Employee of the Month: November 2021

Emi Castillo handles everything from surgical assistance to inventory management to front desk receptionist at her home pratice of Pet Care Veterinary Hospital in Virginia Beach, Virginia.



Emi Castillo

Mandi Neal and Candi McKinley


Pet Care Veterinary Hospital,
Virginia Beach, Virginia


Veterinary Assistant







Why Is Emi So Awesome?

Emi started at our practice at the onset of pandemic craziness. She quickly became an invaluable member of the team and in less than a year has become fully cross-trained as a veterinary surgical assistant and veterinary receptionist, along with supporting our inventory manager in counts and ordering. She is loved for her calm, cool demeanor and sense of humor. She is also a go-to for any of the technological and computer issues we have on a regular basis.

How Does She Go Above and Beyond?

Emi is the type of employee to arrive early and stay late. She is knowledgeable and humble. She speaks up when things are done incorrectly, and she wants to learn and be the best employee and person she can be.

She’s at the beginning of her career in the veterinary world and already has the knowledge and experience that most people take years to learn. She takes on challenges and conquers them. She’s a calming voice and reassuring attitude. Even during a crazy week or rush hour, she’s got the attitude that helps ease  the staff’s weary heads. 

She’s gentle with the patients and puts them first. She is quick on her feet. She also has vast knowledge of random trivia— you want her on your team during trivia night. She also knows some Spanish!

In Their Own Words

Why do you love your job? We have a really good team of people here. It’s a very rewarding, hands-on career. It’s not repetitive. I feel like I’m contributing to something bigger than myself.love the ability to problem solve every day. The people I work with and the many awesome clients we have also make me want to go to work every day and do my very best.

Pets at home: I have a dog named Piper and a bearded dragon named Ummagumma.

What brought you to the profession? I wanted to be a veterinarian as a young kid. I saw a handout about the veterinary assistant program at Tidewater Community College and signed up. Going to school first and having an internship was a good choice. was offered an opportunity to help start a veterinary practice and was excited by the challenge. I stayed because I learn something new every day.

Hobbies outside of work: I enjoy hammocking at parks and hanging out with friends (pre-pandemic), photographing pets and nature, video games, and playing music (piano and bass).

Favorite book/show: Saturday Night Live.

Each month in Trends,  a team member from an accredited practice will win $100! 

Does your team boast an outstanding veterinarian, technician, customer service representative, or kennel worker?

Let us know at trends@aaha.org!


Photo credits: Photo courtesy of Pet Care Veterinary Hospital.



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