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Melinda Chavis and John Jeffreys Named VHMA 2017 Emerging Leaders Scholarship Receipients

Sunday, December 31, 2017   (0 Comments)
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The Veterinary Hospital Managers Association (VHMA) is pleased to announce that Melinda Chavez and John Jeffreys have been selected as the association’s 2017 Emerging Leaders Program scholarship recipients. The prestigious two-year program affords VHMA members in good standing, who are age 40 or younger at the time of application, opportunities to refine their skills and enhance their professional development. The 2017 recipients are ambitious and talented---proven leaders and accomplished professionals.


According to VHMA Executive Director, Christine Q. Shupe, CAE, “We are fortunate to have received applications from so many qualified applicants. Melinda and John not only demonstrated a passion for veterinary management and a commitment to professional advancement, they have confidently assumed leadership roles and invested themselves in ensuring their practices thrive. The experience they will gain from being involved in the Emerging Leaders Program will help them succeed professionally as they support their staff and practices.”


Meet the Leaders


Melinda Chavez found her passion working with animals as a child. She volunteered at shelters and later fostered pets. A grooming business she established while in high school was active for many years. Through determination, skill and an insatiable quest for knowledge and information she has moved forward in her career. She is currently practice manager at Lafayette Veterinary Care Center (LVCC) in Louisiana.


When she started as a bather at LVCC eight years ago, she quickly advanced to more responsible positions. Concurrently, she enrolled in undergraduate courses and eventually received a degree in animal science. While running a practice and pursuing a degree, her family grew. Despite a busy career, a husband and four children, Chavez was committed to excel in all areas of her life. She found success through balance--- balancing her professional commitments with her family commitments.


Chavez created a personal strategy to achieve balance. Her personal model focuses on accountability and every day she holds herself accountable for how she spends her work day and family time. For Chavez, this involves engaging in a planning session with herself at the end of each work day to review what she had accomplished and identify what she hopes to accomplish the next day. Chavez not only ends each work day with a plan, she begins her time with her family free from work concerns.


In the office she has advanced the process by setting Quarterly SMART goals, which she applies to structured future planning. This process has resulted in timely promotion of key staff and delegation of responsibility, which has allowed her to improve her work/life balance.


Chavez is excited about what the next two years hold in store,” My mentor has encouraged me to move forward and study for the CVPM. As I become more involved with VHMA I am thrilled to be able to participate with others in the field and share ideas and learn from them.”


John Jeffreys rolled up his sleeves and plunged into veterinary medicine at the age of 14. He has worked in large specialty practices as well as smaller general day practices and has covered the full gamut of positions: kennel attendant, CSR, veterinary assistant pharmacy technician, registered veterinary technician and practice manager, a position he currently holds at Coastal Animal Hospital in California. He was hired as the practice’s head technician and moved into management roles as the owner started to rely on him to establish protocols and perform other key duties.


He credits two colleagues, both Certified Practice Veterinary Managers (CVPM), for inspiring him to grow professionally and pursue continuing education. He has a particular interest in marketing, leadership and human resources. Joining VHMA two-and-a half years ago was another step he took to further his education. He made the decision to pursue the CVPM in order to become a better practice manager.


He has a particular interest in refining his leadership skills so he can effectively support his staff’s and practice’s success. To this end, he has enrolled in business courses that have equipped him to think more strategically. He credits his education, as well as a staff that is interested in connecting day-to-day accomplishments with long term goals, for moving the practice forward. He also has been inspired by the practice owner who he describes as a great mentor. He has fueled Jeffreys’ passion for the position and encouraged him to reach outside his comfort zone and test the limits of what he can accomplish.


He sees the award as a validations of his hard work and a designation that will open doors to new opportunities. He also is excite about the insights he can share with other professionals and hopes to contribute to moving the industry forwad.


The Perks of the Program


Each of the two Emerging Leader candidates receives an annual scholarship of $2,500, which can be applied to the VHMA annual meeting and conference registration and travel costs, the Certified Veterinary Practice Management (CVPM) credential process and the CVPM preparation workbook.


Emerging Leaders are required to give back to the association and share their talents by serving on a committee, joining the Emerging Leaders Focus Group, attending the VHMA Annual Meeting and Conferences, educating fellow members through presentations and/or articles, serving as an ambassador to promote the program, and earning the CVPM designation.


Visit the VHMA website to learn more about the Emerging Leaders Program and application deadlines for 2018.





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