Ashli Selke – NAVTA President
Credentials/Certifications: RVT, CVT
Number of years as a Credentialed Vet Tech: 7
Why/how did you decide to become a Credentialed Veterinary Technician?
After I got out of the NAVY, I knew I wanted to utilize my GI Bill for schooling. But I wasn’t sure what I should do for the rest of my life. I knew I always wanted to be in the veterinary field, but in what aspect, I wasn’t sure. I honestly just wanted a career where I would have a significant role in the Zombie Apocalypse. So vet Tech was totally the way to go!
Why did you volunteer to serve on the NAVTA Executive Board?
I want to make a difference, and I believe I can. Also, I wanted other technicians to see themselves represented. For most of our profession, we do not have endless letters after our name, which is ok, and we can still be highly valued members in leadership roles. I greatly admire anyone who furthers themselves with education, certifications, and specializes, and that is in my personal future goals. But the reality is that most of us are just trying to get to the next day and find our way, and I want to normalize that as much as possible. I hope to change the veterinary field mindset and to convey the importance of retaining our amazing technicians/nurses at all costs so that we do not lose them after the first five years to another field or keep them stagnant with no sight of a way to elevate themselves. Veterinary Nurses should be Thriving and Not Surviving!
What do you feel is your greatest professional/personal accomplishment to date?
In my first year in leadership, I was elected as the Director of Marketing for the Arkansas Veterinary Technician Association. There I was able to let my creative thoughts fly finally. I saw a problem with how the membership could bring in currency. Everything either had to utilize cash or check, and membership dues needed to be mailed in. This was only holding this amazing organization back. I created a website where the membership was able to start utilizing digital currency to renew membership, buy our merchandise (annual T-shirts); we were also able to boost our Non-Dues Revenue with sales (silent auctions), all utilizing portable credit card readers and increasing not only membership but our overall total budget by great lengths. I worked very hard on my off time to create this. It was my first taste of how I could improve the lives of my fellow technicians for the better—having more available funds to go and create relationships at conferences and Veterinary Medical Board Meetings within our state and district. This improvement also led to the AVTA being the first official Veterinary Technician Association to be a full partner with SWVS or Southwest Veterinary Symposium and sit at the table with the 5 VMAs that made up SWVS. (NM, OK, TX, AR, and LA) Since then, two other VTAs have joined in partnering, thus creating a larger space to collaborate.
How do you balance your work/volunteer/home commitments?
Everything is a balancing act in my life. For example, I have ADHD/ anxiety, and it is controlled with medication, but for a long time, it wasn’t, and I always felt like I was underperforming or overperforming. Basically, too many tabs open in my brain, and I could never close them, which is the best way to describe it. So now I utilize to do/ notebooks/ digital calendars for each of these important things in my life and realize that I will probably have to continue that for the rest of my life.
If you could pick up a new skill instantly, what would it be?
Interior Design. I’m so jealous of people who can effortlessly decorate a space. Maybe it’s ADHD? hmmmmm…lol