Animal Wellness Center – Meet The Staff

Dr. Lynlee Wessels

Veterinarian / Owner

Dr. Lynlee Wessels spent her childhood in Steger, Illinois. After graduating from Marian Catholic High School, she attended Eastern Illinois University where, in 1992, she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in zoology. In 1996, she graduated from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, where she concentrated her studies on small animal medicine and surgery.

Dr. Wessels has practiced veterinary medicine in University Park and in Manteno from the time of her graduation until 2003. She then practiced relief veterinary work in the Chicagoland area. During this time, she focused on her continuing education in the practice of veterinary dentistry in addition to medicine and surgery. Dr. Wessels is a member of the American Animal Hospital Association, American Veterinary Medical Association, Illinois Veterinary Medical Association, American Association of Feline Practitioners and is also certified in stem cell regenerative therapy.

Her dream of opening her own practice became a reality with the grand opening of the Animal Wellness Center of Monee in September 2004. Dr. Wessels resides in Green Garden with her husband Scott and animal kids.


Ed Wessels


Ed has over four decades of functional management experience in the chosen fields of finance, logistics and project administration. He graduated from Governors State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration. In 2003, he and his favorite daughter pledged their expertise and assets to develop and operate the state of the art Animal Wellness Center of Monee. Ed lives in Crown Point, with Patricia and two canine friends.

Scott Marhanka

Business Manager/Co-Owner

AWCM welcomed Scott as a member of the staff in August, 2012. Scott is originally from Northwest Indiana and was employed for over 20 years in the printing industry working in electronic pre-press. He has a degree in Technical Management, as well as Electronics and Computer Technology, both from DeVry University. Scott is the proud dad of three dogs.

Dr. Donna Nykaza

Dr. Donna Nykaza is a lifelong resident of the far south suburbs, having grown up in a farming family in Chicago Hts., living in Steger and now residing in Matteson with her husband and their three cats.

After graduating from Bloom Township High School and attending Northern Illinois University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology, Dr. Nykaza went on to study at the University of Illinois and fulfilled her dream of becoming a veterinarian. With her 34 years of clinical experience in small animal medicine in the Matteson area, she continues to strengthen and support the human/animal bond with patients at Animal Wellness Center of Monee.

Donna Nadalin


Donna grew up in Steger. She worked for 12 years as a pharmacy technician until an illness forced her to resign. She returned to work when Animal Wellness Center opened its doors in 2004. She currently resides in Monee with her husband, Mike, and her dog, Lexie.

Pat German

Pat German

After raising four sons in rural Illinois, Patricia has spent nearly two decades as a nurse managing the medical care and wellbeing of geriatric patients. She now extends her good will by volunteering at AWCM with care of animal patients in need of medical treatment.

Lindsay Wilke

Lindsay is the OG. She is one of our Client Service Representatives as well as assisting anywhere she is needed.

Lindsay currently lives with her five dogs (Ace, Calypso, Cinders, Lenore and Spunky) and six cats (Alexander Trager, Darth Vader, Dobby, Ganon, Pike and Waffles). She also has a passion for exotics. Along with breeding Ball Pythons, she keeps various species of snakes, tarantulas, cockroaches and other invertebrates.


Kristin Henry

Kristin has been in the veterinary medical field for 10 years. In 2013 she graduated from the Veterinary Medical Technology Program at JJC and obtained her veterinary technician certification shortly thereafter. She currently has three cats, one with special needs, and a shih tzu named Beatrice. Although she is more of a cat person, she loves all animals just the same.


Jillian Bubacz

Jillian grew up in Bolingbrook attending Benet Academy in Lisle and graduating in 1997. Furthering her studies, she played soccer at Saint Xavier University while she earned her B.S. in Business. In her spare time, she began volunteering for Reach Out Rescue where she helped with fundraising and walking the dogs in kennels.

Through volunteering, she realized she wanted to help people improve their relationships and experiences with their pets to help keep dogs out of shelters. She also decided she needed a dog of her own and adopted her beloved Camper, a Shorkie (Shih Tzu / Yorkshire Terrier), from PAWS Chicago. She began training with Camper and a short time later Camper earned her Canine Good Citizen Title. Jillian was then offered a job as a dog trainer and fell in love with the ability to help others through training. 

Jillian believes positive reinforcement training creates an excellent bond between a dog and it’s owner and continuously training with your dog leads to improved socialization. “Socialization doesn’t mean just being good with other dogs….it’s new sights, new sounds, new smells, and new people.”

Jillian is also certified to train and test for AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy distinction and CGC (Canine Good Citizen), CGCA (AdvancedCGC), and CGCU (Urban CGC) titles.


Sarah Hernandez

Sarah is a Chicagoland native that graduated from Parkland College in Veterinary Technology and from the University of Illinois with a bachelor’s degree in Animal Science. After working as a certified veterinary technician in Champaign for several years, she now resides in Monee with her cat Jumbo to be closer to family.

Katherine Baumann

Kati grew up in the St Louis area where she worked at a large boarding kennel throughout high school. She moved to the Chicago area in 2005 and worked in human healthcare for 5 years. Kati received her veterinary technician degree from Fox College in 2010. She worked at a small practice for 8 years before joining the staff at Animal Wellness Center. In her free time Kati likes to go see live music, camp, and spend time with her 3 dogs and 1 cat.

Orsolya Szilagyi

Orsi’s love for animals started at a very young age. She enjoyed attending dog shows with her mother, and often helped her mother prepare her 3 dogs for competitions. She loved visiting her uncle, who is a manager at the Lincoln park zoo, to experience behind the scenes interactions with the animals. She volunteered at several veterinary clinics, while attending JJC and receiving her degree in science. She also, loves adventure to explore new things, and is a certified open water scuba diver. Orsi has a Shih Tzu named Oreo, who she loves very much and spoils him tremendously.