Our Rad Speakers
Actor • 80s Icon
Sean Astin is an actor/director best known for his film and television roles such as Bob Newby, a former high school friend and love interest to Winona Ryder’s character, Joyce Byers in Season 2 of Netflix’s horror thriller “Stranger Things.” Astin of course is also known for his classic and beloved characters - Sam in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the title character of Rudy and Mikey in the popular classic The Goonies.
Astin starred as Ed in Netflix’s family sitcom, “No Good Nick,” guest starred in “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and “The Big Bang Theory.” Astin joined the cast of NBC’s “Young Rock,” as Dwayne Johnson’s childhood nemesis. Currently, Astin will play Sunny Gryce, in S2 of HBO’s “Perry Mason” as a new client of Perry and Della’s. Astin has also been cast as Becky’s love interest, in S5 of ABC’s “The Conners.”
Recent films include; Astin’s powerful performance as Jeremy in Julianne Moore’s film Gloria Bell, Mayfield’s Game opposite Mira Sorvino, Charming The Hearts of Men opposite Kelsey Grammer, Hero Mode, Adverse, Rose Island and is the voice of Shazam in Lego DC Shazam – Magic & Monsters.
Astin is no stranger to thrillers, with dramatic turns in numerous television, film and series, including Guillermo Del Toro’s “The Strain” on (FX) and the fifth season of “24” (Fox).
Recently Astin narrated and produced Playing with Power: The Nintendo Story. In 2019, Astin reprised his iconic role of Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger as Colonel Sanders in KFC's 'Rudy II' commercial ads.
Astin directed and produced the short film Kangaroo Court, which earned him an Academy Award® nomination for Best Live Action Short Film. Astin also directed and produced the live action short film The Long and Short of It, an official entry in the Sundance Film Festival. Astin has journeyed into episodic television, directing episodes of “Angel” (WB) and “Jeremiah” (Showtime).
The veteran actor recently narrated Dreamworks’ original series Captain Underpants and has voiced many animated characters in films and television including Raphael in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Nickelodeon), Bunnicula (WB), Justice League (WB), Special Agent Oso (Disney), Micronauts (Paramount) and Minecraft: Story Mode (Telltale).
Astin is an avid long-distance runner and triathlete. He completed the IRONMAN World Championship Triathlon in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii on October 10, 2015. He has also completed 12 Full Marathons including the 2016 New York City Marathon in honor of his late mother, Patty Duke for her life's work as an advocate for mental health.
Justine Lee, DVM, DACVECC, DABT
Dr. Justine Lee is a board-certified veterinary specialist in both emergency critical care (DACVECC) and toxicology (DABT). Dr. Lee attended veterinary school at Cornell University and completed her internship at Angell (Boston, MA). She completed her fellowship and residency in emergency and critical care at University of Pennsylvania. Previously, she was on faculty at University of Minnesota (2003-2008) and the head of an animal poison control center (2008-2013). She is the founder and CEO of VETgirl, a subscription-based podcast and webinar service offering RACE-approved, online veterinary continuing education. More information can be found at www.drjustinelee.com and www.vetgirlontherun.com.
Fred Wininger, VMD, MS, DACVIM (Neurology)
Fred Wininger, VMD, MS, DACVIM (Neurology), originally from New Jersey, graduated from the University of
Pennsylvania College of Veterinary Medicine. After completing a small animal rotating internship at the University of Georgia, he finished his neurology/neurosurgery residency at Washington State University. There he developed a love for neuroimaging and the development of a novel neuronavigation device. After joining the faculty at the University of Missouri, he applied these interests to develop therapies for both animals and children with the rare neurodegenerative disorder known as Batten disease (neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis) and was awarded the young investigator award by the Batten Disease Support & Research Association for his work.
He then moved to St Louis, Missouri, where he practiced for several years and developed the first hybrid private practice/academic neurology residency program, which continues today.
He currently practices at Charlotte Animal Referral & Emergency in North Carolina. In addition to his clinical and teaching responsibilities, Wininger owns and operates 3D Veterinary Printing, LLC, which creates anatomic models and customized surgical tools to aid veterinary surgeons and neurosurgeons around the world. He also
is the founding treasurer of the Veterinary Neurosurgical Society, an active member of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, and adjunct professor for the University of Missouri. In his spare time, Wininger enjoys scuba diving, endurance sports, and exploring new places through their food.
Natalie Marks, DVM, MS, CVJ
Dr. Marks has empowered the veterinary industry with over twenty years of unparalleled and diverse experience. Her career spans a variety of positions, including being an associate veterinarian, medical director, co-owner of the largest small animal practice in Chicago, mentor, educational consultant, media personality, entrepreneur, and angel investor. Her continued goals include empowering veterinary professionals and pet parents alike to be as educated and involved as possible in the care of our patients and family members. Dr. Marks is passionate about tackling the ongoing need for improved physical and emotional health among industry colleagues.
Sheilah Robertson, BVMS (Hons), PhD, DACVAA, DECVAA, DACAW, DECAWBM (WSEL), MRCVS
After graduating from the University of Glasgow in 1980, and spending time in mixed animal practice, Dr Robertson pursued specialized training in anesthesia and pain management. She is board certified in anesthesia and in animal welfare by the respective American and European Colleges and holds a certificate in small animal acupuncture and shelter medicine. She is a certified Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine Palliative and End-of-Life practitioner. Dr Robertson has worked in academia, private practice and in the animal welfare division of the American Veterinary Medical Association. She is the senior medical director of Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice, a large network of veterinarians dedicated to end-of-life care. Dr Robertson is also a courtesy Professor in the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.
Jan Bellows, DVM, Dipl. AVDC, ABVP
Dr. Bellows received his undergraduate training at the University of Florida and a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Auburn University. After completing a small animal internship at The Animal Medical Center, he returned to South Florida where he still practices companion animal medicine surgery and dentistry at ALL PETS DENTAL, in Weston Florida. He is certified by the Board of Veterinary Practitioners (canine and feline) since 1986 and American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC) since 1990. He was president of the AVDC from 2012-2014 and is currently president of the Foundation for Veterinary Dentistry. Dr. Bellows’ veterinary dentistry accomplishments include authoring five dental texts- The Practice of Veterinary Dentistry.
A team effort (1999), Small Animal Dental Equipment, Materials, and Techniques (2005, second edition 2019), and Feline Dentistry (2010, second edition 2022). He is a frequent contributor to DVM Newsmagazine and a charter consultant of the Veterinary Information Network’s (VIN) dental board since 1993. He was also chosen as one of the dental experts to formulate AAHA’s three Small Animal Dental Guidelines published in 2005 and updated in 2013 and 2019.
Matt Winter, DVM
After graduating from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1998, Dr. Matthew D. Winter spent three years in dairy, equine, and small animal practice before pursuing specialized training in Diagnostic Imaging. He completed a residency in Diagnostic Imaging at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. Dr. Winter is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Radiology and currently serves as a Clinical Associate Professor of Diagnostic Imaging at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. He has a demonstrated passion for teaching and veterinary education, having served on the faculty at Iowa State University from 2004 to 2007 before joining the University of Florida in 2007, where he has also served as medical director. Dr. Winter is currently the Chief Veterinary Medical Officer for Veterinary Consultants in Telemedicine, a global teleradiology and telemedicine company. In addition to his academic and professional roles, Dr. Winter has delivered invited lectures on diagnostic imaging around the world.
Honey Bee Medicine
Joerg Mayer, DVM
Dr. Joerg Mayer grew up in Germany, where he received his primary education. He went to Budapest, Hungary, to study veterinary medicine shortly after the “iron curtain” fell. During his studies, he was fortunate to work with veterinarians in South Africa and Namibia for 6 months. He always had a strong interest in exotic animal medicine. After receiving his doctoral degree from the University of Budapest, Hungary, he went to the USA for an internship in ‘Zoological Medicine and Surgery’ at the Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence, RI. At the end of the internship, he was part of a research team studying wild tree kangaroos in the rainforest of Papua New Guinea for 3 months. After this exciting experience, he went to the Royal Veterinary College in London, England, to study for his Master of Science degree in wild animal health. The master's project, which focused on lead toxicity in the common loon, brought him to the Tufts Wildlife Clinic in the USA. There he was hired to serve as a clinical associate professor and as the head of the clinical service for exotic animals. After 10 years at Tufts University, he moved to Athens, Georgia, in 2010. He currently is a Full Professor in Zoological Medicine at UGA. He lectures regularly at large national and international conferences on all aspects of exotic animal medicine, including Honey Bee Medicine. Dr. Mayer qualified with the first batch of specialists in Exotic Companion Mammals as a Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners; in addition, he is also a Diplomate of the American and European College of Zoological Medicine. He served as the president of the Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians from 2010-2012. Since 2012 he is also an International Fulbright Specialist in Zoological Medicine. Dr. Mayer has published many scientific articles and book chapters, some of which have been translated into French, Spanish, and Portuguese. His latest book, “Veterinary Clinical Advisor for Birds and Exotic Pets,” was published in early 2013 and contains over 750 pages.
Senior Pet Expert
Mary Gardner, DVM
There is nothing better to Dr. Gardner than a dog with a grey muzzle or skinny old cat! Her professional goal is to increase awareness and medical care for the geriatric veterinary patient and to help make the final life stage to be as peaceful as possible, surrounded with dignity and support for all involved.
A University of Florida graduate, she discovered her niche in end of life care and is a founder of Lap of Love which has over 325 veterinarians around the country dedicated to veterinary hospice and euthanasia in the home.
Dr. Gardner published 2 books on caring for geriatric pets. "It's Never Long Enough" (dogs) and "Nine Lives Are Not Enough" (cats). She is co-author of the textbook “The Treatment and Care of the Veterinary Patient”, co-author of a children’s activity book focused on saying goodbye to a dog called “Forever Friend”.
Dr. Gardner also won VMX Small Animal Speaker of the year in 2020!