Meet Our Staff
The success of our facility is due to the kindness and dedication of our staff.

Our staff is the backbone of our business providing top notch service for all our clients/patients.

Take a moment to get to know each one as they are here to help.

Simply click on the + sign in each one below to get to know each of our staff members.

Doctors

Michael Giacopuzzi, DVM

Michael Giacopuzzi, DVM

Dr. Mike is one of the founders and co-owners of Humphrey, Giacopuzzi & Associates. He grew up on a dairy farm in Ventura County and graduated veterinary school from the University of California, Davis in 1980. Dr. Mike specializes in general surgery and lameness. He is very active in the local 4-H program and serves every year as the veterinarian for the Ventura County Fair.

Richard Giacopuzzi, DVM

Richard Giacopuzzi, DVM

Dr. Richard is a co-owner of Humphrey, Giacopuzzi & Associates. He grew up in Canoga Park where he was raised in a ranching and dairy family. Before veterinary school, he worked as a racetrack groom. He graduated veterinary school from the University of California, Davis in 1979. He is one of the most respected doctors in the area in the reproduction field.

Hannah Klasson, DVM

Hannah Klasson, DVM

After graduating from UC Davis Veterinary school in 2012, Dr. Klasson began at HGAE as an intern and then permanently joined the team as an associate the following year. Although she provides routine health and hospital care, her primary passion and focus are on sport horse lameness, and medicine. She is able to offer a myriad of diagnostic and treatment modalities; including ultrasound, radiographs, shockwave, PRP, and Prostride therapies. In addition, Dr. Klasson is certified in equine acupuncture which complements her traditional diagnostic and treatment options.

Dr. Klasson is often accompanied by her rotating canine assistants – Rooster, Vienna, and Verona, and is kept current on the emotional complexities of horse ownership by her young warmblood gelding Sleepy.

Fallon Haig, DVM, MS, DACVS

Fallon Haig, DVM, MS, DACVS

Dr. Fallon grew up showing Hunter/Jumpers on the east coast. She moved to the west coast for her undergraduate studies to attend Stanford University, where she received degrees in Biology and Studio Art. She attended Auburn University for veterinary school and completed an internship back in California at the Steinbeck-Peninsula Equine Medical Center. Dr. Fallon accepted a second internship at the University of Missouri and then her combined Large Animal Surgery Residency and Master’s Degree Program at Purdue University. When not at work, Dr. Fallon enjoys spending time with her husband and their four dogs, as well as riding her own horses.

Melissa Von Zup, DVM, DACVIM

Melissa Von Zup, DVM, DACVIM

Dr. Melissa grew up in Southern California where she fell in love with horses and riding Hunter/Jumpers. She attended Cal Poly SLO receiving a degree in Animal Science with an emphasis on Equine Science. She continued to move farther North and attended veterinary school at UC Davis with an equine focus. From there, she moved to Florida for a rotating internship at Equine Medical Center of Ocala with a focus on internal medicine. She went to Oregon for her residency in large animal internal medicine. In her free time, she enjoys hiking and taking her dog to the beach.

Technicians

Bex Felch, RVT - Lead Technician

Bex Felch, RVT ~ Bio

Bex hails from Northern Virginia where she grew up competing in Hunter Pleasure. She received dual bachelor’s degrees from Virginia Tech in Biology and Animal & Poultry Sciences in 2005. After graduation, she completed a management internship at a major thoroughbred racehorse breeding farm and became certified in equine sports massage. Bex has been working as a supervising veterinary technician since 2006, and obtained an R.V.T. license in 2009. She spent several years in both Virginia (Marion DuPont Scott Equine Medical Center) and Kentucky (Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital) prior to moving to Ventura in 2011. Outside of work, Becky enjoys exploring California wine country, the beach, and camping with her husband.

 

Amy Trottier, RVT, EST - Inventory Manager

Amy Trottier, RVT, EST ~ Bio

Amy was born and raised in Canada where her passion for horses began at a young age. She grew up riding and showing any horse she could! After attending school to become an Equine Sports Therapist she knew she had more to learn. Her love of horses brought her (and her horse at the time) down to California. Amy began volunteering at HGAE in January 2016 while attending Mount San Antonio College where she graduated from their Veterinary Technician Program with an Associate’s Degree in Science. She was hired on as a full-time employee shortly after graduation. When she is not working, she enjoys traveling and hiking with her husband her two adorable sons, Wade and Lucas, and her chihuahua Sonny!

Jocelyn Palmer, AEVT - Laboratory Services

Jocelyn Palmer, AEVT ~ Bio

Jocelyn is from Rhode Island. She moved to California in 2013 and joined HGAE in 2014. Jocelyn spends her free time with her thoroughbred, Bunny, and hiking with her dog, Vada. Jocelyn’s favorite things about working at HGAE are foaling season, surgery, and teasing Dr. Mike.

 

Jennifer Nunes - Veterinary Assistant

Jennifer Nunes ~ Bio

Jen grew up in Camarillo riding hunter in ETI. Jen now rides dressage and manages the dressage shows at both El Sueno and Mission Pacific Equestrian Center. Jen is the volunteer chair of the CDS chapter in Ventura.

Melissa Hiatt - Veterinary Assistant

Melissa Hiatt ~ Bio

Melissa grew up around horses in Simi Valley. During high school, she volunteered at Therapeutic Horseback Riding. Melissa moved to Colorado to attend Colorado State University and completed a degree in Equine Science in 2017. She earned her Masters of Kinesiology at California State University Northridge in 2022. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and her dog, Ruby.

Lillian Hilgers - Veterinary Assistant

Lillian Hilgers ~ Bio

Lillian (Lilly) was born and raised in Ojai, California. She has always had a passion for animals but found her true passion within the equestrian sport. Lilly competed in the hunters, jumpers, and equitation at the national level from a young age, and continued through high school. She received a sports scholarship to ride for the Savannah College of Art and Design, where she went on to captain the team to multiple national championships. After graduating with a BA in Equestrian Studies in 2019, Lilly managed a private traveling show barn of nationally ranked hunters and jumpers as well as FEI Grand Prix horses. After spending almost two years traveling around the east coast and parts of Europe, Lilly decided to return home to California and pursue her passion for equine medicine at HGAE. When she is not at work, Lilly enjoys riding, hiking, and getting to spend time with friends and family.

Tracie Maccanelli, RVT - Anesthetist

Tracie Maccanelli, RVT ~ Bio

Tracie was born and raised in Southern California. She started riding when she was twelve with the California Rangers where she competed in equitation and drill team. Tracie started her career in the small animal field in 2004. She graduated from Pierce College in 2010 and received her RVT license in 2011. She worked for 10 years in small animal surgery and anesthesia where she has carried over her knowledge to the large animal field. In her free time, she enjoys adventuring with her husband and two kids, baseball with her son, sharing the love of horses with her daughter, and riding her horse Apache.

Dannielle Hargrove, RVT, HSC - Technician

Dannielle Hargrove ~ Bio

Dannielle is a Ventura County native. Having a love for horses and spending the best part of her childhood on horseback, she pursued a career working with horses. While employed at Humphrey, Giacopuzzi, and Associates Equine Hospital in the late 1990’s she earned an Associate in Science degree for Veterinary Technology along with a Horse Science Certificate from Pierce Community College and became a Registered Veterinary Technician. After working here for a few years and being blessed with the opportunity to stay home to raise 2 amazing children, 20+ years later, Dannielle has returned to HGAE.

Alix Benjamin - Reproduction Veterinary Assistant

Alix Benjamin ~ Bio

Alix lives in the small town of Leona Valley, CA. She grew up competing in gymkhanas and rodeos for her local 4-H club. She and her husband own and operate a small farm in Leona Valley, West Roots Farm. When they aren’t working on the farm, you can find them backpacking in the mountains or on a cross country road trip. Alix is currently pursuing her RVT license.

Katie Pfeffer- Veterinary Assistant

Katie Pfeffer ~ Bio

Katie was born and raised in Santa Clarita, CA. She grew up spending every waking hour with her horses riding competitively in Jumpers and Equitation. In 2014 she started her journey working with racehorses. From galloping, breaking, and training she found herself falling in love with all aspects of Breeding and Equine Medicine. After managing a racing Quarter Horse breeding farm in Louisiana, she returned home to further her education and experience with Equine medicine at HGAE. When Katie is not working at HGAE she enjoys Mountain climbing, hiking with her dog Durden, and trail riding her off the track quarter horse Dyna.

Anna Lowe - Veterinary Assistant

Anna Lowe ~ Bio

Anna grew up in Ventura County and has been riding her whole life. Anna is currently a student at Ventura College. In her free time, Anna enjoys going to the beach or riding her horse.

Office

Valerie Wilson - Client Specialist

Valerie Wilson ~ Bio

Valerie has been with HGAE for over 15 years. Valerie will answer the phone when you call and assist you in any way she can. Valerie enjoys spending time with her grandchildren and trail riding with her husband.

Tracy Thomas - Client Specialist/Accounts Receivable

Tracy Thomas ~ Bio

Tracy has returned to HGAE after a few years off. Tracy handles open invoices and acts as a liaison with farm managers and business representatives. Tracy is the leader of the Santa Rosa Valley Market Lamb Project and has been involved with the 4H program for 12 years. Tracy enjoys barrel racing and trail riding with Tracy’s daughter Makayla.

Kathleen Winters - Office Manager

Kathleen Winters ~ Bio

Kat grew up around horses in her family-owned Santoro Thoroughbred Farms and raced all over California. Kat had been involved in the pony club as the Horse Management Regional Organizer and District Commissioner for Santa Rosa Valley for over 10 years. In her free time Kat enjoys riding dressage, traveling, and spending time with her daughters. Kat is currently pursuing the Certified Veterinary Practice Manager’s accreditation.

Colleen Whiting - CVPM, Practice Manager

Colleen Whiting ~ Bio

Colleen has been riding and working around horses her entire life. She taught riding lessons for many years and was an accomplished junior rider. As an amateur rider, she has ridden with the best professionals on the West Coast and has competed in numerous West Coast finals. While pursuing her undergraduate degree at California Lutheran University, she became a professional rider and assisted in lay-up care, rehabilitation, and barn management. She graduated in 2017 with a degree in accounting and joined HGAE. In 2022, she earned her accreditation as a Certified Veterinary Practice Manager. Outside of work, Colleen competes on her jumpers, Apple and Noodle, and spends time with her family and friends.

Grounds

Jorge Giron - Grounds

Jorge Giron ~ Bio

Jorge has been working on ranches since 2001. He is trained in agricultural management as well as irrigation systems.

In his free time, Jorge enjoys spending time with his family.