Annual Meeting & Conference - Programs At A Glance
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Link to Speaker Biographies


6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. – Early Conference Registration


    THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2016

8:30 a.m. – 8:45 p.m. – President's Welcome


8:45 a.m. – 9:45 p.m. – Roundtable Discussions


9:15 a.m. - Bus leaves for off-site TRACK D


10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Educational Sessions



Veterinary Practice Training at the Olympic Level, PART 1
Speaker: Julie Poncier, CVT, CVPM, PHR, SHRM-CP


Great managers know how training impacts employee engagement, retention, and practice profitability. In this two-part program, learn how to make your training systems Gold Medal successes! In the first session, attendees will explore current adult learning theories and innovative techniques to apply in the veterinary workplace. Ever wonder why some employees do not respond to training methods, but others flourish? We will explore adult learning styles and learn how to reach all types of learners, as well as overcome obstacles to learning in the workplace. By conducting an example needs assessment, we will explore when training is the answer and when to use alternative performance strategies. You will learn to identify the characteristics of the ideal trainers in your organization, and how to set your training program up to go for the gold!

Tools and Resources attendees will take home:
• Personal Training Style Assessment (and knowledge of pros/cons of each style)
• Adult Learning Assessments and plan for new techniques/methods in training

Influencing Practice Profitability
Speaker: Andreas Pahl,  MPA, MBA, SPHR, CVPM, SHRM-SCP


Influencing and managing the profitability of a practice can best be achieved by knowing how to tackle the critical questions. Andreas will navigate attendees through these essential questions and direct them toward the answers they need to support practice profitability: What is valuation and when should it be done? What data points should be tracked?

The roles and influences of managers in supporting practice value will also be examined as the session explores how they also enhance their own value to the practice, the essential hard and soft skills most essential to financial management, and leadership’s role regarding finance analysis/reporting to key personnel and stakeholders.

How To Avoid Common Landmines and Pitfalls With a Disabled or Injured Worker

Speaker: Jennifer Raphael Komsky, Esq.


Managing your workforce when employees are absent for work-related injuries can be a challenge. The myriad of potential landmines can be complicated. The cross-over between a disabled employee’s workers compensation rights and the obligations imposed by the Americans with Disabilities Act and various state laws focusing on anti-discrimination, leaves of absence, and retaliation can confuse the most seasoned HR professional. This seminar will assist you in recognizing potential issues and concerns before they become litigation nightmares by teaching you best practices for preventing claims filed by injured or disabled employees.

Managing in a 24/7 Facility: How to Survive and Thrive
Speaker: Monica Maxwell, SPHR


This program will be presented offsite at the DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital.

Managing a 24/7 facility is one of the most challenging careers a manager can have. Issues occur around the clock. This means a well-intentioned manager can get into a constant stream of emails, phone calls, and texts. The result? No time to decompress! Additionally, a 24/7 environment is challenging from a scheduling, recruitment, and retention perspective. This program will cover the realities of management in a "city that never sleeps" and give tips on how to survive and thrive.





2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. – Educational Sessions



Track A

Veterinary Practice Training at the Olympic Level, PART 2
Speaker: Julie Poncier, CVT, CVPM, PHR, SHRM-CP

Expanding on the first session, we will put adult learning theories into practice! We will dive into content that will guide you through developing programs for specific practice objectives and career paths. Using these well-defined, clear objectives, we will compare methods of evaluating and improving performance and our training systems. Utilizing knowledge from both sessions, you will create a sample training guide that serves all learning styles by incorporating powerful and creative ideas. Since the performance of your team is the true measure of your success, we will plan strategies for ongoing support and learn how to follow up after training so that you master the art of growing and rewarding gold-medal team members!

Tools and Resources attendees will take home:
• Example Workbook/Training Guide
• Sample Training Forms
• Training Transfer Survey to manage performance and improve training programs
• Training Cost/Benefit Worksheet

Track B

Leadership is “Leading Up”

Speaker: Jennifer Hock, M.S.S.L., DEL


“Leading Up” – the process of working with people in a leadership position above you – requires equal parts of diplomacy, intuition, honesty, and tenacity. This session will explore the oftentimes confusing differences between Authority and Power. Authority is a legitimate right to influence others based on position; whereas Power is the intrinsic capacity to influence others without assigned authority and the ability to lead from where you are. 


For years, practice managers have worked diligently to gain the trust of those they work for. This session will demonstrate how they can expertly exercise that trust with confidence and conviction.

Track C

Developing a Sales Culture in a Non-Sales World
Speaker: Jan Spence

For practice managers, getting their staff to capitalize on additional opportunities for increasing revenue and profits when seeing patients is a struggle. In fact, many practitioners do not even see themselves in the “sales” business. The result? Missed opportunities for capturing additional income, increasing customer loyalty and growing the practice. Change this trend by joining Jan for an interactive session where she will share her experiences as a sales expert working with veterinarians/managers to help develop sales processes within their organization. Participants will uncover the roadblocks that hold staff back from selling more products and services. Learn various questioning techniques that take the fear out of “selling.” Explore various incentive options to help develop a sales culture within the clinic.




8:30 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. – Roundtable Discussions


10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Educational Sessions

Successful Negotiations: Strategies for Salary, Benefits and More
Speaker: Charlotte Lacroix, DVM, JD

This session presents the true benefit of negotiating successfully for these key areas:  workplace issues, salary, benefits, workplace perks and policies. An emphasis on negotiating DVM salaries and contracts will also be covered. Styles of negotiating and bargaining are contrasted, tips of what to do and what not to do are offered, and negotiation fears are addressed. Ready to strengthen your negotiating skills? This session is for you!
Non-DVM Ownership:  Big Picture Considerations
Speaker: Bryon Farquer, DVM, CVA

This session will set the stage and address big picture considerations regarding non-DVM practice ownership including the challenges, differences, and the opportunities. Attendees will also learn about financing options, legal issues, and an overview of how profits and building equity play big roles in an owner’s personal net worth.

The Fusion of Work, Life, and Leadership in Veterinary Medicine
Speaker: Lori Teller, DVM

The term “work-life balance” seems to be everywhere today as we all hope to blend our career and life demands, fuse them, and try to find something called “balance.” As high-achievers, we can often take on leadership roles that lead to fulfillment, stress, or both. How do we manage it all: our career, family, friends, community, and take care of ourselves—much less keep our sanity and find meaning in what we do each day? Achieving sanity requires making choices and accepting that you will find your blend (which is not likely to be perfectly balanced in every way, every day). In this highly interactive session (yes—bring your smartphones and be ready to use them!) we will work on evaluating our priorities so we can find times for our wants and needs, evaluate how we are spending our time, start to accept our limitations, and value our achievements. Once you master these techniques, you will be able to share them with your staff and colleagues - who are very likely struggling with the exact same demands.


2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. – Educational Sessions


Manager’s Role in Veterinary Ethics (Dilemmas)
Speaker: Charlotte Lacroix, DVM, JD

Too often management decisions are complicated by “doing the right thing”:

…A daughter is angry her sister brought in the family pet for a procedure and now refuses to pay the invoice.

…One part of a divorcing couple requests the pet be euthanized to spite the other spouse.

…A client brings a “stray” cat that has a microchip registered to a different client and won’t return it.  

Ethical decision-making is often challenging. This informative presentation will present managers with helpful tools to facilitate the process.

Non DVM Ownership: Due Diligence
Speaker: Byron Farquer, DVM, CVA

The second session by Dr. Farquer will review investigating the buying opportunity, including an overview of the practice valuation process. This session will provide a better understanding of whether an asking price is reasonable or way outside the ballpark. You will use checklists to go through the many items that make up a proper practice purchase, due diligence investigation, and how to recognize solvable problems. Finally, you will have the opportunity to discuss reaching that dreaded “Go/No Go” decision, especially which items automatically make the decision a “No Go.”

Getting Cloud Ready

Speaker: Joseph Axne


There is no denying it; the cloud is here! Over the next three to five years, practice management software, labs, x-ray, and integrations will continue to migrate to the cloud. In this session we will review commonly seen issues in veterinary practices and provide insight into Information Technology (IT) strategies and best practices that should be put in place for your computers and networks. Using real world examples, Joseph will discuss how to protect your practice from all the costly threats out there that you MUST avoid. What is the cloud without Internet access? We will discuss how to use dual Internet media to create a cost effective high-availability solution to assure you can always get to the cloud!




8:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. – CVPM Roundtable Discussions 


9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Educational Session



Trends that Will Shape Your Business, Your Job, and Your Career by 2020 and Beyond
Speaker: Bash Halow, CVPM, LVT

Close your eyes and listen. Hear that munching sound? It’s probably veterinary professionals across the country nail-biting their way through another worry session. Will corporations outcompete private practice for market share? Will the rising costs of veterinary services put care out of reach for too many pet owners? Will we collapse beneath our growing obligations of online marketing and visibility? Will online stores sweep up what’s left of our in-house sales? And maybe worst of all, will burnout finally catch us fully on fire and finish us for good?

A magic eight ball might have the answers, but we think we can do one better. In this three-hour, quick-paced lecture, Bash Halow, CVPM, LVT will present the best data out there on what is and is not trending in our industry. Taped interviews, live panels, polls and best of all your own audience contributions reveal the real (and not so real) boogie monsters under the bed. Chew your nails if you must, but Bash believes in directing your energy in more productive directions: identifying real threats, preparing strategies to stay apace with change, and keeping the spit off your fingertips. Attend for what should be lecture that will be talked about for some time…way into the future.


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