Veterinary Leadership Conference 2023

The Community Veterinary Partners team heads to Nashville, TN for VLC where we will enhance the professional development of our team and build camaraderie.

There is a buzz of excitement this week at Community Veterinary Partners (CVP) as we amp up for the 2023 Veterinary Leadership Conference (VLC) taking place in Nashville, Tennessee from April 30th- May 3rd.  As part of our commitment to facilitate professional development and build a thriving community, CVP makes it a priority to bring the team together on an annual basis to learn and grow.  

As we all know, the pandemic created roadblocks to team gatherings—resulting in our last in-person meeting being held over two years ago. However, this doesn’t mean we put a pause on bringing our people together. 

In 2021 we held a virtual VLC with motivating sessions from the esteemed Disney Institute on leadership development and the importance of delivering stellar customer service. We then hit the road in 2022, turning VLC into a traveling roadshow. Our CEO, Kevin Ruffe, along with other CVP team members, and Matt Salois, AVMA’s former Chief Economist and current President of VMG, hit our five main regions, bringing VLC to our community’s doorsteps. We’re grateful to come together once again in 2023 to connect, celebrate and evolve. 

This year, we are headed to Music City with hundreds of PMs and Lead Veterinarians coming together for our largest VLC to date. For four action-packed days, we will provide tools for professional and personal development, build team camaraderie, and further explore what it means to be part of the CVP community.  

Pets thrive when people thrive — gaining professional and leadership development  

As the name states, CVP’s Veterinary Leadership Conference is about nurturing the growth and development of our people. We’re pleased to welcome back Matt Salois for the 5th year in a row to provide an in-depth industry update to our veterinary leaders, as well as introduce new additions to the roster.  

Martha McSally, the first female fighter pilot and former US Senator and Congresswoman, will take the stage to motivate and inspire our teams on how to persevere and meet their fullest potential. With nearly 70% of veterinarians being women, Martha will share the struggles women often face and how to overcome them to be a strong female leader.  

Dr. Heidi Brinkman will guide our hospital leadership teams in how to lead from the “inside out.” She’ll provide the tools needed to look introspectively, build resilience and hardiness, and find the magic that happens when doctors and PMs come together as partners 

We’re also thrilled to have Dr. Tony Pease, Chief Veterinary Medical Officer of Viticus Group, to elevate the knowledge and skills of our lead veterinarians, specifically in digital radiology. Viticus Group has been an extraordinary partner with CVP in the development of our veterinarians. As part of CVP’s VetFWD Mentorship Program, our teams gain hands-on experience and continuing education opportunities at the Viticus wet lab every year in Las Vegas.  

The pet people people — coming together to build team camaraderie 

The Support Center teams are excited to kick off VLC Nashville-style with their own unique welcome stations for the doctors and PMs to enjoy (think BBQ spice-making and Tennessee whiskey-tasting). From giant Jenga and cornhole, to photo booths and s’mores — there will be several ways for our team members to bond and create memories over the long weekend.  

We've also planned casual lunch breaks and entertaining dinners to further strengthen the community we have established. With over 130 hospitals, we’ll have the chance to revisit with old friends, and meet a lot of new CVP faces. 

What it means to be part of CVP- Supporting our people at work and at home 

Some of the most significant growth at CVP has come from ideas spawned through our connections during past VLCs. For example, offering no negative accruals so veterinarians can take true time off, implementing paid parental leave, and providing a mental wellness program are just a few initiatives that have come directly from hospital leadership feedback.  

In the spirit of fostering stronger connections across our hospitals, members of our leadership team will foster ways to improve our connectedness, share in developing best practices with our hospital leaders, and come together as a true community.  

At CVP, we always lead with care and people, and strive to provide remarkable treatment to all pets. This effort is spearheaded by the newly appointed VP of Professional Relations, Dr. Andrea Crum.  Dr. Crum will provide a framework that will support our hospital teams as they continue to elevate the quality of medical care.  In addition, our doctors and PMs will also connect with Kevin, CEO, Jason, COO, Chris, CFO, Val, Sr. VP of Ops, Karin, Sr. VP of HR, Belinda, VP of Marketing, as well as many other of their CVP Support Center team colleagues. 

The beauty of CVP is the strong connection across our entire community. We are one, unified team built upon a foundation of communication and collaboration. We feel the continued sharing of diverse ideas is critical on our path forward, and we know this conference once again, will inspire creativity and collaboration. We're stronger together, as is the extraordinary pet care we can deliver. 


Open only to CVP team members, VLC is an opportunity for our lead veterinarians and their practice managers to connect with each other, share in best practices, develop clinical and professional skills, and hone in on what it means to be a true leader. We can’t wait to see how this year’s VLC will move us all forward.  

Whether you’re on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram, be sure to follow along on social for real-time updates, photos, and more!  

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