Learn More About the Staff That Supports Our Canine Neurologists


Sonia may be a familiar face to those who’ve been to CVRC. She explains, “I used to work for the ophthalmology practice, which gave me the chance to get to know Dr. McDonnell and the VNIoC staff. Neurology interests me, so deciding to make the move was easy.”

Animals have always been a big part of her life. “I have a Bachelor’s in animal science—I was originally on the track to go to vet school, but now becoming an occupational therapist is my long-term goal. At the moment, I have an Off the Track Thoroughbred named Manny, a Great Pyrenees named Delilah, and two cats, Oliver and Sylvester.”

Focused and organized, Sonia rides three to four days a week, lifts weights three days a week, runs three days a week, and is in training for a half marathon—in addition to working full-time.

“Working at VNIoC is refreshing. It’s a different schedule, and Dr. McDonnell is so involved with the staff and supportive of our education and learning. I’m really enjoying it!”

Marina, Patient Care Coordinator

A native of New York, Marina moved to Maryland after high school to be closer to her ”big fat Greek family!” She attended the University of Maryland, receiving a B.A. in Criminology and Terrorism, before signing on with VNIoC in 2017.

While she has a domestic short-hair cat named Charlie, she has a special fondness for Great Danes and French Bulldogs. In her free time, Marina enjoys kickboxing, hiking, and traveling.


Theresa got into the veterinary medicine field in 2014, working part-time in a mobile vet clinic. She currently works part-time with VNIoC and part-time for Anne Arundel Veterinary Emergency Clinic.

Theresa has four dogs: Ace, Finley, Momma, and Ladybug—and is a self-professed lover of all things Disney. She enjoys watching football, spending time in the outdoors, and being with friends and family.


Mike joined VNIoC in 2017. As the practice’s chief operating officer, his goal is to ensure that the team constantly focuses on patient outcomes.

Mike is an experienced and accomplished leader in both the private and public sectors. As a serial entrepreneur, former commercial banker, and former elected and appointed official, Mike has the ability to look at problems and issues through a unique lens. He focuses on technology and unleashing the full potential of people and processes.

Recently, he served on the transition team for Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and also as Maryland’s deputy secretary of health. As deputy secretary, Mike was the chief operating officer for the Maryland Department of Health with its 8,500 employees and nearly $14 billion budget.

Mike has also served as CEO of a number of technology-based companies. He provides customized management consulting across a wide variety of industries.

Mike serves on the faculty at the top-ranked Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. He teaches negotiations, business strategy, industry analysis, managing people and organizations, and business communications to MBA, masters, and undergraduate students.

His undergraduate degree was earned at Towson University in political science and communication studies. He holds a master of public administration degree from the University of Delaware and an MBA from the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland.


Dr. Leigh Clayton’s full-time job is as vice president of animal care and welfare at the National Aquarium in Baltimore Maryland, where she was previously the director of animal health and welfare. She loves creating team environments that foster learning, innovation, and excellence in animal care. She believes that when people are working well together, animals get the best care possible, and she is deeply committed to improving the lives of animals—and the people who care for them—in a variety of settings. She brings this passion for learning and excellence to everything she does, including going back to school herself! She is currently engaged in the executive MBA program at the Smith School of Business, University of Maryland.

She is a graduate of Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine. Her veterinary training included programs in small animal medicine and surgery internship at Friendship Hospital for Animals in Washington, DC, zoo and aquarium medicine internship at Lincoln Park Zoo and John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, IL, and avian/ exotic animal medicine and surgery residency at Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston, MA. She is an American Board of Veterinary Practitioners Diplomate in Avian and Reptile/Amphibian.

When you need a feline or canine neurologist in the Annapolis area, give VNIoC a call. Our caring and expert staff is ready to help!