Executive Team

Executive Leadership

Dr. Jason Berg
Board Certified in Veterinary Internal Medicine and Neurology

Jason Berg, DVM, DACVIM (Internal Medicine/Neurology) is the Founder, Chief Executive Officer and President of Guardian Veterinary Specialists. A highly respected board-certified veterinary internist and neurologist, he has devoted his decades-long career to practicing veterinary medicine with a difference—doing more, providing more, and caring more. His compassionate and sensitive approach has earned him the loyalty of thousands of pet owners and referring veterinarians alike. His dedication to advancing the field of veterinary medicine has garnered national, even international, recognition.

Dr. Berg received his DVM degree from Texas A&M University. He went on to complete his internship and residency training in veterinary neurology and internal medicine at The Animal Medical Center in New York City. He received board certification in neurology in 2000 and in internal medicine in 2002.

A seasoned business founder and owner, Dr. Berg previously launched Animal MR, Animal Specialty Center, and Bloodhound Laboratories. In 2017 he founded Guardian Veterinary Specialists, opening a 29,000-square-foot advanced emergency critical care and specialty hospital in Brewster, New York.

In 2020, he acquired and improved an emergency practice in Middletown in Orange County, NY, and renamed it Guardian Veterinary Emergency. In 2021, he purchased an established primary care hospital in the Bronx, NY, which is now known as Armory Dog and Cat Hospital, A Guardian Veterinary Practice. Demonstrating his long-standing commitment to helping animals in need, in this same year he established Guardian HEALS, an independent non-profit organization, which provides financial assistance to qualified pet owners who can’t afford the cost of veterinary care.

Dr. Berg has received many awards for his work with the animal shelter and rescue communities and has served on the advisory board of the Westchester SPCA.

Also committed to advancing veterinary medicine, Dr. Berg has held multiple positions with the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and is past president of the Westchester Rockland Veterinary Medical Association. A sought-after lecturer and instructor, he’s published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals, including those of the American Veterinary Medical Association and Veterinary Internal Medicine, and American Animal Hospital Association. Read some of his scientific publications here.

Emergency Services

Dr. Jana Josel
Director of Emergency Services
Director of Culture

Jana Josel, DVM, Director of Emergency Services at Guardian Veterinary Specialists, oversees a staff of seven full-time emergency veterinarians. She has held this position since joining the practice in 2018.

She is a graduate of Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine class of 2003. Upon graduation, she completed an internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Manhattan Veterinary Group in New York City.

Dr. Josel then went on to join the staff at the ASPCA as an emergency veterinarian and general practitioner in the Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital. She also provided medical care for animals in ASPCA’s adoption program. In addition, she has practiced in private veterinary hospitals and worked at low-cost vaccine clinics over the years.

In 2011, Dr. Josel started Cali’s Way, an in-home euthanasia and hospice care service. She continues to offer these services while working at Guardian Veterinary Specialists.

Dr. Josel is a Licensed Human Element Practitioner (LHEP) with the goal of attaining personal and professional achievement through the development of new life skills that build confidence, improve communication, enhance understanding of others, and create a pathway for a fulfilling, lifelong career.

Financial Operations

Ian Teixeira
Esq., CPA
Chief Financial Officer

Ian Teixeira, Esq., CPA, joined Guardian Veterinary Specialists (GVS) as Chief Financial Officer in 2020. He provides strategic recommendations to the CEO and members of the executive management team; manages the processes for financial forecasting and budgets; oversees the preparation of all financial reporting; advises on long-term business and financial planning; oversees benefits, insurance and payroll; drives the company’s financial planning; and provides recommendations to enhance financial performance and business opportunities. Overall, he is charged with ensuring the company’s fiscal health and growth into the future.

Prior to joining GVS, Mr. Teixeira was Director of Finance at Fine Creative Media in NY from 2002 to 2020. In this role, he was responsible for accounting and finance, including budgeting and forecasting, financial statement preparation, cash flow analysis and review. His key financial insights drove strategic decisions, financial forecasts and operating plans. In addition, he handled employee benefit plan administration and compliance and implemented a self-insured health plan with annual savings to the company. In addition, he started-up Fine’s Mediander subsidiary, an e-commerce media company, where he was the Director of Finance and Legal Compliance reporting to the CEO.

He started his career in 1998 as an auditor at several noted NY accounting firms.

Mr. Teixeira earned a Juris Doctor degree from St. John’s University School of Law in NY, an MBA degree in Accounting from Baruch College in NY, and a BA degree in Business Administration/Management from Andrews University in Michigan.

In addition, he’s a Certified Fraud Examiner and a Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst. Mr. Teixeira is a member of the New York State Bar Association and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.

Human Resources

Julie Connor
Director of Human Resources

Julie Connor, LHEP, became part of the Guardian Veterinary Specialists team in 2019. She is a highly experienced HR professional known for her dedication to cultivating a positive and inclusive workplace environment. With over two decades of experience in the field, Julie has established herself as a strategic leader who excels in devising and executing human resources strategies that contribute significantly to the organization’s achievements. In 2021, Julie became the Director of Human Resources. Under her leadership, the HR department at Guardian has evolved into a dynamic and strategic partner to the business, contributing significantly to its overall success. Julie plays a pivotal role in aligning the company’s talent strategy with its overall business objectives. Her dedication to attracting, retaining, and developing top talent has consistently contributed to the company’s growth and success.

Julie is known for her expertise in compensation and benefits, talent acquisition, employee development, and employee relations. She has a track record of building high-performing teams and fostering a collaborative and supportive work environment. Her commitment to diversity and inclusion has been instrumental in promoting a workplace that values and celebrates differences. To ensure the organization operates within legal boundaries, Julie established rigorous compliance processes and regularly updated HR policies and procedures. This minimized risks and ensured the company’s adherence to labor laws and regulations.

Prior to joining Guardian, Julie held key HR leadership roles at several organizations, where she honed her skills in talent management, compensation and benefits, organizational development, and HR strategy. Her extensive experience spans various industries, including insurance, real estate, and finance. Julie possesses a Bachelor’s degree in Photography and holds certifications as a Licensed Human Element Practitioner and a certified Human Resources Manager. She is an active member of industry associations and keeps herself updated with the latest trends and best practices in HR management.

Outside of her professional life, Julie is a dedicated mentor, helping young HR professionals develop their careers and achieve their goals. She also volunteers her time to support community initiatives focused on education and workforce development. Down time is also dedicated to her photography. With her deep expertise and unwavering commitment to creating exceptional workplace experiences, Julie Connor is driving the HR function at Guardian to new heights, ensuring that the organization continues to thrive and excel in a rapidly growing and evolving business landscape.

Medical Operations

Marianne Silva
Chief Operating Officer

Marianne Silva, BS, LVT, LHEP, joined Guardian Veterinary Specialists in 2018 as Chief Medical Operations Director. Since then, she has compiled a distinctive and competent medical staff to support the hospital’s growth. As a member of the executive team Ms. Silva supports the acquisition of new hospitals. In doing so, she mentors hospital managers and technician supervisors in the performance of their duties.

After obtaining advanced training in the Human Element, Ms. Silva has become a Licensed Human Element Practitioner and facilitates training and career development at Guardian Veterinary Specialists in addition to her other duties.

Prior to her current position, Ms. Silva successfully managed several veterinary specialty, emergency and general practices. She was the hospital manager at Ultravet Diagnostics and Katonah Bedford Veterinary Center, where she used her expertise to help establish the new hospital facility. She previously served as the medical operations manager at the Animal Specialty Center in Yonkers, where she contributed to the hospital’s development.

Ms. Silva has 30 years of experience in the veterinary field beginning immediately after her graduation from Mercy College with a BS degree in Veterinary Science. Early on in her career she developed the necessary skills required to excel at managerial positions. As a licensed veterinary technician she brings a unique ability which allows her to manage all aspects of a veterinary hospital.

She is a member of the Thornton Donovan School board of directors and an advisory board member with the veterinary technology department at Westchester County Community College. In the past, she served on the advisory board of the Mercy College veterinary technology department.

Non-Profit Foundation - HEALS

Bernadette Vinci
Chief Executive Officer of HEALS

Bernadette Vinci, MS, has acquired an impressive track record during her career as a management professional in the veterinary industry. She has launched three successful veterinary emergency and specialty hospitals and is currently building a non-profit organization to assist pet owners in need under the auspices of Guardian Veterinary Specialists.

Ms. Vinci initially served as Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Guardian Veterinary Specialists from 2016 to early 2021. During this time, she played a significant role in growing the practice from 30 to 180 employees. Under her leadership, revenue grew 350%. She was also involved in acquiring two additional Guardian practices in Orange County and the Bronx. Some of her additional responsibilities in this position were strategic and financial management, operations, and human resources.

Building upon these accomplishments, leadership asked her to launch a new non-profit organization, HEALS, Humans Enriching Animals Lives. Assuming the role of Chief Executive Officer of HEALS in early 2021, she’s responsible for all aspects of initiating this charity organization, including all budgetary, business, fundraising and IRS considerations; strategic management; operations and human resources; community impact; resource development; and ensuring that its mission is carried out. She continues to serve on the Guardian Veterinary Specialists Executive Team.

Ms. Vinci is a Licensed Human Element Practitioner (LHEP) with the goal of attaining personal and professional achievement through the development of new life skills that build confidence, improve communication, enhance understanding of others, and create a pathway for a fulfilling, lifelong career.

Prior to joining Guardian Veterinary Specialists, Ms. Vinci was Director of Operations at Newtown Veterinary Specialists in Newtown, CT, from 2012 to 2016. In this position, she was responsible for overseeing all hospital operations, including financial management. Previously, she helped found the Animal Specialty Center in Yonkers, NY, where she played a key role in its conception and development, serving as administrator, overseeing daily operations, and managing a staff of more than 100 employees from 2005 to 2010.

Earlier on, Ms. Vinci founded BRV and Associates, an insurance and financial services firm that provided benefit solutions to veterinary groups. She started out her career at AT&T, where she worked for 18 years, becoming Global Account Manager and supervising a large staff in implementing business solutions for Fortune 500 pharmaceutical companies in the veterinary field.

She received her undergraduate degree in accounting from Pace University in New York and her master’s degree in business management from Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute. A big believer in giving back, Ms. Vinci is an advocate to find a cure for ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) and is the New York State Representative for the National Caregiver Society.