SPVS-VPMA Congress 2014 launches its winning programme

John Lewis Board Director, Tracey Killen


SPVS and VPMA are launching their annual congress with an impressive line up.   John Lewis Board Director, Tracey Killen, heads the list of experienced speakers. From within and outside the industry and from home and abroad, they will provide strategic thinking and down-to-earth practical advice. 

Tracey will share her take on what veterinary practice can learn from John Lewis, a respected and trusted household name.   She should know – she’s married to successful independent vet, Richard Killen, owner of the multi-site Highcroft Veterinary Group! 

Award-winning speaker, Katherine Eitel, who wowed audiences at the North American Veterinary Congress in Florida earlier this year, will deliver her high-octane presentations on personal and team development.   And the two founders of the Mindfulness Exchange, a spin-off from Oxford University’s world-renowned Oxford Mindfulness Centre, will share the research that supports their pioneering approach to tackling stress in the workplace.

SPVS President,Adi Nell, particularly wanted to reach out to young vets with the brand new 5 to 15 years qualified stream,

‘This is typically the time when, having cut their teeth and got a good grounding in practice, vets start to think about ownership. As a society, one of our key aims is to help vets make the transition to ownership easier and less stressful. We support them with advice and practical help from experts and people who have been there and done it. ‘

This stream will be chaired by Alan Robinson and includes younger vets talking about their experiences of both corporate and private business models. With Brian Faulkner sharing his experience of setting up a new practice (twice – so far!) and Tim Puddle on marketing essentials, this stream is a must for anyone embarking on ownership.

VPMA President Helen Sanderson, meanwhile, was keen to build on feedback from practice managers after last year’s congress.  

‘Our more experienced managers said they wanted intensive sessions in areas such as personal and team development.  We’ve answered that by extending the lecture times to an hour with several streams that allow you to really get your teeth stuck into a subject such as a whole afternoon’s training in staff coaching with Nick Steele from Zoetis, one of our most popular CPD speakers.’

Helen has also brought her own particular interest to the Congress programme with a focused stream on equine management – a first for 2014. 

Congress will be held in the luxurious surroundings of the 5 star Celtic Manor Resort,Newport, allowing delegates to treat themselves while they learn. The organisers have negotiated an excellent rate for delegates as well as a fun social programme and activities for partners and spouses.

Registration is now open at www.vpma-spvs-events.co.uk/congress to both members and non-members with an Early Bird Discount running until the end of October. Substantial discounts are also available for group bookings and members of SPVS or VPMA.

The associations are extremely grateful to the sponsors who have made this congress possible!