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Dr. Bonnie Alexander, Owner
Hello, and welcome! I’m so happy to be providing veterinary services here in the East Beach area of Norfolk. A born Hokie, I graduated from Virginia Tech Vet School somewhat later in life (2003), after earning a Physical Education degree from ODU. Upon graduation, I was an associate at a practice in Virginia Beach for a year until I had an opportunity to purchase a small practice in Beaufort, SC. I packed up my four Bostons and embarked on a new adventure down south where I spent five fabulous years. There, I met my husband, a Marine, and fortunately his orders (at our request) have brought us back here to our favorite place...on the Chesapeake Bay. Besides my passion for Veterinary Medicine and caring for animals, I have many other hobbies and interests. I’m a self-taught guitar player, and in my younger days I sang and played guitar in local bands. A few years ago I earned my private pilot license. When my husband and I can find the time, we ride motorcycles, play golf, and spend time on the beach and in the water on our SUPs. We also try to get up to Blacksburg each fall for Hokie football. Again, welcome, and I look forward to seeing all of you and your four-legged family members!
Dr. Erin Drinkwater is a local veterinarian from the North End of Virginia Beach, Virginia. Her love of animals was a passion from the beginning. “I can remember raising a robin that I named Sugarfoot who would follow me around as I searched for bugs (that he ate) in my back yard.”
Her great grandparents farmed pigs and chickens outside of Petersburg, Va. And she would spend time with them in the summers helping them raise the animals. As she got older, she went to Camp Mont Shenandoah every summer for 6 weeks. She was promptly named “Bug Woman” because she always had some sort of critter in her care. Dr. Drinkwater cares deeply about the human/ animal bond. It is very important to her that her clients understand all aspects of their pet’s care. Dr. Drinkwater will use illustrations as she talks to further simplify some concepts. “I know what it feels like to not understand something that I find to be very important. Before I went to vet school, I thought dogs had 4 knees! I was there once and I have not forgotten the feeling. I want my clients to feel as comfortable as possible when they are with me.”Dr. Drinkwater has a degree in Broadcast Journalism from Lynchburg College, with a minor in Public Relations. She was employed as an event planner for the Salem Civic Center and really enjoyed working behind the scenes for the big celebrities that would come to town. She is always proud to say that she once had dinner with Kool and the Gang. After several years, however, her calling again took over and she went back to Virginia Tech for two years and took the classes required to become a veterinarian. She graduated from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2006. This school is located on the Island of St. Kitts and was an “awesome” experience for Dr. Drinkwater. She came back to Virginia and practiced on the Eastern Shore for 5 years before finally returning to the North End where she grew up. She has a great husband who is as passionate about sailing as Drinkwater is of animals. They have a beautiful 4 year old daughter who thinks she is a princess and wants nothing to do with either animals or sailing.
Erin Strickland - Practice Manager
In 1995, a friend convinced me to follow my passion and work with animals. She arranged for me to volunteer at her veterinary clinic, and the rest is history. I have been working with animals ever since as a receptionist, assistant, hospital manager, pet sitter, animal foster mom, trainer, search & recovery team member, Schutzhund team member, and as a volunteer with a variety of animal organizations. I am Virginia Beach native, and my husband, Eric, is retired Navy. I have a degree in Business Management and am certified in canine behavior and canine nutrition. I am owned by several pets... two German Shepherds, a Chihuahua and a kitty named "Cat". I have Multiple Sclerosis and my dog OY is a Mobility Service Animal for me when I need him and is also a Therapy Dog used at various medical facilities.
Lori Beth Shanko - Licensed Veterinary Technician
Working in animal hospitals since 2009 has proven to be my life's passion after various attempts at other careers therein being a "Jack of all trades, master of none". I love working with animals, but even better is helping clients understand the medical side of being a pet owner; disease processes, proper food, medications and side effects, etc. Along with animal nursing, I also have certifications in art framing, massage therapy, scuba diving and Reiki. I'm an artist, painter, sketcher, singer and active ourdoors hiker who loved to experience live music festivals and good friends. I live in Yorktwon with my soul mate, Christopher, a pond and water feature artist who is opening my veterinary technician world into the koi fish industry. We live with our 11 year old Shih Tzu Elvis. We do not have any TV but we have a record player, a bunch of vinyl and a passion for cooking.
Amber Winters - Lead Receptionist
I absolutely love working at East Beach Vet, and my favorite patients are the older and wiser ones! I have several pets at home: a Pug named "Mimi"and a Chihuahua named "Nemea". I have been at East Beach since April 2015 and have been working in animal hospitals since 2007. I am a Norfolk native and my coworkers tell me one of my strengths is grace under pressure and compassion, especially toward the elderly pets.
Julie Hogan - Veterinary Technician
Julie is a welcome addition to the East Beach family. She currently works for the Cardiologist and Internal Medicine Doctors and works here in her spare time. She is also attending school to gain her degree as a Licensed Veterinary Technician. Her gentle spirit and kindness are just a few of what makes her so special. We are so happy to have her here.
NaTosha Harris - Veterinary Technician
NaTosha works with us on her "day off" from her full time veterinary hospital. Her outgoing personality is contageous and we love when she is here with us. NaTosha brings a lot of experience and is also finishing up her schooling to become a Licensed Veterinary Technician. She is newly married and had two gorgeous Bullies at home!
Sheri Beshears - Receptionist
Early in 2016, Sheri came to work with us in her spare time as a veterinary receptionist. She has led a colorful past in that she has been a hair stylist, animal control officer, 911 dispatch officer and has worked many years at Providence Square Vet in Kempsville, VA. She and her husband Barry have celebrated their 20th Anniversary with their fur children Payton Potato Britches, Lily, Rudee and Scruffles (all rescues).
Renee Watson-Soltis- Receptionist
My homeland is absolutely the most beautiful island in the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago. In May of 2016 I earned my US Citizenship! After extensive travel, I have landed in Virginia Beach and have stayed put here for the past 11 years. I have been working as a veterinary receptionist for over nine years. I’ve acquired an associate’s degree in Business Management and I have an innate ability to relate to people and animals. Well known for my cheery attitude and contagious smile, you can see me running the trails at First Landing with my handsome German Shepherd, Sir Ranger Charles. Together, Ranger Charles and I have completed many races and have enjoyed a few mud runs just for fun. We are looking forward to many more in the not too distant future.
Lisa Sison- Assistant
I graduated from Virginia Wesleyan College with a BA in Biology. I have been a vet assistant since 2007 and absolutely love it. I have attended many classes to one day become a licensed Veterinary Technician. I reside in Norfolk with my menagerie of pets which includes a cat, a dachshund, and a guinea pig. During my free time, I love going to the beach, going to theme parks, and spending time with my family.
Anna Cooper has been with us since July 2015 and is currently working part time. Anna and her husband moved to Norfolk with the Military in 2014. She divides her time as receptionist and veterinary assistant at East Beach Vet and has diverse prior experience in the animal field. She has been an office manager for a doggie daycare, boarding, grooming and rescue facility and achieved assistant trainer status. Anna also worked as a veterinary receptionist for several years prior to joining our team. She has two dogs, "Angel" and "Indigo". We are excited to have her professionalism and love for animals in our clinic.
DonaLyn Lawrence - Receptionist and Assistant
I lived in Boston my whole life until 2014 then moved to Norfolk where my husband is stationed. I love it here! I'm fairly new to the veterinary world but have had a passion for working with animals ever since I was a kid. I started taking veterinary assistant classes in 2014, fell in love, and have been working in veterinary hospitals ever since. Helping animals and their loving owners is my favorite part of my day, and I hope to further my knowledge to become a Licensed Veterinary Technician. When I;m not at work, I'm hanging out with my two chocolate labs Lenny and Goose. We love the beach (especially swimming and fetching) and spend a lot of time hiking and running the trails of First Landing. They are my world!
Brittney McCullough - Veterinary Assistant
I was born in Louisville, KY and grew up watching and loving horse racing. After a severe car accident, dogs played a significant role in my recovery and I have been passionate about them ever since. I met my husband in 2005 and the Navy brought us to Norfolk. We currently live in Moyock, NC with our eleven year old daughter, 12 year old Miniature Dachshund and 1 year old German Shorthair Pointer. My dreams of working in a veterinary clinic finally became a reality in 2016 here at East Beach Vet.
Larry Lafary - Veterinary Assistant
After a 25 year career in the United States Marines, Larry (Dr Alexander's husband) has joined our family. Larry will ultimately be overseeing all of the development of the NEW East Beach Vet location that will be breaking ground hopefully in December 2017. He is always willing to lend a hand and has taken some administrative duties off of Dr Alexander's plate so she can focus more on patient care.
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