Meet the Team Committed to Helping You Achieve Your Ownership Goals
Partners Veterinary Group is led by veterinarians and practice owners who want you to experience the same level of success that they’ve achieved in their careers. We’re dedicated to educating and empowering veterinarians with an entrepreneurial spirit, and showing them the way to becoming outstanding veterinary practice owners in their own right. Our deep knowledge and decades of experience give us uniquely keen insight into the business side of the veterinary industry.
Drs. Joe Whalen and Scott Petereit have amassed a wealth of knowledge in veterinary medicine and practice ownership. Get to know their stories.
Dr. Joe Whalen, Founder
Dr. Joe Whalen graduated from The University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in 1991. His medical areas of interest include surgery, acupuncture, chiropractic, and rehabilitation. Dr. Whalen founded LePar Animal Hospital in 1995, and has remained a partner ever since. In 2008, he opened Chicago Animal Rehab, the first animal rehabilitation clinic on Chicago’s South Side.
Dr. Whalen has partnered with other veterinarians and purchased two overnight emergency clinics, Chicago Emergency Veterinary Care and Animal 911, which he converted into 24-hour clinics and sold. In 2014, he co-founded Companion Animal Partners with Dr. Scott Petereit and Dr. Dan Markwalder. They expanded Companion to 13 locations and sold to MVP in 2021.
Dr. Whalen has been a member of Veterinary Management Group since October 2010. The organization meets bi-annually to discuss the latest topics in veterinary business. He is also a Guest Lecturer for Veterinary Medicine Business classes at the University of Illinois, and has served as a VBMA Speaker for the Universities of Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Lincoln Memorial, Virginia-Maryland, and Purdue University.
"What I love most about vet med is helping young doctors realize their career goals by opening a practice. I want to put 100 vets into ownership. Partners Veterinary Group has the ideal team in place to make this happen!"
Dr. Scott Petereit, Founder
Having graduated from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in 1991, Dr. Petereit has accumulated over 30 years of clinical small animal experience and 20 years of practice ownership experience. His interests include soft tissue surgery and internal medicine, employing diagnostic modalities of ultrasound and endoscopy. He has been a contributing writer for The Daily Herald newspaper and a veterinarian volunteer and consultant for a large local animal shelter.
Dr. Petereit began his venture into veterinary practice ownership with the simultaneous purchase of two veterinary practices that he merged into one large practice. Soon afterward, he acquired his third practice and purchased and managed an overnight veterinary emergency service that he, along with his partner, converted to a 24-hour ER facility.
In 2014, Dr. Petereit co-founded a local hospital group that quickly grew to 13 locations in the Chicago market.
Dr. Petereit’s vision is to guide aspiring entrepreneurial veterinarians to realize the professional and financial success he has enjoyed, by repeating and expanding on the success he has had in the Chicago area.
Our Administrative Team
Partners Veterinary Group would not be possible without our incredible administrative team.
Wendy Tanneberger, CVPM
Director of Operations
Wendy’s experience in the veterinary field spans decades, from working as a Certified Veterinary Technician for 6+ years to becoming a Certified Veterinary Practice Manager in 2017. She has over 20 years’ experience in veterinary management and administration, including HR policy, supervision and training, team development and scheduling, operations management, program development, client relations, and AAHA certification standards.
Wendy was instrumental in helping the Companion Animal Hospitals go from newly-acquired startups to well-managed, profitable hospitals. Her favorite part of her position is being a resource for her team and coaching new managers and managing partners in improving the daily operations of their hospitals.
Wendy and her husband have 4 children and several four-legged family members: a dog named Carly, a cat named Ollie, a horse named Tennessee, and a rabbit named Lumine.
Laura Bercasio, CVT
Laura left her almost decade-long mortgage banking job to pursue her lifelong dream of working with animals. She began her career as a receptionist/assistant at a small animal practice, then pursued the veterinary technician program at Parkland College. She graduated in 1994 and passed the VTNE Board Exam to earn her CVT. Laura then went on to work as a veterinary technician for 13 years, before transitioning to a management role in 2007.
Laura has many years of experience in all areas of working at and managing small animal hospitals. She joined Partners Veterinary Group because she found that the company’s vision and values directly aligned with her own. She believes in creating a positive culture through mentorship, teamwork, and support team utilization so each team member feels valued.
When away from work she enjoys spending time with her dog named Obi.
Sylvia Olechno, MBA
Human Resources Manager
Sylvia is a bilingual first-generation Polish American. She has a Master of Business Administration with a focus in Human Resources Management, and has been in the veterinary industry since 2018. She oversees and executes recruiting, hiring, compensation, benefits, retention, and worker protection, and also works with practice owners to create company policies and practices.
Sylvia is dedicated to changing how people see HR, creating a positive work culture, building trust with her team, respecting team members, and practicing emotional intelligence. She takes pride in her work and strives for success in everything she does. Outside of work, Sylvia is devoted to animal welfare and volunteering. She has 4 German Shepherd rescues.
Kelly Blohm, CVT
Inventory and Vendor Support Manager
Kelly began her career in the veterinary field in 2001, and became a Certified Veterinary Technician in 2016. She chose her role with Partners Veterinary Group based on our core values, and because we take care of our team members and encourage employee growth.
Along with the rest of our administrative team, Kelly builds strong relationships with each hospital’s leadership team to provide them with as many resources as possible. She works closely with vendors to keep up with the latest products, sets up vendor accounts, obtains equipment bids for new practices, and develops and implements inventory management and OSHA Standard Operating Procedures. She’s also our resident Pulse expert.
Kelly and her husband have 2 cats, Sterling and Oliver, who keep them on their toes. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, going biking (when the weather is nice), and taking her 1967 Firebird out for a spin.