Our Team in Granger Loves What We Do for Pets

Clinic Technicians

Tandy Clifton

Tandy Clifton has been at Kryder Veterinary Clinic since we opened our doors. During high school, she worked in our boarding area and continued at Kryder Veterinary Clinic while attending Purdue University’s veterinary technician program. Her inspiration for becoming a veterinary technician was her compassion for animals and meeting new people. Tandy spends her continuing education time learning how to help animal owners maintain a comfortable quality of life for their senior pets. Tandy received her certification in canine rehabilitation in 2006. She has developed a rehabilitation program at Kryder Veterinary Clinic that includes an underwater treadmill.

When she isn’t working, she is spending time with her canine family, Sachi the bulldog and Rain the yellow Lab.

Heather Ploense

As a child, Heather Ploense knew that working with animals was what she wanted to do. So she began volunteering at Kryder Veterinary Clinic while still in high school and is proud to be working for us today. Heather graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in Veterinary Technology. About Kryder Veterinary Clinic, she says, “I love the mixture of having fun while getting down to business.” As a technician, Heather’s main enjoyment is dentistry, and at home, her main enjoyment is spending time with her son, reading, running, and cycling.

Jennifer Worvey

Jennifer Worvey started her career at Lake Michigan College. After obtaining an Associate’s degree in science, she went to East Lansing to attend Michigan State University. There, she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in veterinary technology. At Kryder Veterinary Clinic, she focuses primarily on pet dentistry. We are proud to have her as part of our team.

At home, she enjoys spending time with her labrador (“Bo”) and rabbits (“Pepper” and “Fire”).

Sara Gray

Sara Gray grew up in Granger and worked at Kryder Veterinary Clinic during high school, before graduating from Purdue University in 2000 with a Bachelor’s degree in veterinary technology. After graduation, Sara stayed in Lafayette and worked at the Purdue Small Animal Hospital as a surgery technician for three years. She later moved to Indianapolis and worked a year at a progressive small animal clinic before moving back home to be closer to her family, which now includes Petie, the Lab/Boxer; Monica, the Mastiff mix; and Bruiser, the American bulldog. To our delight, Sara returned to Kryder Veterinary Clinic in the summer of 2005. “Kryder Veterinary Clinic is a second family to me, and I’m glad to be home,” Sara says.

Jodi Kleinsmith

KVC welcomed Jodi Kleinsmith to the family in November 2014 when she decided to move back to the Michiana area where she grew up! She comes to KVC with 14 years veterinary experience and every day she is teaching us new things and we are teaching her new things! Her love is dentistry and she has been thoroughly enjoying her time with the dental team. Outside of veterinary medicine you will find Jodi spending time with her kids, Paul and Julia. They enjoy being on the lake in the summer and heading up to Northern Michigan to spend time in the great outdoors.

At home, Jodi hugs her white havenese “Daisy”, her white Maltapoo “Poppy”, and her 2 kitties, “Vinny and Tony the Kit Kat Meatball.”

Lindsay Taylor

Lindsay has been working with animals from a very young age; she would nurture and hand raise orphaned kittens. She graduated from the Vet Tech Institute of Fort Wayne in 2013 and has been at KVC every since. She loves working with cats and critical care patients. At home you can find her with her Pomeranian, “Charlie,” and her 2 cats both that she bottle fed as babies, “Attila” and “Vixie.”

Client Relations

Jessica Murphy

Jessica Murphy, CVPM, began coming to Kryder Veterinary Clinic at the age of 6 to job shadow her dad on Saturdays. When Jessica wasn’t observing Dr. Kryder in exam rooms, she was earning her allowance by cleaning out cages or counting out medications. Jessica was “officially” on the payroll when she turned 15. After graduating from Indiana University with a Bachelor’s Degree in psychology, she was still drawn back to the clinic to establish a career in the family business. She became a Certified Veterinary Practice Manager in 2010. “The family business is in my blood. My plan is to help guide the business into the future,” Jessica said.

Jenny Desimone

Jenny Desimone worked at Kryder Veterinary Clinic from 1994 until 1998, before leaving for Indiana University. She returned to the clinic in 2004 to work in the front office. In September 2007, Jenny married her husband, Marc, and today they have a full household consisting of kids Mikayla and Cayden and Isabella. The joy of animals and the relationships she has developed is the best part about working at Kryder Veterinary Clinic, Jenny says. She hopes to continue developing her skills and knowledge in animal health and develop a bond with the people who care enough to bring their pets to Kryder Veterinary Clinic.

Diann Linback

Diann Linback started at Kryder Veterinary Clinic just as it was moving into the current building in 1986. After taking a few years off when she had her two children, Diann returned to KVC as a technician assistant. After a small stint with the fellow technicians, Diann returned to the front desk where she currently resides. “I have always enjoyed working with the staff, the clients, and their animals,” she says.

When she is not at the clinic, she is at home with her husband and two kids (Mike Jr. and Paige), as well as their yellow Lab, Aspen.

Sharon Collins

Sharon Collins moved to Indiana in 1995 and started bringing her pets to Kryder Veterinary Clinic soon after. She liked how everyone cared for the patients and clients. Sharon always wanted to work in the medical field, with people or animals. So when the opportunity arose to work at Kryder Veterinary Clinic, she jumped at it. Sharon enjoys listening to client stories about their pets and looks forward to regular petting opportunities of the many puppies brought in to the clinic.

When not at work, Sharon enjoys spending time riding a Harley with her husband and entertaining her two children and three grandchildren during visits. Sharon owns two dogs, Hunter and Jake, and cat, Laci.

Brittany Barnett

Brittany graduated from Penn High School in 2011. She followed high school by attending South Western Michigan for a year for special education, she loved kids with special needs but her love for animals pulled her towards pursuing a career in the veterinary field. She is currently taking online classes to become a veterinary technician assistant. She loves seeing all the animals that come into KVC! Some of her favorite breeds are Great Danes, Mastiffs and German Shepherds. When not working she loves hanging with family and friends playing volleyball. In the winter months she is cheering on the Irish and the Bears!

Mel Koch

Mel is excited to join our front office team!  She comes to us with a joy for life and anything furry with four legs.  When she is not greeting our clients she is at home happily gardening, sewing, corcheting, and tie dyeing.  She has a love for camping and being still at the beach!  In the evening you can find her watching suspense movies.  She says “my day is brightened each day with my sweet granddaughter who is my little love.”

Kristi Rowe

Kristi graduated from Laville Jr. Sr. High in 2012. Growing up, her parents always had multiple pets and farm animals–that’s where her love for animals began. She currently has 3 dogs and 2 cats. When not working, she loves going camping, watching scary movies, and hanging out with family.

Caitlin Machek

Caitlin was born and raised in Elkhart, Indiana. After graduating from Concord High School she spent two years down at Purdue University where she studied Animal Science with a focus on well-being/behavior. Since she was little Caitlin knew that she wanted to work with animals when she grew up. Since lions are her favorite animal her dream is to one day get to visit Kevin Richardson’s sanctuary and even possibly spend some time there as a volunteer. When Caitlin is not at Kryder Veterinary Clinic you are most likely to find her at the dog park or hiking some trails with her husky “Han Solo.”

Technician Assistants

Emily Rassi

As a kid growing up I always wanted to be one of two things. I either wanted to be a teacher or someone who worked with animals. As I got older I started leaning towards working with children and ended up taking some college courses towards an elementary education degree. I then got a job working as a teacher at a daycare and realized my heart was with animals. I started doing online classes and I received a certificate as a vet tech assistant. I worked at a small clinic for a few months, at first. Then I landed here at KVC shortly after where I could not be any happier. I have worked here for many years and I have enjoyed every bit of it. I have learned so much and I have come such a long way.

I love dogs, especially German Shepherds, Pugs, Frenchies, Boston Terriers, and Bull Mastiffs. I have five Shepherds and one pug of my own. Family and friends will always come first and in my spare time I love taking pictures and scrapbooking.

Bonnie Richardson

Bonnie Richardson has always had a tremendous love for animals. She is a volunteer of Pet Refuge, a shelter for cats and dogs where KVC provides medical care for animals. She came on to the KVC team in 2009 and is proud to work at a clinic that cares so much for animals and its clients. She has been married for 22 years, has 1 daughter, and some cats and dogs at home.

Michele Kilgore

Michele Kilgore became a Kryder Veterinary Clinic staff member thanks to her pets, which needed to come in nearly every week. Eventually, Dr. Kryder felt he knew her so well, he offered Michele a job. Her love for animals has kept her at Kryder Veterinary Clinic for many years—and plenty more to come. You will commonly find her smiling face here on Saturdays, as during the week she works at Mishawaka High School in the physical education department. “Kryder Veterinary Clinic is a fascinating, wonderful place to work, where you are treated like family,” says Michele.

Joe Chandler

Joe Chandler was born and raised in South Bend, IN. His love for animals started at an early age. He was known for having the coolest birthday parties as an adolescent, complete with a traveling petting zoo for all his family and friends to enjoy. Joe has spent a lot of time volunteering at several local animal rescues and shelters. He is passionate about shelter work. He particularly enjoys working with dogs that need help socializing and he has a soft spot for senior dogs. Joe recently graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelors of Science in Animal sciences with a minor in Political Science. In his spare time Joe enjoys running, playing tennis, reading and spending time with family. “Adopt don’t shop!”

Lexus Portillo

Lexus was born and raised in Elkhart, Indiana.  Shortly after graduating from Concord Community High School, she was accepted and joined the veterinary technology program at Brown Mackie College.  Once she finished her final course in the fall of 2016 she joined the crew at KVC!  When she is not working, she is likely at home hanging with her fiance Tanner and their 2 pitbulls Roxy and Zeus.