“My superpower? I can pack for a weeklong conference in one (big) suitcase.”
Where did you earn your degree?
BS (Animal Science), North Carolina State University, 1978.
What’s your proudest career accomplishment?
Looking back, I am very proud that nine of the employees and veterinarians I hired and mentored are now practice owners. I am also proud that I was able to influence the Animal Science department at NC State to create a veterinary practice management minor at the university level by developing a curriculum using electives within the prevet major. This will enable students to gain a base in management while in undergrad–at no additional cost–that will give us well-prepared future veterinary practice owners or managers to add to practice teams.
What gets you out of bed every morning?
I am constantly inspired by veterinary team members who put so much effort and heart into their work. The purpose of my life is to teach them to be such good communicators that every pet owner understands the value and says “yes” to great care. I also want them to have a happy life in veterinary medicine and firmly believe better communication skills will lead to better lives. It is most thrilling to me when someone emails me after a class to say, “Wow, what you taught us really made a difference.” That is what keeps me on the road and excited to be teaching.
What are you known for?
My expertise is in practice management, but my focus is team communication and culture. In the past 10 years, I have taught thousands of team members how to better understand the humans in their world. I try to do this with a combination of science, life experience and storytelling. As much as we all love animals, the humans in our world are the challenge. Understanding and being able to handle people is one of the major keys to practice success, low turnover, and reduced burnout.
What’s your superpower?
I can sing. I am often seen piping in when Dr. Deb Stone and the No-Lo Profits get out their instruments. I can also pack for a weeklong conference in one (big) suitcase!