Biographies of CVMA Executive Members


Dr. Troy Bourque is originally from Fredericton, New Brunswick, and graduated from the Atlantic Veterinary College, University of Prince Edward Island, in 2000. He was a mixed animal veterinarian for 14 years in Okotoks where he focused on cow-calf, equine, and small animal practice. In 2014, Dr. Bourque began working as an emergency veterinarian at Fish Creek 24-Hour Pet Hospital in Calgary and now also works at Big Rock Animal Clinic, practicing small animal medicine, in Okotoks.

He was involved in the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association (ABVMA) for 14 years and served on Council from 2006 to 2012. He was president of the ABVMA in 2010. Dr. Bourque has been involved with the CVMA for over five years on various committees including the Executive Committee, the Communications Advisory Group, and most recently the chair of the Veterinary Pharmaceutical Stewardship Advisory Group. He is looking forward to his year as president of the CVMA.

Dr. Bourque’s wife, Alix, is a registered nurse in High River, Alberta. The Bourque family consists of Troy and Alix’s son Sam, their golden retriever, Roper, two horses, and two cats. Dr. Bourque enjoys spending time with his family; they love to hike, fish, camp, and enjoy being outdoors. Dr. Bourque’s other passion is photography; in his spare time you can find him behind his camera.


Dr. Troye McPherson, born in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, graduated from the Ontario Agricultural College in 1984 and OVC in 1989 and is the Vice-President of the CVMA Executive Committee. Troye started her veterinary career in Neilburg, Sask. as a large animal Veterinarian. She taught agricultural courses at Lakeland College in Vermilion, Alta., and was the Acting Director of the Animal Health Technologist Program at Lakeland College for two semesters, covering a maternity leave. During that time, she also taught courses in the AHT program. Dr. McPherson worked as a Small Animal Veterinarian at Caribou West Animal Hospital in Moose Jaw, Sask. She returned to Nova Scotia where she worked in mixed practice for a year prior to returning to part-time work as a small animal veterinarian and an emergency veterinarian at a local emergency hospital. During this time, Troye helped develop a Veterinary Assistant Program at a private business college in Halifax, N.S., where she also taught. Due to a keen interest in all aspects of the veterinary profession, Troye took a job as a Federal Veterinarian as a meat inspector. She worked in this capacity for a year, but missing the diversity of practice, she returned to a private small animal practice and has been a small animal practitioner ever since. Through her interest in continuing education, Troye has taken numerous courses in small animal cardiac and abdominal ultrasound. She is a member of the American Association of Feline Practitioners and is currently working on board certification (feline specialist) with the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners. Dr. McPherson is the CVMA representative for Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE) and the Registered Veterinary Technologists and Technicians of Canada (RVTTC). Troye has also always had an interest in volunteering and, in that capacity, has served on the Council of the Nova Scotia Veterinary Medical Association twice. Troye lives in Dartmouth Nova Scotia with her husband, Patrick, four Border Collies and four cats. She loves travel, camping, running and being ‘herded’ by the Border Collies.


Dr. Terri Chotowetz graduated from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in 1990. Terri practiced in Alberta from 1990 to 1998 in several mixed animal practices before returning to Saskatchewan in 1998. Dr. Chotowetz returned to practice in a small animal clinic in Saskatoon after her last child was born and she has been at that practice ever since. Terri has served on the Saskatchewan Veterinary Medical Association (SVMA) Animal Welfare Committee since 2008, was elected to the SVMA Council in 2009, and served as President in 2011-2012.

DR. melanie hicks, EXECUTIVE MEMBER

Originally from Prince Edward Island, Dr. Melanie Hicks obtained her Bachelor of Science from the Nova Scotia Agricultural College before attending the Atlantic Veterinary College. Upon graduation in 2003, she moved with her family to Moncton, New Brunswick, and began her career as a companion animal practitioner. After 10 years of practicing, Dr. Hicks joined Abaxis Global Diagnostics as a Professional Services Veterinarian. She has been involved with the New Brunswick Veterinary Medical Association as a Council member since 2009 and was acting President from 2011-2012. She joined the CVMA as a Council member in 2013, serving on numerous task forces including the Business Management Advisory Group, Veterinary Wellness Advisory Group, and an innovation/technology group. Dr. Hicks currently resides in Moncton with her husband and son on a small alpaca farm, and is working on her MBA in her spare time.


Dr. Nicole Gallant of Kensington, P.E.I., joins the CVMA Executive as its 67th president. Upon graduation from the Faculté de médecine vétérinaire at the University of Montreal in 1983, after three years of a Bachelor of Agricultural Science with a major in Animal Science, Dr. Gallant returned to Prince Edward Island to practice at the Kensington Veterinary Clinic, a mixed animal practice, for what was supposed to be one year, but has now turned into 31 years to date. Her love for working with animals began at a young age when she was her father’s shadow on their mixed animal farm in western P.E.I. She was raised in a small francophone Acadian community until she was 11, then moved to a local town where she learned English in school. Dr. Gallant became a partner at the Kensington Veterinary Clinic in 1990 and focused on large animals, which included dairy herd health, for the first 20 years of the practice. She now focuses on small animals with some exotic species, such as emu and alpacas. She became a councillor on the Prince Edward Island Veterinary Medical Association (PEIVMA) in 1988 and became its registrar the following year until 2002. In 2007, she was voted PEIVMA representative on CVMA Council and then voted onto CVMA Executive in July 2012. Dr. Gallant’s hobbies include reading, gardening, travel, biking, and walking, especially with her dogs on Prince Edward Island’s beaches. 

DR. barry stemshorn, treasurer

Dr. Barry Stemshorn is a veterinarian who trained at the University of Montreal and holds a B.Sc. from McGill University and a Ph.D. from the University of Guelph. His professional interests include environmental, animal and human health, and the governance of regulatory programs. He served as the founding Director for a Certificate Program in Regulatory Leadership launched jointly by the University of Ottawa and Carleton University in 2013. From 2000-2006 Barry served as Assistant Deputy Minister for the Environmental Protection Service of Environment Canada where he led national programs to prevent and reduce pollution of air, water and soil. Prior to this he held a number of executive positions over two decades with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, responsible for diagnostic and research laboratories, animal health policy development and then regional operations in Western Canada. He also served (1988-90) as the first project manager for a 12 country Caribbean animal and plant health information network for the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture based in Trinidad & Tobago. From 1999-2000 Barry served as a Director of Operations, Economic and Regional Development, at Canada’s Privy Council Office where he supported the Prime Minister and his Cabinet in dealing with difficult aspects of energy, environmental, agricultural and fisheries policies. Barry was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee (2002) and Diamond Jubilee (2012) Medals for his contributions to Canada. In recent years he has worked as a consultant for Canadian and international agencies including the Paris-based World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the World Bank. On behalf of the OIE he has participated in evaluations of the national veterinary services of over a dozen countries. Barry has served as a Director and volunteer for the Ottawa Riverkeeper and for Veterinarians without Borders (Canada). He enjoys cross-country and telemark skiing, cycling and fly-fishing. He returned to photography in 2012. His photos of The Fishing Bears of the Great Bear Rainforest of Canada’s west coast were exhibited at the Art Brûlant gallery in Shawville, Quebec, and at The Table Restaurant in Ottawa in 2014 and used as corporate gifts by the CVMA.

Jost am Rhyn, Chief Executive Officer

Mr. am Rhyn graduated from business administration and economics in Switzerland and had 20 years of experience in association management when he joined the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) in February 2002 as its Executive Director (now Chief Executive Officer) and National Examining Board (NEB) Registrar. Prior to joining the CVMA, Mr. am Rhyn was the Executive Director of a Canadian national Olympic sports organization for 10 years and a national trade association in Switzerland for seven years. During his involvement in the corporate sector, he worked for a Swiss insurance company and later served a large international enterprise in the domain of business organization and restructuring. Among his many volunteer involvements, Mr. am Rhyn sat on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Society of Associations Executives (CSAE), where he also served as the Co-Chair of the Membership Committee and the Advocacy Committee.