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Our Team

Our skilled veterinary team at The Beacon Veterinary Associates is here to provide outstanding care to pets.

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Hospital Director

Alissa Destefano #1

Alissa Destefano

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Alissa joined the team at Beacon Veterinary Associates as Hospital Director in August of 2021. A native to the Hudson Valley, she grew up surrounded by all kinds of animals and always knew she wanted to work with them. She brings with her 10 years’ experience managing emergency and specialty hospitals in Manhattan and Westchester. Alissa believes in building meaningful relationships with our clients and their fur babies, combined with great medicine to provide the best possible experience for our clients. She is our resident French bulldog enthusiast and often has her own Frenchie, Carmela (named after Carmela Soprano, of course!), by her side at the office.

When she is not out in our waiting room talking to clients and loving on their pets, you can find her drawing, front row at a concert, taste testing vegan baked goods, or at a flea market with her adoring husband Christian. She is a huge music and movie nerd, so feel free to test her knowledge or recommend something for her to check out next time you and your pet are in the office!

Receptionists

Michelle Canals #1

Michelle Canals

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Michelle joined The Beacon Veterinary family in April of 2019 as a receptionist. She comes to us with 3 years of previous veterinary medicine and pharmacy assistant experience. Michelle has a bachelor’s in English with a minor in Creative Writing and Health and Wellness from Binghamton University along with a professional certificate in Music Business and Performing Arts from Berklee College of Music. She likes to believe if you can’t choose one, then do it all!

When Michelle isn’t sweet-talking your babies, she can be found having dance competitions with her brother Steven or singing to her 5-month old black lab pup “Morgan,” all while cuddling her ferret “Miles.” She can’t wait to meet all your babies and maybe sing them a soulful tune during their visit.

Melanie Diaz #1

Melanie Diaz

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Melanie, also known as "Mel", is one of our front desk receptionists here at the Beacon Vet. With a history of only working with human doctors- including dentists and pain management specialists as an assistant, you may wonder "Why the Vet?” In short, the staff is amazing... and who doesn't enjoy receiving unconditional love from the precious pets that walk through the door every day?  

When she is not at work answering the phones, greeting clients, and being as helpful as possible, she enjoys watching suspenseful and comedic films, making soap, and spending time with her family.  Next time you bring your pet in, if you listen close enough, you might even hear her singing at her desk, preparing for her next karaoke night.

Kyla Lura Wedenko #1

Kyla Lura Wedenko

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Miss Kyla Lura has worked within the community of Beacon, NY for several years. She has taught yoga, led hikes up Mount Beacon, bartended (professional life of the party) and now is very happy to be in service with the Beacon Veterinary Associates. Having two beloved cat companions, she understands the importance of these precious family members. In fact, one of her cats has been a patient of the practice since being diagnosed as diabetic.

When she is not at our front desk, she can be found teaching, dancing and choreographing ballet for young people through to adults. A former professional ballet dancer, it is important to Kyla that her passion, talent and knowledge be shared. Holding strong community values, Kyla can also be found spending quality time with friends and family, gardening and being creative in the kitchen with herbal remedies, and writing. ​

Veterinary Assistant

Breanna Keeler #1

Breanna Keeler

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Brenna or “Bre” is currently pursuing her veterinary technician license at SUNY Ulster. She has always been an animal lover and currently has two fur babies at home, Fin and Eris, both adorable cattle dog mixes. They love exploring the outdoors and hiking together. Bre joined the team at the Beacon Veterinary Associates in August 2021 and working with the staff, clients, and patients has confirmed her passion for veterinary care. She looks forward to becoming licensed and practicing in the community of the Hudson Valley.

Daryl Pazer #1

Daryl Pazer

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Daryl is a veterinary assistant by day, but by night, she can is often found eating appetizers or even entrees at local restaurants in Beacon. When she is at home, she is binge-watching HGTV and building cat toys in her living room for her disabled cat, Thumper. She is dog mom to Lola, and loves her family with all her might. She graduated from the New School with two degrees--both of which she is not currently utilizing. The good news is she converted all of her energy and skills into making your visit to the Beacon Vet as pleasant as possible. Daryl is a patient favorite and has a knack for handling nervous and anxious fur babies.

Veterinary Technicians

Morgan Navarro #1

Morgan Navarro

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Morgan is one of our veteran staff members, working at this practice since 2013. She started out tending to large animals in 2009, moved on to small animals in 2012 and completed her bachelor’s becoming a licensed veterinary technician in 2018. When she isn’t sweet-talking your fuzzies she is kayaking or spreading the love by saving stray turtles from the road. She’s great in high-pressure situations and lives by, “It’s all good, no worries”.

Morgan has 4 babies at home! Two of them just happen to be of the human breed, Xylie who is 8 years old and Rayna who is 4 years old; Morgan also has Fred, her 4-year-old mixed breed pup, and the newest addition is a black and white rescue cat, Judah. If you happen to see a super rad tech driving into The Beacon Vet parking lot sporting colorful hair on a motorcycle, it's most likely Morgan coming into work to baby talk your fur children.

Valerie Federico #1

Valerie Federico

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Valerie graduated from the Veterinary Science Technology program at SUNY Delhi in spring 2020. Prior to her studies at Delhi, Valerie attended the Fashion Institute of Technology and has an Associate Degree in Communication Design. She received her veterinary technician license in the fall of 2020. She has been with the Beacon Veterinary Associates since May of 2021 and joined the team full time in September 2021. When not at the office treating and cuddling our patients, she enjoys creating art, spending time outdoors, cooking, traveling, and antiquing. Valerie has a unique passion for exotics and pocket pets, having several of her own over the years. She hopes to eventually branch out and work with wildlife or zoo animals in the future.

Vanessa Pabey #1

Vanessa Pabey

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Vanessa is one of our talented veterinary technicians. She has been with The Beacon Vet since June 2021. She has two fur babies of her own. Laiani is 5 year old German shepherd mix, whom Vanessa and her husband rescued when she was just 5 months old. She was found as a stray wandering the streets of North Carolina with her brother and her father. Sarge is the baby of their family, a 2-year-old black sable purebred German Shepherd, adopted from a breeder in Virginia. When Vanessa is not working, she enjoys being outdoors. She likes sightseeing, traveling to new places, hiking, camping, kayaking, and simply enjoying the company of her loved ones. Vanessa very caring, open, and easygoing. She loves spending time and taking care of all the fur babies that come into our practice.

Now Welcoming New Patients

Our vets at The Beacon Veterinary Associates are now accepting new patients! Our experienced team of veterinary professionals are passionate about giving the cats and dogs of Beacon the health care they need. Contact us today to schedule your pet's first appointment.

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