Leadership

Denni O. Day, BS, BSN, RN, MSPH

President and CEO

Denni has more than 25 years of healthcare experience, spanning the fields of clinical nursing, hospital and long-term care administration, management consulting, information systems design and implementation, teaching, and research. She received an undergraduate degree in biology from American University, a nursing degree from Alfred University, and a master of science degree in public health from the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill).

Before starting VetPharm, Denni was the chief financial officer of the Clinical Research Institute at the University of Rochester. She also created and directed the Community Research Network, an academic consortium that grew to include more 1,400 private-practice physicians who participated in industry-sponsored clinical trials. Prior to that, Denni served on the faculty of the university’s School of Medicine and Dentistry and also was the associate director for administration and finance of the Clinical Trials Coordination Center. In that role, Denni managed two international research consortia, with more than 350 investigators and coordinators, and oversaw more than 40 clinical trials, 125 research accounts, and 65 faculty and staff.

Denni is the author of numerous professional publications. She also is a member of the Animal Health Institute, the Generic Animal Drug Alliance, the Society of Clinical Research Associates, the American Society for Quality, the Drug Information Association, the American Public Health Association, the American Hospital Association, the Association for Worksite Health Promotion, the American Medical Records Association, the Hospital Information Management and Systems Society, and Sigma Theta Tau (international nursing honor society).

Denni raised English Springer Spaniels for 25 years before rescuing her late Airedale Terrier, Julie. She now “recharges her batteries” by playing with her latest rescue, a Blue Standard Poodle named Ida Mae.


Howard M. Proskin, PhD

Director of Biostatistics

Dr. Proskin has more than 25 years of regulated trial experience, and 35 years of experience providing statistical consulting services to clients in industry and academia. He has supported more than 400 clinical studies of pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and consumer products, including support for NDA, PMA, and 510k submissions to the FDA. He has authored more than 300 publications and has made numerous presentations at scientific research meetings and forums.

Dr. Proskin obtained both his master of science degree and his PhD in statistics from Rutgers University and his bachelor of science degree in mathematics (magna cum laude) from the State University of New York – Albany. In addition to his professional consulting activities, he has a long-standing appointment as a consultant to the American Dental Association Council on Scientific Affairs as well as, since 1994, a position as Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Dentistry at the University of Rochester.

Dr. Proskin also is President and owner of Howard M. Proskin & Associates, an independent statistical consulting company in Rochester, New York. Before founding his company in 1993, he had been employed at the Eastman Dental Center, Rochester Institute of Technology, and Sandoz Pharmaceuticals.

Dr. Proskin and his wife share their home with a Miniature Schnauzer, Figaro, and are both active in the pursuit of healthy eating regimens and vigorous exercise activities.


Michael Z. Sowards, MSc

Director of Medical Writing

Prior to VetPharm, Michael was a senior medical writer in the Surgical Research Unit of Bausch & Lomb. In that role, he managed medical writing projects including trial planning documents, protocols, interim and final reports, and clinical sections of IDEs, PMAs, SSEDs, DFUs, PIs, annual reports, and FDA deficiency letter responses. Independently, or in concert with team members, he published SOPs, integrated safety and efficacy summaries, and medical writing templates for a wide range of clinical trial documents. Michael also created instructional guides to improve writing standards and mentored new medical writers.

Michael earned his bachelors degree from Alfred University with concentrations in education and mathematics. He was awarded a Certificate of Completion, Levels 9/10 in Mandarin Chinese from Feng Chia University in Taiwan, where he lived, studied, and worked for six years. Michael received his masters of science degree from Rochester Institute of Technology with concentrations in clinical research and project management.

Michael has lots of fun with his 1-year-old German Short-Haired Pointer, Ada.


Althea D. Vollertsen

Office and Accounting Manager

Althea has more than 25 years of accounting and business management experience gained in positions of increasing responsibility in the banking, construction, and logistics industries. Her most recent position was controller of a rapidly-growing logistics, transportation, and inventory management company. Earlier in her career, Althea was business manager for a custom construction company and, before that, the office manager for a large custom window and door manufacturing company.

Althea enjoys cooking, entertaining, exercising at the gym, and spending time with family, especially her twin nieces and their Collie/Husky mix, Xander. Her extended family includes 9 dogs, 7 cats, 4 fish, and a ghost shrimp named Fluffy.


Patrick B. Niland

Executive Vice President and CFO

Pat holds both a BSE in industrial engineering and an MBA in finance (with distinction) from the University of Michigan.

Prior to joining VetPharm, Pat founded and operated First Funding of New York, a commercial mortgage firm that originated almost a billion dollars in new commercial financing. Before that, he was a project manager for several real estate organizations, overseeing the construction of several high-rise buildings in Manhattan and the management of diversified portfolios of commercial property around the country. Earlier in his career, Pat was a budget analyst at W. R. Grace & Company, a financial analyst in the Treasurers Department of Exxon Corporation (where he also was a member of the team that financed the last section of the TransAlaska Pipeline), and an engineer at Ford Motor Company.

Between his undergraduate and graduate programs, Pat served three years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Bogotá, Colombia. He grew up with a small zoo of animals and later rescued a Doberman Pinscher, Rosie, and an Airedale Terrier, Archie. He now cares for his latest Airedale Terrier rescue, Bowser.