About The NVVMA

The NVVMA began in 1975 as a non-profit organization to:      

  • Promote within the veterinary profession the highest degree of skill, integrity and service to the public.        
  • Enlighten the public concerning veterinary medicine and to disseminate information for the benefit of the public regarding appropriate care and treatment of animals.      
  • Improve and elevate the standards of veterinary medicine within the Commonwealth of Virginia
  • Foster the cultivation of professional fellowship among veterinarians in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Meet Our Board

President: Dr. Randy Derbin
He is originally from northeastern Pennsylvania. He spent his undergraduate days at Penn State University where he received a BS in biochemistry and a BS in animal bioscience. He went on to the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Veterinary Medicine where he received his veterinary degree in 2001. The following year, he completed an internship and has since been practicing emergency medicine in the area and currently works at the Regional Veterinary Referral Center in the emergency and critical care department where he is the assistant chief of staff. He has a strong interest in managing traumatic, toxicological and surgical emergencies. He currently resides in Ashburn with his wife and 3 dogs (Lilly, Briggs and Pete) and 3 horses (Dewey, Skippy and Ellie). In his free time, he enjoys golf, watching baseball and traveling to exotic dive locations. He has been a member of the NVVMA for over 10 years and is looking forward to getting more involved.

Vice President: Elton Vyfhuis, DVM
Dr. Vyfhuis’ veterinary career began with a promise from his parents, that he would get a puppy from a family friend. He begged and pleaded for this puppy, and even though his parents never gave in, his favorite aunt did. She asked him to dog-sit her Chow puppy for a few days, and he never let go! She surrendered the pup, but retained visiting rights.

Dr. Vyfhuis started accumulating pets, including a mischievous kitty, an unpredictable dog, a hamster, budgerigar (type of bird), 5 chickens, 2 rabbits, 2 more cats, 9 more dogs and 2 snakes.

Of course, it takes more than a love of animals to become a veterinarian. When faced with the decision of what degree to pursue as a senior at Banneker High School in Washington, D.C., his love of medicine, nature, and the art of science made it a “no-brainer”.

As an undergraduate at University of Maryland, Eastern Shore, in the honors program for animal science, it was the core pre-vet coursework in which he excelled. “Things come a lot easier when you enjoy doing them”. He graduated from from his college a “super senior” in 1997.

Dr. Vyfhuis went to vet school at Tuskegee University in Alabama in 1998. He is grateful that Tuskegee stressed hands-on experience as much as learning medical scientific advances in the veterinary field.

Secretary: Dr. Leslie Sinn
  • B.S. Animal Science, University of Georgia Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia Internship Small Animal Medicine & Surgery, University of Georgia;
  • Former Assistant Dean & Professor, Veterinary Technology Program, Northern Virginia Community College;
  • Certified professional dog trainer- knowledge assessed (CPDT-KA) by the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers; 40+ years practical experience teaching, training and working with dogs, cats, horses, llamas, cattle, goats, sheep, pigs, raptors, parrots, exotics, zoo and laboratory animals;
  • 400+ hours of animal behavior and psychology specific postgraduate coursework Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists (ACVB)

Treasurer: Dr. Julie Wentzel
Dr. Julie Wentzel grew up in Annapolis, Maryland, and graduated from Virginia Tech with a Bachelor of Science in Forestry and Wildlife in 1998. She graduated from the University of Illinois, College of Veterinary Medicine in 2004, where she pursued interests in both wildlife medicine and small animal emergency medicine. After graduation, she completed a small animal emergency medicine internship at Anne Arundel Veterinary Emergency Clinic in Annapolis, Maryland, where she remained on staff for another seven years. Her family moved to Leesburg, Virginia, where she has spent several years working at Animal Emergency and Critical Care. She completed her Certified Veterinary Acupuncture courses in 2013, and became a Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner and Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist in 2014. She is passionate about treating acute and chronic pain to improve her patients' lives and assist in their return to a more active lifestyle. In her free time, Dr. Wentzel enjoys spending time with her family, as well as gardening, bird watching, volleyball, and running. She lives with her husband and their three children and three cats in Leesburg, Virginia.

Advisor: Dr. Aurelie Pohl
Dr. Aurelie Pohl is a native of Bethesda, Maryland. She is a 2005 graduate of Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in Blacksburg, VA and a 2001 graduate of McGill University in Montreal, Canada with a Bachelor’s of Science in biology. She was in small animal practice in Alexandria, Virginia for over eight years at VCA Old Town Animal Hospital. She then was an American Association for the Advancement of Science, Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service in Washington, DC for two years working on food safety risk assessments. Currently, she is an Oak Ridge Institute for Science & Education Fellow at the US Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition and working on her Masters of Public Health degree. She has been a member of the NVVMA for over eight years. In her free time she enjoys hiking with her toy poodle Suzette and trampolining.


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