician.

She has worked in companion animal, equine, large and exotic animal medicine.  Melanie is also an instructor at The University of Texas at Arlington and Collin College teaching Certified Veterinary Assisting.  Melanie shares her home with 2 cats, 4 dogs and a wonderful and loving husband. In her spare time, she enjoys watching and attending sporting events, concerts, plays and loves spending time with friends and family.

Associate Representative
Sandy Nunn






Texas A&M Vet Tech IV, Large Animal Medicine Technical Supervisor

AAEVT Past President and Charter Member

Blinn Vet Tech Program Executive Board

Hobbies and Pets: Between me and my family we have: 5 dogs, 1 cat, 2 ferrets, 2 snakes, 1 cockatiel, a herd of donkeys, mules and horses. I serve on the PTO at the school of my boys ages 9 and 12. My husband and I own a mechanic shop in Hearne, TX. For fun we like to go camping, hiking, swimming and fishing.


Newsletter Editor

Carol Hurst, LVT







Carol graduated from the Veterinary Technician program at McLennan Community College in 2005.  She went on to work at a high quality veterinary clinic in College Station where she honed her skills as a technician and was introduced into the wide world of veterinary management.  In 2009 she moved to Houston where she now resides.  She is the Practice Manager for a practice that sees dogs, cats, birds, reptiles and small mammals.  Her professional interests include communication, team building and pet nutrition.  Her personal interests include writing, managing a pet-related blog (Wisepaws), running and playing with her two boxers, Enzo and Maserati or “Masi”.