I’m feeling cautiously optimistic and, dare I say, a little excited. So, I will go on a limb and share some candid stuff about me.
If you don’t know me, you might not know that I was born into veterinary medicine during my dad’s senior year of veterinary school. Growing up, I watched his veterinary career evolve from an associate in a mixed animal practice in Wyoming (with lots of cow patients) – to the practice owner of a small animal practice in southern California.
When I entered high school, my dad gave me a weekend gig at his veterinary hospital, Crescenta Cañada Pet Hospital, at the reception desk. It was a hiring decision (I suspect) he figured would keep me out of trouble. His plan must have worked because, from there, I continued to work at the practice through school, honing my management skills along the way. After earning my CVPM in 2010, I became my dad’s partner in the practice. Fast-forward to today, and my dad, my sister, who is an RVT, and I work in practice together daily.
I am not going to lie; while this situation ensures job security, it has allowed me to be complacent at times over the years. Even before the pandemic, my excitement about the profession had grown stagnant. Even after, my motivation was not as high as it should and could be for an individual in a management role.
I knew I needed a reboot in 2023, something new that would get me excited about the profession that I have come to know and genuinely love.
What I wasn’t expecting to find was energy and excitement from attending VHMA’s Management Exchange. More than a reboot, it proved to be transformational.
I was sucked into a whirlwind of innovative education, passionate professionals, and the enthusiasm I longed for. The energy was contagious, and the ideas presented were eye-opening.
My love for the veterinary field has been reinvigorated – a field I have known my whole life. I became fascinated with how it is evolving. But, even more than that, I am energized by all the people working tirelessly to improve the veterinary industry for all of those it touches, whether they be people or pets. I believe this profession is full of the best people, especially the VHMA members!
I returned to work excited to share what I had learned with my team. Now, we are examining these ideas together and determining how to weave them into our operations. I know the next year will not be all smooth sailing, but I am holding on to this cautious optimism mixed with some excitement, and before you know it, the ideas presented at conferences will become our reality.
Jessica Speas, CVPM, SPHR, PHR-ca, SHRM-SCP, CCFP