Joel was born and raised in Blacksburg, Virginia but migrated to California with the rest of his family following high school. He attended college at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, where he received his Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences in 2002. Joel went on to receive his doctorate at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 2006, following an externship in Avian and Exotic Animal Medicine at the Animal Medical Center in New York. Joel’s primary interests include surgery and internal medicine.
Ever since childhood, Joel has had a passion for working with and helping animals and has wanted to be a veterinarian since the age of five. Joel is a member of the Rotary Club of Pismo Beach/Five Cities, a board member since 2010, the 2015/16 club President, and the 2024/25 club President. He traveled to India in 2016 as part of a medical ambassadorship to assist with NID (National Immunization Day) activities aimed to eradicate polio worldwide. He was a 2009-2012 board member of the Mid Coast Veterinary Medical Association and 2012 President of the Central Coast Professional’s Network. Since 2014, Dr. Joel has served as a Purina Veterinary Ambassador, receiving regular advanced training in veterinary clinical nutrition. In the past few years, Joel has worked with local Rotary and Rotaract Clubs, the Pismo Beach Chamber of Commerce, and the City of Pismo Beach to fundraise and host several Rise Against Hunger food packaging events. In 2017, he was honored with The San Luis Obispo Tribune “Top 20 Under 40” award. In 2019, Dr. Joel was selected to be part of Leadership SLO, a county-wide leadership development and training program. In late 2019, Dr. Joel was invited to join the board of directors for Lumina Alliance, an organization devoted to providing support and resources to end domestic and intimate partner violence in SLO county. In 2020 he was honored to be elected Vice President of the Lumina Alliance board. Dr. Joel regularly provides consulting services for research firms investigating trends and practices in the veterinary field.
In 2016, Dr. Joel founded PETS Hospital in Orcutt, CA. PETS is a 24/7 emergency and specialty animal hospital that focuses on the customer experience and developing a collaborative partnership with area general practice veterinarians. His hope is to expand the facility to offer an ever increasing array of specialty services including Cardiology, Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Surgery, and Emergency and Critical Care. For more information, go to petsurgentcare.com.
In 2010, Joel helped found Central Coast Ultimate - an organization dedicated promoting ultimate on the Central Coast. He now organizes 5-6 pickup games per week, annual local ultimate leagues, tournaments, and club teams. He regularly competes in regional, national, and international club tournaments and championships. Joel lives in Pismo Beach with his wife, Dr. Sarah Conn; his sons, Jude and Jackson; and his cat, Pickles With Milk.