Reviews Forms Fear Free Clinic
Fear Free Clinic

Our Staff

Compassionate Charleston
Veterinarians Caring for Your Pets

Dr. Southard, Sr.


Dr. Southard, Sr. attended local schools in Charleston as a child. He was entered into the Hall of Fame as an Evening Post All-star Football Player in 1962 and is also an Eagle Scout. His undergraduate work was done at Clemson University and he graduated from the University of Georgia's College of Veterinary Medicine in 1968. After graduating, he served in Vietnam as Port Veterinarian in Cam Rahn Bay. He was awarded the Bronze Star for service by the United States Army. After his tour in Vietnam, he and his wife, Willa, settled back in Charleston where he worked with Drs. Sample and Kemmerlin until 1971, when he opened the doors of Air Harbor Veterinary Clinic.

Dr. Southard has 2 children - James Jr. and Heather. Collectively, they have 6 grandchildren, all of whom are very loved and spoiled!

Throughout his career, Dr. Southard Sr. has been very active in serving his community. He has been on the Board of Directors for the local Humane Organization for 37 years and served as President of the Board for 6 of those years. He has served the South Carolina Association of Veterinarians (SCAV) is various capacities including 4 years on the Board of Directors and 1 year as President of the Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners. In 1990, SCAV recognized him as "Veterinarian of the Year," and in 2004 again recognized him, this time as "Distinguished Veterinarian." Dr. Southard Sr. is an active member of the St. Andrews Rotary Club. He was recognized by this club as "Rotarian of the Year 1991-1992" and has served as President of the club. As a Paul Harris Fellow, he serves his Baptist church as Sunday School Teacher, Chair of the Deacons, and other committees in years past.

Dr. Southard Sr. has been active in the Boy Scouts of America for 50 years, receiving numerous awards and recognition as an Eagle Scout and he thoroughly enjoys collecting Boy Scout patches.

Dr. Southard, Jr.


Dr. Southard, Jr. grew up at Air Harbor Veterinary Clinic - literally! Always an independent thinker, he earned the honor of being an Eagle Scout when in high school. He did his undergraduate studies at the University of Georgia and graduated from veterinary school at Tuskegee University where he earned an Academic Performance Award. After graduating and becoming licensed in 1996, he returned to the family business and joined his father as a veterinarian. Presently, Dr. Southard Jr. is a member of the St. Andrews Rotary Club and sits on the Charleston County Planning Commission. In 1998, he and his wife Terri welcomed their triplets, Abby, Bailey and Jamie into the world. Their fourth child, Jordan, was born in 2002. They have 2 dogs at home, a malti-poo, Charlie, and a peka-poo, Logan.

Gina Cheatham

Office Manager

Gina has been in the veterinary field since 1982 and has been with AHVC since 2000. She has always had a strong passion for animals. As a youngster growing up in Warrenton, Virginia, she was very involved in showing horses (hunter/jumpers). In adulthood, she became an avid exhibitor of Labrador Retrievers at AKC conformation shows. She was blessed to have had and bred a few of the top winning labs in the nation. With the birth of her children, Gina no longer has time to show dogs, however, her daughter, Sydney, has followed in her footsteps and is actively involved in showing horses.

Gina grew up primarily in Virginia but also spent several years living in Germany and Iran. She was married and settled in Charleston in 1982. She and her husband Charlie have two children, Cole and Sydney. Her family is her pride and joy. Also included in that family are Thyme and Mosey (Labs), Mr. Hobbs (cat), Strawberry (horse).

After all the years in this field, Gina still loves working with the animals and "their people" as much as she did the first day.

Katherine Mott

Assistant Office Manager

Born and raised in SC, Katherine had a love for animals early in life and began riding horses at age 8. While earning her bachelor's degree in North Carolina, she continued riding and competing in horse shows on her college's IHSA and "C" level teams. In 2010 Katherine graduated from St. Andrews Presbyterian College (now known as St. Andrews University) with her BA in Business Administration specializing in Equine Studies. In June 2012, after working with horses for two years, she relocated to the Charleston area and started working at Air Harbor. Katherine lives with her husband Derreck, dog Xena and cat Bandit.

Molly Hager

Molly was born in Hagerstown, Maryland and was raised here in beautiful South Carolina. She is a double major in Veterinary Technician courses and Aircraft Maintenance & Assembly. Molly grew up surrounded by all types of animals as her grandparents showed Bloodhounds. She especially loves all things scaly and slimy. Molly is a big reptile lover and goes to local reptile conventions. In her free time she loves to spend time with her family or out camping and fishing with her fiance and dog Isabella.

Emily McKean

Emily joined the Air Harbor team as a Veterinary Assistant in August 2017. She was born and raised in South Carolina and has a strong passion for all animals. Emily has volunteered at many animal shelters in the Charleston area and is an experienced exotic animal handler. She loves to spend time with her family and travel in her free time while currently living in Charleston with her three rescue kitties: Biggie, Liz, and Mars.

Tina Childress

Tina was born in Key West, Florida and spent most of her life in the sunshine state. She graduated from St. Petersburg College in 1986 with a Bachelor of Applied Science and has been in the veterinary field for over 15 years. The last few years, Tina has been working with feral cat colonies and has found it incredibly rewarding. She moved to South Carolina in 2015 to be closer to her daughter and two wonderful grandsons; she currently lives with her two cats Buska and Napoleon. Tina has looked forward to work every day since joining the team at Air Harbor in June of 2017, and considers herself blessed to work with such a great staff.