An Introvert Friendly Community
We welcome you to our space - a place to be refreshed, centered, and seen.
Meet the team!
Jenni Rizzo, DVM
Hello! Thank you for visiting our site! If this is the first time you’ve heard of IntroVet™, I am so glad you found us. Reach out to me anytime if you have questions or want to know more. If you're a frequent visitor, thank you for being a part of our happy community!
Since you've likely come to this page wondering who's "running the show", allow me to share a little about myself. I graduated from Kansas State University in 2012 and moved to Texas the day after graduation. Since 2012, I have practiced emergency, primary care, and shelter medicine in both Texas and Florida. I have also served as an Executive Board Member on the Board of the American Heartworm Society since 2016 and currently lead as President.
I founded IntroVet™ (previously known as Lone Star Veterinary Academy), because I wasn’t satisfied with the types of continuing education events I have attended as a vet in the past. It bothers me to get stuck in an overflow room, to wait in line behind hundreds of people for every activity, or to walk a marathon to get from one lecture to the next. As an introvert - or should I say, IntroVet™ -the thought of scooting down narrow aisles in a crowded lecture hall can be overwhelming! My goal in starting IntroVet™ was to create a comfortable community for other IntroVet™s like me! We also love when extroverts attend and take some of the pressure off of us to ask questions.
It’s my hope that we’re creating an experience that’s more productive, less stressful, and gives learners the tools they need to help a subject matter really stick. Now several years into planning these programs, we’re humbled by the way our team and our community has grown, and we still LOVE making events that are as fun and educational as they are cozy!
I couldn’t find the energy to balance so many projects if not for my husband, Jared, and four family dogs. In our free time, we love to spend our time hiking, traveling, sitting on the back porch, or taking trips to the beach. Say hi to Jared at our next in-person conference! He’s there at every event working behind the scenes to ensure everyone’s happy, relaxed, and well fed.
Chief Executive Dog
Pistol Pete is a Black Mouth Cur mix and is Dr. Rizzo’s right-hand man. She may think she’s in charge, but he really gives the barking orders at this office. Pistol Pete was rescued by a Good Samaritan as a tiny, starving puppy in 2013. He made a heroic recovery after several nights in the hospital and has been stealing hearts ever since. He loves going to work every day and meeting new people. His jobs include: licking stamps, office doorbell, emotional support, and social media influencer. You can follow Pistol Pete on Instagram, or on Facebook.
Chief Event Strategist
Michelle Popilek has worked in the veterinary industry for over 10 years. She has had the opportunity to experience the industry on many levels. She started in non profit and moved on to manage multiple hospitals as well as managed a 10 year project of breed specific research and content development.
She started in this field for the same reason we all do – the pets! Along the way, she fell in love with the people. She believes that animal care providers are a unique group of people who deserve industry specific support. Michelle pursued the new Brave Space Certification through the AVMA in 2021.
"When we create environments for people to be themselves we attract more talent and diversity to the industry. When we feel accepted, it is easier for us to be open about struggles we may be experiencing. I became Brave Space Certified through the AVMA and a member of PrideVMC to be part of the solution. With Dr. Rizzo's support, I am excited to work with IntroVet™ in creating more forward thinking, safe space events chalked full of valuable CE. I appreciate IntroVet's commitment to inclusivity."
Currently, Michelle serves as the Practice Manager for an AAHA Accredited hospital in Texas and serves as the Chief Event Strategist for IntroVet™.
“Veterinary CE is an area of high investment that could be leveraged better as a support avenue. It is my perception that CE conferences are geared toward sales opportunities for the large vendors. If we shifted gears and concentrated on creating a safe learning environment to be shared with like minded animal care givers, we could better support the humans who carry the field. As a Practice Manager, I love nothing more than to see my team return from CE refreshed, focused and EXCITED!”
Michelle fills her own cup kayaking with her husband and caring for their 3 sons. She has 3 dogs and has fostered a number of animals that we won’t post publicly 🙂
Event Logistics Expert
If you ever get the chance to attend one of our in person conferences, you'll meet Kassi at check-in! Kassi is our on-the-ground event coordinator extraordinaire. She ensures everyone has what they need at each weekend program, and she keeps the day flowing smoothly, so that the snacks never run out, the coffee never gets cold, and nobody forgets their CE Certificate when it's time to go home!
Kassi is a veterinary technician practicing in San Antonio, TX, and she and Dr. Rizzo worked many long nights together in the ER before starting IntroVet™. In her free time, Kassi breeds and shows Dogo Argentinos, including the first Dogo ever to be shown in the working group at Westminster!
Creative Content Expert
Katie has worked in marketing and social media for over 15 years. Graduating from The Ohio State University in 2005, her career took her through the travel industry, food and restaurant industries, and now veterinarian community! Creating, scheduling, and strategizing on how to give a meaningful presence on social media to smaller businesses is her passion. Her social media philosophy is: The only way to do social media wrong, is to not do it at all!
"Being relatively new to the veterinary community, two things immediately struck me. It is a group of passionate professionals who work hard but love even harder. IntroVet™ brings great value to veterinary medicine as the CE is curated by a veterinarian who understands that learning can be beneficial, interesting, and fun at the same time. Dr Jenni appreciates that time is precious, and she has worked hard to provide education that is valuable while also making space for veterinarians to truly connect with one another." Katie's overall favorite part of working with IntroVet™ is being on an all-woman team who root for each other, and for others!
In her spare time, Katie loves to be with her family, read, travel, and enjoy the occasional glass of wine while listening to late 90's Hip-Hop/R&B and early 2000's pop.
The Hively Co
Denae Hively and her team at The Hively Co. help us grow our courses, webinars, and other ondemand resources. They help YOU find what you need online and craft the member experience so you can easily find what you need and complete your CE credits as easy as 1-2-3.