We invite you to take a peek into part of what makes the Uncharted Veterinary Community so unique: our members! We sat down to interview some of the amazing people who have joined us on our amazing journey since the first conference in 2017. This week, the spotlight is on Jenn Galvin, a practice owner and manager in Arizona! Enjoy!
For anyone who doesn’t know you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m an introverted spreadsheet nerd at heart that geeks out on reading, painting, D&D, video games and my pets when I’m not at work. I started working in the veterinary industry in 1998 as a kennel attendant and haven’t looked back. Though I loved the technician work I was doing, the business side of vet med was super interesting to me. I attended Northern Arizona University to obtain my business degree and started managing various clinics after graduating.
In 2012 I joined forces with the bad-ass veterinarian you all know, Erika Cartwright, to open Advanced Animal Care. I’m a bit of a jack of all trades and can be found all over my clinic helping with blood draws, fixing technology, counseling team members, and of course working the numbers. I am obsessed with beagles, staff engagement and satisfaction, the client experience, and finding ways for employees to earn a higher living wage. I love teaching and mentoring others – it fills my cup!
What were you looking for when you joined Uncharted?
Uncharted found me, but I didn’t realize at the time how much I needed it. I stayed after a lecture that Andy gave in San Diego and we got to shoot the sh*t for a little while. I got a phone call from him a few weeks later asking if I’d like to be a part of something awesome. I was not disappointed, was 100% in then and I’m 100% in now. Back when Uncharted was founded I was looking for connections. The first conference I attended I hunted down a few members of UVC that I just knew would be awesome to have as mentors, advice-givers, and friends. Those connections have only gotten stronger as time has passed.
What are your 2 favorite groups in the Uncharted Workplace community and why?
Practice Owners and Management. Practice Owners Group is a great place to go when I need to get advice from people in similar situations (I mean, how many times can you call Bruce Francke a week before he blocks your number?). I always feel accepted, validated, and I know that I am not alone. I love the Management Group because I get to nerd out with other practice managers and help them solve issues which makes me feel pretty great.
Who is one of your favorite people you’ve met through Uncharted and why?
There are SO many people that I could talk about. If I have to choose my most favorite is Stephanie “Gives the Best Hugs” Goss. She has become my “phone a friend” when I need anything management/spreadsheet related. She’s great at talking me off ledges, making me feel like our brand of crazy is normal, encouraging me and supporting me to be the best leader I can be. Stephanie has become one of my closest friends in my personal life and I just can’t imagine her not in it. Though there are a ton more – honorable mentions would be Jamie Holms for knowing when I’m not my normal self and need help, Mike Falconer for letting me stalk him at the first UVC and being a reliable source of advice, Tracy Sands for helping me feel not alone, Bruce Francke for helping me continue to take over the world, and last but certainly not least, Saye Clement for having my back – always!
What is your current work related goal?
Surviving the current COVID times and finding another associate are high on the to-do list. Ongoing goals are always prioritizing my awesome staff and making them feel appreciated, challenged, and engaged.
What is your favorite hobby and how did you discover it? Would you recommend it to others?
Painting for sure and in all forms. Paint by number? Check! Pour a bunch of random paint on a canvas? Check! Paint miniature D&D figures? Check! Paint a rock? Check!
I would recommend everyone try it at least once. It can be an awesome, creative outlet and help focus your mind into almost a meditation. Plus you get to display your awesome artwork on the wall or send it to friends and relatives when you forget to buy them a gift!
What is one thing you never thought you could do (or were afraid to try) that you’ve done since joining Uncharted?
Speaking. I have mentored some managers before but I never thought I knew enough to speak and do workshop presentations, and I was quite afraid to try it for the first time. Boy, was I wrong and I’m so glad that Andy convinced me to do it. I LOVE teaching people and have so much to share. I have found in our amazing community WE ALL DO. It’s truly awesome to discover what each of us knows.
What is one thing you believe all veterinary professionals can do right now to make Vet Med even better?
If I’m being honest? Pay your people more – pay them what they are worth. If you aren’t in charge of that, ask about being paid what you’re worth. I love Vet Med, it’s such a cool place to be where we get to do incredible work every day. We’ve dug ourselves in a bit of a hole as far as paying the bad-ass folks that work in the industry enough and it’s high time that changed.
Tell us a story of how another Uncharted Member has helped you.
I was struggling so much with the recent loss of my dog. She was my very first beagle and lived to be fourteen. I had to euthanize her back in June and it felt like my soul was broken (it still feels that way most of the time). With the stress of COVID and being short-staffed I was not in a good place and Jamie, who is so observant, noticed that I was not my normal self on Workplace. She immediately reached out and talked to me about what I could do to be in a better place and we came up with a plan together. I felt really alone before I talked to her. Jamie was my hero that day (and a lot of other ones too).
Have you ever worked outside of the veterinary field? What was it like?
I have volunteered for senior care facilities, the Boys and Girls Club, and have done some camp art activities for kids. I like helping people (if you didn’t already notice), so it was really a nice way for me to feel like I was making a difference.
Where is one place in the world you would love to see?
I have always wanted to see a rocket launch. Is that weird? I really want to stay in those glass igloos they have in Alaska where you can watch the Northern Lights from your bed.
Do you have a dream for your career? What is it?
Maybe this is super lame, but I’m sort of living my dream already. I want to be a practice owner that makes a difference in client’s and their pet’s lives while running a profitable practice with happy employees. It’s super challenging and the work never stops. I also want to occasionally speak at conferences so I can inspire others to do the same if that’s their thing.
Is there anything we haven’t asked you about that you would like to talk about?
I’m stubborn. It’s my worst trait. I don’t like to ask for help and time and time again I have to relearn that lesson. Asking for help doesn’t mean you aren’t capable or weak.
You can join the Uncharted community and meet people like Jenn by visiting www.UnchartedVet.com and registering to become a member!