At an early age, Dr. Terry Clekis always knew he wanted to become a veterinarian. After completing his undergraduate studies at the College of Charleston and graduate studies in reproductive physiology at the University of Georgia, Dr. Clekis went on to attend and graduate from the prestigious University of Georgia’s veterinary school in 1983. Upon graduation, Dr. Clekis knew he wanted to make a positive impact on the veterinary industry as it related to pets, pet owners, and his professional colleagues. After gaining experience as an associate veterinarian and hospital owner in the Charleston, South Carolina area and St. Petersburg, Florida, Dr. Clekis purchased Braden River Animal Hospital in 2002 and built the current, state-of-the art 5000sqft facility behind the original building on State Road 64 East in 2007. After many successful years at Braden River Animal Hospital, Dr. Clekis further expanded the grounds by building a new, 5000sqft boarding and grooming center adjacent to Braden River Animal Hospital. The new facility is home to ACE Pet Resort at Braden River and Diva Dogs Pet Grooming. Now, all three businesses, coupled with The Last Paw Dog Training contribute to offering pet owners full and comprehensive pet healthcare, boarding, day care, puppy play, grooming and pet behavior training.
In 2017, a new vision to provide excellence in pet healthcare standards for the greater Sarasota-Bradenton areas was seen to fruition when Dr. Clekis opened North River Animal Hospital in Parrish, FL. The expansion of the new veterinary practice, on the perimeter of a 20 mile radius with Braden River Animal Hospital, provides additional, full service, state-of-the-art pet care beyond Parrish to the surrounding areas of Palmetto, Ft. Hamer, and Lakewood Ranch as well.
Today, Dr. Clekis is very instrumental and influential on setting the direction for veterinary medicine. He is widely known for his expertise on wellness care and he routinely speaks on the use of cutting edge products and protocols related to veterinary medicine. Dr. Clekis has also been featured in many local, state, and national publications such as Veterinarian Compendium and the Merial Monitor. Under his leadership, Braden River Animal Hospital is one of the few nationally recognized clinical trial research sites for all major animal health pharmaceutical companies.
In addition, Dr. Clekis was instrumental in starting and serving as the president for the Manatee County Veterinary Medical Society. In 2007, he was awarded the highly sought after Gold Star Award from the Florida Veterinary Medical Association that recognizes outstanding contributions to veterinary medicine. He is a board member of the Southeast Guide Dog Association, the Manatee County Humane Society and the American Heartworm Society. Dr. Clekis is an active member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Florida Veterinary Medical Association (FVMA), and the Southwest Florida Veterinary Medical Association. His most recent contribution to his profession and community came when he became the FVMA’s Disaster Response Committee Chair, where he is responsible for ensuring that all veterinary hospitals have a plan of action for their clients and patients in the event of a natural disaster.
Dr. Clekis enjoys being a vital part of the Manatee County and Bradenton communities. Whether in the hospital, riding his Harley Davidson or on the road with his family in their RV, Dr. Clekis is committed to ensuring that he does everything in his power to build long term relationships with anyone he comes in contact with.
Dr. Berarducci was first introduced to our clients over 13 years ago when she worked at Braden River Animal Hospital dually as a front office receptionist and veterinary technician. At the time, Dr. Berarducci was preparing for her studies to one day enter the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Upon graduating from veterinary school in 2011, Dr. Berarducci first worked at a local practice in the Bradenton area. Soon thereafter, we were incredibly fortunate to have her return to Braden River Animal Hospital as one of our Associate Veterinarians.
Originally from Walnut Creek, California, Dr. Berarducci and her family have developed strong ties to the Bradenton community which also parallels the strong relationships she formulated with our Braden River clientele and patients. Having a strong interest in developing her career as a veterinarian, Dr. Berarducci has continuously fortified these bonds by practicing quality companion animal medicine and surgery while educating clients on the well-being of their pets. Over the years, she has also been driven to develop her business acumen in veterinary practice management also working on the development of North River Animal Hospital. With both sister practices now strongly embedded in the Bradenton, Parrish, Palmetto, Ft. Hamer and surrounding communities, Dr. Berarducci also met another huge milestone when she became co-owner of both Braden River Animal Hospital and North River Animal Hospital with Dr. Terry Clekis in 2017.
Looking into the future, Dr. Berarducci is dedicated to helping develop our two practices with a continued emphasis placed on superior patient care, excellent customer service and community involvement. Her own professional goals are to stay current on the latest advancements in medicine and surgery and to continually foster great teamwork as a managing veterinarian. For leisure, Dr. Berarducci participates in mud runs both locally and around the state, enjoys weight training, reading, going to movies and to the beach. She is also a parent to Blaze and Torch, two beautiful German Shepherds she has been raising since 2016.
Dr. Barbara Lewis is a well-seasoned and highly respected veterinarian in the Bradenton area. Known as being incredibly warm-hearted and compassionate, Dr. Lewis is a wonderful “people person” and phenomenal clinician. With over 18 years of veterinary experience, we were thrilled to have her join our teams at both North River Animal Hospital and Braden River Animal Hospital in 2017.
Originally from Miami, FL, Dr. Lewis earned her doctorate from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine in 2000. Shortly thereafter, she made Bradenton her permanent home in 2004 where she has been practicing small animal companion medicine. She is also active with the local veterinary medical associations and member of the FVMA (Florida Veterinary Medical Association and AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association).
Dr. Lewis has special interests in primary and geriatric care as well as dermatology. She truly enjoys spending time with pet parents discussing the best, individualized preventative care plan for pets including proper nutrition for all life stages. Discussing aspects of primary care that can keep pets happy and healthy well into a pet’s senior years is also an important part of her relationships with clients.
In love with everything, “Florida”, Dr. Lewis enjoys our sunny weather and all outdoor nature activities. She has two amazing daughters, Cinder her black poodle, three Siamese-mix cats and a tank full of freshwater fish. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, going to the beach and traveling to see new places and meeting new faces.
We are proud to have Dr. Ana Maria Cepeda join our veterinary team where she will be seeing clients at both Braden River Animal and North River Animal Hospital. Originally from Port St. Lucia, Florida, Dr. Cepeda is a resident of the Parrish area where she has been practicing companion medicine as an Associate Veterinarian in our local area for many years. She is well-versed in small animal medicine and surgery with special interests in Dermatology, Internal Medicine and Animal Behavior.
An alumna of the University of Florida, in Gainesville, FL, Dr. Cepeda received her Bachelor of Science in Animal Sciences as the recipient of the Bright Futures Scholarship. Next, Dr. Cepeda pursued herprofessional studies at St. Matthew’s University School of Veterinary Medicine in Grand Cayman where she matriculated as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 2014. In conjunction with her graduate studies, she also completed a year of clinical training at the highly-regarded Purdue University Veterinary Teaching Hospital in West Lafayette, Indiana.
Dr. Cepeda brings a wide-range of experience to our veterinary team. Her many, very interesting positions of leadership and volunteer experience include being the team leader for the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) while at St. Matthew’s University School of Veterinary Medicine. She also completed an Emergency and Critical Care Externship at Eastern Carolina Veterinary Emergency Treatment Service and a Spay/neuter Externship at the Humane Society of St. Lucie County in Port St. Lucie. Additional accomplishments include completing a Veterinary Forensics Workshop at the University of Florida College of Medicine, a Marine Veterinary Medicine Workshop in the Cayman Islands as well as a wildlife research internship at the White Oak Conservation Center in Yule, FL. Dr. Cepeda also has published work in the Journal of Theriogenology related to veterinary imaging of the feline reproductive system.
Also a huge advocate of volunteer work, Dr. Cepeda has been heavily involved in dog fostering for Canine Friends Rescue Group and the Cayman Islands Humane Society Foster Program. Dr. Cepeda’s long-standing desire to care for the health needs of animals also equally parallels with the connection she shares with pet owners. She states, “I really enjoy being a part of the veterinary team here. My true passion as a veterinarian is connecting with pet owners in the exam room where I can provide education and information that will help improve and/or extend the quality of life for their pet. Having these relationships with our clients is truly satisfying for me.”
Her love of animals also extends to her own family of pets including her dogs Maggie and Newman and cat Ichi. In her spare time, she enjoys photography and playing the piano. Dr. Cepeda is also fluent in both English and Spanish.
Dr. Tyrene Fellman and her family have long been established in the Sarasota-Bradenton community since 1980 when they moved to the warm, sunny shores of our Gulf Coast region from Buffalo, New York. A graduate of Bayshore High School, Dr. Fellman’s interest in caregiving was quite apparent when she graduated with an RN degree from Manatee Community College. Also, an ardent lover of animals, her desire to remain in patient care eventually morphed into the very strong passion to become a veterinarian. Dr. Fellman pursued her undergraduate studies at the University of Florida where she graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in both Animal Science and Biology.
Remaining in Gainesville, FL, to fulfill her ultimate career goals, Dr. Fellman next graduated with honors from the highly-acclaimed, University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. Now, twenty-three years later, she has established longevity and many connections in our local community as a highly-respected veterinarian practicing small animal medicine and surgery as well as exotic pet medicine. As an extra caveat, many find it fascinating that she has been caring professionally for “pocket pets” for many years including a strong interest in addressing the healthcare needs of small mammals, lizards, and turtles.
Dr. Fellman joined the veterinary teams at both Braden River Animal Hospital and our sister practice, Braden River Animal Hospital, in 2018. When asked about her favorite aspect of being a part of our closely-knit team, she responded, “Both animal hospitals have an incredibly supportive atmosphere. I truly feel privileged to be able to be a part of the unique human-animal bond. Working in an environment where everyone shares the same vision of providing high-quality medicine and care to our patients and clients in a nurturing and supportive atmosphere is personally very rewarding.”
Dr. Fellman enjoys spending quality time with her two beautiful children, Spencer, and Churchill along with their lovable dogs Simba, Indigo and Reese. In her spare time, she also enjoys the Aerial Arts, yoga and rock climbing.
Lindsey Lavalliere, CVT
We first met Lindsey at Braden River Animal Hospital in 2015 when she began working with us as an Intern while completing her Certification in the Veterinary Technician Program at St. Petersburg College. Several years later, Lindsey has remained with us after her graduation and transitioned over to North River Animal Hospital as another one of our founding team members.
Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, Lindsey has a very diverse educational and “pet centric” background. She is a graduate of Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts where she majored in Neuroscience with a minor in Criminology. She enjoys working with exotic animals and also completed an Internship at the Lowry Park Zoo.
Having a fascination with both people and pets, working in the veterinary field was a perfect fit for Lindsey. She states, “I really enjoyed working at BRAH because I had the opportunity to establish relationships with the wonderful clients and got to watch their pets grow up and receive great care. At North River Animal Hospital, I enjoy being a part of a smaller staff where I am able to meet more of the clients and patients that come through the door as a technician. As part of the leadership team, this allows me to help oversee consistency and our high level of patient care.”
Lindsey is still considering applying to vet school as her career expands in the veterinary world and she has a special interest in pathology. She shares her home with two beautiful dogs, Beauregard and Winifred, who were rescued locally and have their own Instagram accounts. She also has two cats, Peekaboo and Jack who are both “polydactyl” cats possessing extra toes. Lindsey enjoys reading, photography, adult coloring books and wildlife conservation. Above all, Lindsey enjoys sharing special moments with pet owners at North River Animal Hospital, “I love the local hometown feel we have with our clients and their pets. As the surgery technician, this has allowed me to share my own animal surgery anecdotes to hopefully put clients more at ease with their babies who undergo anesthetic procedures.”
In Loving Memory of a Dedicated Team Member and Friend
August 4, 1995 – June 18, 2018
Deep In Our Hearts You Will Always Stay Loved and Remembered Everyday
Ashley Rhodes, born and raised in Bradenton, FL is another staff member who has deep roots in our local area. Working in the veterinary field since 2016, Ashley currently works at North River Animal Hospital as a Veterinary Assistant while she completes her studies at St. Petersburg College. After graduating the Veterinary Technician program and obtaining a certificate for licensure, Ashley aspires to continuously learn and grow in a profession she has had a passion for since a very young age. She always knew that working with animals would be at the root of her career choice and states, “I enjoy working with the very friendly doctors and support staff at North River. There is an endless amount of learning opportunities to experience every day. I enjoy meeting new patients and seeing a diversity in caseloads addressed by a wealth of knowledge in one building.” Her favorite aspect about our clients is seeing the bond develop with their pets. She stated, “There is nothing like seeing a pet from day one and to watch them grow into an important part of their new family’s lives. Ashley can relate with the bond she shares with her two terriers, Abby and Lizzie.