Living Here Guide

Pismo Beach vet gives back to community with many organizations

Like many Cal Poly graduates, Dr. Joel Conn fell in love with San Luis Obispo County and decided not to return to his home state, but to put down roots and find ways to serve his new community of Pismo Beach.

“I loved this area the first time I saw it, and after getting my veterinary degree from UC Davis, my wife and I decided to come back and make Pismo our home,” he said. “I wanted to find a way to give back and be involved because I realized that this is a great community with great people.”

Conn owns Pismo Beach Veterinary Clinic with his wife, Dr. Sara Conn and his brother, Dr. Maxwell Conn, and they employ several more veterinarians on their staff. In his spare time, Joel Conn finds interesting ways to contribute to his adopted hometown.

In 2012, he adopted a highway and is responsible for regular highway cleanups on two miles of northbound Highway 101 between Shell Beach and Avila Beach roads. He also donated and installed a disc golf basket at Boosinger Park in 2010 and co-founded the Central Coast Ultimate Frisbee league.

“I love the outdoors, and there’s nothing like playing Frisbee or riding your bike or going to the beach here,” he said.

As an active member of the Rotary Club of Pismo Beach-Five Cities — he is immediate past president — Conn was instrumental in the group’s fundraising efforts to establish a community parklet as an annual project. The club has a history of contributing to Pismo Beach, especially through its annual “Summer Sizzle” fundraiser — last year the event raised more than $50,000 for local charities, including the Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County, Meals on Wheels, Runaway Girl, Captive Heart, Boys and Girls Club and many others.

Conn also was one of five local Rotarians who traveled to India in February to take part in the country’s National Immunization Day to help stop polio.

“That was such an eye-opening trip,” Conn said. “It was an honor to be a part of it.”

Conn also holds events for the four-legged residents of the region, including an annual Halloween pet costume contest and a haunted clinic. He is involved with the Five Cities Dog Park Association and the Woods Humane Society’s annual Wiggle Waggle Walk.

“I originally followed my family, who moved out here from Virginia after I finished high school,” Conn said. “It was the best decision of my life.”


Population: 8,181

Key employers:

• Hotels and restaurants

• Keller-Williams

• City of Pismo Beach

• U.S. Postal Service

Community events:

• St. Anthony’s Celebration, Aug. 20-22, 2016

• Art in the Park at Dinosaur Caves Park, first Sunday of the month, June-Sept.

• Clam Festival, Oct. 21-23, 2016

• Marching Band Review, Nov. 5, 2016

• Classic Car Show, Father’s Day Weekend, June 2017