Events Calendar

MN Animal Welfare Conference
Thursday, May 25, 2017

MNAWC LogowebMeeting the Needs of Pets & Their People in the Animal Welfare Field

Thursday, May 25, 2017 * 8:00AM - 5:00PM

Best Western Kelly Inn, 100 4th Ave S. St. Cloud, MN 56301

Hosted by Tri-County Humane Society

Conference Details:

The Minnesota Animal Welfare Conference is an annual educational and networking opportunity for animal welfare professionals. The Tri-County Humane Society volunteers to organize this conference because we believe that providing affordable opportunities for continued education and networking among the various animal groups is key to making Minnesota a more humane community.

This year, attendees will once again have two tracks of learning to choose from with an impressive line up of speakers.  The general track will focus on fundraising, leadership at any level, social media and clicker training for cats, featuring highly accredited speakers , B.J. Rogers, CAWA, Karen Medicus, Emily Garman and Cheryl Kolus, DVM, KPA-CTP.  The veterinary track will focus on medical issues specific to shelter medicine featuring Sr. Directors with ASPCA Shelter Outreach veterinarians Dr. Chumkee Aziz, Dr. Brian DiGangi, and Dr. Stephanie Janeszko. Speaker bios may be found below.

R.A.C.E. approval has been given for 6 C. E. credits for veterinarians and veterinary technicians, although shelter directors of operations, executive directors and kennel managers are also welcome to attend these presentations.

General Track Schedule

Veterinary Track Schedule 

General Track Speakers:

B.J. Rogers, CAWA

Vice President, ProLearning, ASPCA©

B.J. Rogers headshot webWith nearly twenty years of experience in the non-profit sector – and more than a decade of leadership in animal welfare – B.J. currently oversees the team responsible for the ASPCA’s field-facing communication, including, field-facing social media, online learning, and national initiatives focused on improving the lives of companion animals. B.J.’s professional path has included stints as a campaign press secretary, college instructor, and nonprofit executive. He’s a Certified Animal Welfare Administrator (CAWA), a Certified Dialogue Education Teacher (CDET) and has training in both mediation and Appreciative Inquiry. He’s a regular speaker on the animal welfare conference circuit and a strong believer that people are the solution, and not the problem.

Karen Medicus

Senior Director, ASPCA Shelter Outreach

KarenPatchesDulce webKaren Medicus co-leads the ASPCA Relocation: Mentoring project and facilitates fundraising, strategic planning, and Board development for ASPCA Shelter Outreach. Karen started cleaning kennels for a small humane society in 1976 and has since served in nearly every capacity of an animal shelter or animal control agency. As a CEO, Karen led two major shelter turnarounds – including successful capital campaigns – for the Humane Society of the Treasure Coast in Florida and the Humane Society of Austin and Travis County in Texas. While in Austin, she landed a $3.8 million Maddie’s Fund grant – the third such grant ever awarded to a shelter. Karen was also a CFRE and major gifts officer in the southwest region for HSUS and vice president of partner relations for She has taught workshops at national and at state conferences around the country, and in 2003 co-authored the HSUS’s Fundraising for Animal Care Organizations. Karen is a mediator, MBTI® and Appreciative Inquiry practitioner and a certified Dialogue Education fellow.

Cheryl Kolus, DVM, KPA-CTP

Behavior and Training Manager Clicker Learning Institute for Cats and Kittens

 Clicker Training Handouts

Cheryl Kolus webCheryl Kolus received her DVM degree from Colorado State University in 2012. She was a small animal practitioner until she left general practice to start her own veterinary behavior consulting business. She completed one year of a “non-conforming” behavior residency before becoming involved with a new non-profit, the Clicker Learning Institute for Cats and Kittens (CLICK), where she is now the Behavior and Training Manager. Before, during and after veterinary school, Cheryl volunteered at multiple animal shelters doing everything from office work and outreach to dog training and feline behavior assessments to surgeries. She has been seriously studying animal behavior since 2004, attending myriad seminars and conferences, and completing university courses in the field. In early 2015, she completed the Karen Pryor Academy Dog Trainer Professional Course and is a Certified Training Partner. From 2012-2014, Dr. Kolus was on the Executive Board of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior, and she remains an active member. Currently, she is the vice-president of the Larimer County Veterinary Medical Association. She lives with one very talkative cat and a patient husband. Her amazing dog lives on in her heart.

Emily Garman

Emily Garman headshot webEmily has been a foster mom and animal welfare volunteer for 15 years, and founded in 2008 to teach animal advocates how to use social media to raise money, recruit volunteers and save more lives. She presents on next-generation fundraising, social media and mega-adoption events all over the world. In 2011 she traveled to Riga, Latvia to present at the Dogs Trust European Summit, and to the US Virgin Islands to consult with individual shelters. She has worked with the ASPCA, HSUS,, NARSC, PetSmart Charities and She is available for fundraising consulting as well as website development.

Veterinary Track Speakers:

Dr. Chumkee Aziz, DVM

Sr. Director, ASPCA Shelter Outreach

chumkee Aziz bio photo webOriginally from Houston, Dr. Chumkee studied veterinary medicine at Tufts University in Massachusetts. After an internship at the ASPCA’s Animal Hospital, she completed a shelter medicine residency with the Koret Shelter Medicine Program at the University of California, Davis. Chumkee worked as a shelter consultant for the Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and served as the medical director of Austin Humane Society.

Dr. Brian DiGangi, DVM, MS, DABVP

Sr. Director, ASPCA Shelter Outreach

Brian DiGangi bio photo webDr. Brian DiGangi received his DVM from University of Florida and completed a residency in shelter medicine. Brian is board certified in both Canine and Feline Practice and Shelter Medicine Practice by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners. He has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians since 2010 - serving two terms as President, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the American Heartworm Society. Dr. DiGangi received an MS in Veterinary Medical Sciences and has published research on feline adoption, canine heartworm disease, and immunology.  Prior to joining the ASPCA, Dr. DiGangi was a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Florida. 

Dr. Stephanie Janeszko, DVM, MS, DABVP, CAWA

Sr. Director, ASPCA Shelter Outreach

stephanie Janeszko bio photo webDr. Stephanie Janeszko received her DVM from Cornell returning to complete a shelter medicine residency. She earned a Master’s degree in epidemiology and holds a graduate certificate in Veterinary Forensics from the University of Florida. Stephanie is board certified in both Shelter Medicine and Canine/Feline Practice through the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners and is also a certified animal welfare administrator (CAWA). She is a former board member and past president of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians.

Conference Sponsors:


PCI Enclosed logo

Tomahawk web

HSUSLogo web

Michelson Found Animals Registry web